I know it’s just another tweet. I know that it’s entirely subjective when you get down to it.
But, c’mon man...
It was a big year for the front seven in the NFL. pic.twitter.com/Hd7hxNRzuG— SNF on NBC (@SNFonNBC) January 3, 2019
Let me first make a disclaimer: That Defensive Player of the Year race is between Mack and Donald and I can make cases for either. San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle DeForest Buckner did not have quite the season either of those two had. Mack’s season in particular was one of a demonic force to opposing quarterbacks. Donald, I trolled at the beginning of the year, but he took care of business and came within three sacks of the single-season sack record. Respect.
But Fletcher Cox gets glossed as a front-runner and not DeForest Buckner? I’m sure Buckner is in the conversation in some deranged fashion, but it certainly doesn’t look it when you put Cox’s mug with Donald and Mack. Darn it, I want people to talk about Buckner.
None of this would really bother me if it wasn’t for getting the feeling Buckner is always an afterthought in these front runner posts, quick glances, or in the case of the Pro Bowl, put on the little kids table. And yes, this is just a tweet from SNF’s account and means nothing in the scheme of things. I’m just talking in general.
But in the interests of the above tweet, let’s educate:
Buckner finished the season with 12 sacks and 44 tackles, one forced fumble, and three passes defended. Cox? 10.5 sacks, 33 tackles, one forced fumble and one pass defended. That’s a healthy difference. The one thing Cox has over Buckner for 2018? A fumble recovery.
Buckner is a far better ‘front runner’ than Cox.
As for the SNF tweet, which only adds a tiny bit of evidence to my issue, only rationale I can get for those names is that they are playoff teams and going to be on TV. Buckner is going to be at home, watching those guys on TV. It does help the narrative that Buckner gets no love when the media grabs other names without mentioning him in these promos like this. It keeps him from being a more widespread name, despite better production.
Why can’t DeForest Buckner get any respect? Is really because he plays for the Niners? Any of you want to take this one?