Washington Football Team defensive end Chase Young #99 in action during an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Monday, Dec. 7, 2020, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)
- Chase Young and Washington put up a stunner by defeating the unbeaten Steelers
- Jeremy Chinn had two fumble recoveries for a TD to put pressure on Young
- Let’s examine the leading contenders’ odds for DROY as we provide our best bet
Washington defensive end Chase Young is the odds-on favorite to win the NFL DROY award with odds of -105. But Carolina safety Jeremy Chinn is hot on his tail at +250 odds after a stunning performance in Week 13.
There has been plenty of movement below these two as Tampa safety Antoine Winfield Jr. has a firm hold on third place at +550 odds. Baltimore linebacker Patrick Queen (+800) and Indianapolis safety Julian Blackmon (+1400) fill out the top five.
Odds for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year
|Chase Young (Washington)||-105|
|Jeremy Chinn (Carolina)||+250|
|Antoine Winfield Jr. (Tampa)||+550|
|Patrick Queen (Baltimore)||+800|
|Julian Blackmon (Indianapolis)||+1400|
Odds taken Dec. 9 at FanDuel
Chasing Down Ben
Young was a key performer for a Washington defensive front that put all kinds of pressure on Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, who looked uncomfortable in the pocket in the 23-17 loss in Week 13. And the pressure filtered down to his wide receivers because they dropped a number of passes.
The signature play came on a tenacious goal-line stand in the first half when Young and his fellow defensive linemen stopped Pittsburgh on three straight plays. Then on fourth down, Young burst from his right-end spot and past a blocker to dive head-first and make a sprawling tackle to keep running back Benny Snell just short of the end zone.
The Steelers just ran 5 plays from the one yard-line and didn’t score.
Chase Young made an incredibly athletic play to make a 4th-and-goal stop.
— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) December 7, 2020
Young was pronounced the favorite even at the beginning of the season when his odds reached +250. By October, Young remained the favorite despite missing Week 4, and he’s been atop the field every since. But his stats sheet isn’t as impressive as it was to start the season, so his momentum is slowing.
Movement below the Favorite
While Young has been entrenched at No. 1, there has been movement below him and Chinn. Antoine Winfield Jr. and Julian Blackmon have continued to see their odds improve.
In early November, Blackmon was the big mover as his odds improved from +10000 to +700. But his odds have since slipped back to +1400.
Back in September, Winfield was tied for the third-best odds at +1200 after a Week 2 performance that included one sack, a forced fumble, and 11 combined tackles. Winfield is still holding firm on third place as the season winds down.
Closing the Gap
Lately, Jeremy Chinn has been closing the gap on Young after the Carolina safety scored touchdowns on back-to-back defensive plays in Week 12. Since then, Chinn’s odds have improved from +900 to +250, and there might be good value in taking Chinn. Although, there is an argument to be made that betting on Young now might be good value before the odds get too short.
#Steelers HC Mike Tomlin to Chase Young: “I don’t ever want to lose enough games to get a guy like you. You know what I mean? ‘Cause you gotta lose 14, 15 games to get a guy look like you.”
Real recognize real.
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) December 8, 2020
Chinn elevated his game in record-breaking fashion when he led the team with 13 tackles, which was a career-high, and two fumble recovery touchdowns against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 12. Chinn became the first player in the modern era to score two fumble recovery touchdowns in the same game.
One positive from yesterday….
— Cat Crave (@CatCraveBlog) November 30, 2020
Chinn has produced a total of 87 combined tackles, two fumble recoveries, two touchdowns, five passes defended, one forced fumble, and one interception. With Carolina on their bye week, Chinn will be in action again in Week 14 against the Denver Broncos.
A Man of Great Versatility
Antoine Winfield is a dependable performer as safety for a talented Buccaneers defense. Winfield, who was taken in the second round of the 2020 draft, has 69 combined tackles, two sacks, four pass deflections, an interception, and a forced fumble.
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) October 11, 2020
Linebacker Patrick Queen is an important part of the Ravens defense. In 12 games he has picked up 84 combined tackles, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. On one of those fumbles, he returned the ball for a 53-yard touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals on Oct. 11.
Out of a Cannon
Julian Blackmon plays like he’s been shot out of a cannon. The Colts safety made his debut in Week 2 against the Minnesota Vikings. Through 11 games, he has picked up 32 combined tackles, two interceptions, six pass deflections, and a crucial forced fumble in overtime last month against the Green Bay Packers to set his team up for the game-winning field goal.
Julian Blackmon out of a cannon. 💣
📺 FOX/NFLN pic.twitter.com/EdeJvtCOGq
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) November 13, 2020
Despite the heroics to close the gap on Young by other rookie defenders, he is still the best bet at this point. Washington can still make the playoffs, and they will need Young to be at his best to do so. Take the Football Team’s young pass-rusher right now while his odds still hold value.
Best Bet: Chase Young (-105)
Curtis has been a sports writer for more than 40 years, contributing to the Toronto Star, New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, the Guardian and Forbes. He has covered the NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, PGA, ATP and WTA. Curtis resides in Toronto.