James Harrison Wins VAVEL USA Defensive Player Of Week 13
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

James Harrison Wins VAVEL USA Defensive Player Of Week 13

The writers at VAVEL USA were polled on who they thought the best defensive player of Week 13 was, and their answer was James Harrison.

Connor Deitrich

Most 37-year-old linebackers aren't capable of playing in an NFL game and sacking the opposing quarterback three times, totaling seven tackles, and forcing a fumble. In the same sense, most 37-year-olds aren't James Harrison.

The Pittsburgh Steelers needed someone on their defense to step up and make a play, and Harrison stepped up and made many. He turned back the clock in a big way in this week's game against the Indianapolis Colts, as he helped to take some pressure off of a very shaky secondary.

Harrison sacked starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck once and backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst twice. Late in the game, his sole sack of Hasselbeck was a strip sack, one that forced a fumble and knocked the 40-year-old quarterback out of the game. The Colts' final drive of the game saw a simply spectacular showing from Harrison, as he sacked Whitehurst both times on that drive and was in great position to intercept a pass, though he dropped it. James Harrison has never really been known for his pass-catching ability (his record-setting pick-six in Super Bowl 43 could be an exception). 

Simply put, Harrison has a boat load of old man's power. Even though he doesn't play near as many snaps as he used to, he is always capable of straight up bull-rushing his blocker and pressuring the quarterback. On the Steelers, Harrison is one of the few veterans. Games like this will not only provide a boost for that inconsistent defense, but they will inspire and energize the younger front seven players, who undoubtedly look up to Harrison as a player.

If James Harrison continues to turn back the clock this way, he could find himself winning defensive player of the week again this year. This week, he will be playing against his former team in the Cincinnati Bengals. They have a very good offensive line, but no one will be doubting the powers of Harrison.