Lewis, Ngata among top defensive players in Sporting News poll

The Sporting News* took a poll of 100 NFL players, and both Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata were in the top 10 for possible defensive MVP at the halfway point of the season.

The top finishers were:

Clay Matthews, OLB, Packers, 38


James Harrison, OLB, Steelers, 12

Osi Umenyiora, DE, Giants, 8


DeAngelo Hall, CB, Redskins, 6

Troy Polamalu, S, Steelers, 6

Ray Lewis, ILB, Ravens, 5

Haloti Ngata, DT, Ravens, 5

Patrick Willis, ILB, 49ers, 4

LaRon Landry, S, Redskins, 2

Mario Williams, DE, Texans, 2

Also: 11 players received one vote

Most of the players polled picked the Jets to win the Super Bowl with 23 votes followed by:

Steelers, 21

Giants, 14

Ravens, 11


Patriots, 6

Saints, 6

Colts, 5

Falcons, 2

Packers, 2

Redskins, 2

Also: Four teams received one vote

The hardest hitter was Pittsburgh's outside linebacker James Harrison with 38 votes followed by:

Ray Lewis, ILB, Ravens, 36

Patrick Willis, ILB, 49ers, 4

Bart Scott, ILB, Jets, 2

LaRon Landry, S, Redskins, 2

Adrian Wilson, S, Cardinals, 2

Also: 10 players received one vote

*Players weren't allowed to vote for their team, a teammate or their own coach. Not every player answered every question. All the categories will be released by Sporting News Thursday.

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