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Hoss of the Year: The NFL’s best pass rushers from 2017

Retired NFL defensive lineman Stephen White has been celebrating the best pass rushers every week of the season. Find out who won and who was the best Hoss from 2017.

One of the best things we do during the NFL season here at SB Nation is the Hoss of the Week awards. Every week, right up through the playoffs, retired NFL defensive end Stephen White hands out the hardware to the most dominant pass rusher. In the process, we get a full breakdown that goes way beyond the stat sheet, focusing on what that player did on the field, how they did it and why it mattered.

The season culminates with the Hoss of the Year Award. For 2017, Jaguars do-it-all defensive lineman Calais Campbell took home the prize. Not bad for a veteran free agent a lot of people thought an already loaded Jags defense didn’t really need.

It was a breakout performance from Campbell, who’s already been pretty well-established as one of the league’s better defensive linemen throughout his 10-year career.

So without further ado, here are this year’s HOSSES!

Hoss of the Year: Calais Campbell, Jaguars

From the Hoss of the Year write-up:

Before the Wild Card games, I had already pretty much decided on Calais Campbell as my Hoss of the Year. He ended the 2017 regular season with 14.5 sacks, which tied him with DeMarcus Lawrence for the second-highest sack output in the league behind Chandler Jones (17). Those 14.5 sacks in his 10th season were also five-and-a-half more sacks than Campbell’s previous career single-season high of nine and set a new franchise record for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Campbell had a fantastic season, but Campbell has been so much more than just a pass rusher this year.

As the starting defensive end who normally lines up to the opposing offense’s run strength, Campbell had a huge impact on the Jaguars run defense as well because tight ends generally just couldn’t handle him one-on-one. Even when those tight ends got help from the offensive tackle on double teams, that wouldn’t always suffice either to keep Campbell from having an impact on running plays.

It didn’t always show up in the stat sheet, but Campbell routinely destroyed blocking schemes all by his damn self. So many times he either created a pile or forced a double team to stay on him instead of going up on the second level. That usually allowed one of his teammates to actually make the tackle.

That’s just one of the many ways he helped to make the guys around him better this year.

Learn how Campbell turned the Jaguars defense into the NFL’s best, and read Stephen’s full breakdown here.

And spend some time getting to know a great stable of Hosses from the 2017 season.

Playoff Hosses

Championship Round: Trey Flowers is the unsung hero of the Patriots’ defense.

Divisional Round: The Eagles’ Super Bowl dreams are still alive because of Fletcher Cox.

Wild Card Round: Calais Campbell is why the Jaguars defense made the leap from good to great.

Regular season Hosses

Week 17: Ziggy Ansah sacked his way to a huge pay day this year, and you probably didn’t even notice.

Week 16: Cam Heyward isn’t the prettiest pass rusher, but he deserves your respect.

Week 15: Aaron Donald was sent here to crush quarterbacks and ruin offensive linemen.

Week 14: Chris Jones saved the Chiefs’ season with a dominant performance.

Week 13: DeMarcus Lawrence proves that technique is everything for a pass rusher.

Week 12: Chandler Jones gives the Cardinals something to celebrate in a tough season.

Week 11: Jaguars DE Yannick Ngakoue deserves some damn respect for the way he mistreats quarterbacks.

Week 10: Adrian Clayborn’s pass-rushing tactics will embarrass your ass, just ask the Cowboys.

Week 9: Jabaal Sheard’s incredible walk-off sack gave the Colts a little ray of hope for the season.

Week 8: Jadeveon Clowney is the face of the Texans’ defense now and he’s wrecking everything.

Week 7: The Jaguars’ defensive line will chase you down like a swarm of angry wasps.

Week 6: Saints DE Cam Jordan is even more impressive than his numbers.

Week 5: Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa are the NFL’s most dynamic pass rushing duo.

Week 4: Khalil Mack is on the fast track to greatness.

Week 3: Jadeveon Clowney is back and terrorizing Tom Brady again.

Week 2: Chris Jones was the Chiefs’ one-man wrecking crew against the Eagles.

Week 1: Calais Campbell played every spot on the Jaguars’ defensive line and dominated.


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