DALLAS - Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu has won The Associated Press 2010 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award, edging Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews.
Polamalu received 17 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who cover the league, edging Matthews by two votes.
Despite missing two games, in which Pittsburgh went 1-1, Polamalu becomes the sixth Steeler to win the award. He had seven interceptions this season along with 63 tackles, but made his mark with big plays. In a late-season victory at Baltimore, his leaping tackle forced a fumble that set up the winning touchdown.
That victory catapulted the Steelers to the AFC North title. Now, they are in the Super Bowl - against Matthews’ Packers.
In an earlier version of this story, the Green Bay Press-Gazette incorrectly reported Matthews as the winner of the award. The story was posted based on numerous Twitter and Internet reports which proved to be untrue. The Press-Gazette regrets the error.