Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Mr. Heck's Regular Season Awards

With a crazy 2010 regular season finally in the books, it's time for my annual "Regular Season Awards." I know what you're saying, and yes my title for these awards isn't very creative, but it will have to do until I can come up with a fancier name, sorry.

Most Valuable Player: Tom Brady

Everyone seems to wanna give this award to Michael Vick. But, the truth is Brady was far more consistent throughout the season than Vick. While Vick went his first seven games without an interception, he threw six in the last five games of the season. Brady through four all season and ended up playing the final 11 games without an interception. Twelve of Brady's 16 games he threw for multiple touchdowns and had a quarterback rating of 100 or better in 12 games. Vick was an all-around solid player this season, but Brady put up numbers reminiscent of New England's undefeated regular season in 2007.

Runner ups: Michael Vick, Phillip Rivers

Rookies of the Year: LeGarrette Blount (offense) and Ndamukong Suh (defense)

For Blount, the road to the NFL was a rocky one after his punching incident in week one of the college football season last year after his Oregon Ducks fell to the Boise State Broncos. He was suspended indefinitely and his chances at going pro were put in jeopardy. Tampa Bay, looking for a consistent runner who could play on first and second downs, claimed Blount off waivers (from the Titans) on September 6. It wasn't until week four against the Cardinals that Blount broke out and raised some eye brows with a 120 yard, two TD performance. He went on to break 1,000 yards rushing with four 100-yard games and a couple of highlight reel plays (jumped completely over two defenders on two separate occasions this season). Blount's Bucs just barely missed out on the playoffs this season, unfortunately.
Suh, a Heisman trophy finalist in 2009, made an immediate impact in the NFL this season. The 6'4'', 307 pounder was first among defensive tackles with 10 sacks as he started all 16 games this season. Suh's 66 total tackles was seventh-best among defensive lineman. The former Nebraska Cornhusker forced fear in to his opposition with a big hit he put on Cleveland Browns' quarterback Jake Delhomme in the preseason. Suh was fined $7,500 by commissioner Roger Goodell for the hit in which he slammed Delhomme down to the turf. Suh, unlike my offensive rookie of the year Blount, was awarded a Pro Bowl selection this season. This is the first of what should be many in the years to come for Ndamukong.

Runner ups: Sam Bradford (offense) and Eric Berry (defense)

Breakout Player: Arian Foster

Houston seemed to be lost for words as soon as they learned that their rookie running back Ben Tate would miss the rest of the season after suffering a leg injury in the very first preseason game. A couple weeks later they would discover a guy who would carry the workload for a majority of the season. Foster, who ran the ball just 54 times for 257 yards and three touchdowns in his rookie season last year, ran all over the Indianapolis Colts in week one (a franchise-record 331 to be exact). Foster put up seven 100-yard games and five multi-TD performances throughout the season, and ended the 16-game schedule with a league-high 1,616 yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground. Foster is on the radar in 100 percent of fantasy leagues after this season.

Runner ups: Peyton Hillis, Cameron Wake, Brandon Lloyd
Comeback Player of the Year: Michael Vick

He didn't get my MVP vote, but the fact that he went from not playing in the league at all in 2007 and 2008, to just 13 pass attempts and 24 rush attempts in 2009, to a Pro Bowl selection and an MVP-type performance in 2010 warrants this award. Vick's career-high 3,018 yards and 21 touchdown passes showed the NFL world that Vick can--and will--throw the ball. His 676 rushing yards and nine TDs sure did help too. I look forward to seeing what he and the Eagles do in the playoffs.

Runner ups: Brian Urlacher, Braylon Edwards

Biggest Disappointment: Brett Favre

What can I say? After last season's career year, we probably should have been expecting a letdown in 2010, but yet we're still all disappointed that it had to end this way. His consecutive games played streak was ended and the last image we may have of Favre is of him being slammed in to the turf by a rookie defensive lineman, causing a concussion on a rock solid Soldier Field surface in a 40-14 loss. Favre's 19 interceptions and Minnesota's 6-10 record sure didn't help matters. There's still a chance he could come back in 2011, but I really do not expect it to happen. I think he has finally discovered that his body can't take the beating any longer.

Runner ups: Donovan McNabb
Coach of the Year: Lovie Smith (Chicago)

Green Bay and Minnesota made all the headlines and front pages this off-season, but it was in Chicago where all the hard work finally paid off during the 2010 season. Quarterback Jay Cutler put up over 3,000 yards and 20 touchdown passes for the fourth straight season and was able to protect the ball a little better than last year, going from 26 int's from '09 to 16 this season. He had to adjust to yet another offense as Mike Martz was brought in as the coordinator. But it was really Lovie's defense that was able to get the Bears' its first division title since the year they played Indy in the Super Bowl back in 2006. Good luck to Lovie and his Bears in the playoffs.

Runner ups: Todd Haley

If you have any other awards you would like to "hand out" feel free to inform me of them in the comment section.

Photo Credit
LeGarrette Blount: AP Photo/Bill Haber
Arian Foster: AP Photo/Dave Einsel
Brett Favre: AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt

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