Fantasy Football News

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Regular Season Award Winners

The Associated Press and National Football League have not released its award winners for the 2011 regular season just yet, but that doesn't mean I, here at All-Out Blitz, can't hand out my seasonal awards.

FYI: These are not predictions, these are simply my award winners. I could care less who the league awards the MVP, ROY, Coach of Year, etc. to...what secret do the voters know that I don't? Exactly. Comments are always welcome in the comment section, of course.

League MVP: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers QB

Stat line: 4,643 yards, 45 TDs, 6 INT, 68.3%, 122.5 QBR

There has been come debate as to whether or not Rodgers and NO's Drew Brees should be given the co-MVP award this season. And I say, no. Not because Brees is less-deserving, but simply because I don't like the idea of giving the award to two different players to share. I'm sure Brees would much rather not win the award than to have to share it with someone else. Rodgers and his 15-1 Packers are a tad more deserving.

People seem to have forgotten that Rodgers' broke Peyton Manning's single-season Quarterback rating record (122.5) in his 15 games, and Rodgers attempted far less passes than Brees throughout the season (502 to 657) which is exactly why he threw for less yards and TDs. Rodgers is more efficient on less pass attempts (68.3%; 9.25 Y/A), and I believe he deserves the award because of that, and because he threw just six INTs.

Runner-ups: Drew Brees, Tom Brady, LeSean McCoy

Offensive Player of the Year: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints QB

Stat line: 5,476 yards, 46 TDs, 14 INT, 71.2%, 110.6 QBR

In most cases, this award would go to Rodgers. Simply because he was league MVP he would most likely be awarded top offensive player as well. But I hate that idea and since the MVP race was so close, I decided to spread the wealth and switch things up. This is what I would view as a second-place award this season. Brees couldn't edge out Rodgers in the MVP, but to show how deserving I think he was, I'll hand him the OPOY award as consolation.

There's no doubt he's the reason New Orleans went through the NFC South (13-3) as easily as they did, and minus two off-days against much less opponents (St. Louis, Tampa Bay) and another loss to the league's top team (Green Bay) the Saints could have been flirting with an undefeated season.

Runner-ups: Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, LeSean McCoy, Calvin Johnson
Defensive Player of the Year: Terrell Suggs, Baltimore Ravens LB

Stat line: 70 comb. tackles, 14 sacks, 2 INT, 7 FF

This award isn't always about stats, although they do play a huge role in it because it shows productivity. In Suggs case though, I believe it is more about his approach and intimidation level against his opponents. Suggs stepped up and became one of the bigger leaders on Baltimore's defensive squad, maybe surpassing the legendary Ray Lewis in that aspect. His 14 sacks and career/league-high 7 forced fumbles made a huge impact on the field. Completely deserving on Suggs' part.

Runner-ups: DeMarcus Ware, Jared Allen

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers QB

Stat line: 4,051 yards, 21 TDs, 17 INT, 60.0%, 84.5 QBR

Newton wasted no time making a great first impression, throwing for 400+ yards in his first two starts. He turned heads from the start, and broke a few records while he was at it: passing yards by a rookie, rushing TDs by a quarterback (14). At age 22, Newton is well on his way to stardom in Carolina, all he needs is a little help from his supporting cast. Hopefully in 2012 the Panthers' defense will be a bit more healthier than in 2011.

Runner-ups: Andy Dalton, A.J. Green
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Aldon Smith, San Francisco 49ers DE

Stat line: 37 comb. tackles, 14 sacks, 2 FF

As of a couple of weeks ago, I really didn't have Smith on my radar for the Defensive Rookie of the Year award. Denver's Von Miller and Arizona's Patrick Peterson had received much of my attention instead. But Aldon has been a huge part of this feisty San Francisco defense, and without him a key piece is missing. Smith has shown off his pass-rushing ability with his 14 sacks, and has made plenty of big plays for the Niners this season. His future is bright alongside linebackers Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman as the core of SF's defense.

Runner-ups: Von Miller, Patrick Peterson

Comebacker Player of the Year: Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions QB

Stat line: 5,038, 41 TDs, 16 INT, 63.5%, 97.2 QBR

I'm disgusted with how many quarterbacks are being handed my awards, but 2011 truly was the Year of the Quarterbacks (as cliche' as ESPN has made that statement). Stafford became the fourth different quarterback to throw for 5,000 yards in a season and threw for a career-high 41 TDs as his 10-6 Lions made the playoffs for the first time since 1999. He hurt his shoulder and played just three games last season, in his second year as a professional. Successful third year, I'd say, Mr. Stafford.

Runner-ups: Alex Smith, Eli Manning, Frank Gore, Reggie Bush
Breakout Player of the Year: Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots TE


Stat line: 90 Rec., 1,327, 17 TDs, 14.7 YPR

Gronkowski, in his second professional season, has put together the best season by a tight end in NFL history, hands down. Gronk set records for both yards and touchdowns by a tight end in a single-season. He not only led tight ends in touchdowns, but he led the entire league with 17 touchdowns, topping Detroit's Calvin "Megatron" Johnson, and averaged more yards per catch than fellow tight end Jimmy Graham, who was the No. 2 guy among Gronk's position. He may have Tom Brady throwing him the ball, but either way this award was a no-brainer in my eyes, and belongs to Gronk.

Runner-ups: Victor Cruz, Jason Pierre-Paul, NaVorro Bowman

Coach of the Year: Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco 49ers

In just one season, his first as a professional football coach, Harbaugh (Baltimore's HC John Harbaugh's brother, as we are all well aware of by now) has turned the cellar-dwelling Niners in to Super Bowl contenders. His defense is one of the most fierce as of right now, and there's no telling if Green Bay and New Orleans will have as much success against Willis, Bowman and the Smiths as they expect. Harbaugh's intensity and will to win may be the most intriguing part about his approach to the game.

Runner-ups: Mike McCarthy, Gary Kubiak

Photo credit:
Rodgers: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Suggs: Larry French/Getty Images
Gronkowski: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

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