Wednesday, January 12, 2011

NFL postseason awards

By Jeff

I have nothing today. The Pens are playing Montreal and will try to right the ship, but it's still only January. The Steelers don't play until Saturday. Pitt has a new head coach that I know very little about, so I think it irresponsible of me to chime in. The NBA sucks. College basketball means nothing to me until tournament time.

My mind is drained of any creative post ideas, so we're going with the cliche NFL awards predictions. Of course, NFL individual awards are silly considering it's the ultimate team sport. A lineman has a poor season, and the running backs and quarterback will struggle. That will then lead to the receivers struggling. If a defense has one guy missing assignments, the whole unit looks worse as they try to make up for the weak link. To succeed in the league, the whole team, or at least multiple pieces, have to do well and work together.

Would Tom Brady or Drew Brees be as successful if they had the Steelers' line? Some would say yes, some would say no. I've never seen Brady behind a poor line, so I have no idea.

My point is, NFL awards are stupid. So here are mine! I might make some up.

MVP: Tom Brady

Brady also comes home to this. Life isn't fair.
Yes, it angers me to type that name next to those letters, but he was incredible this year. He threw 36 touchdowns and four interceptions en route to the No. 1 seed in the AFC. Michael Vick's season was a great story, but Brady's was better.

Defensive Player of the Year: Troy Polamalu

You got a better pick? Polamalu missed games, but there is no way the Steelers get the No. 2 seed without him. You can point to four or five games where Polamalu was the difference between a win and a loss for the Steelers. Whether it was a crucial interception, or sacking Joe Flacco and forcing a fumble, the team could count on him when they needed him.

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Maurkice Pouncey

This is not just a homer pick. Look at the Steelers' line and you'll understand. They lost their starting right tackle before the season and their left during the season. The left guard can't do pass protection without holding and the right guard is nothing to write home about. Pouncey came in and forced the Steelers to play him at center (he was supposed to start at right guard and ease into center next season). While the line has been a serious issue all year, Pouncey has kept it from being an utter disaster. He probably saved quite a few games himself, but unlike Troy, it's hard to notice when an offensive lineman wins you a game.

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Ndamukung Suh

The man was a beast for the Detroit Lions this year with 10 sacks. He slowed down in the second half, but it wasn't because the level of his play decline. Kyle Vanden Bosch got hurt and the Lions no longer had that double threat on their line. Teams could game plan on just stopping Suh. If Vanden Bosch stayed healthy, Suh would have recorded 15 sacks.

Comeback Player of the Year: Michael Vick

I kind of hate this award. It should have to go to a player who was out of the league, limited to less than eight games, or was injured the previous season. Not just because there was another player in front of you at your position. Vick was in the league last year. He didn't play that much, but it wasn't because he was hurt. But the award goes to players who are a lot better than they were the previous season, which Vick certainly was. The man had a great season and was one of the most exciting players in the league. I don't like him, but you can't deny he played at another level this year.

Coach of the Year: Love Smith

If there was a comeback coach of the year, Smith would definitely win that! This team stunk last year as Jay Cutler was throwing more balls to the other team than his own receivers. Smith was on the hot seat then, and stayed there into this season. If he didn't win the division, he would have probably been canned. But he revitalized his once proud defense and Cutler stopped being a turnover machine. How much credit does Smith deserve for this change of course is tough to say, but I'm saying he was crucial to the transformation.

LVP: Brett Favre

Sorry, Brett. I've defended you quite a bit over the years, but you were terrible this season. You only threw 11 touchdowns compared to 19 picks and seven fumbles. You held out for more money. You were wrapped up in sexting scandal that was clearly a distraction. Your consecutive starts streak came to a halt. Everything that could have gone wrong for you did.

Worst Coach of the Year: Josh McDaniels

The man set the Denver franchise back 5 years. His draft day dealings left the team extremely light on young talent and they didn't have much veteran talent to begin with. At least Denver was smart enough to fire him before he traded their high first round pick for Roy Williams, or something ridiculous like that.

Worst Officiating Call of the Year: The crew officiating the Week 1 game between the Bears and Lions

Calvin Johnson caught the ball and then placed it on the ground after scoring a touchdown. It was a terrible call. I don't understand how anyone could have considered it a drop or loss of possession. Johnson clearly had the ball and had possession. I didn't even have him on a fantasy team this season and I was pissed.

Most Annoying Story of the Year: CBA

The Jenn Sterger-Brett Favre situation was a close second, but at least that story came with new developments. All we have heard about the CBA is that it's not looking good. There is no news to report, yet we hear about it every day. Report back to the public when there is real information to tell us.

Best Story of the Year: Jim Tomsula

Do you recognize this man's name? Probably not. He was the interim coach for San Francisco in Week 17. He was living in his car a few years ago while he coached high school football. He never gave up on the sport he loved and was rewarded with a chance to be a head coach in the NFL, if only for a week. It's a tremendous story and I recommend you look it up.

The Cars - Shake it Up


  1. I'll disagree with you on offensive ROY, and go with Tampa's Mike Williams, 11 TDs, 65 receptions, the only real receiving threat for a surprising Tampa Bay team.

    I want to disagree with you on Polamalu but I can't. He is just way too important to that defense.

    I don't disagree with Lovie Smith, but I'll throw an odd name out there, jack Del Rio. How the hell was Jacksonville 8-8 and alive for a playoff spot in Week 17 with a questionable offense and a terrible secondary.

    As to how big that call against Detroit was, Chicago may have missed the playoffs if they lost that game, since they would have been tied at 10-6 with the Packers. If the Packers won the tiebreak for the division (which I believe they would have due to a better conference record, since their divisional record would have been the same), I think the Giants would have been the No. 6 seed since they beat Chicago early in Week 4. Giants fans, spread your venom towards that officiating crew!

  2. I wouldn't be upset if Williams won. He had a great season. Williams suffers from playing in Tampa Bay. Not a lot of people outside fantasy football probably noticed what he was doing. Pouncey suffers a suffers from playing offensive line. Sam Bradford will probably win because he is a QB and the No. 1 pick.

  3. I think that call was equal parts awful ref and awful rule. I might put Large Ben's fumble into the endzone against Miami first. Since the refs didn't, you know, do their job and see who came out of the pile with the ball, the Steelers get it back. Plus, this caused Ben to be mocked in the Tosh.0 web redemption last night.

    I'd be willing to bet a coke Lovie doesn't finish top 3 in voting. I think the perception that Chicago isn't nearly as good as their record indicates isn't going to get him many votes at all. I'm guessing it'll be between Haley, Tomlin, and Belichick.

  4. Mike, it's not who comes out of the pile with the ball that counts. It's who has possession on the ground when they are first touched. The problem is there are no refs in the piles and they end up giving the ball to the guy who comes out with it. I'm not saying that the call was right, I'm saying who comes out of the pile with the ball doesn't mean that person took the ball after someone else already possessed the ball and was down by contact.

    Fine You're on. Lovie was the only coach who came into the offseason with his ass to the fire and got his team to win football games. Phillips, Kubiak, Mangini, Childress, McDaniels and Fox all were coaching for their jobs and got nothing from their teams in terms of effort. I think they'll give it to Belichick, but Lovie deserves to be in the conversation.