The NFL regular season is coming to a close and I wanted to post who I think deserves to win some the awards this year in the NFL. I would love to hear your thoughts and see who you think should take home some of the NFL trophies for the 2012 season.
MVP: Peyton Manning – Denver Broncos
Tom Brady, Aaron Rogers, and Adrian Peterson are all quality candidates, but Manning proved his worth this year. He came back from neck surgery and went to a new team that was treating him like a god which put a lot of pressure on him to help the Broncos have a winning season. Manning was learning a new playbook and also incorporated some of his plays into the offense and had to make sure the team got in sync. It started off a bit rocky, but Manning, the offense, and the Broncos tenacious defense have clinched the AFC West and are looking to have a first round bye in the playoffs. Not bad for a guy who is coming off an injury and started playing for a new team.
Offensive Player of the Year: Calvin Johnson – Detroit Lions
Before Matthew Stafford came to the Lions, Calvin Johnson was the only threat in Detroit. The memory of Barry Sanders was a close second threat in that offense. All points came from Johnson….and the Lions kicker Jason Hanson. This year Stafford did not have a great year. (I should know he was my QB in this year’s fantasy league.) Even with the QB’s struggle Johnson is looking to break Jerry “The G.O.A.T.” Rice’s single-season record for receiving yards. He is 182 yards away from that record. Outside of Detroit fans can anyone else name me a potential offensive threat for the Lions? I didn’t think so. Plus might I add that it looks (please don’t let me jinx it) he is the only player not to fall victim to the “Madden Curse.” I think that deserves an award all by itself, it would be the Breaking the Madden Curse Award.
Defensive Player of the Year: Aldon Smith – San Francisco 49ers
Smith is a huge ingredient of what makes the 49ers defense so tough and intimidating. So far this year Smith has forced three fumbles, got one interception, and has 19.5 sacks. Aldon needs 3.5 sacks to break the all time season sack record. Many offenses game plan around Aldon Smith and make sure they know where he is at all times on the field. JJ Watt deserves a mention in award talk for defensive player of the year, but for me when the Texans and 49ers played the Patriots and both teams did give up some points, but the 9ers held their ground and beat the Patriots, so Smith gets the award in my opinion.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts
“The next Elway”, the number one overall draft pick, and playing in Peyton Manning’s shadow are all things that could have spelled doom for Andrew, but he proved why he was taken first in this year’s draft. Andrew Luck saw his head coach, Chuck Pagano start his battle with leukemia and he and the Colts persevered and they are looking to make the playoffs. Luck has thrown for 3,978 yards with 20 touchdowns. Yes he has thrown 18 interceptions, but he was able to get passed those mistakes and lead the Colts to a 9-5 record and has earned the respect of the team and looks to be a force to be reckoned with for some time in the NFL.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Harrison Smith – Minnesota Vikings
There are many great candidates for this award, but to me it should go to Harrison Smith. As a free safety, he pulled his weight on defense. He ran two of his three interceptions back for touchdowns, plus he has one recovered fumble. He also ties the team for passes defended as well as interceptions. He is fourth on the team for tackles. The Vikings have to contend with scoring threats such as Aaron Rodgers, Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall, and Jordy Nelson. Smith was an anchor for the Vikings defense and looks to have a promising career in the NFL.
Comeback Player of the Year: Adrian Peterson – Minnesota Vikings
Yea, I know Peyton Manning came back as well, but I have Manning as MVP so I want to give another player this award. For a running back to overcome the injury Peterson sustained is great in itself, but with the results that Adrian produced this year is amazing. He is on the verge to beat Eric Dickerson’s single season rushing record. He has scored 11 touchdowns and ran for 1,812 yards. To me he is the epitome of what the NFL looks to for the Comeback Player of the Year Award.
NFL Head Coach of the Year: Bruce Arians – Indianapolis Colts
Where should I begin? How about taking over for your boss, Chuck Pagano, who was diagnosed with leukemia is tough in itself, but when it is your friend and colleague battling a form of cancer it makes it much harder. Next the face of the franchise, Peyton Manning left and you are coming off one of the worst seasons in Colts history. The hype around Andrew Luck and making sure you coach him the right way to feel at ease while playing the toughest position in football. To have some of the key players and veterans leaving like Pierre Garcon and Dallas Clark to other teams and still stay perform at the level they have so far this year shows his strong leadership. With all these hurdles the Colts faced, they are looking to make the playoffs and you have to hand it to Bruce and the team for playing hard and winning some games that looked like it was a sure loss for them. To me Arians is a strong candidate for Coach of