PFT’s postseason awards


In past years, we’ve delayed the PFT postseason awards until after the conclusion of the postseason.  But with the Associated Press now unveiling its postseason awards the week before the Super Bowl, we’ve decided to announce ours in one fell swoop.

We’ll engage in a more comprehensive debate, with PFT Planet polling, when the AP recipients are named.

For now, at a time when you still actually care about these things, here are the men who, in our opinion, deserve special recognition.

1.  MVP.

Winner:  Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Runner-up:  Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

Honorable mention:  Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

I joked during Football Night In America that Sunday’s performance from Packers backup quarterback Matt Flynn arguably revealed Rodgers as a system quarterback.  And it’s possible that some of the 50 AP voters will downgrade Rodgers based on the perception that he’s not all that much of an upgrade over Flynn.

But that would be unfair to Rodgers, who took a team that climbed to the top of the mountain in February 2011 and, with no offseason training and a truncated training camp, led them out of the valley of 0-0 to a 13-game winning streak.  Along the way, Rodgers had only one clunker — the Week 14 loss at Kansas City.

For the season, Rodgers generated an uncanny 122.5 passer rating, with 45 touchdown passes and six interceptions.  Making the assumption that Rodgers would have performed at least as well as Flynn on Sunday against the Lions, Rodgers would have finished the year with 5,163 yards and 50 touchdown passes, tying Brady for the all-time single-season record.  Though Rodgers obviously didn’t churn out those numbers, he shouldn’t be punished for the fact that he plays for a head coach who, unlike Pats coach Bill Belichick and Saints coach Sean Payton, isn’t willing to expose a key player to injury in meaningless games in the name of statistical achievement.

We strongly considered a Brees/Rodgers co-MVP.  In the end, however, we decided that there should be only one MVP — even though the AP voting system is conducive to ties, since it employs only 50 total votes and permits voters to split their ballots.

And here’s one last point, aimed specifically at the AP voters who are contemplating following the lead of NFL Magazine and voting for Colts quarterback Peyton Manning based on the demonstration of his value via his absence.  With momentum building for Brees, a Ralph Nader-style vote would disrespect the legitimate contenders.  In the end, a wasted ballot on Peyton could determine the outcome of the entire voting.

2.  Offensive player of the year.

Winner:  Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

Runner-up:  Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

Honorable mention:  Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.

Though the MVP vote likely won’t be unanimous, this one should be.  Brees obliterated the 27-year-old single-season passing yardage record with 5,476, he became the only player in league history to throw for 5,000 or more yards twice in his career, and he broke his own record for completion percentage, connecting on 71.2 percent of his throws.  Brees also completed more passes (468) than the previous single-season record holder, Peyton Manning (450, in 2010).

Brees’ efforts easily overcome noteworthy performances from Brady (5,235 passing yards), Stafford (5,038 passing yards), Jones-Drew (1,606 rushing yards), and Gronkowski, who set single-season tight end records for receiving touchdowns (17) and total yards (1,327).

3.  Defensive Player of the Year.

Winner:  Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs.

Runner-up:  Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.

Honorable mention:  Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, 49ers defensive lineman Justin Smith, Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware.

Tying for fifth in sacks and delivering three of them in a season-opening shellacking of the Steelers and during the prime-time Harbowl on Thanksgiving night, Suggs has become the latest great player on a Ravens defense that is poised to make a serious run at a Super Bowl.  He did enough to squeak past Pierre-Paul, who went from first-round project in 2010 to Pro Bowler (who wasn’t even on the ballot) in 2011.  Disruptive and showing the kind of potential that could make him the franchise’s best defensive player since Michael Strahan or maybe Lawrence Taylor, Pierre-Paul will win this award once or twice, eventually.

But for the fact that the Vikings won only three games this year, Allen would have captured this award easily.  His 22.0 sacks on an otherwise punchless defense represents a tremendous accomplishment, and he deserves credit for continuing to play hard even as plenty of teammates failed to recognize and emulate his example.

4.  Coach of the Year.

Winner:  Jim Harbaugh, 49ers.

Runner-up:  Mike McCarthy, Packers.

Honorable mention:  Gary Kubiak, Texans; Marvin Lewis, Bengals; Jim Schwartz, Lions; Bill Belichick, Patriots; John Fox, Broncos.

Harbaugh did the unthinkable.  Though some (i.e., me) predicted that the Niners would win the NFC West, the prediction came more from a “none of the above” vibe.  No one expected the Niners to emerge with 13 victories, especially with Harbaugh’s first year being hampered by the lockout.

But Jim Harbaugh would make nor accept excuses, and the team’s performance reflected that attitude.

McCarthy merits consideration because he managed to motivate a team that had every right to be complacent.  Kubiak overcame a mine field of obstacles to take the Texans to the playoffs for the first time.  Lewis helped the young Bengals scratch and claw their way to the playoffs.  Schwartz led the Lions back to the postseason for the first time since 1999, reversing more than a decade of futility.  Belichick the coach made chicken salad out of the roster that Belichick the personnel guru assembled.  And Fox was willing to change the offense to suit Tim Tebow, winning an unlikely division title because of it.

5.  Comeback Player of the Year.

Winner:  Browns linebacker D’Qwell Jackson.

Runner-up:  Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil.

Honorable mention:  Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, Panthers receiver Steve Smith.

There’s a chance that some AP voters may choose to vote to Stafford, citing his return from two years of injuries and influenced by his strong late-season showings against the Raiders, Chargers, and Packers.  But “comeback” implies that there was a pre-existing NFL standard set by the player.  Stafford, due to injuries, had no baseline.  (Under that logic, Giants receiver Victor Cruz would get some votes, too.)

Jackson did.  And he finished second in the league in tackles after missing all of 2010 with a torn left pectoral muscle and 10 games in 2009 due to the same injury on the right side.  He also provided a rare bright spot in a dreary Browns’ roster.

Dumervil gets the second-place nod because he made it back to the Pro Bowl a year after missing the full season with a torn pectoral of his own, getting back to elite level even though the Broncos hired a new head coach and a new defensive coordinator — and shifted from the 3-4 back to the 4-3 alignment.

Smith went from 554 receiving yards and a presumption he’d be traded or released to 1,394 yards.

6.  Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Winner:  Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.

Runner-up:  Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton.

Honorable mention:  Bengals receiver A.J. Green, Cowboys tackle Tyron Smith, Falcons receiver Julio Jones.

Newton had the greatest rookie season of any quarterback in league history, giving him the edge over Dalton and his first-year playoff berth.  Passing for a rookie record 4,051 yards, accounting for a rookie record 35 touchdowns, and rushing for an all-time quarterback record of 15 touchdowns, Newton showed a combination of talent, competitiveness, and leadership that will draw free agents to Carolina for years to come.

Dalton made Bengals fans quickly forget about Carson Palmer, but the presence of Green gave rise to the chicken-egg question regarding whether a great quarterback makes a great receiver, or vice-versa.

In Dallas, Smith has become a key contributor at right tackle, good enough that he could end up being the team’s long-term left tackle.

For the Falcons, Jones had a strong year despite chronic hamstring injuries.  The jury is still out on whether the trade up to get him was worth the investment.

7.  Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Winner:  Broncos linebacker Von Miller.

Runner-up:  49ers linebacker Aldon Smith.

Honorable mention:  Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan.

Miller quickly became one of the leaders of the Denver defense.  Though Smith has more sacks (14.0 vs. 11.5), Smith didn’t start a single game.  Miller started 15.

Watt and Kerrigan became disruptive forces on their respective defenses.  All four men could be perennial Pro Bowlers.

8.  Executive of the Year.

Winner:  Bengals president Mike Brown.

Runner-up:  49ers G.M. Trent Baalke.

Honorable mention:  Lions G.M. Martin Mayhew, Texans G.M. Rick Smith.

By picking receiver A.J. Green in round one and quarterback Andy Dalton in round two, Brown landed a cornerstone combination that should fuel the passing game for years to come.  And by fleecing the Raiders for a first-round pick and a second-round pick in exchange for the rights to a quarterback who never would play again for the Bengals, Brown put himself in position to further lay the foundation for a bright future.

In San Francisco, Baalke has been closely involved in the building of a roster that underachieved in 2010, but that found its full potential in 2011.  Under Mayhew, the Lions have steadily improved since the ouster of Matt Millen.  And the Texans did enough to upgrade their defense in order to do what no Texans team had ever done — get to the playoffs.

123 responses to “PFT’s postseason awards

  1. Brees was ridiculous this season, and in any other year, he’s the clear MVP. But by any objective measure, Rodgers outplayed him on a per-attempt basis and he deserves the award, but barely.

    On any given pass attempt, Rodgers will gain more yards, have a higher chance of TD, and a lower chance of INT than any other QB in the league.

    It’s amazing how many people can use a factor like backup QB, that is statistically independent from anything Rodgers does, as an argument against him winning an INDIVIDUAL award.

    It’s when people start parsing the word “valuable” that some of the most insane MVP arguments are born.

  2. I honestly don’t understand why Rodgers is guaranteed the MVP. Drew Brees broke records and Matt Flynn easily filled in for Rodgers.

  3. If I’m Payton or Belichick I’m doing the same thing. The are all time season long records these guys are going after. The could get career ending hurt getting out of the shower tomorrow. Let them get their records and their piece of football immortality. Thirty years from now telling the grand kids “I was almost the greatest” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. Your time to play this game is finite and it can end in a second. Get the glory when you can.

  4. “Though Smith has more sacks (14.0 vs. 11.5), Smith didn’t start a single game. Miller started 15.”

    So Aldon had more sack production out of less playing time, and somehow you use that as a reason to make him runner-up?

    Miller has had more opportunities than Smith and still did not come close to his production. What does that tell you?

    Smith > Miller

  5. Kinda like chewing on glass given what the last 2 decades have been like, but PFT is spot on with Mikey Boy as Executive of the Year. He’s the decider and frankly the results speak for themselves this year.

    Now perhaps we can get Mikey to retire “on top” with this award? 🙂


  6. How about Tony Romo as come back player of the year? I know a lot of you Cowboy haters out there don’t like him, but he had a hell of a year! But keep hating…

  7. I’m giving Bill’s coach Gailey an award for sitting down Johnson!!! Even though I’m Old Navy(FCC (SW/AW) ret., and will probably die B4 they broach the Super Bowl arena, again. I thought it was a classy move. Pats were awesome, but if he played we would have made it tougher…………No tears here…..Best of luck NE!

  8. Suggs and Pierre-Paul over Jared Allen for DPOY?! What a joke. 22 sacks and 4 forced fumbles !

    Allen > Suggs and Pierre-Paul easily

    He should win the award and nobody else was even close.

  9. The lack of any form of red zone offense should negate including Jim Harbaugh in coaching awards.

    Your highest scoring player is your kicker? Can u not coach your QB up? Or is it trouble with the your playbook?

  10. Yea I too kinda find it head scratching that saying someone did more with less reps than another person is a reason why he should lose out the guy who did less with more reps.

    I do not agree with the assertion that Rodgers should have his MVP consideration hurt because of how well Flynn played. That could just mean Flynn is also a good QB.

  11. and Saints coach Sean Payton, isn’t willing to expose a key player to injury in meaningless games in the name of statistical achievement.


    Payton tried to rest guys last year and what happened? They got hurt anyway.

    Saints played it perfectly this time by going hard. Now they go into the postseason on an 8-game win streak and playing at their peak with only one key player (Ingram) out.

  12. @ g3ts0me

    Von Miller is an every down player, he disrupts the passing game and he is a force in the run game, Aldon Smith, while I do agree has had a great year, is just a pure pass rusher, and is only in the game to rush the passer. He also benefits from Justin Smith drawing double teams, Von Miller does not have that benefit.

    Both are very deserving, and I know this isn’t the MVP, but you can look at it like this, if you take Miller out of Denver’s defense, they’re much worse, you take Aldon out of San Fran’s defense, and they’re still good.

  13. No Jerry Reese mention for exec of the year? Think he at least deserved a nod. The NY media and the giants fan base obliterated him when Boss and Smith left town (hell, even the coaches questioned letting them walk). Though 9-7 and an NFC East win in a down year for the division isn’t the greatest of achievements, he stuck to the belief that they already had the pieces in place (read: Victor Cruz and an ELIte quarterback)

  14. How does Ray Rice not get even a mention for Offensive Player of the year or MVP? He carried the Ravens offense the entire year.

    Signed, A Steelers fan.

  15. It would be more specific and accurate to say that Mike Brown fleeced Hue Jackson and not, “the Raiders”. Hue made the trade for Palmer, so he should own it. He called it the greatest trade in football at the time. So again, in the end the trade didn’t even result in a playoff appearance. We didn’t need to trade two picks for those results. I think we could have gotten a journeyman like [insert name here] and paid the league minimum.

    Btw, while is Boller still taking a roster spot?

  16. Rodgers wins MVP easily. He had a historically great season.
    How can you vote Rodgers MVP and not even include him in Offensive player of the year? He is both.
    How can you leave Shady McCoy off the ballot? He scored 20 TDs and averaged almost 5 yards a carry. Get real!

  17. if the Packers lose Rodgers the first play of the playoffs, and the Saints lose Brees the first play of the playoffs, who’s screwed and who’s still gonna move the ball??

    and that’s why Brees is the MVP!!!

  18. Both Rodgers and Brees were undefeated at home with ridicuolous stats. Brees were inflated playing in a dome (one can only imagine what Rodgers would do in a dome after watching what he did in the playoffs on the road at Atlanta and at a neutral site in the Superbowl, but I digress).
    Road Splits:
    Rodgers – 7-1, 2500 yards, 68% comp, 9.0 ypa, 21 TD, 2 INT, 117.5 rating
    Brees – 5-3, 2850 yards, 70% comp, 8.0 ypa, 17 TD, 8 INT, 100.7 rating
    Both are great players, but only one is the MVP – the road splits make it obvious who it is.

  19. Drew Brees was good, but Aaron Rodgers is obviously MVP. I’m not trying to take anything away from Drew Brees because he’s a hell of a quarterback, but he had 155 MORE ATTEMPTS than Rodgers, he should have more yards. He has 8 more picks than Rodgers, and didn’t set the all-time record for passer rating in a season…

  20. Wait you forgot about Rex Ryan and Santonio Holmes ad Co-Dumbasses of the year……….the only question is if Rex is a two-time or three-time champ

  21. As a percent of offensive snaps, the Saints passed almost 60% of the time coming into today’s game. The Packers were below that by 5%. In an NFL where teams are trying to make you more one-dimensional to make you predictable, NO telegraphed pass and Brees still completed an NFL record % and destroyed the gold standard of QB records as well (significantly more than anyone else, including Brady). He set the record for # of 300 yards games in a season as well as consecutive 300 yard games (still working on that one), is approaching the record for at least one TD in consecutive games and holds/is extending the record for games with at least 20 completions.

    He is the MVP, but won’t win it because voters built in too much mental cement during Green Bay’s undefeated run of 13 weeks.

    … and Flynn’s game today was better than any Rodgers game this year.

  22. how is rodgers mvp but not in the top 5 for offensive player of the year?? only pft and how about patrick peterson in a mention for defensive rookie

  23. Jared Allen was the defensive player of the year. 22 sacks and 61 tackles is impressive enough, but the fact that he accomplished all that on a 3-13 team without much help around him makes it even more remarkable.

  24. Brees deserves a share of the MVP. He led the league in TDs, completion %, and yards. He also shattered one of the greatest records of all time (Marino’s yardage record). He also revived a previously pitiful franchise once known as the aint’s. That is value added.

  25. Also: NFL, please don’t move to an 18 game season, or all the records we cherish become meaningless and comparison across eras becomes much more difficult.

  26. yeahyeahyeahbono14 says:
    Jan 2, 2012 1:57 AM
    I’m no Titans fan, but Matt Hasselbeck deserves to at least be in the conversation for “Comeback Player of the Year.”


    I don’t know his stats are a better this season than last but last season his team went to the divsional playoffs after knocking off the defending Superbowl Champs and this season they missed the playoffs.

    I don’t think his stats are so much better that he should be considered.

  27. Von Miller deserves every award over Aldon Smith, not because he played more but he had a greater impact on more games. More qb hurries, pressures, tackles for a loss and ff to name a few. Smith also got 3 sacks on crippled Big Ben and Miller broke his thumb and played in a cast for 4 weeks he would have broke the rookie sack record had that not happen.

  28. Obviously I’m biased, but I really don’t understand all of the MVP controversy. Brees had an absolutely stellar season, but Rodgers was still the better QB.

    Brees beat Rodgers on yardage and TDs, but Rodgers certainly would have beat Brees on the latter had they played the same amount of games. And he certainly shouldn’t be penalized for leading his team to enough wins that he could afford to sit and stay healthy in week 17.

    Rodgers had less than half the number of INTs that Brees had. He beat him in QB Rating while setting a league record. And he beat him in the all important factor of wins, including a win against Brees and the Saints earlier in the season. Brees through 3 INTs against Tampa Bay in one game this year. That’s half of Rodger’s total for the entire season.

    It’s also worth noting that, had Rodgers played this week, he would have had a decent shot at tying Brady’s single season TD record. In fact, if he through for as many TDs as his backup did in week 17, he would have beat it.

  29. Of course Brees has more yards than Rodgers, he had 155 more attempts. Considering his yards per attempt, if Rodgers had thrown for as many times, he’d obliterate Brees’ newfound records. There is no plausible reason to consider Brees over Rodgers for MVP.

  30. I am a little stunned that the Packer’s Ted Thompson isn’t even in the conversation for Executive of the Year.
    I mean, he’s only put together a team thats won 29 games the last 2 years and that includes at least 1 Super Bowl Title.

    I am not saying the others aren’t deserving but c’mon, not a single mention.

  31. Flynn’s performance isn’t a coincidence, but it’s not because of “the system.” It’s just that Flynn is also very good. This is not only due to Ted Thompson’s drafting acumen, but also due to Mike McCarthy’s ability to develop QBs. We got two guys at the position who can both produce at a high level. Maybe even three if you could Graham Harrell.
    And oh yeah, if Aaron Rodgers had as many attempts as Drew Brees and as few drops he would be 450 comp of 622 attempts for 6030 yards with 56 TDs 8 picks and 72.3% completions. In 15 games.
    That isn’t even counting the Saints playing in domes 12 times.

  32. Not trying to be a homer but just going off what I know. How is Julio jones above Torrey smith, thats a joke and how isn’t Ozzie newsome on #8? he brought in numerous wash ups on the o-line and Rickey Williams. Not to mention all the great players he’s drafted. Everyone talks about gronkowski, Hernandez and graham which is fair by all means but the ravens drafted 2 guys in pitta and Dickson in that same draft who are quietly becoming two very solid tight ends. I’m done rambling now

  33. Rodgers attempted 8 less passes per game than Brees, 155 less attempts on the year, yet had almost as many touchdowns (45 to Brees’ 46) and way less interceptions (6 to Brees’ 14) he also averaged 1 yard more per attempt than Brees. Rodgers also had 257 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns to Brees’ 86 yards and 1 touchdown.

    Take nothing away from Brees he had an unbelievable year, but Rodgers was just better than he was this year.

  34. Alex Smith should at least get an honorable mention for comeback player of the year. Last year he was widely considered a draft bust, and his own fans were clamoring to replace him with David Carr. Yes, THE David Carr.

    This season he had a very serviceable 90.7 passer rating. He’s not among the elite QB’s, but he’s come a LONG WAY in the last year.

  35. jimmysimpson55 says: Jan 2, 2012 1:54 AM

    I honestly don’t understand why Rodgers is guaranteed the MVP. Drew Brees broke records and Matt Flynn easily filled in for Rodgers.
    Not a very intelligent argument. Yes Flynn looked good but not as good as Rodgers and it was against the Lions so it shouldn’t really be that impressive.

  36. Aldon Smith does not start because he is not ready to be an every down player. He has had a great year but is similar to Pierre Paul in that his rookie year will be overshadowed by a monster second season as he learns to play the position on an every down basis. Von Miller is flat out a great linebacker and at this point a more complete player.

  37. Let me try and follow the logic here:

    Drew Brees was a better QB than Rodgers, and thus gets the Offensive Player of the Year award over Rodgers.

    Yet Rodgers was more VALUABLE to his team, despite Flynn insinuating than even we could succeed in that system.

    Lesser QB was more valuable. Hmmm.

  38. “But for the fact that the Vikings won only three games this year, Allen would have captured this award easily.”

    How the hell does that matter? You really think the Vikings only winning three games this year represents Allen’s play? Allen is 1/22 of their lineup. Allen didn’t go 3-13. The Vikings went 3-13. Allen put up 22 sacks. Maybe Allen isn’t the DPOY, but your reasoning is an embarrassment to journalism.

  39. unlike Pats coach Bill Belichick and Saints coach Sean Payton, isn’t willing to expose a key player to injury in meaningless games

    Football players……… football.

    I learned that from Belichick.

  40. an MVP vote for Peyton is like absolute value in math. it’s making a positive out of a negative. but that misses the real point which of course is positive i.e. winning.

  41. Regarding comeback player of the year the answer is clearly Wes Welker.

    123 2009
    86 2010
    122 2010

    Receiving Yards
    1348 2009
    848 2010
    1548 2011

    11.0 2009
    9.9 2010
    13.1 2011

    I’m guessing his knee is much better this year …..

  42. Suggs is vastly overrated. He has one move, the rush to the outside, and he only gets pressure and sacks against weak teams. Good teams take him out of the equation.

  43. 1000 yards and 7 TDs for a first round pick, or 600 yards and 6 tds for the 44th pick…They paid too much for Julio…

  44. Drew brees had about 650 attempts. Aaron rodgers had about 500. If Aaron rodgers would have had 650 attempts he would have broken every single season passing record weeks ago making brees look like the scrub he is.

  45. In general, I agree with most of your choices but I think your selection and comments related to Defensive Player of the Year merit comment. The fact the Jared Allen played on a woefully bad team and the general lack of overall team effort strengthen his case for the award rather than detracting from it. How difficult is it to accomplish what he did when the rest of his defensive teammates were pushed around/didn’t put forth the effort consistently. The overall lack of talent and effort on the Viking defense almost screams for him being Defensive Player of the Year over the other candidates.

  46. “I honestly don’t understand why Rodgers is guaranteed the MVP. Drew Brees broke records and Matt Flynn easily filled in for Rodgers”
    How about breaking the record for best passer rating ever by a QB???????

  47. I thought Bill Belichick was a defensive genius? I guess video taping helps after all. My guess is if without Brady their record wouldn’t be much better than the Colts.

  48. For all those saying Rodgers isn’t that good because Flynn performed well:

    -Flynn is part of a good coaching system and has Rodgers helping him (strange notion… right Brett?).

    -There’s almost zero film on Flynn. Look what happens when team gets a chance to study a QB: Kolb, Haney, Ponder (game 1 vs game 2 against GB this year). I think Flynn is a cut above all those but not in the same class as a Rodgers or Breeze… yet.

    -Packers took a big step toward getting healthy overall this week.

    -Lions D isn’t exactly impressive.

    -GB does not have 1/2 the running game NO has to take the pressure off the passing game.

    Rodgers: MVP.

  49. Mike McCarthy lost one game in all of 2011.

    And started 2012 off right where he left off.

    Seems to me he is coach of the year!

    But then (of course!) it was Aaron Rodgers calling the plays yesterday in the first half, so maybe McCarthy was AWOL!

  50. Brees vs. Rodgers: yes Flynn torched the Lions, but our defense clearly stunk, playing well below the level they played at in either the previous GB game or the NO game.

    Rodgers has had a phenomenal season. He should be MVP. And Matthew Stafford should be in the Joke Bowl…I mean Pro Bowl.

  51. With all the “Brees plays in a dome and Rodgers doesn’t” comments, we’re experiencing the NFC’s version of “Brady vs. Manning”.

  52. How come Dalton gets the “Chicken or egg” excuse with AJ Green, yet Steve Smith had 15 more catches and nearly 300 more yards than Green?

  53. 1phd says:
    Jan 2, 2012 2:55 AM
    Surely Alex Smith must garner at least an honorable mention for comeback player of the year
    Don’t you have to have been someplace in order to comeback? When a guy goes from being totally terrible to being just below average that does not constitute a “comeback.”

  54. I bet Mike Brown is going to print this out and Frame it and post it above ever toilet stall in the stadium… surreal is it to see Mike Brown… executive of the year….that is more crazy than the Bengals making the playoffs

  55. Hotdog113- have you ever watched a Ravens game? He has quite a few sacks coming up the middle on spins and stunts. As far as not showing up against good teams – how about his 3 sacks vs San Fran on Thanksgiving, 3 sacks against Dalton this year, Brady in 2009 playoffs and 2010 regular season, and of course we all know he owns Big Jen. He’s a monster. The dude plays the run well, gets to the QB in double digits and even comes up with at least 2 or 3 picks a year (one of which he usually houses). Jared Allen is good, very good, but is a one trick pony.

  56. Rodgers vs Brees. Both great seasons. Rodgers wins the MVP b/c he did it without holding offseason workouts.

    Clearly gives him the edge over Brees.

  57. When NFL Magazine gave the MVP to Peyton Manning (and had Tebow on their first ever cover), they ensured that I would never buy the magazine. How do I ever take them seriously after something like that?

    They focus on “most valuable” and forget the 3rd word: PLAYER. Manning wasn’t one.

  58. Why is it when someone posts a logical comment (no name calling or hidden profanity) it doesn’t get posted?

  59. My guess is if without Brady their record wouldn’t be much better than the Colts.

    please google 2008 New England Patriots

  60. If Rodgers is a “System Quarterback” shouldn’t McCarthy be a shoo-in for coach of the year? By this line of reasoning he’s created an offense that you can drop in any old schmo and they’ll light it up….whatever.

    How do we know Chase Daniel couldn’t do the same thing? We don’t because the Saints are too busy padding stats than giving their backup a shot.

    Raw passing yards don’t make an MVP. Losing on the road to 2 teams that finished a combined 6-26 (Rams/Bucs) while throwing 5 interceptions does.

  61. How come Dalton gets the “Chicken or egg” excuse with AJ Green, yet Steve Smith had 15 more catches and nearly 300 more yards than Green?
    Here’s why Steve Smith is listed as a possible Comeback Player of the year candidate:

    2010: 46 catches, 554 yards
    2011: 79 catches, 1,394 yards

    The difference? Catching passes from Cam Newton in 2011 versus catching passes from Jimmy Claussen, Matt Moore, etc. etc. in 2010.

    Oh, and Cam is first player, ever, to have over 4000 yards passing, 500 yards rushing in same season. And he’s not a run first QB, as some in other threads have argued. Don’t think you get to 4000 yards if you’re a run-first guy.

    Unfortunately, until yesterday, if you don’t live in the Charlotte TV Market, or the market for the team they’re playing each week, most people probably haven’t really watched him play this year.

  62. “Though Rodgers obviously didn’t churn out those numbers, he shouldn’t be punished for the fact that he plays for a head coach who, unlike Pats coach Bill Belichick and Saints coach Sean Payton, isn’t willing to expose a key player to injury in meaningless games in the name of statistical achievement.”

    By keeping Rodgers out, McCarthy assured him of having the record for the highest QB rating for a single season. So maybe McCarthy’s move was motivated by statistical achievement more than you think.

  63. Isn’t Brees in a contract year? Doesn’t everyone play better when they about to get paid. As far as Rodgers being a system QB, lets look at Joe Montana, and Steve Young then. I beleive Steve Young was able to come in and play in the Bill Walse offense. How did Joe do in KC. Kind of like (hate to say it) Brett Fave. They both had one good year after they left. No one b%tch when S.Y and B.F both won MVP of being in a system offense.

  64. If Jared Allen doesn’t get your Defensive Player of the Year award because of his team’s record, then following that line of logic your OROY should go to Andy Dalton over Cam Newton, and Dumervil should get the Comeback Player over Jackson. With the exception of MVP, a player’s individual accomplishments is how a player should be judged when it comes to individual awards.

  65. While McCarthy has done a wonderful job, the Packers were the Super Bowl favorite going into the season. No one thought San Francisco would be anywhere near as good as they have been, especially with a new headcoach and no off-season. That said, they lost only two more games than Green Bay.

  66. If your back up (Green Bay) QB can come in and put up 6 TD on a playoff team (Detroit), how can you say Rogers is the leagues MVP?

    Brees is the MVP.

  67. I’m a biased Texans fans, but I certainly believe Joseph deserves at least runner up for Defensive Player of the Year (and possibly and honorable mention for MVP). When he hasn’t played this defense has been as porousbas last year. He is obviously the difference maker here. He has had only a handful of bad plays all season (the only ones that come to mind are on a great pass/catch to Brandon Marshall, and also Steve Smith). Without Joseph the Texans aren’t in the payoffs, regardless of having Wade Phillips.

    Cushing also deserves at least a mention for Comeback Player of the Year. I understand that he is essentially radioactive now, but with how much he was shifted around last year after DeMeco went down, he was never able to garner the production of his rookie season (insert pregnancy/over training jokes here). This year he has been a force, and seeing as he tested positive for a masking agent for steroids, I don’t see him being ‘clever’ enough to try staying ahead of the drug tests (at least, that’s my opinion as a drug counselor).

  68. I say that Brady should get s serious look for the MVP title because for god shake look at the defense he went 13-3 with. He still threw for 5,235 in a single season (second most passing yards in NFL history) outside for the most part unlike Brees who has the comforts of the Super Dome. Just look at the Bills game this past weekend as an prime example, down 21 to 0, who pulled the Pats outta the game…. Brady. 49 unanswered points, while Brees pumped up his stats against a team (the Panthers) who already quit a few weeks ago. I love Rodgers and he had a great season, but I just think that Brady edges him out slightly. Add in Brady is now 5th on the All-Time Touchdown list, I just feel in my opinion that Brady should get the vote. With everything the Pats went through this season.

  69. Haters are going to Hate. In Jim and Trent I trust. For a team with a new coach and gm, two weeks of training camp and Alex Smith at QB. The 49ers are 13-3 and just getting started. 49ers Faithful till the end.

  70. 15-1 and Ted Thompson isn’t even on the list for executive of the year? I know they are coming off the super bowl win and didn’t have a lot of work to do but he built one of the best regular season teams of all-time. Not saying he should win, those other guys did nice jobs, But to not get consideration is a surprise.

  71. @hotdog113
    yeah 3 sacks against pittsburgh and 3 more sacks against San Francisco…. but I guess they’re not good teams right? Do research before you post.

  72. How is Alex Smith not even considered for comeback player of the year. If Chad Pennington wins it twice with average seasons, Alex Smith’s turnaround from Average to good and leading his team to a first round bye should easily have won him that award this year.

  73. How can you omit Eli Manning for MVP or Offensive Player? He got his team to the playoffs with a record number of 4th quarter comebacks.

    In addition, last night he broke Peyton’s record with a 15th 4th quarter touchdown in a season.

    As Flynn has shown, Eli is much more an MVP for his team than Rodgers is to his.

  74. What are you smoking? Terrell Suggs over Pierre Paul and Jared Allen for Defensive Player of the year. Suggs never carried the defense like these two players did. Suggs very overrated, on an aging defense.

  75. “And here’s one last point, aimed specifically at the AP voters who are contemplating following the lead of NFL Magazine and voting for Colts quarterback Peyton Manning based on the demonstration of his value via his absence: don’t be stupid. The award is “Most Valuable Player”, not “Most Valuable Person on the Sideline”. The award goes to the player that actually contributed the most to their team’s success over the course of the season. The success of past seasons was already given consideration in their respective years’ MVP awards. No need to change the rules for Peyton Manning for the sake of a dumb joke.”

    There, I rewrote that paragraph for you since it was filled with stupid nonsense anyway.

  76. Again, using backup QB — a factor that is statistically independent from the play of the starting QB — as an argument in a strictly INDIVIDUAL award flies in the face of all logical reasoning. But go ahead, keep using it to defend your homer pick.

  77. I agree with all but DPOY. It has to be Allen all of the way.

    22.0 sacks, 4 PDef (as a DE, not an OLB, like Suggs), 1 int and 4 ff on a defense that has literally no one else.

    Suggs had a good year numerically and should probably get it if he was consistent.

    But he had 13 sacks–3 in game one, 3 against the Colts, and 3 against the 49ers.

    That means he had 1 sack in 13 other games.

    He did that with a few other pro-bowlers playing next to him.

    I’m sorry but it’s Allen this year and a joke if it goes to anyone else.

  78. But for the fact that the Vikings won only three games this year, Allen would have captured this award easily. His 22.0 sacks on an otherwise punchless defense represents a tremendous accomplishment, and he deserves credit for continuing to play hard even as plenty of teammates failed to recognize and emulate his example

    Why should Vikings record have any effect on whether Allen is the best defensive player in the league?

  79. Frank Gore doesn’t even get mentioned as comeback player of the year? His season ended last year with a fractured hip. Everyone said the 49ers were crazy for signing him to a new contract…that he was too old, and wouldn’t come back from the injury.

    1200 rushing yards(3rd in NFC, 6th in NFL), despite playing sparingly in recent weeks to keep him healthy for the playoffs…

  80. Arron Rodgers threw a TD every 11 pass attempts this season. If you give him 155 more attempts and match him up with Brees he conceivably could have finished the year with 56 TD’s and almost 6000 yards.

    Brees is deserving but Rodgers has played better and has made it look almost effortless in the process.

    The only bearing Matt Flynn should have on the subject is none. That just proves that Ted Thompson clearly sees talent well, and Mike McCarthy might be the the best QB developer in the game today.

  81. Brees should be the head and shoulders MVP – not his fault he plays in a dome, he got the job done with big stats. Just like rodgers sitting out the game – thats him and his coaches call, if it hurt his numbers so be it. Brees got pulled from 2 games and still had impreesive numbers.
    As for Rodgers, because they went undeafeated for so long, the media hype and build up of constant coverage propelled him into the linelight more so than Brees, so he gets a slanted vote. (gotta remember this isn’t a popularity contest) yet the media made it so.

  82. cowboycjn says:
    Jan 2, 2012 1:40 PM
    Brees should be the head and shoulders MVP – not his fault he plays in a dome, he got the job done with big stats. Just like rodgers sitting out the game – thats him and his coaches call, if it hurt his numbers so be it. Brees got pulled from 2 games and still had impreesive numbers.
    As for Rodgers, because they went undeafeated for so long, the media hype and build up of constant coverage propelled him into the linelight more so than Brees, so he gets a slanted vote. (gotta remember this isn’t a popularity contest) yet the media made it so.

    Yeah Brees was the head and shoulders MVP when his team was losing to the Rams and Buccaneers where he threw almost as many INT’s as Rodgers did all year.

    They hype Rodgers as better because he has been this year.

  83. tcdeg – i wonder if joseph stayed in cincy if he would have gotten into the probowl. i felt like he never got any credit while in cincy. he is great and isnt a diva, ironic how the playoffs go for joseph. see ya saturday!!

  84. this is very good reading. very interesting views on these topics. im just glad my team gets one more game not against ray rice.

  85. So let me get this straight… Stafford cant be comeback player of the year in your opinion because he has been injured but Jackson and Dumervil are your winner and runner up because they came back from injury.

    Do you even read these before you submit them? BTW would be nice if this could get posted this time but hey if I suppose I can understand if you dont want people pointing out your nonsense logic

  86. Can the MVP not be offensive player of the year to? Why is Aaron Rodgers not even mentioned in that category?

    And Brees finished stronger and had a remarkable season, no question. But it is the body of work, the marathon, not just the finish. Rodgers had FORTY FIVE touchdowns and SIX interceptions and led his team to a near perfect mark of 15-1. Rodgers is your MVP

  87. tackles
    Suggs: 70
    forced Fumbles
    QB hurries
    Both are in top 5 on all these stats BUT Suggs is in the top 5 for a good defense. The award could go to either one but i’m pulling for Sizzle.

  88. Aldon Smith is deserving but hold the phone with the “Yeah, he deserves it more because he only got half the opportunities.”

    Actually, he didn’t start because he isn’t the complete player Von Miller is. Defense isn’t “just” about sacks. Remember – as a 3-4 defender, you’re rushing the passer a whole lot more compared to a 4-3 outside linebacker. That’s what position Miller plays, full-time – because he also defends the run, unlike Aldon Smith.

  89. Brees should win all the awards this year, including defense, just because. He also should win next years awards right now because he is Drew Brees, and nobody else is.
    He should be 2014 MVP because he brilliantly called the playoffs a ‘new season’, something never before seen in history.
    I’m just happy that I got to see him on television so some of his greatness and Breesness rubbed off on me.

    Shame on anybody that is not standing on their chair right now chanting DREW BREES! DREW BREES!

  90. so in other words matthew stafford should be nominated for every award and win them all.

  91. In re Mike Brown, don’t forget the pre-season fleecing he gave to ‘The Brain’ Bill Belichek in getting a third rounder for a turd that had about twenty catches and one td–OchoDunno.

  92. @objectivenflfan

    “If Aldon Smith was as good as Miller (all around, defending the run) – wouldn’t he be starting too?”

    That’s a fair point. The way the 49ers run their defense is by allowing the defensive line (J. Smith, Sopoaga, and McDonald) and the middle linebackers (Willis, Bowman) to stop the run. The outside linebackers are almost exclusively used in pass coverage or blitzing. So Aldon Smith will only start if the 49ers are going to come out blitzing, or maybe against a team that almost never runs.

    Good point to bring up though. I don’t know why people “thumbs down” valid points, instead of just responding to them with their own opinions.


    “The lack of any form of red zone offense should negate including Jim Harbaugh in coaching awards. Your highest scoring player is your kicker? Can u not coach your QB up? Or is it trouble with the your playbook?”

    You can play this game with every coach. Should the Packers weak statistical defense eliminate McCarthy? Obviously not. No team is without flaws. Simply pointing out any teams flaws (and ignoring the whole “wins” thing) just exposes you as an illogical, and probably heavily biased fan, whose opinion should probably just be ignored (but it’s clearly more fun to address).

  93. the only award I really dont agree with is coach of the yr which should go to Mike Tomlin who has an avg offensive line with a ton of injuries, has lost Woodley for an extended period of time his quarterback has been banged up for wks now and yet every wk this team comes ready to play. this is a direct result of exceptional coaching. this guy gets overlooked every yr and all hie has done since he came to pittsburgh is win 65% of his gms and made 2 trips to the big dance and I wouldnt be shocked if they went back again this yr.

  94. Re Aldon Smith, he is transitioning from being a DE in college to a 3-4 where he is an outside linebacker. I think he would be up to being an every down player, but the niners already have a good player, Haralson, at that position. Von Miller is clearly a great player, but he did get benched at one point this year. Aldon Smith was pretty scary good in a few games this year.

  95. Why would Rodgers not be considered the Offensive Player of the Year? Conversely, if you think Brees should be the unanimous offensive player of the year, why would he not win the MVP over someone who plays the same position?

  96. @hotdog113

    So I guess San Francisco and Pittsburgh are both crap teams huh? 70 tackles, 14 sacks, 7 forced fumbles, 2 interceptions. Lord knows how many QB rushes/hurries because he got 22 QB hits. He was involved in over 80% of successful plays for the Ravens defense. He’s not just a pass rusher anymore. Complete football player who makes his presence felt in every aspect on defense.

  97. I just saw this:

    Executive of the Year: Mike Brown

    I hate you all with the passion of a white hot sun. You’ve given that idiot fuel for his fire of thinking he’s a General Manager. Dalton and Green both were happy accidents. Both will more then likely be gone in 5 years and will have a combination of 4 playoff games between them. After that they’ll both go somewhere else and lead a well run team into a Superbowl.

    Luck should not earn you an award. I just pray he doesn’t read this website. I doubt it because he’s too cheap to buy an Internet connection.

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