Determining the 2014 defensive player of the year? Easy. Figuring out the 2014 offensive player of the year? Not as easy.
Several players had performances worthy of consideration for the best offensive showing of the year. The Steelers had three: running back Le’Veon Bell, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, and receiver Antonio Brown. So did the Cowboys, with running back DeMarco Murray, quarterback Tony Romo, and receiver Dez Bryant.
Bell had more than 2,200 yards from scrimmage. Brown caught 129 passes, the second highest total in NFL history. Roethlisberger tied Drew Brees with 4,952 passing yards, while throwing 32 touchdown passes and nine interceptions.
In Dallas, Romo had a league-leading passer rating of 113.2, with 3,705 passing yards, 34 touchdown passes, and nine interceptions. Bryant had 1,320 receiving yards and 16 touchdown receptions.
Then there’s Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who threw 38 touchdown passes and five interceptions while racking up 4,381 yards through the air.
But DeMarco Murray also had more than 2,200 yards from scrimmage — 2,261, precisely. And he scored 13 touchdowns. And he suited up for all 16 games, playing the last two after surgery to repair a broken bone in his hand.
So the winner is Murray, who ultimately may be defending the award with a new team in 2015. He’s due to become a free agent, and if the Cowboys end up using the franchise tag on Bryant, Murray will hit the open market.
And now comes the part where you hit the button next to the name you think is most deserving of the recognition.