The 2010 NFL regular season has come to a close, and it has been one of the most interesting, unexpected seasons to date. In the NFC, there is no clear cut favorite as to who will be heading to Dallas for the Super Bowl, unlike the AFC where the Patriots look impossible to beat, especially now that they have home-field advantage.
With the season nearly over, it’s time for me to pick my award winners.
Most Valuable Player
If you have been following my obsession with Brady, you already knew this was coming, but I give Tom Brady the nod over Michael Vick for MVP, and let me tell you why.
Tom Brady has been unstoppable this season, setting an NFL record with 335 passing attempts without throwing an interception. In that nine week span, Brady also has 26 touchdowns.
The players he is throwing it to aren’t flashy either, they are guys like Wes Welker, Deion Branch and Rob Gronkowski. Compare that to Vick who has LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. Now, I’m not taking anything away from the amazing job that Michael Vick has done, but Brady’s team is better and nothing seems to phase him.
Runners Up: Michael Vick, Maurice Jones Drew, Peyton Manning
Offensive Player of the Year: Michael Vick
Honestly, I still don’t see why there is a need for both MVP and offensive player of the year. Because there is though, my pick has gotta go to Michael Vick.
In week 10 on Monday Night Football in Washington, Vick put on one of the greatest games a quarterback has ever had when he put up video game like stats in a 59-28 rout of the Redskins. His numbers were as follows: 20-28 for 333 yards and four touchdowns, and eight carries for 80 yards and two touchdowns. I’m pretty sure if you had him on your fantasy team that night you took home the victory.
Runners Up: Tom Brady, Phillip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers
Defensive Player of the Year: Clay Matthews
For the second straight season, I think a member of the Green Bay Packers will be winning defensive player of the year. Last year, it was Charles Woodson, and this year, it’s Clay Matthews.
After an impressive rookie season, Matthews followed it up beautifully and has become one of the most feared linebackers in the NFL. He runs around the field like a mad man, and finished the season with 60 tackles, 13.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and one interception for a touchdown.
He’s a key component on one of the best defenses in the league, and on a Packers team that will be dangerous come playoff time.
Runner Up: James Harrison
Coach of the Year: Bill Belichick
This award was tough to pick, because there are so many coaches worthy to be coach of the year. You could go with Todd Haley and the job he’s done in Kansas City, Raheem Morris and what he’s done with the youngest team in football or Steve Spagnuolo and how he has the Rams in playoff contention.
While all of them are qualified, my vote goes to Bill Belichick. After getting blown out against the Ravens in the playoffs last season, the Patriots dynasty was supposed to be over. You can never count out a Bill Belichick coached team however.
The Patriots have been undoubtedly the best team in football this season and have been doing it with guys like Benjarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead. Not to mention trading Randy Moss and bringing back Deion Branch.
Runners Up: Todd Haley, Raheem Morris, Steve Spagnuolo, Lovie Smith, Mike Tomlin
Comeback Player of the Year: Michael Vick
I can’t think of a better player for this award, can you? After sitting behind both Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb last season, Vick came into this season as the number two quarterback behind Kolb. Little did anyone expect that Vick would become an MVP candidate this season and look like a different quarterback who is safe in the pocket.
Vick has the Eagles as contenders in the NFC, and nobody wants to face him in the playoffs. Just ask the Giants.
Runners Up: Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, Dwayne Bowe
Offensive Player of the Year: Sam Bradford
The choice for this award is fairly obvious, and I’ll tell you why. The previous three seasons, the Rams won a total of six games and looked like they were a franchise going nowhere. It just goes to show you how much a franchise quarterback changes the fortunes of a team.
After drafting Bradford number one overall, the Rams started him right away, and he was been better than anyone expected. It’s a shame he couldn’t send them to the playoffs with a win in Seattle.
Runners Up: Mike Williams (TB), Jahvid Best, LeGarrette Blount
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Ndamukong Suh
Out of any rookie, Ndamukong Suh seemed the most pro-ready and poised for greatness. With comparisons to Reggie White, Suh had a lot of hype, and after his first season, he is definitely on his way to greatness.
On an improving Lions defense, Suh will be the anchor for many years to come. Suh finished his rookie season with 66 tackles, ten sacks, one forced fumble and one interception for a touchdown.
The scary thing about Suh is that people expected him to be this good.
Runner Up: Devin McCourty
Most Improved Player: Arian Foster
The best running back in the NFL this season wasn’t Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson or Maurice Jones Drew. It was Arian Foster, an undrafted player out of Tennessee in 2009.
Right out of the gate, Foster set the tone for the season, torching the Colts for 231 yards on 33 carries and three touchdowns. If you thought that was a fluke, you were surely mistaken, as Foster would have seen more 100-yard games and become the first ever undrafted player to lead the league in rushing.
Runners Up: Darren McFadden, Dwayne Bowe, Brandon Lloyd
Biggest Surprise: Kansas City Chiefs
After a disastrous 2009 season, Chiefs fans had little to be optimistic about this season. I personally did not realize all the talent they had on the team. The Chiefs have the perfect make up of a team to win games, and it led them to an improbable AFC West title. Let me explain.
Matt Cassel, after a bad first year with the Chiefs, was one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL this season. Cassel had 3,000 yards passing, and 27 touchdowns and just 7 interceptions. Cassel hooked up with Dwayne Bowe in the end zone not once, not twice, but 15 times. In addition, the Chiefs have a balanced rushing attack led by Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones.
With a young and improving defense, and a good rushing attack, the Chiefs should be taken lightly this week when they host the Ravens. Todd Haley does not fear any team, and that’s the kind of coach I want on my team.
Runners Up: Chicago Bears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, St. Louis Rams
There are many candidates for the most disappointing team this NFL season. You could make the case for the Cowboys, Vikings, 49ers, Chargers or Texans as to who was the most disappointing team. For me though, it’s got to be the Dallas Cowboys.
After winning their first playoff game in over ten years, the Cowboys had Super Bowl aspirations this season. Jerry Jones had his sights set on his team being the first team to ever host a Super Bowl. All of this sounded lovely, that is, until the season started.
The Cowboys started the season 1-4, and then in Week 5, lost Tony Romo for the season with a shoulder injury. It would only get worse from there. The next two weeks the Cowboys got dominated by the Jaguars and Packers, leading to the firing of Wade Phillips. Jason Garrett took over and gave the Cowboys a spark. He made such a difference that Jerry Jones removed the interim tag off him and named him the head coach for 2011.
Runners Up: Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers, San Diego Chargers, Houston Texans
Super Bowl Prediction: Patriots over Packers
Earlier in the season, I made the prediction of the Patriots over the Packers and I’m sticking with it. Assuming the Packers get in the playoffs, they are one of the hottest teams in the league and Aaron Rodgers is ready to be mentioned among the elite quarterbacks.
As for the Patriots, nobody can seem to stop them, and Tom Brady just looks like he’s on a mission right now and he won’t stop until he gets to Dallas.
We saw these two teams match up in Week 15 with the Patriots barely winning over Matt Flynn and the Packers. This time, if they play, it won’t be Flynn, but Rodgers.
In the end, I like Tom Brady to win his fourth Super Bowl and continue to place his name among the all-time greats.
Fearless Forecast: Patriots 34, Packers 30