View Full Version : 2008 Award Predictions

08-23-2008, 11:09 PM
2008 Award Predictions

MVP – Tony Romo

Sure, it’s easy to go with Tom Brady, but where’s the fun in that? Besides, he hasn’t put in his usual preparation this offseason. I think he’s too good to suffer from much rust, but at the same time he may not come out in mid-season form, either. And as potent as the New England offense was last year, their passing game slowed some down the stretch. Also, Laurence Maroney finished the season on a tear—he should be healthy and ready to pick up where he left off, and if he isn’t, the team has plenty of depth at running back. With opponents likely to try using the Giants’ blueprint and put pressure on Brady, the Pats may counter by running the ball a little more heavily this year. Past history tells us that Brady will be good regardless, but another record-setting campaign may not be in the cards.

And Romo wasn’t exactly a slouch last year—his 4,300 yards and 38 touchdowns would have been good enough to contend for an MVP in most seasons. The Dallas offense may have lost wideout Terry Glenn and running back Julius Jones, but replacements Sam Hurd and Felix Jones should be just as good if not better. If anything, the unit may be even more potent with Marion Barber taking over as the uncontested starter at running back. Let’s not forget Terrell Owens or Jason Witten, either. Romo has a massive offensive line to work behind, and weapons all over the field. Coordinator Jason Garrett’s offense is as talented and balanced as any in the league, and he knows how to employ it with lethal results. They should easily top the four-hundred point mark again this year, especially if a questionable defensive secondary gets them into some old-fashioned Texas shoot-outs.

Runner Up – Brian Westbrook

Ladainian Tomlinson isn’t getting any younger, and Adrian Peterson has serious durability questions. Steven Jackson will be playing behind a patchwork offensive line that may be without Orlando Pace again this year. Westbrook, meanwhile, is coming off a fantastic season, and enters this year in his prime and armed with a new contract. He has become the unquestioned focus of the Philadelphia offense, and may have to shoulder an even greater burden with top wideout Kevin Curtis unavailable for the start of the season. Westbrook is tough and dynamic, and as versatile as any back in the league. He’s primed for another huge campaign. The one major obstacle in his way could be the team failing to make the playoffs in arguably the league’s toughest division.

Other top candidates include Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Ladainian Tomlinson, Adrian Peterson and Steven Jackson.

Defensive MVP – Patrick Willis

Statistically, Willis was far ahead of last year’s DMVP, Bob Sanders. However, San Francisco’s overall woeful defensive performance kept Willis from consideration. They don’t have to be tops in the league to get him the honor, though, and this year they may just be good enough to get him into the conversation. End Justin Smith may not be a flashy player, but he’ll bring much-needed toughness in the trenches—and on the other side, second-year pro Ray McDonald looks ready for a break-out season. Not only should better line play help to keep Willis clean to make tackles, but an improved pass rush should help the whole defense. Takeo Spikes is past his prime and no longer has the explosiveness to excel as a 4-3 weakside linebacker, but his instincts and toughness should fit well on the inside of the 3-4. Look for his presence to help with run defense.

Willis led the league in tackles as a rookie, and is poised to put up huge numbers once again. The inept 49er offense should insure that he gets plenty of chances to wrack up statistics. He also displayed some play-making ability with four sacks and two forced fumbles, and he should be better in coverage with a year under his belt. He quickly became an emotional leader, a job he’ll likely take on full time with the departure of Derek Smith. Willis has as much talent and work ethic as any player in the entire league and position coach Mike Singletary knows exactly how to get the most out of it, and will demand greatness from his team’s best player.

Runner Up – Demarcus Ware

Ware is already one of the league’s premier pass rushers and most impressive overall athletes, and he has yet to reach his full potential. He continues to improve in coverage, and if he can add a few interceptions to his outstanding resume this year he’ll have a legitimate shot at taking home this honor. Ware is an outstanding fit for the aggressive version of the 3-4 that Wade Phillips prefers to employ, and he should have tons of opportunities to make plays as the explosive Dallas offense should frequently put opponents into come-from-behind situations. This will allow Ware to pin his ears back and come after the quarterback, or drop back in zones and hawk the ball. A monster season is on the horizon for this emerging superstar.

Other top candidates include Jon Beason, David Harris, Mario Williams and Nick Barnett. Julian Peterson would be an outstanding candidate if Lofa Tatupu didn’t account for so many tackles.

Coach of the Year – Jack Del Rio

Last year Del Rio silenced rumors of being on the hot seat by leading the Jaguars to an excellent season. Del Rio’s masterstroke was the bold decision on the eave of the regular season to release Byron Leftwich and put all the team’s eggs in one basket with David Garrard. That move ended an ongoing power struggle in the Jacksonville front office and paid huge dividends on the field, as it should continue to do this year. His young team is loaded with talent and plays with a nasty, physical edge that reflects very well on their head coach. If the Jags can finally unseat perennial powerhouse Indianapolis to win the rugged AFC South, expect Del Rio to get serious and deserved consideration for this prestigious award.

Other strong candidates include Tom Coughlin, Bill Belichick, Mike Tomlin, Romeo Crennel and Sean Payton.

Offensive Rookie of the Year – Ryan Clady

It’s time for a lineman to get some love. Joe Thomas probably would have last year if not for a sizzling, record-setting effort from phenom Adrian Peterson, and this year’s rookie class doesn’t have a skill position player that can match AD’s prodigious talent. Clady will be hard pressed to match the exceptional rookie season of Thomas, but Denver has a reputation for developing offensive linemen, and early evidence indicates that Clady could have a similar impact on his line’s overall performance. Through three preseason contests the Broncos’ starting line hasn’t allowed a single sack, and Clady’s steady play at the crucial left tackle spot should get a fair share of the credit.

Also, this year may present a unique opportunity a for guy in the trenches to grab some glamour. Running backs usually have an inside track on this award, but of this year’s top prospects, all of them are in committee situations behind established runners except for Matt Forte, and he plays on a terrible offense with no line to block for him. If Clady can start sixteen games and help return the faded Denver offense to its former prominence, he may be able to pull off the unusual feat.

His top competition should come from Darren McFadden, Rashard Mendenhall, Jonathon Stewart, Ray Rice, Kevin Smith, DeSean Jackson and Matt Ryan.

Defensive Rookie of the Year – Keith Rivers

Rivers is a tackling machine, and he’ll step right into a starting role on a unit that’s desperate for help. The Cincinnati defense regularly gets hammered by the run, and their weak defensive linemen let an awful lot of opposing backs get to the second level. Rivers has a chance to be their best linebacker from the get-go, and his size, speed and athleticism should keep him on the field in nearly every situation. If he stays healthy, Rivers should end up with well over a hundred tackles almost by default.

Curtis Lofton will be right on his heels, but Lofton is more of a one-dimensional player, and may not get as many opportunities as Rivers. Other challengers should include Kenny Phillips, Chris Long, and possibly Leodis McKelvin or Dan Connor.

Comeback Player of the Year -- Julius Peppers

Write it down now, Peppers is taking this one home. The phenomenally talented defensive end is playing for a new contract after an exceptionally disappointing season, and he’s ready to turn it on in a big way with in excess of fifty million dollars on the table. Peppers will also be playing for pride after seemingly mailing it in down the stretch last year, and being heavily criticized in both local and national media. The team will need him more than ever with the departure of longtime defensive line stalwart Kris Jenkins, and the uncomfortable status of coach John Fox. Peppers has ability that no end in the league can match save Mario Williams, and training camp reports and preseason action indicate that Peppers is ready for an incredible bounce-back season.

His strongest challenge may come from Ricky Williams, but the national media’s dislike of the sometimes sullen and always controversial running back will likely submarine that effort. Other possible contenders include Jonathon Vilma and Carnell “Cadillac” Williams.

08-23-2008, 11:12 PM
Dont agree with Clady winning but very well thought out and definitely possible.

08-23-2008, 11:15 PM
I don't agree with Clady or Romo. I think Demarcus Ware has a big time shot at DMVP if he can stay healthy and put up the stats. If Denver can put together a winning season with the second youngest team in the NFL, I think you will see Shanahan as the coach of the year, or Weisenhunt with the Cards if the Cards can pull of 10-6. We'll see. I'm just excited for the season to start.

08-24-2008, 01:32 AM
Nice article, dogfish. :salute:

One mistake, though ... Coach of the Year ... Mike Shanahan, on our way to winning the superbowl! :cheers:

08-24-2008, 01:36 AM
On a serious note, hehehe :D ....

For Comeback Player of the Year, I'm thinking Ricky Williams.

08-24-2008, 03:34 AM
Nice effort, Dog. :beer:

I think you had one minor slight: Fast Eddie might provide some ROTY competition.


08-24-2008, 08:00 AM
If Royal stays healthy and doesn't take too much of a beating, I'm sure he'll put up some good numbers, but I don't think he'll compete for OROY.

08-24-2008, 08:46 AM
If Royal stays healthy and doesn't take too much of a beating, I'm sure he'll put up some good numbers, but I don't think he'll compete for OROY.

Yeah. Way too many talented rookie RBs making have been making an impact this preseason.

But you're right, Royal should put up some good numbers; he doesn't play like a lost rookie. He goes in, makes plays, and fights for the ball.

One thing I like about our starting WRs/TEs ... they block well, they have good hands, and they all fight for the ball ... Marshall, Stokley, Scheffler, Graham, and now Royal. I bet Vince Young wishes he had any of them.

08-24-2008, 07:45 PM
I have Chad Pennington as Comeback POY, Cedric Ellis as Defensive Rook of the Year and Dustin Keller from the Jets as Offensive Rookie of the Year. Romo just beats out Brees.

08-24-2008, 08:38 PM
I have Chad Pennington as Comeback POY, Cedric Ellis as Defensive Rook of the Year and Dustin Keller from the Jets as Offensive Rookie of the Year. Romo just beats out Brees.

I agree with those as potential winners as well. Pennington has looked good in the preseason with the Dolphins, so we'll see. I don't know about Ellis as DROY, but it's a good possibility as well. I'm not very familiar with Dustin Keller. I'd love to see Brees have a killer year with the Saints. I've always liked him and always felt terrible for him that San Diego shafted him like they did. Could you imagine how friggin potent SD's offense would be with Brees still at the helm? :shocked:

FWIW, the girl in your sig has a pancake butt.

Medford Bronco
08-31-2008, 11:25 PM
dog I like they way you think.

you have the coach of the year and MVP from my Super Bowl prediction teams.
God I hope you are right. :beer: