View Full Version : League Awards at the Quarter Pole

10-07-2008, 02:48 AM
League Awards at the Quarter Pole

MVP – Jay Cutler

Cutler has been tremendous so far. His 1,501 passing yards are second in the league, while his 10 touchdowns are tied for third. His completion percentage and average yards per throw are both in the top ten, and he has taken fewer sacks than any other starting quarterback. Taken as a whole, his statistics are the best in the league. Even more importantly, Cutler has his team at 4-1 and in control of their division. Two of their four wins were almost solely due to Denver’s dynamic passing game, and Cutler’s league-leading number of pass attempts further illustrates that no team has relied more heavily on their quarterback than the Broncos. He’s the spoon that stirs the drink of the league’s second-rated offense in both total yards and total points.

Runner Up – Kurt Warner

Surprise, surprise! A sizzling start has rejuvenated Warner’s career to the point that the former bag boy is looking for another league MVP award. Warner’s statistics are very close to Cutler’s, and his team at 3-2 is also leading their division. Arizona has the weapons to keep Kurt in the chase all year if he can avoid the nagging injuries and lapses in judgement that have plagued him in recent years.

Also receiving consideration were Drew Brees, Phillip Rivers, Tony Romo and Michael Turner.

Defensive MVP – Albert Haynesworth

He was a candidate last year before a hamstring injury slowed his pace late in the season, and he has picked up right where he left off. Hanyseworth has collected 20 tackles, 5 sacks and a forced fumble, but stats are only the beginning, and don’t fully measure his value. Haynesworth simply controls the line of scrimmage and makes things easier for everyone around him; he is the driving force behind the league’s best defense, a unit that’s ranked fifth in yards allowed per game and first in the all-important points per game category. Tennessee’s defense also leads the NFL in takeaways. The Titans are one of only two undefeated teams, and they lean heavily on their defense.

Runner Up – James Harrison

Pittsburgh’s defense has been in typical intimidating form, and Harrison has been their top playmaker. His 6.5 sacks are second in the NFL, and he leads the league with 3 forced fumbles. The Steelers trail only Baltimore in run defense and total yardage allowed; they’re fifth in scoring defense and third in takeaways. Harrison is an emotional leader that sets the tone with his physical play, and he has come up with critical turnovers at key moments.

Other candidates include Charles Woodson, John Abraham and Patrick Willis.

Coach of the Year – Jim Zorn

Zorn inherited a playoff team from last year, so the cupboard wasn’t exactly bare, but virtually every expert thought that the Redskins overachieved last season and had little chance of repeating; especially under a rookie head coach. But Zorn has his squad humming along after back-to-back wins against bitter divisional foes Dallas and Philadelphia. This is a remarkable achievement for a man that had never been a head coach at any level, and even more so when his team plays in the toughest division in pro football. Perhaps the most impressive facet of Zorn’s performance has been the quantum leap forward taken by quarterback Jason Campbell. Most pundits thought this squad would finish in the basement, but instead they’re in great shape for another playoff run.

Runner Up – Jeff Fisher

Plenty of head coaches would crumble under the pressure of having the struggles with their high-profile starting quarterback that the Titans have had this year, but not Fisher. Instead, he has his boys rallying around journeyman Kerry Collins. The team is playing nasty and physical on both sides of the ball, putting pressure on opponents while limiting their own mistakes. The Colts have long dominated the AFC South, and many experts predicted that this would be the year Jacksonville broke that stranglehold. Nobody saw Tennessee getting out to a 5-0 start and looking like one of the best teams in the NFL. Fisher is getting absolutely everything that he can out of a roster that’s lacking in big-time star power and devoid of any explosive threats in the passing game.

Also receiving consideration were Mike Shanahan, Bill Belichik, Tom Coughlin, Dick Jauron and Mike Smith.

Executive of the Year – Thomas Demitroff

The first-time GM has done an amazing job in Atlanta. He inherited a complete and utter disaster of a team, one that was generally expected to be one of the worst in the league. Instead, Demitroff has put together a group that is not only competitive, but is actually very much alive in the playoff hunt. He has made all the right moves so far, starting with a brilliant decision to move the over-rated locker room cancer known as Deangelo Hall, and also releasing long-time veteran stalwarts Alge Crumpler and Warrick Dunn. The Falcons were criticized in some circles for paying big money to Michael Turner in a year where loads of running back talent was available in the draft, but Turner has paid off in a major way; to date he has been the best runner in the league, and securing his services in free agency allowed Demitroff to spend his high draft picks in other areas. He was highly successful in this regard as well. Top picks Matt Ryan, Sam Baker and Curtis Lofton weren’t the flashiest athletes, but all three were polished, savvy guys with great work habits, and all three have been able to step in and play at a high level right off the bat. Rookie head coach Mike Smith was a relative unknown, but so far he’s looked like the perfect choice to lead this young group. All the bad vibes of the Mike Vick disaster and the Bobby Petrino fiasco have been washed away by a good dose of quality football, and no one deserves more credit than Demitroff.

Other candidates include Bill Parcells, Marty Hurney, Tom Modrak and Mike Shanahan.

Offensive Rookie of the Year – Matt Forte

The bruising Forte has been a perfect fit for a rugged Chicago team. He has started from day one and looked like a polished vet in all three phases of the game, and has been the antithesis to the vastly disappointing Cedric Benson. Forte has been the workhorse the Bears have been looking for, and is currently on pace for over 1,600 total yards and about a dozen touchdowns.

Runner Up – Ryan Clady

The massive offensive tackle is every bit as worthy, but with no solid statistics it may be hard for him to win the recognition he deserves if Forte continues to crank out numbers at his current pace. Clady has looked like a seasoned vet at the crucial left tackle position. He holds down the blindside for the offensive line that has allowed the league’s fewest sacks, and there’s no doubt that his sensational debut has been a huge factor in the return to prominence of the high-flying Denver offense. Even if he misses the nod for ROY, this guy has the look of a perennial Pro Bowler.

Chris Johnson, Matt Ryan, Desean Jackson and Eddie Royal are also in the conversation, with Felix Jones and Jonathon Stewart lurking.

Defensive Rookie of the Year – Undetermined

Early candidates include Keith Rivers, Curtis Lofton and Jerod Mayo, but no defensive rookie has yet done enough to separate himself from the pack.

Comeback Player of the Year – Ronnie Brown

The past few weeks, Brown has resumed the torrid pace he was on before tearing his ACL last year. His inspired play in Miami’s new Wildcat formation has led the Phins to victories over both of last season’s AFC Championship game participants in consecutive weeks. Brown’s athleticism and smarts have been on full display as he is rapidly becoming one of the league’s most dangerous multi-purpose scoring machines. He’s making Miami football relevant again, an extremely impressive feat after their historically woeful 2007 campaign.

Runner Up – Jake Delhomme

Coming off Tommy John surgery to repair a devastating injury to his throwing arm, Delhomme has brought back Carolina’s moxie. The team that was lost without him last year has regained their swagger, and is looking to regain control of the NFC South. He’s had help on both sides of the ball, but last season’s debacle showed just how different this team is without their leader. Their stirring come-from-behind road win in the waning seconds against San Diego was vintage Delhomme, the kind of effort the Panthers simply weren’t capable of without him.

10-07-2008, 09:16 AM
Well-done Dogfish.

Jim Zorn is a lock for Coach of the year at this pace. That is one of the biggest surprises for me, how well the Redskins are playing. Jason Campbell is also a big surprise. The NFC East is tough.

10-07-2008, 10:09 AM
Give that dog a bone. Or should it be fish food?:confused: :D

Anyway it was very well done Dog. :salute:

10-07-2008, 10:13 AM
Nice read, Dog...thx!

10-07-2008, 11:05 AM

10-07-2008, 12:38 PM

no. . . who deserves the MVP more than cutler at this point, and why?

10-07-2008, 05:38 PM
no. . . who deserves the MVP more than cutler at this point, and why?

While I always think Denver players are the most deserving of awards, a case can be made for Drew Brees. He's consistent, for a guy who doesn't have a cannon for an arm he throws the deep ball with a lot accuracy and he is still on that monstrous pace statistically.

10-08-2008, 08:37 AM
no. . . who deserves the MVP more than cutler at this point, and why?

I wont argue the case that can be made for Cutler. At this point, he's just as deserving as anyone else and I think it's impossible to really determine who a clear cut winner would be right now.

However...Ryan Clady as offensive ROY runner up? Seriously? If ANY lineman is ever considered a top 10 candidate for this award, then the talent level in said draft must have really sucked. That being said, everyone you listed after him would be a better candidate for this award. Nothing against Clady...I think he's playing great...but an OL deserving this award is like giving an OL the MVP.

10-12-2008, 01:02 AM
Good job Dog. The only disagreement I have is that you have no consideration for Reggie Bush for MVP. I think he's been more valuable to the Saints than Brees has.

10-12-2008, 02:08 AM
Good job Dog. The only disagreement I have is that you have no consideration for Reggie Bush for MVP. I think he's been more valuable to the Saints than Brees has.

thanks. . .

and we can agree to disagree on bush, because i don't see it. . . in the interest of full disclosure, i will admit that i'm biased-- i can't stand him. . . but even if i didn't feel that way, i wouldn't consider him an MVP candidate or the most important player on that team. . . i will freely admit that he is playing much better than last year, but IMO brees is still the straw that stirs the drink in NO. . .

obviously i can't give stats of this type from this year, but look at what they did with and without reggie last year. . . in 13 games with bush, they were 5-7 and averaged 20.5 points per game-- in 4 games without him, they were 2-2 and averaged 28 points per. . . over 3 of those games, aaron "career backup" stecker averaged 110 offensive yards and scored 4 TDs-- in the fourth game, pierre "undrafted" thomas put up 226 offensive yards and a TD. . . am i suggesting that they're better without bush? no, of course not-- i fully recognize the limitations of stats, and the fact that many factors besides individual performance are involved. . . i just posted that to illustrate my argument-- does anyone think the saints O would be effective long-term with the backup QB? they've proven that they can get it done without reggie, which IMO is due to two factors-- the effectiveness of sean payton's system, and brees' ability to spread the ball around and get everyone involved. . . which i think he has demonstrated quite clearly as he continues to produce with both of his top wideouts AND his top TE out the past few weeks. . .

JMO obviously, but i believe that bush is far more the beneficiary of brees' performance than vice-versa. . . without bush, brees can still do what he does, read the defense and make accurate throws. . . reggie needs space to work in-- without the threat of brees spreading out the defense, i doubt he'd find any. . . they had a stat on MNF that virtually all of his receptions come behind or within 10 yards of the LOS-- with a lesser QB, defenses would press up and he'd have mush less room to work. . . bush isn't a guy that's effective in traffic like most of the league's playmakers at the position-- he needs to work in space, and it's brees' ability and payton's playcalling that creates that space. . . that's my take on it, anyways. . .

besides, i only included brees because he's on a record-setting pace for passing yardage. . . i'm approaching this more from the perspective of who would win the awards if they were given today than as predictions of who's going to get them at the end of the season, and i really can't see anyone on a team that's in last place in their division qualifying for any individual recognition other than the rookie awards. . .

10-12-2008, 02:13 AM
I have no loyalty towards the Broncos, but if I had to name a MVP Culter would be a fine choice. I wish the award was phrased "best player award" because it is crap that you have to be on a playoff team to get any real recognition. For instance, when the Vikings fail to make the playoffs this year, just wonder where they would have been without him (Him being Adrian Peterson and my god you know it's late when I forget to name who I am talking about the first time around). They will have won several games on his back, who is to say that his margin is any less or bigger than that of anyone else.

That being said, Cutler is playing the best out of any QBs for this year. His stats (which do very much matter) are off the chart, he has played well late in the game, as well as the middle and beginning, he is a QB, and his team is one of the better teams in the league. I guess I could argue some players, but I would have to go with him.