Joe’s Faceoff: NFL Awards

Joseph Puligese


NFL MVP is the highest award in the NFL; it is the most important award and the one that everyone is mainly concerned with.  As far as history is concerned it is mostly an offensive award and only two defensive players have ever won the award since its inception in 1957; Lawrence Taylor in 1986, and Alan Page in 1972.  In fact only three players have ever won the award that was not a quarterback and running back, the third is Mark Mosely, a place kicker in 1982.  The last five MVPs have been Quaterbacks, in this heavy passing league that is not a coincidence.  I believe Peyton Manning should and will win his record 5th MVP award of his hall of fame career.  And I know Adrian Peterson had a fabulous numbers year and I am not taking that away from him.  But Manning had a great season in his first year in Denver.  He took an 8-8 team and made them 13-3 and a #1 seed in the playoffs, as well as ending the year on an 11 game winning streak.  He led the league in Completion percentage with 68.6% and in the new Total QBR stat, which measures what a QB does and when he does it, with an 84.11.  He was 3rd in touchdowns, 2nd in passer rating and top 6 in yards and completions.  He took a team that was dead last in passing and brought them to 5th in the league.  Also he came into a new team off a neck injury no one in history has ever recovered from and completely changed the culture.  That is why he is MVP and Comeback player of the Year.  Adrian Peterson had a phenomenal year coming back from an ACL tear in record time, but his team was 9-7 barely making the playoffs, but Peterson racked up the yardage but only resulted in 13 total touchdowns, less than Arian Foster at the same position, I cannot give him MVP.  The last 2 running backs to win MVP in Ladannian Tomlinson and Shaun Alexander both set Touchdown Records by running backs with their division winning playoff teams, both had a much stronger case.

Rookie of the Year

Rookie of the Year is tough I was very indecisive thinking of who I wanted to be rookie of the year.  We had 5 rookie QBs finish with 3,000 plus yards, 2 rookie RBs finish with 1,400 plus yards.  In the end I wish I could cop out and split the award between 3 QBs and both RBs but I cannot.  My pick by a slight margin is Andrew Luck.  The top pick in the draft by far fulfilled expectations.  Set an NFL rookie record with 4,374 yards, more than 950 more than the second highest Brandon Weeden, also remembering the fact that he was asked to throw more than 110 times more than the next highest.  But most importantly he took a team that went 2-14 and bought them to the playoffs and an 11-5 record coming within 1 game of the division.  Wilson and RG3 had incredible years as well, but Wilson had a top ranked defense helping him and RG3 had a 1,600 yard rusher and a good defense on his side as well, Luck had a much weaker supporting cast around him and he truly changed the team.  I would even make an argument to include him in MVP talks which he defiantly deserves to be involved in.