The Squirrel Speaks

None of these guys are going to get these awards at the end of the season, but they damn sure deserve consideration.



Who will win: I dunno...Probably Matt Ryan or Peyton's iffy.

Who SHOULD Win: Chad Pennington

This one has been hammered into the earth so many times that I'm not sure if it's my own opinion or some regurgitated chicken from ESPN. Whatever the case, Chad Pennington has been lights out this year. He's second in the league in QB rating, which I know doesn't mean much, but still. He's 10th in yards. He's thrown SEVEN picks, tied for 2nd lowest among QBs with over 400 attempts. Miami was a young team, much like Atlanta, coming off one of the worst seasons in NFL history, not like Atlanta. They had to best a Patriots team that wa coming off of an 18-1 season, even if they didn't have Brady, they were still a load to overcome. Pennington took a young team and calmed them. He made them play better, and got them to play offense. Plus, he got them to win the toughest division in football this year. Pennington should win MVP, but he won't.


NFC Offensive Player of the Year

Who will win: Adrian Peterson or Michael Turner

Who SHOULD Win: DeAngelo Williams

DeAngelo Williams has been maybe the most underutilized threat in the NFL since he got drafted. The kid is a flat out stud running back, and he finally got to prove it this year, busting out for 1300 yards and 18 TDs on the ground. He was the reason that Carolina even had an ounce of offensive firepower this season. He was a little slow coming out of the gate, but when he turned on the jets near the midseason, he was flat out better than either Peterson or Turner. After week 8, he was unstoppable, with either a TD or 100 yards in every game, only failing to get both in three games (One of those games he got 4 TDs, the others 2 TDs and 178 yards). Face the facts voters, Peterson was explosive, but he got everything on ONE carry in almost every game, and if you matched up Turner and Williams, Williams would win. Williams should win NFC Offensive Player of the Year, but he won't.


AFC Offensive Player of the Year

Who will win: Philp Rivers

Who SHOULD Win: Philip Rivers

There's really no competition, Rivers had an outstanding season, and Chris Johnson wasn't better...


NFC Defensive Player of the Year

Who will win: DeMarcus Ware

Who SHOULD Win: Ware

There's no real argument with this, a safety could be argued, Jared Allen could be argued, but neither will get it...Ware just had a beastly season.


AFC Defensive Player of the Year

Who will win: James Harrison

Who SHOULD Win: Harrison

Seriously, maybe the biggest no-brainer this century


Rookie of the Year

Who will win: Matt Ryan

Who SHOULD Win: Steve Slaton

People tend to forget about Slaton, since he was stuck on the 8-8 Texans, but he was an absolute specimen in the backfield. His total yardage and total TDs were almost exactly the same as Matt Forte, but Slaton did it on 50 fewer carries, on a team that hadn't had a 1,000 yard rusher sine 2004 (Domanick Williams). Slaton's dominance as a quick slashing rookie that is one of a rare breed that can do what they've done behind an offensive line that was basically made up of 1,500 pounds of horse dung. Chris Johnson doesn't win because he was one of two back that combined for 2,000 yards. Slaton had to carry the load, something he's never done, and he did it admirably. 


Coach of the Year

Who will win: Mike Smith

Who SHOULD Win: John Harbaugh

Harbaugh took a team that had absolutely zero talent offensively and made them a Wild Card team. Smith took a dyfunctional team that had no chemistry defensively and made them good enough on offense to overcome having the 24th ranked yardage defense. Which coach made his team better...hmmmmmm. Harbaugh also did it with a quarterback who WASN'T touted as the next Peyton Manning coming out of college. He also did it with no receivers. (Mark Clayton and Derrick Mason?) Sure he had an awesome defense, but a team as offensively insignificant as the Ravens were last year needs some damn good coaching to go to the playoffs.


Comeback Player of the Year

Who will win: Pennington

Who SHOULD Win: Gus Frerotte/Tarvaris Jackson

This is a joint award, only because they both came back from adversity at different points of the year. Frerotte from years of backup work that netted him zilch (except the last playoff run the Lions have been on), Jackson from an in-season benching in favor of Frerotte. When Frerotte came in, he went on a tear, and the Vikings went 8-3. Then he gets hurt, Jackson has to come in, and he leads them back against the Lions, goes beserk against the Cards, and then plays well enough to win against the Falcons, and leads the Vikings on a last minute scoring drive to beat the Giants. Neither of these guys could have been counted on to do anything productive last year, and now Tarvaris is on the brink of respectability and Frerotte is a legitimate backup in this league. But they won't win...


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