Another week of similar predictions has forced Josh and Dan to come up with something else to debate. This week, it's: "Who will be the MVP of week 7?"
In the interest of keeping this rolling, I'm going to not do any research this time and fly by the seat of my proverbial pants.
This week's MVP is going to be Willie Parker. He's going to get a TON of touches, and has the skill to make some big plays happen. Denver is amazing against the pass and futile against the run, which is the greatest news Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Bruce Arians ever heard. And it's not like the Broncos can just lay off the pass and stack the box; Ben Roethlisberger knows how to fit the ball in just the right spot, and he'll likely have Ward and Holmes back, ready to catch passes.
Parker may not get the touchdowns, because the Denver secondary has the speed to chase him down and tackle him at the 2, setting up Najeh Davenport, but his ridiculous yards and YPC shouldn't be ignored, and there will be no doubt that his running skills are the reason Pittsburgh wins this week.
Bam. Quick draw, your move.
Ah, Dan, when will you learn? Yes, Willie Parker is in the perfect position to have a huge day against the Broncos porous defense...but what makes a true MVP from a weekend of football? Simple, the game changing play. Pittsburgh is favored to win that game...in both our minds as well as the minds of the American public (forgetting the few delusional Broncos fans out there)...but MVPs of a weekend don't come from favorites...they come from the underdogs....
That's why when all is said and done from this weekend of football, you'll see the incomparable Devin Hester standing alone as the MVP of an exciting weekend of football. And by exciting weekend, what I really mean is a perfect sweep of my picks, and a 3-0 fantasy weekend.
For the Bears to beat the Eagles in Philly...well, their 1 playmaker is going to have to come up big...and Hester seems to love doing it. You can't deny that he has that special quality of making plays when they are needed the most. And after last week, well...for Hester to score...he just needs the ball. He'll get it this weekend.
Willie Parker, ha. Game changer? Yes. Big time stats? Yes. But he's expected to do that...if he doesn't, that will be the story.
Bam! Let's take it up a notch!
You make a good point, one has to defy expectations. That's why I didn't pick Tom Brady, whose four TDs in a rout of Miami won't be special enough.
But then, you throw Hester at me? He's coming off of a two-huge-TD performance that almost won the game for the Bears. Do you think he's getting THREE this time? If he runs a punt back for a TD, he's done his job. If he runs two back, he's done his job real well. Heck, if he runs two back, and all Griese does is not throw an interception, Griese will get Game MVP because he exceeded expectations more!
Then there's the fact that Andy Reid hasn't exactly been known for his hubris. Brad Childress is afraid to be seen as a pansy, so he kept kicking to Hester. Reid might give him one chance, but won't get burned twice.
So while weekly MVPs USUALLY come from underdogs, if a member of the favorite puts on such a dominating performance that he practically singlehandedly puts the opposition away, he gets the award. 180-ish rushing yards ought to do the trick.
What you got? [accompanied by motorcycle revving noises]
First, don't bring this Reid isn't as mentally challenged as Childress argument at me...I've seen Reid make plenty of dicey calls. Including the whole "Oh, I don't need a running game, I'll just have my QB throw 800 times" philosophy.
Second, yes, Hester had a big game...but...Dan, come closer for this one...want to share a little secret with you....THEY LOST!!!! You can't get a MVP for the week when your team blows it. Yes, if they win that game, Hester is carried off on their shoulders and everyone is talking about how last weekend was his coming out party. But Peterson trumped him, and so instead we're all talking about what a beast Peterson is...and that sets the stage for something amazing...
At the pro level the difference in talent is minimal. Yes, the truly great players have more talent than a pratice squad player...but were' talking minor differences...not the difference between say, you playing a Halfback and Walter Payton...more like, the difference between you and me playing halfback (here's a shot in the dark, we'd both stink). What really seperates players at the pro level is competitivenes and drive. A great athlete wants to do anything to get his team the win...and when he comes ever so close and gets denied...that's when he reaches back in the bag for the extra pop he needs...
And so, yes, I agree that a favorite can take home the MVP when he has a HUGE game...but don't be shocked when Mr Hester breaks the key touchdown...and don't be shocked if he makes more plays than just returning kicks...get ready to be wowed...
And to keep with the theme of the day...
"We certainly hope you all enjoy the show. And remember, people, that no matter who you are and what you do to live, thrive and survive, there're still some things that makes us all the same. You. Me. Them. Everybody. Everybody."
I didn't say "not as mentally challenged," because he's the guy who didn't make any blocking adjustments when Osi Umenyiora was taking his QB into the dirt all day long. I just mean that every week, announcers say "I don't know why you'd kick it to him." It's the easiest call to make in the league, and Reid will call it right.
Yes, I'm well aware that the Bears lost - nowhere did I suggest that Hester was last week's MVP. I'm just saying the guy's averaging pretty close to a return TD every game, and it's not that much of a surprise when he gets one. If he adds a receiving TD, that's still the same as what he got last week. Not special. At least not Player of the Week special. Someone's going to do better.
So while I agree that Willie Parker might get stiffed out of the week MVP award he'll deserve, so will Hester for the same reason. Expectations are just too high.
Futhermore, how dare you suggest that I'd be a terrible halfback? I'm 6'2, can outrun most cement trucks, and only snap in half 30% of the time someone slams into me full-force.
Don't hurt me,
Oooh...you can outrun a cement truck? In first or second gear?
As for Reid not kicking to Hester...how does that not factor into his player of the week status? His job as a returner is to give the Bears god field position...by not kicking to the deep man...it means squibbing it or kicking it out of bounds...either way it gives the Bears good field position. Therefore, Devin Hester has done his job.
Now, I know what you're going to say..."But that won't make him player of the week"...that's only cause you're looking at it in a boring way...
If the Bears win, it will be because of 3 things...
Winning the field position battle.
Getting the big play.
Winning the turnover battle.
Hester can directly impact 2 of those 3. If the Bears win, it will be because of Hester. He's their highest scoring player, and their only home run threat. He's money in the bank.
Now before the many Steelers fans job on my back...Fast Willie should have a great game...I'm not denying, and I'm not putting down his importance to the Steelers. In fact, the reason he won't win the player of the week...the Steelers are too good, and favored...and that means player of the week is ripe to be stolen by someone else. And that man is the human highlight film (sorry Nique) Hester.
Running like I have a refridgerator on my back...over to you!
The Player of the Week is always going to be someone whose impact on a game was tangible. "He forced them to kick away, giving the Bears good field position all day" isn't nearly as compelling as "He threw for 4 touchdowns" or "He ran for 8 yards per carry, totalling 192 yards." Sadly, in today's media, it usually goes to the person with the highest fantasy score, which doesn't my case either, since Najeh Davenport will get the TDs.
I nominate we use Peter King's MMQB column to determine the actual Player of the Week. He's not fantasy-driven, and he once gave Mark Brunell co-Defensive PotW when he didn't play a single down, because of the awesome job he did in practice impersonating Drew Brees and preparing the Redskins' D to shut him down. So that gives you a fair shot that Devin Hester will win on intangibles.
And I didn't mean I could outrun a cement truck IN GEAR. What I meant was that I can run faster than a cement truck, which is effectively the same as saying I can outrun a sycamore.
See, you're underestimating my expectations for Hester....
200 return yards...80 recieving yards...20 yards rushing...13 yards passing...3 TDs.
Eagles 13 Bears 140....
And as a side bet Hester will break the sound barrier during one of his returns.
Oh, so not in gear...that's okay, I used to be known as "Faster than a Dead Rat Josh". Due to a bar bet, I had to prove it once, leading to an epic battle between myself and a dead bar rat. It was neck and neck for the first 15 yards, but I pulled away down the stretch and beat him by a nose.