With the playoffs in full swing, the time for award predictions is upon us. Will Brady edge out Vick to take the MVP, will Suh's dominance earn him the Defensive Rookie of the Year? Only time will tell, but here are my predictions for the 2011 NFL Awards.
Let's start with the big one, the most valuable player. This one is going to be a two horse race between Vick and Brady, but it shouldn't be. Vick had a good comeback year, and was definatly dominant at times, but he struggled throwing 6 picks in his last 5 games of the regular season, with the Eagles losing two of them. Brady on the other hand was outright spectacular for the vast majority of the year. Brady threw 36 TDs to only 4 INTs while leading the Patriots to an AFC title. Brady helped his team bounce back after tough loses to the Browns and the Jets and is my pick for this years MVP!
- 2nd - Michael Vick
- 3rd - Peyton Manning
Another close one to call, Arian Foster had a breakout year, putting up incredible numbers for an undrafted-free agent. Tom Brady and Michael Vick were also exceptional Brady threw for 3900 yards, 34 touchdowns and only 4 picks while Vick threw for 3000 yards along with another 600 yards rushing. Philip Rivers is also worth mentioning as he put up over 4700 yards through the air, with 30 tds. That being said, Arian Foster's 1616 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns blew them out of the water. Playing on a mediocre Texans team, Arian Foster had an incredible year and is my pick for offensive player!
- 2nd - Tom Brady
- 3rd - Michael Vick
2011 saw some spectacular defensive performances, such as Jerod Mayo's incredible 175 tackle season and Clay Matthew's 13.5 sack year, but DeMarcus Ware tops them all with a solid 15.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 66 tackles. DeMarcus Ware simply dominated offensive lines and struck fear into opposing quarterbacks. Although there are many deserving players this year, Ware is my prediction for the defensive player of the year award.
- 2nd - Clay Matthews
- 3rd - Troy Polamalu
I think this goes without saying. Sam Bradford is my pick for offensive player of the year. Although Legarrette Blount and Mike Williams both had very good years, Sam Bradford almost single handidly turned the St. Louis Rams into playoff contenders. Bradford threw for over 3500 yards with 18 TDs, all while bringing the Rams within one game of a playoff berth only one season after they went 1-15. In a QB dominated league, Sam Bradford did not look out of place and is my pick for offensive rookie of the year.
- 2nd - Legarrette Blount
- 3rd - Mike Williams
This is close decision, as both Suh and McCourty had very good rookie years. Devin McCourty finished his year with 82 tackles, 7 INTs and a sack, and was elected to the 2010 Pro Bowl as well as being named a first team All-Pro. Suh had an equally dominating year, with 66 tackles, 10 sacks, an INT, a FF and a defensive TD. Defensive tackle is not an easy position to play when making your transition from college to pro, but Suh simply dominated. Although both players were exceptional, Suh is my pick for defensive rookie of the year.
- 2nd - Devin McCourty
- 3rd - T.J Ward
Coach of the Year
The man is a genius, and deserves every ounce of credit he receives. On a team that lost its two starting running backs, and its top wide receiver, Bill Belichick still managed to run one of the leagues top offenses by picking up Danny Woodhead, Deion Branch and using Green-Ellis, Hernandez and Gronkowski to their full potential. Belichick coached the New England Patriots to the top spot in the AFC and is my pick for Coach of the year.
- 2nd - Mike McCarthy
- 3rd - Andy Reid