The time for awards has come so I felt the need to be selfish and give my winners for each award this season.
Most Valuable Player: QB Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
While there is a legitimate case for players like Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, and Jamaal Charles, the Denver Broncos without Peyton are an 8 win team at best. While all of the other three players teams would also suffer a huge loss without those players, they wouldn’t lose an extra 5-6 games without their own personal MVP. I won’t go too much into this, Peyton’s season has already been documented well enough.
Runner Up: QB Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Offensive Player of the Year: RB Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs
This could easily go to Peyton but I’m not a fan of multiple awards to the same player. Some may not be big fans of Charles, but they should be. Charles has the highest yards per attempt of any back in NFL history, he’s an amazing back who only got better under Andy Reid‘s West Coast offense in Kansas City. While he didn’t lead the NFL in rushing yards or yards from scrimmage, both are owned by Eagles running back LeSean McCoy, he had 8 more touchdowns than McCoy, and that is incredibly more valuable. Charles had 1,287 rushing yards (5.0 yards per carry) and 693 receiving yards (9.9 yards per reception) and was one of the most explosive players at any position in the NFL. In the NFL history only 14 other seasons have seen a running back match 1,900 yards from scrimmage and 19 total touchdowns:
– O.J. Simpson (1975)
– Eric Dickerson (1983)
– Emmitt Smith (1992, 1995)
– Terrell Davis (1998)
– Marshall Faulk (2000, 2001)
– Priest Holmes (2002, 2003)
– Ahman Green (2003)
– Larry Johnson (2005, 2006)
– Shaun Alexander (2005)
– LaDainian Tomlinson (2006)
While not as special as Adrian Peterson‘s 2012 season, this was a unique and special year for Charles.
Runner Up: RB LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles
Defensive Player of the Year: DE Robert Quinn, St. Louis Rams
Quinn is a player who has improved every year since entering the league in 2011 and finished 2013 2nd in sacks with 19.0 sacks. While he was half a sack shy of sack leader Robert Mathis (another deserving candidate) Quinn’s dominance extended beyond merely sacks. He hit the quarterback an additional 21 times and had 51 other pressures to go along with those. He did all this with fewer actual snaps than Mathis or JJ Watt. A lot of people have compared him to DeMarcus Ware and it’s not a bad comparison, both are complete defensive ends, guys who can consistently demolish offensive lines and get the quarterback as well as shut down the run game. If I had to pick one defensive end to start a team with, RIGHT NOW, Quinn would be my choice, with his youth, high potential and early, consistent success, he’s hard to ignore.
Runner Up: FS Earl Thomas, Seattle Seahawks
Comeback Player of the Year: QB Philip Rivers, San Diego
This award may be a bit unfair, even though 2012 was a “down” year for Rivers he was still 11th in the NFL last season in passer rating so while this isn’t so much a comeback year for him, it’s a “Prove the Haters Wrong” year for him. Rivers had one of his best seasons of his entire career under new head coach Mike McCoy, leading the NFL in completion percentage and had a season that would have been noticed by the media more had Peyton not broken every record for quarterbacks. Rivers had an amazing season, finishing in the top 3 of most major metrics and just demolished opposing defenses, despite his team going only 8-8, but 4 of those wins were comebacks by Rivers himself. A truly great year for a player many wrote off.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: WR Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers
Prior to the start of the season Allen was seen as the #4 wide receiver on the Chargers roster but after the loss of their two starting wide receivers, he and Eddie Royal took over and took off. Allen’s 1,046 yards ranks 11th all time for a rookie and his 8 touchdowns ties with guys like Julio Jones and Marvin Harrison. Allen also did all this without playing the full 16 games. Allen was a key part of the San Diego turn around this season and looks to be an even bigger part going forward as the rest of the Chargers receivers get healthy and take some attention away from him, giving him more space to work. A game changer, Allen was able to have good games against some of the best corners in the NFL.
Runner Up: G Larry Warford, Detroit Lions
Defensive Rookie of the Year: CB Desmond Trufant, Atlanta Falcons
Trufant had a truly great year on a team that had a truly bad season. Hard to say more, but he was a true shut down corner in the most literal sense of the word, allowing under 55% of targets his way to be caught and was tied with Richard Sherman in passes deflected, guy had a great season.
Coach of the Year: Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs
For years the Chiefs have been a talented team, what they lacked was a quality coach, and they got that in Reid. A coach whose scheme perfectly fit the personal he had and those he brought in (mostly Alex Smith), he changed the culture and the legacy of this Chiefs team, taking them to the playoffs after being the least successful team in the NFL just a year ago. Reid is almost unanimously seen as one of the top coaches in the NFL and rightly so. He took talented players who struggled to succeed and coached them up and melded them together into a team that was able to compete with the best and make the playoffs.
Runner Up: Bill Belicheck, New England Patriots
Well there you go, obviously people will disagree with me, but who cares, this is just my list, there really isn’t a wrong answer (unless you choose something just totally stupid of course).