Before I get started with my first blog of 2013, I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. I hope that everyone stayed safe when they went out last night celebrating. My wish for Camelclutchblog.com for 2013 is to be better than ever. I also hope that the entire year is much better for everyone than last year.
As every NFL fan knows, the 2012-13 regular season is over. For fans of the 20 teams who missed the playoffs, they are in mourning I am sure. Of course, being a fan of the game, I miss it also. Even though the NFL is a year round soap opera (see the massive “Black Monday” firings of GMs and Coaches), there is nothing like live NFL action, which will still be happening up to the Super Bowl in February.
Throughout the season, the talking heads were pushing which players should receive whatever AP (Associated Press) awards for the end of the year. One of the most debated was Offensive Rookie of the Year which had the commentators pushing either of the top 2 QBs, Robert Griffin III (Washington Redskins), or Andrew Luck (Indianapolis Colts). A third QB, Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks) came into the picture late.
Well, I am going to give my readers my winners for the NFL year-end honors, if I had a vote. I will give my winner, and the first runner up in each category, and explain my vote.
Well, time to get serious, so here we go:
NFL Coach of the Year
Winner: Bruce Arians/Chuck Pagano (Indianapolis Colts)
Runner Up: Leslie Frazier (Minnesota Vikings)
This is a no brainer. After hearing the news that Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano had to undergo treatment for cancer, the organization banded together, and threw their support behind their coach. Players, and cheerleaders shaved their heads.
Their rookie QB Andrew Luck had an excellent season, and WR Reggie Wayne had one of his best seasons. Bruce Arians, the offensive coordinator, moved in as the temporary Head Coach, and did a great job. Coach Pagano returned for the season finale, and the Colts, who were 2-14 last season, are now in the playoffs.
Leslie Frazier deserves a mention for getting the Vikings into the playoffs on the back of MVP candidate, Adrian Peterson, and managing QB Christian Ponder.
NFL Man of the Year
Winner: J. J. Watt ( Houston Texans)
Runner Up: Victor Cruz (New York Giants)
Besides being one of the premier pass rushers in the NFL for the Houston Texans, my pick for the NFL Man of the Year has a huge heart. ESPN did a piece on J.J. Watt and his friendship with the Berry Children from Texas when the three children were orphaned when they and their parents were in a bad accident, and the parents died. He has befriended the kids, and he is like a big brother. I just loved how there are still athletes out there that will take time to help fans.
Victor Cruz gets the runner up award for being a comfort to a family of one of the Newtown, CT victims who was a huge Giants fan, and was buried in a Victor Cruz jersey.
Comeback Player of the Year
Winner: Peyton Manning
Runner Up: Adrian Peterson
The winner and runner up can be interchangeable, honestly. I went with Peyton Manning because he was coming off a fourth neck surgery. Most reports said that he was going to be able to come back. Despite what ESPN’s Ron “Jaws” Jaworski is saying, none of the reports I have read ever said Peyton Manning was told his career was over. Of course, this is ESPN.
The question was how good would Peyton be this year? Well, the proof is in the pudding, and the Broncos finished with a 13-3 record and a #1 seed in the playoffs. That should answer the question.
Yes, I realize that runner up Adrian Peterson entered the season coming off an ACL, but as we saw, Adrian Peterson is not human. Let’s just leave it at that. He tore the ACL on Christmas eve in 2011. Peterson then went on to have the brilliant season he had this year, finishing the season with 2097 yards, 9 yards short of Eric Dickerson’s record. The man is just amazing.
Defensive Rookie of the Year
Winner: Chandler Jones (New England Patriots )
Runner Up: Bobby Wagner (Seattle Seahawks)
Honestly, I wish the media would spend more time on the defensive side of the ball. I nearly forgot about this category as far as the rookies.
Anyway, my DROY goes to the Patriots Chandler Jones. From the first week of the season, he has been a terror. He has missed a couple of games due to an ankle injury, but he is now back.
Bobby Wagner of the Seahawks gets my runner up vote. He is a leader, and a play maker for the team.
Offensive Rookie of the Year
Winner: Robert Griffin, III (Washington Redskins)
Runner Up: Alfred Morris (Washington Redskins)
This was a hard choice for me. We had three OROY candidates who play the QB position lead their teams to the playoffs, and the Washington Redskins had 2 candidates on their team, albeit one made his case a little late in the season.
That being said, and all were worthy, but my pick for OROY is RGIII. He is such a dynamic player. He is a defensive coordinator’s nightmare, because he can run and pass efficiently. I know he played hurt during the last few games, but he still showed his accuracy in passing, and in ball handling skills. I also realize he missed a game, and parts of another, but I feel he is the best candidate.
I felt Luck had too many interceptions. Russell came on a little too late, even though he had a remarkable year, and showed the sport that a short QB can succeed..
For me, it’s RGIII.
My runner up is RGIII’s fellow teammate, Alfred Morris. That young man ran angry, and racked up 1613 yards for the season. I thought it was a great job.
Defensive Player of the Year
Winner: J. J. Watt (Houston Texans)
Runner Up: Aldon Smith (San Fransisco 49ers)
I picked Mr. Watt of the Texans because his play this year could qualify him for MVP. He was fantastic. He is one menacing player. He has an amazing ability to jump, thus being a threat to bat the ball down. He had 20.5 sacks this past season. He really is a great defensive end, and I thought he had the best year for a defensive player.
Aldon Smith for the 49ers just missed the mark, even though he had a very good year also. He finished the year with 19.5 sacks.
Offensive Player of the Year
Winner: Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings)
Runner Up: Robert Griffin, III
My picking Peterson to me was a slam dunk. Let’s face it. Peterson is the OPOY because he pretty much is the offense for the Vikings. The man carried this team to the playoffs. Yes, Christian Ponder helped some, but the season was all on Peterson’s back.
Robert Griffin, III was a phenom this year. He is a threat as a runner, and as a passer. I have him as a runner up, because of his being a duel threat as an offensive weapon.
I hope you are enjoying my picks. I am sure I must have created a controversy over one or two picks.
Well, here is my pick for NFL MVP:
Winner: Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings)
Runners Up: Tom Brady (New England Patriots), Peyton Manning (Denver Broncos)
I did a lot of thinking on this, the most important category, the NFL MVP. I realize that this decision is not going to make some people happy, but this is my decision.
My decision to go with Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is because as I have been saying in this blog, Peterson carried this team. Peterson did all this coming off an ACL tear that happened on December 24, 2011. As his position is a running back, an ACL tear is quite devastating. Heck, an ACL is devastating to any athlete, but particularly a running back like Peterson, especially with his style of running. There was legitimate concern as to whether Peterson would start the season on time, or if he would even come back the same.
Well, as we all saw, he not only came back on time, but he came back just as good as if he never got injured. He just missed Eric Dickerson’s record by 9 yards. He is the MVP of the league because the Vikings do not win without him. Percy Harvin, their wide receiver got hurt. QB Christian Ponder is just decent. The Vikings absolutely depend on Adrian Peterson. In my mind, he is the MVP.
Now, to the runner ups. If Adrian Peterson did not have this extraordinary season, I would have picked Tom Brady of the New England Patriots as he once again had an MVP-caliber year, despite injuries to his main weapons on offense, and on defense. Brady also passed Johnny Unitas’ record of most consecutive games with a touchdown pass. All he has to do is catch Saints QB Drew Brees who has the record.
Now, folks are going to wonder why didn’t I listen to the Peyton Manning marks on ESPN, and NFL Network, and pick Manning? Well, I have a mind of my own for one thing. Two, I respect that he’s a great QB, and one of the best ever, but I don’t have to automatically agree with the experts just because he is Peyton Manning.
Now, the reason is that yes, like Adrian Peterson, Manning led his team to the playoffs. Like Peterson, Manning was coming off a serious injury. Like Peterson, Peyton had great numbers (105 passer rating, for example). That is all well and good.
Last year, the Vikings, even with Peterson, were a mess, considering they had a broken down McNabb,and it was Leslie Frazier’s first year as head coach, and Christian Ponder took over as QB. However, this year, and here is where Peterson has the upper hand, the Vikings don’t get into the playoffs without Peterson. Period.
What I am trying to say is that Peterson is the 2012 NFL MVP because I feel he was much more valuable to his team than any single player this year.
In closing, I hope that you enjoyed the blog.
Terri Bey currently blogs for CamelClutchBlog.com about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for F4WOnline.com. Terri can be found here at Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/TerriBey and at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/giopontifan