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09 Feb 2012

2011 Football Outsiders Awards

comments by Aaron Schatz

Welcome to the results of the ninth annual Football Outsiders Awards -- the best and worst players of the year, as voted on by you, our readers. For those curious about past years, you will find links to each of the previous FO Awards articles on this page.

Who is your choice as Offensive MVP for 2011? (Last year's winner: Tom Brady)

63.1% Aaron Rodgers
29.4% Drew Brees
7.5% Tom Brady

We had a few people who wanted more than three choices for this award, but were there really any other choices? What we had here were three quarterbacks having three of the best quarterback seasons of all-time. Yes, Rob Gronkowski had the best tight end season of all-time, but even the best tight end isn't going to be as valuable as a top quarterback.

Who is your choice as Defensive MVP for 2011? (Last year's winner: Clay Matthews)


40.1% Justin Smith
16.5% Jason Pierre-Paul
16.1% Jared Allen
9.9% Haloti Ngata
6.7% Darrelle Revis
6.1% Johnathan Joseph
3.4% DeMarcus Ware
0.6% Jason Babin
0.6% Troy Polamalu

OK, so, where was Terrell Suggs? This one was my fault, because I didn't put him on the ballot. I must admit, I didn't realize that Suggs was considered the top candidate for the AP's official Defensive Player of the Year award. Four different players had more sacks than Suggs, although Suggs put up great all around numbers by adding eight passes defensed, two picks, and seven forced fumbles. In general, I try to only list one player per team in the FO awards balloting in order to prevent splitting the vote, and we're all big fans of the idea that defensive tackles are underrated in general, and that Haloti Ngata is pretty awesome in specific. So Ngata ended up on the list instead of Suggs. Had I realized that Suggs would win the official award, I would have had him on the ballot. I'm assuming that the most votes would have gone to Justin Smith anyway, as he won this balloting by a healthy margin.

Who is your choice as NFL Rookie of the Year for 2011? (Last year's winner: Ndamukong Suh)


67.4% Cam Newton
10.3% Von Miller
8.7% A.J. Green
6.9% Aldon Smith
3.3% J.J. Watt
1.5% Doug Baldwin
1.4% Patrick Peterson
0.6% Ryan Kerrigan

This is an even bigger slam dunk than last year, when Ndamukong Suh won with 55.7 percent of the vote.

Who was the best offensive lineman of 2011? (open question, two votes per ballot, top 14 listed) (Last year's winner: Joe Thomas)


13.6% Carl Nicks (LG, NO)
12.1% Jason Peters (LT, PHI)
12.1% Joe Thomas (LT, CLE)
9.3% Jahri Evans (RG, NO)
5.3% Nick Mangold (C, NYJ)
4.7% Joe Staley (LT, SF)
4.4% Chris Myers (C, HOU)
4.2% Logan Mankins (LG, NE)
3.3% Jake Long (LT, MIA)
2.9% Marshal Yanda (RG, BAL)
2.8% Eric Winston (RT, HOU)
2.1% Duane Brown (LT, HOU)
2.1% Matt Light (LT, NE)
2.1% Brian Waters (RG, NE)

Carl Nicks is the first guard to take the top spot in our awards balloting since Alan Faneca back in 2004. The Houston and New England lines get a lot of love here, without one particular player standing out for either team.

Who is your choice for NFL Coach of the Year in 2011? (Last year's winner: Bill Belichick)


77.1% Jim Harbaugh
7.4% Mike McCarthy
7.0% Bill Belichick
3.1% Jim Schwartz
1.8% John Harbaugh
1.3% Sean Payton
1.1% Mike Munchak
1.1% Mike Tomlin

Wowee zowee. Now that is a win. I went back and looked at all eight of our previous award listings. Bill Belichick won coach of the year a couple of times by slightly over 50 percent, but no coach has ever come within 25 percentage points of the 77.1 percent of the votes that Jim Harbaugh got this year for turning around the San Francisco 49ers.

Who is your choice for the Bill Arnsparger Award for Coordinator of the Year? (Last year's winner: Dom Capers)


51.0% Wade Phillips, HOU defense
13.5% Vic Fangio, SF defense
10.6% Rob Chudzinski, CAR offense
7.2% Joe Philbin, GB offense
5.3% Mike McCoy, DEN offense
4.3% Pete Carmichael, NO offense
3.7% Chuck Pagano, BAL defense
3.0% Bill O'Brien, NE offense
1.4% Mel Tucker, JAC defense

The turnaround of the Houston defense was very impressive, but I must admit to being a little surprised that there weren't more votes for the three coordinators who ran those three record-setting offenses. I guess many fans probably think that Mike McCarthy, Sean Payton, and Bill Belichick may have a lot to say about how those offenses are structured. We also got lots of votes for Rob Chudzinski, who shepherded Cam Newton into the NFL with an offense tailored to his strengths and brought the Panthers from 32nd in offensive DVOA to fourth in one season.

Who is your choice for the Keep Choppin' Wood Award for 2011 (player who most hurt his team)? (Last year's winner: Brett Favre)


29.9% Chris Johnson
23.5% Santonio Holmes
16.3% Caleb Hanie
12.0% Blaine Gabbert
9.1% Albert Haynesworth
4.5% Terence Newman
2.5% Eric Smith
2.3% Guy Whimper

Take your pick: The player who didn't seem to be trying very hard for most of the season, or the player who got all moody and petulant at the end of the season?

Who is your choice for the Keep Choppin' Game Film Award for the worst coach of 2011? (Last year's winner: Mike Singletary)


27.8% Juan Castillo, PHI defensive coordinator
22.5% Raheem Morris, TB head coach
20.3% Jim Caldwell, IND head coach
10.7% Todd Haley, KC head coach
9.7% Norv Turner, SD head coach
7.2% Brian Schottenheimer, NYJ offensive coordinator
1.8% Steve Spagnuolo, STL head coach

You know I totally agree with this choice. Juan Castillo's defenses for the first half of the year were horrific. Players were totally out of position, guys like Casey Matthews were playing when they weren't ready to be on the field, all kinds of crazy things were going on. And yet... on Numbers Never Lie, when we did a segment on the Eagles' decision to bring Castillo back, I had to grudgingly admit that it wasn't such a terrible decision. The Eagles ranked 23rd in defensive DVOA for the first half of the season. From Week 10 on, they ranked fourth. Their late-season surge would have been even more impressive if their offense had played better. The offense actually got worse in the second half, partly because Vince Young was running it for a while. So for a few weeks there, Juan Castillo's defense was actually carrying the Eagles. And yet, he was still bad enough as a coordinator for half a season to deserve this award anyway.

Who is your choice for the Art Rooney Jr. Award for Executive(s) of the Year? (Last year's winner: Ted Thompson)


23.9% Rick Smith, HOU
18.0% Ted Thompson, GB
17.5% Trent Baalke, SF
16.8% Mike Brown, CIN
11.1% Martin Mayhew, DET
6.2% Ozzie Newsome, BAL
4.0% John Schneider, SEA
2.6% Howie Roseman, PHI

Voting on this award was very even, with no clear favorite. A lot of executives put together good and/or very improved teams this season. Then you have Mike Brown, normally considered one of the worst executives in the league. He does deserve a lot of credit for winning the bluffing game between him and Carson Palmer, and getting some pretty good draft picks out of Oakland for a player he wasn't going to use. The Bengals also had an excellent 2011 draft. 

Who is your choice for the John Elway Award for disappointing highly-drafted rookie who turns things around with an impressive sophomore season? (Last year's winner: Josh Freeman)


28.6% Demaryius Thomas
18.4% Tim Tebow
15.5% Anthony Davis
12.9% Sean Weatherspoon
8.6% C.J. Spiller
8.0% Terrence Cody
4.4% Kyle Wilson
3.7% Jared Odrick

The interesting thing about Thomas is that his regular season consisted of just five good weeks. Still recovering from last year's injuries, he didn't take the field until Week 7. In Weeks 7-12, Thomas caught 7 of 22 passes for 103 yards, with -34.6% DVOA. In Weeks 13-17, he caught 25 of 48 passes for 448 yards and 9.8% DVOA. And, of course, he was huge in the playoffs.

Who was the least deserving pick for the Pro Bowl on offense (not including injury replacements): (open question, top 10 listed) (Last year's winner: Matt Ryan)


16.9% Philip Rivers
13.0% Frank Gore
9.1% Brandon Marshall
8.4% D'Brickashaw Ferguson
7.6% John Kuhn
5.1% Antonio Gates
4.7% Davin Joseph
4.5% Jermon Bushrod
4.1% Maurkice Pouncey
3.7% Ben Roethlisberger

Once again, we got a lot of votes for people like Andy Dalton who were injury or Super Bowl replacements, rather than players who were originally named to the Pro Bowl. We even got votes for Tim Tebow, who wasn't anywhere near the Pro Bowl roster. (He was something like third alternate.) I tossed those votes out, so these percentages are solely based on players who technically fit the category.

It wasn't Philip Rivers' best year, although I'm not sure who should have gone to the Pro Bowl instead of him. Six of the top seven quarterbacks by passing DYAR were in the NFC this season. Matt Schaub was certainly better on a per-play basis, but he was injured half the year.

I don't understand the votes for John Kuhn at all. What am I missing?

Who was the least deserving pick for the Pro Bowl on defense (not including injury replacements): (open question, top 10 listed) (Last year's winner: Brandon Meriweather)


15.5% Ray Lewis
14.4% B.J. Raji
12.3% Dwight Freeney
8.1% Champ Bailey
8.1% Charles Woodson
4.9% Troy Polamalu
4.9% Brian Urlacher
4.2% Charles Tillman
3.8% Clay Matthews
3.2% Andre Carter

I guess when there's no obvious pick for a mistaken Pro Bowl pick, we go back to basics. When it comes to the concept of "overrated," the basics means picking Ray Lewis even though Ray Lewis honestly hasn't been overrated for something like eight years. He's very good, but not great, but nobody really thinks of him as great anymore. I'm not sure who should have gone instead. The two most egregious oversights at middle linebacker were both in the NFC, NaVorro Bowman and London Fletcher. They could have taken Brian Cushing, I guess, but I don't know if Cushing is really any better than Lewis. Same with David Harris of the Jets.

The most overrated special teams player in the NFL is: (open question, top eight listed) (Last year's winner: Devin Hester)


15.1% David Akers
12.2% Devin Hester
8.4% Adam Vinatieri
7.0% Bill Cundiff
3.8% Sebastian Janikowski
3.8% Matt Prater
3.5% Josh Cribbs
3.5% DeSean Jackson

Hey, look! Devin Hester didn't win for the first time in four years. Instead, he finished second. FO readers know that while David Akers is a good kicker, opportunity doesn't equal quality.

The most deserving offensive player left off the original Pro Bowl roster is: (open question, top 10 listed) (Last year's winner: Aaron Rodgers)


14.8% Matthew Stafford
14.6% Victor Cruz
11.3% Cam Newton
10.0% Jordy Nelson
5.7% Marshawn Lynch
5.0% Chris Myers
3.9% Tony Romo
3.3% Aaron Hernandez
2.8% Eric Winston
2.6% (tie) Vernon Davis and Darren Sproles

One year later, picking Matt Ryan for the Pro Bowl over Aaron Rodgers a year ago looks even more ridiculous. On the other hand, I'm not sure who Matthew Stafford was supposed to replace on this year's roster. He had slightly more DYAR than Eli Manning, after the last few weeks, I think putting Eli Manning on the Pro Bowl roster looks like a good call. Besides, if you want to go by FO stats, Tony Romo was the third-best quarterback in the NFC, not Stafford or Manning.

I would have been fine with Victor Cruz or Jordy Nelson making it over Steve Smith, though.

The most deserving defensive player left off the original Pro Bowl roster is: (open question, top 10 listed) (Last year's winner: Tramon Williams)


17.2% London Fletcher
10.2% Julius Peppers
8.5% NaVorro Bowman
6.5% Geno Atkins
6.2% Aldon Smith
4.7% J.J. Watt
3.2% Brian Cushing
2.5% Kam Chancellor
2.5% Ryan Clark
2.5% James Harrison

Fletcher finally got to go to Hawaii this year, as an injury replacement for Brian Urlacher.

The most underrated special teams player in the NFL is: (open question, top eight listed) (Last year's winner: Sebastian Janikowski)


33.2% Devin Hester
6.4% Joe McKnight
5.8% Ted Ginn
4.1% Zoltan Mesko
3.1% Matt Prater
2.4% Rob Bironas
2.4% Josh Cribbs
2.4% Jon Ryan

Yes, Devin Hester is simultaneously overrated and underrated. I guess people chose him since he was left off the Pro Bowl roster. The Pro Bowl folks could solve this problem by inviting separate kickoff and punt returners rather than just one guy for both positions. They really are separate positions, after all.

Which is your choice for Game of the Year in 2011? (Last year's choice: Philadelphia 38, NewYork Giants 31 in Week 15)


53.2% Divisional Round: New Orleans 32 at San Francisco 36
9.5% Wild Card: Pittsburgh 23 at Denver 29 (OT)
6.7% NFC Championship: New York Giants 20 at San Francisco 17 (OT)
6.5% Week 1: New Orleans 34 at Green Bay 42
4.6% Week 13: Green Bay 38 at New York Giants 35
4.6% AFC Championship: Baltimore 20 at New England 23
4.5% Week 14: New York Giants 37 at Dallas 34
10.4% Other

Player most likely to breakout in 2012 (open question, top 12 listed): (Last year's winner: Sam Bradford)


4.9% Matt Flynn
4.5% Julio Jones
3.3% Sam Bradford
3.3% Andy Dalton
3.3% Cam Newton
2.7% DeMarco Murray
2.3% Jake Locker
2.1% Randall Cobb
2.1% C.J. Spiller
1.9% Tim Tebow
1.9% Titus Young
Seven players tied at 1.6%

It will be interesting to see which team takes a shot at Matt Flynn next year, but as we wrote a few weeks ago, there's no record of a quarterback having a game like he had in Week 17 and not putting together a successful career.

Player most likely to significantly decline in 2012 (open question, top 12 listed): (Last year's winner: Michael Vick)


10.7% Tim Tebow
8.8% Ray Lewis
6.8% Cam Newton
4.9% Frank Gore
3.7% Aaron Rodgers
3.5% Maurice Jones-Drew
3.5% Adrian Peterson
2.9% Victor Cruz
2.9% Michael Turner
2.7% Andy Dalton
2.5% Eli Manning
2.5% Willis McGahee

This category usually has some pretty obvious choices. Last year's top two were Michael Vick and Brandon Lloyd. However, Tom Brady and Ray Lewis finished third and fourth, and they were pretty much as good in 2011 as they were the year before. As for Tim Tebow -- can you decline from a 45 percent completion rate? That's got to be pretty tough.

Which of the following teams is most likely next year's surprise Super Bowl contender? (Last year's choice: Detroit)


35.0% Carolina
16.2% Miami
15.6% Seattle
10.2% Kansas City
7.7% Arizona
3.6% St. Louis
3.1% Washington
2.7% Buffalo
2.3% Tampa Bay
1.4% Minnesota
1.2% Jacksonville
1.0% Cleveland

In Cam Newton we trust, plus you have to figure the Carolina defense will improve from being last in the league. I don't know if that makes a Super Bowl contender, but it should make for a team that chases after a wild card.

Which playoff team is most likely to miss the playoffs in 2012? (Last year's choice: Seattle)


54.5% Denver
19.3% Cincinnati
7.1% Atlanta
5.6% Pittsburgh
3.8% New York Giants
3.3% San Francisco
2.9% Detroit
1.5% Houston
1.1% Baltimore
0.5% New England
0.3% New Orleans
0.1% Green Bay

Yeah, the FO readership aren't big believers in Tebow Magic.

The "Get Your Story Straight" Award for best commercial during NFL games this year goes to:
(Last year's choice: Old Spice Ray Lewis campaign)


24.9% Google with the Muppets "Under Pressure"
23.1% Call of Duty: Modern Warfare "veteran vs. n00b"
15.8% Playstation 3 "For Michael"
15.0% Nissan Leaf "What if everything ran on gas?"
13.2% State Farm "That thing does not like Dwayne."
8.1% Volkswagen "Rocket Man"

The "John Mellencamp Must Die" Award for most annoying commercial during NFL games this year goes to:
(Last year's choice: Miller Lite "More Taste or Less Taste")


28.8% Miller Lite "Second unmanly thing you did today."
18.2% Geico "Brian Orakpo plays fake Scrabble."
15.2% Fiat featuring Jennifer Lopez
12.7% State Farm "Discount Double Check"
11.3% Coors Light "Beer Coaches"
9.8% Napa Know-How
4.1% Tostitos talking bag

Muppets, you rule. Miller Lite, you suck. Man card? Forget it, we're revoking your "intelligent human" cards.

We apologize for the lack of a "funniest moment of the season" award this year. We tried to rack our brains and we couldn't come up with a lot of really funny moments from the 2011 season. We had no "Hard Knocks," and we had no fat guys returning kickoffs. I guess we were all so happy that the lockout ended that nobody remembered to do anything goofy.

That does it for the 2011 Football Outsiders Awards. Once again, thanks to all the readers for voting. Next stop: The offseason!

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 09 Feb 2012

139 comments, Last at 26 Apr 2013, 4:45pm by ChatRandom

Comments

1
by are-tee :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 12:40pm

I must have been the only one to vote for David Harris as" most deserving defensive player left off the original Pro Bowl roster". I would have thought he'd get at least 2.5% of the vote.

13
by Travis :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 1:26pm

There were at least two of us.

55
by RickD :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 4:31pm

I may have voted for "somebody from the Jets." Either that or I voted for Harris with a remark that the defense needed to have somebody (other than Revis) from the Jets. I don't remember exactly which I did.

2
by GTW (not verified) :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 12:41pm

After seeing Suggs wasn't included on your ballot I stopped reading. As a Ravens fan it was easy to see Ngata's performance tail off drastically during the second half of the season due to a leg injury. Although I don't think Suggs was a clear DPOTY winner, including Ngata over him is indefensible.

5
by Independent George :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 1:03pm

I agree he should have been on the ballot, but I'm still dumbfounded the AP DPOY didn't go to Justin Smith, and it seems a lot of people here agree with me. I mean no disrespect to Suggs, but I think that was the worst vote since Shaun Alexander over Steve Smith for MVP in 2005.

Was Jason Pierre Paul's rookies season not disappointing enough to be considered for the Elway award?

17
by VarlosZ :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 1:36pm

Re: JPP

Yeah, I would think he qualifies. I guess it's because he got a lot of press for "coming on" at the end of last season, though at the time I thought he had a total nothing year and was just the beneficiary of some small sample size-luck (one very fluky two-sack game, followed by one legitimately good two-sack game, plus he knocked down a bunch of passes, which apparently is just something he's awesome at doing).

Of course, given what we know now, chances are he really was coming on at the end of last year (even though he accomplished squat for the first 2/3 of it).

107
by radar (not verified) :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 1:20pm

Who really expected JPP to start his pro career off with a bang, though? Virtually everyone knew how limited his football experience was coming in - that's why he was a somewhat controversial choice by the Giants. Most people thought he was an archetypal boom-or-bust guy. He barely played early in the season because, of course, the Giants are fairly deep at DE. Most people thought it would take him a couple of seasons before he knew what he was doing out there.

3
by Karl Cuba :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 12:48pm

When three quarterbacks simultaneously have 'the best season of all time' it is probably at least partly due to something systemic.

4
by tuluse :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 12:52pm

I think the people voting for Urlacher and Clay Mathews as not deserving to be in the pro bowl are silly.

40
by JasonK :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 3:09pm

I suspect that the Urlacher voters simply preferred a different one of the many deserving NFC MLB/ILBs. It's a function of there only being 2 PB spots (and only 1 starting spot) to go between Willis, Urlacher, Bowmann, Fletcher, etc.

95
by Mr Shush :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 6:12am

Probably ditto for some of the Lewis voters: it's not that Lewis was bad, it's that Cushing was obviously better (and maybe Harris too).

6
by Karl Cuba :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 1:13pm

Hmmm, when I voted for Justin Smith as DMVP I did it as a homer 49ers fan vote, assuming that Jared Allen and his 22 sacks for an awful pass defense would get a big turnout. I really don't understand why everyone has fallen in love with Smith all of a sudden. Don't get me wrong, I think he's a really great player but he's been playing like this for three years and been relatively ignored before this season. Does nobody watch teams that aren't winning?

Even as a niners devotee I can't understand how 4.7% of FO readers think Joe Staley is one of the top linemen in the NFL. He's a solid left tackle but there are better players.

If I'd have realised that Raji made the pro-bowl I would have an easier time thinking of who to pick for the overrated defender pick. He's big and agile but has short arms and doesn't play with great strength because he doesn't bend his knees. I get the feeling that his reputation was aided by Collingsworth gushing over him in the season opener in a game where he really didn't get much done.

A look at the game of the year voting has made me realise that if the niners had beaten the Giants and then maybe even beaten New England then their title would have looked rather streaky anyway; a last minute shootout versus the Saints, overtime against the Giants and presumably a close game with the Pats. It should have been more flukey than a colossal cetacean.

8
by bigtencrazy (not verified) :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 1:18pm

Karl

As I allude to my post below, allegedly BJ stopped getting low in his stance and play with leverage because he was wore out a third of the way through the season.

14
by Independent George :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 1:31pm

Don't get me wrong, I think he's a really great player but he's been playing like this for three years and been relatively ignored before this season. Does nobody watch teams that aren't winning?

It's funny you mention this, but no, I don't ever remember watching Smith before this season, and was utterly dumbfounded by how dominant he looked. I actually asked about him in one of the game threads - I vaguely remembered him in Cincinnati back during Carson Palmer's breakout season, but not much.

Living in Chicago, we typically get 1-2 Niners games broadcast per season, with the first being the mandatory night game, and the second being if they played the Bears. Even then, I usually didn't have much interest in watching them. This year was an absolute revelation for me - the only other player I ever saw regularly toss 300-pound linemen around like ragdolls was Reggie White in his prime. The only other player I saw dominate his position like that this season was Revis, and I think Smith plays the more important position.

I got to see Jared Allen many times, and he had a great year, but Smith was absolutely terrifying, sack numbers be damned.

18
by Will Allen :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 1:38pm

What I love about both of those guys is the level of effort they maintain, in a unit, defensive line, which is extraordinarily taxing. I'd give Smith the edge in that department, however.

19
by tuluse :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 1:38pm

I actually do remember him absolutely destroying the Bears in 2009 I think. However, I wrote it off as the Bears offensive line was so putrid. My thought process was that Smith was a nice player who benefited that day from playing against Frank Omiyale.

21
by Will Allen :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 1:44pm

Smith line up inside a good chunk of the game, and just whipped Steve Hutchinson of the Vikings in 2009. Now, the nagging injuries had started to take their toll on the perennial Pro Bowler by 2009, but he was still a darned effective player. Smith overpowered him.

23
by Independent George :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 1:50pm

Exactly - I've seen Cutler hit & sacked so many times the last few years that I barely even noticed who is doing it anymore. Smith just didn't register for me until this season, when I saw him up against actual professional-level competition. I wasn't even looking for him specifically, but it's hard not to notice someone regularly putting 300+ pound offensive linemen on their backs.

Jared Allen has dramatically improved his all-around game, and I might have voted for him in any other season, but Smith's sheer physical dominance just blew my mind.

96
by Mr Shush :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 6:15am

I'm not at all convinced 3-4 DE is more important than CB.

Smith was amazing, but I voted for Revis and would also have voted for Allen ahead of him, not least for that reason.

15
by Will Allen :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 1:34pm

It wasn't just that Smith was playing for a team that wasn't winning. He was also playing for a team that had not won much for nearly a decade, and on the West Coast as well. Bad teams on the West Coast just disappear in the national media, and without any attention from the national media, even terrific players can get lost, especially linemen.

Extremely few people, even among rabid NFL fans, see enough games to have a very informed opinion about which linemen are playing the best. I know I don't.

29
by drobviousso :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 2:23pm

FWIW, I learned about Justin Smith a few years ago when people said that he was the best 3-4 DE in the league now that Arron Smith is falling off a cliff. I went and watched a few games, and yeah, he's been good for a few years.

It might have been you talking about him. Not sure.

7
by bigtencrazy (not verified) :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 1:15pm

Minor item: I think in some of the headings you have 2011 where you mean 2012

Agreed with Tuluse. Urlacher was great this season. Clay was constantly double and sometimes triple teamed and still made a lot of plays. Those votes are just dumb.

Thrilled to see JJ Watt doing so well in the NFL.

Raji is the least deserving defensive player in the Pro Bowl and it's not close. I am sympathetic to folks who state that BJ just wore out early because of the Packers only playing 2 down linemen a lot of the time. And BJ did play a lot of snaps. But after about game 5 he was playing pattycake on defense. I don't know how a guy gets on the Pro Bowl when along with hardly making any tackles/stops/pressures he's not even commanding a double team.

9
by Aaron Schatz :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 1:19pm

Whoops! Thanks. Fixed that.

78
by Arkaein :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 7:12pm

I think Raji making the Pro Bowl is mainly an indication that it's really a lagging indicator of performance. Players often get in the year after they should have. Especially if they come off of good late season or post-season performances. Raji's NFCCG pick-6 certainly gained him some Pro Bowl votes for this season.

Raji was snubbed last year (7 sacks, key player against both run and pass on a top defense), but got selected this year instead when he didn't deserve it.

Clay was deserving this year, even if it was a bit of a down year for him. Less sacks than in previous years, but lots of knockdowns in fewer pass rush opportunities due to increased responsibilities and performance against the run and in coverage.

Bottom line, most people, and I'd argue most players and coaches (who mainly watch film of upcoming opponents and especially players in their division) don't really have a clue who is playing the best at any position that isn't supported by a lot of stats. Word gets around slowly and is often out-of-date.

11
by Thunderbolt of ... :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 1:19pm

I think the votes against John Kuhn aren't against him in particular, but against the inclusion of a FB on the Pro Bowl roster in general. FBs are on the field for a minority of snaps and really aren't a vital part of any team's game plan anymore. Kuhn may absorb the anti-love because he plays for a team with national exposure and has a personal fan reaction ("Kuuuuuuuhn!"), thus making him seem overrated considering his actual impact on the games.

Also, I'd take issue with David Akers being overrated. While his big numbers were due to opportunity, and FG accuracy comes and goes, his kickoffs were solid all year. In FO's numbers, the 49ers' FGs, XPs, and kickoffs together were worth 13.1 points, tops in the NFC (Tennessee and Cincinnati were the only better kicking teams). It's not silly to think of him as one of the top few kickers in the league, which I think is where most people "rate" him.

12
by Aaron Schatz :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 1:22pm

Reasonable. And I should have noted this above, the two kickers who were clearly better than him this year on a per-FG basis were both in the AFC, Janikowski and Bironas.

It was a bit of an odd year in that no kicker really excelled on both kickoffs and field goals. SF's kickoff rating is more about coverage than it is about Akers.

50
by Dan :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 3:55pm

I didn't pick Kuhn (I went with Davin Joseph), but he would've been my second choice as least deserving offensive Pro Bowler and it would have been a vote against him personally. He's a fan favorite and a classic "fullback who makes the Pro Bowl because he gets the ball the most", not a Pro Bowl caliber player. He's nothing special with the ball (he had 24 DYAR this season: 2 rushing + 22 receiving), and according to Pro Football Focus's numbers he was bad at his main job, which is blocking.

62
by Eddo :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 5:02pm

I did vote for Kuhn, and this is why. When I see him play, he doesn't really impress me. But he gets a lot of opportunities to score because Rodgers likes to spread the ball around a lot, particularly in the red zone.

65
by TomC :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 5:04pm

Seconded. I would turn the question around to Aaron and ask: "What are *we* missing?" I.e., what about Kuhn's play makes him remotely Pro-Bowl-worthy? Shouldn't the Pro Bowl fullback either be a quality offensive weapon or part of a devastating running attack? Kuhn is clearly neither.

73
by RickD :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 6:48pm

Kuhn was pretty good at vulturing TDs for fantasy points.

88
by justanothersteve :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 10:34pm

I also voted for Kuhn and I'm a Packers fan. I don't know who else I would have picked at FB. But I voted for Kuhn for the same reasons. He's a good blocker, a good runner, a good receiver out of the backfield. Nothing stands out. I'm glad for him for making the roster. I just expect more out of a Pro Bowl player.

10
by TTP (not verified) :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 1:19pm

Count me in as someone who voted for Smith but would have voted for Suggs had he been on the ballot. As much as it pains me to admit as a Steelers fan, Suggs was pretty awesome this year. Of course, he's always great against the Steelers. But, I saw several other Raven's games and he was dominant.

16
by Independent George :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 1:34pm

I actually think Tim Tebow will significantly improve his passing numbers next season, but the Broncos will finish the season below .500. Pundits will jump from "he just wins games" to "He needs more support".

35
by tunesmith :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 2:48pm

That sounds reasonable. I did a WPA analysis of the Broncos' plays this season, and was struck at how Denver's "positive big plays" were so much more valuable than their "negative big plays". In fact, Denver's top ten "big plays" were all positive. (And, they were all after Tebow got the starting position.) I guess you could put that on Tebow's impact/influence, but you could also say that Denver outperformed their talent this season and that that is not likely to continue. In other words, I think it's quite possible that Denver could improve their talent next season and end up with a worse record.

I also think that an argument could be made that Ryan Clady was the least deserved pro bowl inclusion on offense, although I don't remember if he was an alternate. He apparently had an awful year, in pressures, penalties (worst on our line), and especially run blocking.

20
by InTheBoilerRoom :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 1:41pm

I must have been alone in thinking that Gronkowski will significantly decline from the greatest season ever for a TE. I mostly chose him because a) it is highly likely that someone that posted a "greatest season ever" will not be able to match that and I consider a drop from "greatest season ever" down to "good season" to be a significant decline, and b) I foresee next year's passing number dropping across the board.

It also seems to me that many of the players selected to significantly decline didn't even play well enough this year to significantly decline. Did Tebow really play well enough to significantly decline from? I see him playing exactly the same next year, and the Broncos finishing 6-10. Guys like Newton, Dalton, and Cruz seem like logical choices, though.

22
by Grateful Reds (not verified) :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 1:49pm

Love to see the players, coaches & voters broken out by geography? East Coast bias?

26
by Independent George :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 2:08pm

Say what? Here's the geographic distribution of the award winners:

MVP: Wisconsin
DPOY: California
ROY: North Carolina
OL: Louisiana
HC: California
Coordinator: Texas
KCW: Tennessee
KCF: Pennsylvania
Exec: Texas
Elway: Colorado
Least Deserving Pro Bowl (Offense): California
Least Deserving Pro Bowl (Defense): Maryland
Overrated Special Teams: Illinois
Pro Bowl Snub (Offense): Michigan
Pro Bowl Snub (Defense): DC
Underrated Special Teams: Illinois
Game of the Year: Louisiana, California
2012 Breakout: Wisconsin
2012 Decline: Colorado
2012 Surprise Contender: North Carolina
2012 Miss Playoffs: Colorado

I count exactly 5 awards out of 21 going to the East Coast (Rookie of the Year, Keep Choppin' Wood, Least Deserving Pro Bowl (Defense), Pro Bowl Snub (Defense), 2012 Surprise Playoff Team. 10 out of 32 teams are on the East Coast.

24
by Michael LaRocca (not verified) :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 1:50pm

Yes We Cam.

Not sure how my Panthers can be considered a surprise contender next year. The only surprise would be if we didn't make the playoffs. In which case we didn't do something about our lack of a defense during the offseason.

Don't you love how I say "my" and "our" as if I had anything to do with it? What a homer.

28
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 2:19pm

Will that offset the likely increase in schedule difficulty? Carolina had the easiest schedule of any team who finished .500 or below last year. You also play in a division with NO and ATL, which will likely be good for 3-4 losses there alone.

25
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 2:00pm

On the other hand, I'm not sure who Matthew Stafford was supposed to replace on this year's roster. He had slightly more DYAR than Eli Manning, after the last few weeks, I think putting Eli Manning on the Pro Bowl roster looks like a good call.

"Sorry Matt, despite passing for the 4th most yards in a season in NFL history, playing without any semblance of running attack, and taking the 8-40 Detroit Lions to the playoffs, we think you're less worthy of the Pro Bowl than a rookie on a 6-10 team. And the other other Manning. And possibly that minor college QB down in Dallas."

Maybe he just needs to liquor himself more frequently, so people will mistake him for Bobby Layne.

27
by Travis :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 2:15pm

... passing for the 4th most yards in a season in NFL history ...

At the time the Pro Bowl selections were announced, Stafford had the 4th most passing yards in the NFC.

31
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 2:30pm

I realize. (He also had a 10 TD lead on Eli, and a better record) I'm ridiculing the end of year statement that Cruz was arguably the larger snub. The same Victor Cruz whom the Giants consider their 3rd best WR.

I'm also ridiculing Stafford being passed over not for Eli, but for Cam Newton. Newton started with a bang, but did not much of note after the bye week.

33
by Travis :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 2:46pm

Cam Newton didn't make the original Pro Bowl roster. Any vote for Stafford being snubbed meant that he should have been picked over one of Rodgers, Brees, or Manning.

"The same Victor Cruz whom the Giants consider their 3rd best WR."

They do?

44
by JasonK :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 3:22pm

He started the season 4th on the depth chart (Nicks, Manningham, Hixon). Then Hixon blew out his knee, Cruz got some playing time, and the rest is history.

69
by Goathead (not verified) :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 5:59pm

Cruz had one pass directed his way in wk 1, an easy 3rd down completion and he dropped it. At the time, the comment was made "Eli may not give him another chance". Hixon & Manningham got hurt in wk 2, and the giants picked up Brandon Stokley because they had little confidence in Cruz.

The fact that the team didn't trust him makes what Cruz did in wks 3-17 even more impressive.

54
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 4:27pm

Apparently so.

7 starts, which, considering he had fewer starts than Ballard, and that the Giants spend a decent amount of time in the I-formation, indicate he's formation-wise the 3rd WR. He did lead the team in receptions and yards, though. He's a lot like Jordy Nelson, numbers-wise.

56
by RickD :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 4:44pm

So...correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Victor Cruz lead the Giants in yardage and receptions?

82 receptions for 1536 yards.

Nicks was next at 76 receptions for 1196 yards.

You're sure he's the number 3 WR?

74
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 6:50pm

Nelson led the Packers in receptions and yards. I believe he's considered the #3 behind Jennings and Driver in that system.

79
by Arkaein :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 7:18pm

Driver is still a nominal starter due to his tenure with the team, but I think Nelson was second (and maybe first after accounting for Jennings' late season missed games due to injury) in snaps played.

99
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 9:44am

Jennings apparently was on the field for 62.2% of GB's snaps on the season (in 12.5 games). Nelson was on the field for 58.9% in 16 games.

Nelson is GB's #3 WR.

104
by Eddo :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 12:48pm

So, Nelson didn't quite play as many snaps as the team's #1 receiver, so that means he's... #3?

In your universe, who's the Packers' #2 WR?

EDIT: Per Kevin Seifert, Nelson played the second-most snaps of any wide receiver on the Packers.

Top NFC North WRs by percentage of snaps played:
Calvin Johnson: 93.2%
Nate Burleson: 87.1%
Devin Aromashodu: 65.1%
Titus Young: 63.1%
Greg Jennings: 62.2%
Roy Williams: 59.6%
Jordy Nelson: 58.9%
Percy Harvin: 58.4%

111
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 2:21pm

http://espn.go.com/blog/nflnation/post/_/id/52087/giants-packers-mixing-...

Driver was 48% of snaps, apparently. I'm basing Nelson's position on the depth-chart on games start (9) versus Driver (14). The Packers game books seem to back me on this. The depth charts list Driver and Jennings as the starter, not Nelson.
http://www.packers.com/assets/docs/gamebooks/2011/111120gamebook_buccane...

115
by Kurt :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 3:37pm

Yes, it was mentioned several posts ago that Driver was the nominal starter.

If the Packers had to keep one of Driver and Nelson for the 2012 season, and release the other, who do you think they'd keep?

122
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sat, 02/11/2012 - 2:50pm

Nelson, clearly. He's far younger. What does that have to do with which of them was the starter last year?

I'd rather have Jordy Nelson next year than Jerry Rice, too. That doesn't change that Rice was the 49ers #1 WR in 1990.

128
by Kurt :: Sat, 02/11/2012 - 11:43pm

Yes, we've established several times that Driver was a nominal, ceremonial starter. Yay.

It has something to do with who *is*, present tense (as per post 74), considered the Packers' #3 WR.

103
by Kurt :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 12:45pm

This post conspicuously lacks Donald Driver's snap%.

63
by Travis :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 5:02pm

Cruz started the final 6 games of the regular season and all 4 playoff games.

117
by some guy (not verified) :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 9:44pm

You're ignoring a whole lot of context.

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7481235/chris-brown-victor-cruz-new-...

Long story short, there's a lot of Run and Shoot in the Giants' offense. The slot receiver is very important. Being "3rd" on the depth chart is meaningless.

36
by Mark S. (not verified) :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 2:59pm

Stafford also played 12 games indoors this season! That's a huge stat advantage over guys like Newton and Eli. Romo obviously also plays indoors as well, but only 9 total games for him.

(I also happen to think Megatron is the most dominant WR in the league).

38
by Independent George :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 3:03pm

I'm ridiculing the end of year statement that Cruz was arguably the larger snub. The same Victor Cruz whom the Giants consider their 3rd best WR.

1. Stafford was 'snubbed' in favor of someone who was even with him in terms of both conventional and advanced stats.
2. Cruz was 'snubbed' in favor of someone who was far less productive based on advanced stats, but basically even in conventional stats.
3. Cruz is not even close to being the Giants 3rd best receiver.

For what it's worth, I'm a big Steve Smith fan, and don't think that was much of a snub. The NFC was stacked with passing talent this season, and somebody had to be left out. Not getting his name on the actual printed ballot probably didn't help Cruz much, either.

97
by Mr Shush :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 6:23am

It is much, much harder to generate good advanced numbers as the only good receiver on a team than it is as a second option. Cruz was more productive than Nicks, but not as good. Nelson was more productive than Jennings, but not as good. Smith was better than either Nicks or Jennings.

106
by Mark S. (not verified) :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 1:16pm

Agree.

Honestly I suspect, much like I did w/r/t the Giants' Steve Smith, that Cruz is a product of his teammates & the system. He is good, and smart, but not great.

108
by Independent George :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 2:05pm

I agree, but I also think that finding someone who fits perfectly within a system is not as easy at most people think. Think about the Brady years between losing Deon Branch, and gaining Welker; he was still outstanding, but the offense just didn't run quite as smoothly. Not every QB has that kind of luxury.

Nicks probably has the best all-around package and is unusually strong for his size, Manningham is the fastest and has the best athleticism, but Cruz just seems to "get" it. Cruz is an excellent route runner, has good hands, and, for whatever reason, is completely in synch with Eli. After three years of watching Manningham run the wrong routes, I'll take Cruz every time even if he doesn't have the same ceiling.

And I agree with Mr Shush above - I'd have loved to see Cruz get Pro Bowl recognition, but my eyes tell me Steve Smith is the better receiver, and it wasn't a snub. The NFC was just loaded this season.

120
by Phil Osopher :: Sat, 02/11/2012 - 11:25am

Greg Jennings should not have made it and Cruz should have. I hate that they vote for and then announce the pro bowl players so early. week 14, I think they finish the voting. Thats ridiculous. Near 20% of the season to go and the most important 20% too.

Steve Smith is fine as he had a great comeback year and put up decent pro bowl level numbers.

Greg Jennings was hurt last part of the season. Cruz was beast last part of the season

“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”
-Albert Einstein

"Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers"
-Voltaire

123
by Mr Shush :: Sat, 02/11/2012 - 2:51pm

Cruz benefited from defenses that knew they had to deal with Nicks. Jennings was his team's top receiver. It's not a fair comparison.

But yes, the vote's too early - otherwise JJ Watt would be in.

136
by thebuch :: Wed, 02/15/2012 - 3:11pm

The last part of the season.. Where the Packers had all but wrapped up the number 1 seed and the Giants were fighting for their lives. Looking at the whole season, there's more value to a guy who helped his team win absolutely everything early and lock everything up and then got hurt vs. a guy who didn't help his team win early and they barely squeaked into the playoffs, not even winning 10 games (which of course, Jennings contributed to wins in each of the Packers first ten games)

137
by Intropy :: Wed, 02/15/2012 - 9:39pm

As terrible a metric as "wins" is for QBs, it's even worse for WRs.

34
by Independent George :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 2:48pm

Romo: 33.8% DVOA, 1591 DYAR, 120 ANY/A+
Manning: 23.2% DVOA, 1396 DYAR, 120 ANY/A+
Stafford: 21.1% DVOA, 1446 DYAR, 114 ANY/A+

To my eyes, the three of them look to be even, with only Romo gaining any separation according to FO numbers. I think you could make the case for any of them.

30
by Ryan :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 2:29pm

So very pleased with that last award. Thank you, readers of Football Outsiders, for not being total bro jock meathead misogynists.

32
by dbostedo :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 2:44pm

I think Aaron's interpretation of "most deserving offensive player left off the original Pro Bowl roster" is different than the way a lot of people think of it (myself included).

I think most people took that to mean "who had the best year and didn't make the pro bowl, even if it makes sense that he didn't make it".

Aaron is taking that as "who should have been in the pro bowl instead of someone that did make it".

Hence, Stafford's fantastic year gets a lot of votes even though he didn't make it for obvious reasons; But Aaron says he thinks the person is Cruz, since it would have made sense for Cruz to be selected over Smith.

43
by JIPanick :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 3:19pm

I'm with Aaron's definition, which is why I voted the matched set of Eli Undeserving and Romo Deserving.

37
by DC Dave (not verified) :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 3:00pm

Minor point, but Fletcher went to the Pro Bowl in 2009 in place of Vilma.

46
by Theo :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 3:25pm

Also in 2010.

47
by tuluse :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 3:33pm

Minor, minor point, but the pro bowl was in Miami for the 2010 season, so Fletcher did not get to go to Hawaii.

39
by lpstd :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 3:05pm

I kinda miss voting for the best and worst announcing teams, even without the Three Stooges to kick around.

48
by tuluse :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 3:35pm

Billick for best.

Phil Simms for worst. Though Simms might not actually be the worst, the fact that he is the #1 guy for CBS means I hear him way more than other bad announcers. Dierdorf and Fouts are also pretty bad.

58
by RickD :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 4:47pm

It's really galling for Redskins fans that the #1 guy for CBS is Simms and the #1 guy for Fox is Aikman. It would be perfect if NBC would somehow replace Collinsworth with a former Eagle QB. I don't think McNabb is going to be too busy this Fall.

60
by Independent George :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 4:53pm

Heh. Jaws is already on MNF.

64
by tuluse :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 5:04pm

Could replace Collinsworth with Jake Plummer for some old school NFC East action.

66
by Independent George :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 5:08pm

Kurt Warner's already on NFL Network (though he wasn't the QB when Arizona was still in the East).

67
by Vincent Verhei :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 5:21pm

McNabb did some postgame studio stuff for NFL Network during the playoffs. Based on that limited action, I think he'd make a hell of an announcer. He's thoughtful and insightful, and his delivery is ... expressive? Is that the right word? What's the opposite of monotone?

75
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 6:54pm

Melodious, euphonious, or dulcet are near antonyms.

I like the neologism "polytone".

76
by tuluse :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 6:56pm

Melodious implies a kind of musical quality, I doubt that's what Vince was going for.

124
by LionInAZ (not verified) :: Sat, 02/11/2012 - 8:07pm

Rush Limbaugh would just say that he's overrated as a commentator, and that he only succeeds because of the stats crew. Not to mention that the media would only want him to look good as a commentator because he's black.

68
by TreeRol (not verified) :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 5:33pm

Hey, you had your chance and you gave us Theismann.

71
by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 6:43pm

Hey, as bad as Theismann is he's still better than Simms.

92
by armchair journe... :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 2:46am

there is no winner between those two, and yet everyone loses.

80
by RickD :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 7:23pm

Not me so much. I'm a Pats fan living in Maryland. Lots of Skins fans around here and they just love Simms and Aikman.

81
by Karl Cuba :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 7:26pm

Worst announcer: Buck
Worst Colour guys: Simms, Collingsworth (Simms is a complete idiot and CC gushes too much)

93
by armchair journe... :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 3:30am

They all gush too much. Collinsworth is one of the few who's actually insightful.

And in Buck's defense, he's one of the only announcers that correctly calls end-arounds and reverses. That's got to count for something.

100
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:22am

When he bothers to. I've never seen a play-by-play man completely fail to acknowledge as many plays as Buck does.

He's also got a crippling monotone, and is the worst case of nepotism in broadcasting history. The biggest shame of his dad dying was that it gave Joe Buck a job.

41
by Southern Philly :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 3:09pm

"The Eagles ranked 23rd in defensive DVOA for the first half of the season. From Week 10 on, they ranked fourth."

Sounds to me like you need to re-evaluate DVOA. It was still the same flawed playcalling and tactics being used all season. And it helps the DVOA to play against the Cowboys without any RBs and a QB who didn't play in any other games.

42
by JasonK :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 3:18pm

Huh? I don't see how it is at all controversial to state that the Eagles' defense was pretty terrible early in the season, but got remarkably better sometime around November.

Edit: Let the record reflect that this statement was made when the above post consisted only of its current first sentence.

57
by Mark S. (not verified) :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 4:44pm

Well, they had one great performance in November - Week 11 vs. NYG, when they allowed only 10 points. Other than that, they gave up 30 to CHI, 21 to ARI, 38 to NE, and 31 to SEA in the month's other games.

The real improvement did indeed come in the last 4 games - which was against MIA, a floundering Jets team, the Dallas second stringers, and WAS in week 17. They were really good in those games, but I'm not sure how much weight we should give them based on the that competition.

61
by dbostedo :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 4:55pm

But the "D" in DVOA should account for the competition faced. (I know it stands for Defense-adjusted, but the defensive metrics are actually adjusted for the offense faced.)

So the DVOA that the Eagles put up was accounting for the fact that they played Miami, NYJ, Dallas, and Washington. It doesn't account for any late season fall off those teams may have had, but it does try to account for the teams.

72
by Southern Philly :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 6:43pm

It does not accurately account for the Cowboys game where Stephen McGee threw 38 passes. That was the only game that McGee played in, so the adjustment was made based off of a Cowboys offense with Tony Romo. Or it was made based off of a "replacement level" adjustment, which amounts to the same issue because we don't know what the Cowboys offense looks like against other teams with McGee under center.

77
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 6:56pm

But it's also overly critical of the performance against the Cutler Bears, whose offensive DVOA was watered-down by the Caleb Hanie Experience.

85
by Southern Philly :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 9:11pm

Not really. We know what the Bears offense looked like against multiple teams with Cutler, without Cutler and without Cutler and Forte. Small sample sizes, but larger than 1 game. We do not know what the Cowboys offense without Romo looks like against teams other than the Eagles.

45
by jmm1784 (not verified) :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 3:25pm

My reason (and I'd suspect many others' too) for nominating John Kuhn as least deserving offensive player voted to the Pro Bowl is that: (A) he's not an elite player, though he's good--and admittedly probably the best NFC fullback--his inclusion stole a potential spot from Stafford, Nelson, etc., who clearly deserved a Pro Bowl bid over him...and, more importantly (B) FULLBACKS SHOULD NO LONGER GET AN AUTOMATIC PRO BOWL SPOT, especially not when 2 RB (or 1 RB/1 FB) personnel is perhaps the 5th most common formation teams roll out these days. No one can really argue that a 3rd WR is less important to a team (or less valuable) than its FB, right? And since Vonta Leach is miles ahead of Kuhn as a FB, Q.E.D., Kuhn gets my vote.

51
by Independent George :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 4:07pm

But... it's so much fun to say "Kuuuuuuuuuuuuhn!"

59
by RickD :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 4:48pm

I like referring to the Packers as "Kuhn and Friends"

118
by jebmak :: Sat, 02/11/2012 - 12:35am

Alert!

52
by Jimmy :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 4:08pm

You do realise that once you eliminate the automatic spot for fullbacks you are effectively eliminating them from the Pro Bowl permanently. They are never going to put up stronger stats than the fifth best WR or the fourth best tailback. I entirely disagree with your argument.

The bigger problem is fan voting. No one makes you vote for a fullback, everyone could leave the box blank if they don't know enough about line play to tell who is effective but no, they all simply tick a player from a winning team irrespective of whether they are actually any good.

113
by dryheat :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 3:12pm

You do realise that once you eliminate the automatic spot for fullbacks you are effectively eliminating them from the Pro Bowl permanently

1. I think we do realize this, and
2. So what?

Wouldn't it make more sense to vote for 3 or even 4 starting WRs or 2 starting TEs or 3 starting CBs than to have a devoted space for a fullback? How many teams even have a traditional fullback on the roster, and how many snaps do they play? Only 1 or 2 get drafted each year, which tells you how important the position is nowadays.

82
by Karl Cuba :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 7:31pm

I rate Hynoski and Bruce Miller. Neither run the ball as well as Kuhn but Hynoski is a bull of a lead blocker and Miller is on his way to becoming rather good as a blocker and receiver.

49
by kevin M (not verified) :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 3:51pm

Jason Pierre Paul was considered an extremely raw player coming into the league, so I don't see how his rookie season could be categorized as disappointing.

53
by sjt (not verified) :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 4:23pm

Who is your choice for the John Elway Award for disappointing highly-drafted rookie who turns things around with an impressive sophomore season? (Last year's winner: Josh Freeman)

Ryan Mathews doesn't even break the top 8?

Drafted high? Check.

Dissapointing as a Rookie? Check.

Impressive sophmore season? 5th among RBs for total yardage, 5th in Rushing DYAR, 3rd in Recieving DYAR for RBs. He didn't light the world on fire but I think that's fairly productive.

70
by Independent George :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 6:35pm

It's interesting to see how our votes differ from the AP's votes. Namely, we generally agree on MVP and ROY, but differ wildly on DPOY.

MVP - With the exception of 2005 (the infamous Shaun Alexander/Steve Smith split) and 2008 (a coin flip between Peyton Manning & Drew Brees), this has usually been a no-brainer. But man, I'm still bitter about that 2005 vote.

2011: Aaron Rodgers
2010: Tom Brady
2009: Peyton Manning
2008: Drew Brees (FO), Peyton Manning (AP)
2007: Tom Brady
2006: Ladanian Tomlinson
2005: Steve Smith (FO), Shaun Alexander (AP)
2004: Peyton Manning
2003: Peyton Manning

DPOY - Boy howdy, we do not see eye to eye. We were in synch in 2003, 2004, and 2006, but diverged every other year. 2011 gets a small asterisk because Suggs wasn't a nominee for us, but generally, I think our picks are better than the AP's.

2011: Justin Smith (FO), Terrell Suggs* (AP)
2010: Clay Matthews Jr (FO), Troy Polamalu (AP)
2009: Darrelle Revis (FO), Charles Woodson (AP)
2008: Ed Reed (FO), James Harrison (AP)
2007: Albert Haynesworth (FO), Bob Sanders (AP)
2006: Jason Taylor
2005: Troy Polamalu (FO), Brian Urlacher (AP)
2004: Ed Reed
2003: Ray Lewis

ROY - I combined offense/defense from the AP - basically, if FO selected an offensive player, then I took the AP's OROY winner. Except for a stretch from 2005-2007 (where, unsurprisingly, I like our picks more than the AP's), there was usually a runaway winner which made it moot.

2011: Cam Newton
2010: Ndamukong Suh
2009: Brian Cushing
2008: Matt Ryan
2007: Joe Thomas (FO), Adrian Peterson (AP)
2006: Marques Colston (FO), Vince Young (AP)
2005: Lofa Tatupu (FO), Shawne Merriman (AP)
2004: Ben Roethlisberger
2003: Anquan Boldin

110
by JIPanick :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 2:14pm

I'm still shocked that FO didn't go for Peyton over LdT in '06. I thought that was dumb at the time and it hasn't improved in hindsight.

114
by dmstorm22 :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 3:23pm

LdT was great, but that really was one of the most underrated Peyton years. He was brilliant in the regular season.

125
by LionInAZ (not verified) :: Sat, 02/11/2012 - 9:00pm

No way. Tomlinson scored 31 TDs (as many as Peyton threw) and passed for 2 TDs himself. He gained more rushing yards than the entire Colts team!

129
by Mr Shush :: Sun, 02/12/2012 - 12:26am

Let's play fantasy GM. Who would you give a bigger one year contract to - 2006 Peyton, or 2006 Tomlinson?

Here's a clue: if the latter, you're a dumb-arse. He was a truly great player, a hall of famer. Peyton may be the most valuable player who ever lived, and he had just made the key adjustment in his game. He was never better.

131
by Independent George :: Sun, 02/12/2012 - 9:27am

Does this mean that the award must necessarily always favor a QB over any other position? FO (and AP) voters already tend to favor production by QBs, and discount production by RBs, for that very reason. 2006 was an exception because that was an absolutely astounding year for a RB. That was Phillip Rivers first year as a starter; the offense still flowed through Tomlinson at that point, and it was brilliant. Peyton is always Peyton, but that 14-2 Chargers team looked unbeatable. Were it not for Marlon McCree's fumble, they may well have won the Super Bowl that season.

132
by Mr Shush :: Sun, 02/12/2012 - 9:40am

"Does this mean that the award must necessarily always favor a QB over any other position?"

Necessarily? No. In practice, pretty much. And if not a QB, then at any rate a player who has a big, big impact in the passing game, in a year in which no QB has a truly great season. Marshall Faulk in 2000? Sure. Steve Smith in 2005? Maybe, but Brady had a very decent case too.

135
by JIPanick :: Sun, 02/12/2012 - 8:50pm

For Most Valuable Player? Absolutely. If it's not a QB, the voters chose extremely poorly.

I'm all for ending the odd monopoly QB and RB have on NFL MVP and the Heisman that makes running back by far the most overrated position in sports. Until then, give me a QB every year - when you get the award changed to Player of the Year and let guards, safeties, and run-stopping DEs on the ballots, then running backs can get consideration from a reasonable point of view.

83
by Guest789 :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 8:25pm

Does anyone have the link to last year's awards?

-----

“Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.”

84
by Andrew Potter :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 8:29pm

Just replace the 12 and 2011 in the URL with 11 and 2010, respectively.

So http://www.footballoutsiders.com/ramblings/2011/2010-football-outsiders-...

86
by Independent George :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 9:43pm

Or, click the link included at the top of the page, duplicated here for your convenience.

87
by Guest789 :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 10:33pm

I feel stupid. Thanks.

-----

“Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.”

89
by justanothersteve :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 10:38pm

I don't get the Collinsworth hate. I think he's the best analyst/color guy on the air. Only Madden (when interested) was better. Heaven help us if Simms or Dierdorf ever join the Sunday night team.

90
by Shattenjager :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 11:30pm

Perhaps I am just missing it, but I don't see any Collinsworth hate.

91
by Andrew Potter :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 1:10am

It comes up quite occasionally in some of the discussions. Karl Cuba, in post 81, is the only mention I've seen in this thread though.

94
by Karl Cuba :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 4:43am

I find it harder to forgive his hyperbolic gushing because he actually does know what he's talking about, which means that he must know when he's talking out of his arse, I can forgive an idiot for talking gibberish.

126
by LionInAZ (not verified) :: Sat, 02/11/2012 - 9:04pm

On the flip side, I don't understand the Billick love I often see. There have been many times I've heard him comment on plays where it was clear he didn't even see it
(and I don't mean disputed calls -- more like plays he didn't even get where the play went correct).

127
by Jerry :: Sat, 02/11/2012 - 11:03pm

SI announcer ratings, with a hat tip to Dr. Z.

130
by tuluse :: Sun, 02/12/2012 - 5:16am

I'm supposed to put any credibility into an article that doesn't even have a byline?

133
by Eddo :: Sun, 02/12/2012 - 11:38am

It's in the banner at the very top: Chris Burke.

SI is weird with how they display bylines these days.

134
by jebmak :: Sun, 02/12/2012 - 6:59pm

I realize that I'm not introducing anything new here, but Buck & Aikman, way too high.

98
by BucNasty :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 8:07am

I disagree with Cam's eligibility to be a breakout player next year. He already burst onto the scene as a rookie. Next year he will either build on it or regress, but regardless of how his career develops, I don't see any possible way that we will ever look back at his second season as the year the light turned on for Cam Newton.

109
by Intropy :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 2:09pm

He'd could metamorphose into a hybrid of Otto Graham and Jim Brown(!)

112
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 2:28pm

Randall Cunningham beat him to it.

Although he really needs to be a Brown (or a Raven, or a Bengal) to be the hybrid of Otto Graham and Jim Brown.

101
by BlueStarDude :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 11:45am

Funniest moment of the season was clearly Steve Johnson's TD celebration against the Jets.

Another good one was Gronk's spike where he suddenly realized he wanted to keep the ball.

102
by Kevin from Philly :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 12:03pm

Not that it was funny to me, but I'm surprised Ronny Brown's pass attempt/fumble in the SF loss gets no mention. I know all the creep Giants fans at my favorite bar thought it was hilarious.

105
by DRohan :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 12:58pm

How about a kicker taking a whiz on the sidelines?

121
by Independent George :: Sat, 02/11/2012 - 1:08pm

I really enjoyed the Bears fake Devin Hester punt return, even if it did get DQ'd on a holding penalty.

The monkey riding a dog was pretty awesome, but I don't know that it was funny.

Obviously, the Bradshaw accidental touchdown wasn't eligible.

116
by MC2 :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 7:28pm

I'm stunned that the NAPA Know-How ad got less than 10% of the vote in the "most annoying commercial" category. Those Miller Lite ads just go in one ear and out the other, but that damn jingle takes up permanent residence in your brain, to the point that you start to consider calling in an exorcist to rid yourself of it.

119
by langsty :: Sat, 02/11/2012 - 2:26am

I would have happily voted for it for BEST commercial of the year. They need to allow write-ins.

138
by Cathedralplumbing (not verified) :: Tue, 04/02/2013 - 11:05am

Very good report in my opinion. I must say i have thought this was interesting and I can't wait to learn more. At times you have to devote some time and make the proper decision. This really is very important chatrandom

139
by ChatRandom (not verified) :: Fri, 04/26/2013 - 4:45pm

We had a few people who wanted more than three choices for this award, but were there really any other choices? What we had here were three quarterbacks having three of the best quarterback seasons of all-time. Yes, Rob Gronkowski had the best tight end season of all-time, but even the best tight end isn't going to be as valuable as a top quarterback.ChatRandom