Football Outsiders
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2009 Football Outsiders Awards

2009 Football Outsiders Awards
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

comments by Aaron Schatz

This is now the seventh time we've done the Football Outsiders awards. Pretty crazy that we've been online this long, and doing these awards after every season, trying to get right what the official voters get wrong. (Oh, yeah, Jets fans, you know what I'm talking about there.) Every year we get a great mix of the expected and the unexpected, and this year is no exception. Once again, I would like to thank everyone who voted on the awards. My apologies for taking a little bit longer than usual to post the winners. Congratulations to the three readers who won free DVD copies of the movie Big Fan: Zach Feffer, William Guinn, and Philip Scott.

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 2009? (Last year's winner: Drew Brees)


50.2% Peyton Manning
19.6% Chris Johnson
19.5% Drew Brees
5.6% Philip Rivers
3.5% Brett Favre
1.7% Andre Johnson

Last year, Brees got the Football Outsiders MVP award. This year, he got a Super Bowl ring. I think I know which one is more important to him. Peyton Manning won the first two Offensive MVP awards in 2003 and 2004, but had not finished first in the voting since.

Who is your choice as Defensive MVP for 2009? (Last year's winner: Ed Reed)


66.4% Darrelle Revis
9.4% Charles Woodson
6.7% Jared Allen
5.9% Patrick Willis
5.4% Darren Sharper
2.6% DeMarcus Ware
2.3% Elvis Dumervil
1.4% Brian Cushing

OK, here are the winners of the Defensive MVP award with their percentage of the vote, each year since we began doing this in 2003 (technically, in January 2004):

Does any number jump out at you there? We had never seen one candidate get over half the vote, and then Revis wins the award with two-thirds of reader votes. And yet the actual NFL writers who vote on the official Defensive Player of the Year award gave the majority of their votes to Charles Woodson. What, because he had a couple more turnovers than Revis? The guy shut down everyone he played this year (except, maybe, Reggie Wayne in the first half of Week 16). I'm not sure what the guy had to do to actually win Defensive Player of the Year, maybe kill Randy Moss with his bare hands on national television while simultaneously picking off a Tom Brady pass using only his teeth.

Who is your choice as NFL Rookie of the Year for 2009? (Last year's winner: Matt Ryan)


34.3% Brian Cushing
26.9% Percy Harvin
13.2% Clay Matthews
10.0% Michael Oher
5.1% Brian Orakpo
4.9% Jarius Byrd
3.1% Mark Sanchez
2.5% Ray Maualuga

I wrote about Brian Cushing's amazing rookie season in November; the numbers didn't get any less awesome over the second half of the year. Cushing was the first rookie to lead the league in Defeats, going back to at least 1997. My gushing over Cushing isn't meant to take away from anyone's appreciation of Percy Harvin, who had an excellent rookie season and helped completely turn around the Minnesota special teams. By the way, before this year, weren't we all talking about how recent USC players had a poor track record in the pros? That didn't seem to be a problem in 2009, although somebody still needs to kick Dwayne Jarrett in the ass.

Who was the best offensive lineman of 2009? (open question, two votes per ballot, top 12 listed) (Last year's winner: Ryan Clady)


15.6% Nick Mangold (C, NYJ)
13.1% Joe Thomas (LT, CLE)
11.9% Ryan Clady (LT, DEN)
10.4% Jahri Evans (LG, NO)
10.1% Jeff Saturday (C, IND)
5.4% Jake Long (LT, MIA)
3.8% Alan Faneca (LG, NYJ)
3.8% Steve Hutchinson (LG, MIN)
2.2% Michael Roos (LT, TEN)
1.9% Michael Oher (RT, BAL)
1.8% Kris Dielman (LG, SD)
1.1% Carl Nicks (RG, NO)

This is the fourth straight year that our winner for best offensive lineman wasn't even in the top dozen the year before, but at least this time we've got a guy with a track record of success instead of an impact rookie destined for a sophomore slump. On the other hand, last year's winner Ryan Clady breaks the sophomore slump streak, and Joe Thomas had a strong third season (the "junior rebound?").

The appearances of Alan Faneca and, to a lesser extent, Steve Hutchinson show that even in Football Outsiders voting, just like in the Pro Bowl, reputation remains even after a player begins to decline in his later years.

As for the New Orleans Saints, how often do you have a team -- let alone a Super Bowl champion -- where the two best offensive linemen are the guards?

Who is your choice for NFL Coach of the Year in 2009? (Last year's winner: Tony Sparano)


34.0% Sean Payton
22.7% Rex Ryan
17.2% Jim Caldwell
11.5% Marvin Lewis
7.6% Norv Turner
3.8% Mike Singletary
1.7% Ken Whisenhunt
1.7% Brad Childress

Sean Payton and Rex Ryan: Not just the best coaches of 2009, but the most fun. Payton runs the most interesting offense in the league. Ryan runs the most interesting defense. Both of them give great quote. Now, who wants to hire Rob Ryan? Come on, someone out there wants to hire Rob Ryan as a head coach, right?

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


35.7% Gregg Williams, NO defense
17.4% Mike Zimmer, CIN defense
16.3% Dom Capers, GB defense
14.0% Mike Nolan, DEN defense
11.3% Mike Pettine, NYJ defense
2.7% Brian Murphy, MIN special teams
1.5% Cam Cameron, BAL offense
1.1% Jason Garrett, DAL offense

A fitting exclamation point to a season that will go down in NFL history as "The Year of the Defensive Coordinator." (OK, maybe not everywhere, but certainly around Football Outsiders it will.)

Who is your choice for the Keep Choppin' Wood Award for 2009 (player who most hurt his team)? (Last year's winner: Plaxico Burress and his magic sweatpants holster)


42.4% JaMarcus Russell
35.5% Jake Delhomme
6.1% C.C. Brown
5.6% The corpse of Orlando Pace
4.8% Kris Brown
3.5% Kerry Collins
1.1% Nick Folk
1.1% LaRon Landry

The conclusion: interceptions are bad, but the total inability to even complete a pass is even worse. Everybody who writes about the league is patting themselves on the back because we were all completely right about Oakland's fakakta decision to draft Darrius Heyward-Bey seventh. But at a certain point, when are all the talent evaluators in the media going to be honest about how wrong they were about JaMarcus Russell? We all make fun of the guy, and we make fun of Oakland because he's never developed, but almost everyone out there thought the Raiders were making the right pick when they took Russell number one. Folks like Mel Kiper and Todd McShay need to step back and say, "Hey, I was wrong about Russell, and this is why, and this is what it means for how we evaluate quarterback talent in the future." This is one prediction that the Lewin Career Forecast completely and totally nailed. (As for Brady Quinn, well... 1-for-2 isn't bad, right?)

Who is your choice for the Keep Choppin' Game Film Award for the worst coach of 2009? (Last year's winner: Rod Marinelli)


22.0% Bill Sheridan, NYG defense
19.8% Jim Mora, SEA head coach
18.0% Ron Turner, CHI offense
17.1% Jim Zorn, WAS head coach
11.9% Bob Ligashesky, PIT special teams
11.1% Dick Jauron, BUF head coach

I had a hard time coming up for nominees for this award in 2009, because how much do you really want to blame the head coaches of bad teams? Is Jim Schwartz to blame after he took over a Detroit franchise in tatters? Is Steve Spagnuolo responsible for the lack of talent in St. Louis? You have to be on crack to blame Tom Cable for the mess in Oakland. So we went with the idea of adding assistant coaches to the voting; it seemed like we had a number of teams in 2009 where one unit in particular underperformed, but you don't want to fully blame the head coach. Sure, Tom Coughlin is the one who promoted Bill Sheridan after Spagnuolo left for St. Louis, but whose fault was the Giants' defensive faceplant really?

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


44.5% Bill Polian, IND
16.6% Mickey Loomis, NO
12.0% Ted Thompson, GB
10.9% Mike Tannenbaum, NYJ
8.2% Ozzie Newsome, BAL
7.8% Rick Spielman, MIN

Polian does a great job every year, of course, but this year seemed particularly remarkable, as the Colts started two rookie cornerbacks for most of the season and replaced not only Marvin Harrison but also the replacement for Marvin Harrison with a second-year receiver from the sixth round and a rookie receiver from the fourth.

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: LaMarr Woodley)


63.4% Ray Rice
15.2% Rashard Mendenhall
9.5% Michael Jenkins
3.4% Felix Jones
2.8% Fred Davis
2.5% Calais Campbell
2.2% Aqib Talib
1.1% Terrell Thomas

This one was pretty easy. It's hard to believe that Ray Rice had just 454 rushing yards and no touchdowns as a rookie.

Who was the least deserving pick for the Pro Bowl on offense (not including injury replacements): (open question, top 10 listed) (Last year's "most overrated": Brett Favre)


37.0% Bryant McKinnie
8.9% Jason Peters
8.4% Brandon Marshall
4.5% Tom Brady
3.6% Alan Faneca
3.4% Steve Hutchinson
3.0% Wes Welker
1.8% Andre Gurode
1.8% Adrian Peterson
1.8% DeAngelo Williams

This question replaces our old category of "most overrated." We always had a problem figuring out what the qualifications were there, so the votes would be all over the map. This makes more sense. I've disqualified votes for players who were not original Pro Bowl picks, such as David Garrard (who would have finished sixth). McKinnie is an excellent choice, as the whole Minnesota offensive line was completely overrated this year.

Who was the least deserving pick for the Pro Bowl on defense (not including injury replacements): (open question, top 10 listed) (Last year's "most overrated": Ray Lewis)


15.4% Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
11.2% Ray Lewis
9.5% Brian Dawkins
8.3% Asante Samuel
5.4% Champ Bailey
4.6% Julius Peppers
4.4% Lance Briggs
4.2% Ed Reed
2.7% James Harrison
2.2% Jarius Byrd

Ladies and gentlemen, we have broken the streak. Ray Lewis won this award for five straight seasons, but this year he comes in second to pick-happy but not-quite-polished Arizona cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. We had to change the wording of the question to do it, but we did finally get a different winner. Of course, our game charting stats now suggest that DRC may not be as overrated as we once thought, as he improved over the second half of the season.

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


21.7% Devin Hester
16.5% Adam Vinatieri
12.4% Nate Kaeding
11.5% Reggie Bush
3.8% David Akers
3.2% Jeff Feagles
3.2% Johnny Knox
2.9% Shane Lechler

Hester's longest punt return this year went 33 yards, and he had only one kickoff return before Week 17. It really is astonishing how quickly the best return men come back to earth.

The most deserving offensive player left off the original Pro Bowl roster is: (open question, top 10 listed) (Last year's "most underrated": John Carlson)


33.2% Vincent Jackson
9.6% Matt Schaub
3.5% Cedric Benson
3.5% Randy Moss
3.2% Thomas Jones
2.4% Ben Roethlisberger
2.1% Brent Celek
1.9% Ryan Grant
1.9% Kurt Warner
1.9% Roddy White

Yes, Matt Schaub eventually won Pro Bowl MVP even though he was not originally supposed to be in the game. He was fourth on the AFC's quarterback list, behind Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and Philip Rivers. Which is, let's be honest, exactly where he belongs. He didn't really deserve to make the Pro Bowl ahead of those three guys, despite an excellent season. Vincent Jackson, on the other hand, got screwed by the Pro Bowl. Can't someone give this guy an endorsement deal or something to raise his level of fame? Vincent, if you are reading, we'll pay you fifty bucks to let us use your picture on the cover of Football Outsiders Almanac 2010. You deserve the exposure. E-mail your response to Contact Us.

The most deserving defensive player left off the original Pro Bowl roster is: (open question, top 10 listed) (Last year's "most underrated": Brandon Mebane)


16.7% London Fletcher
6.6% Leon Hall
5.5% Clay Matthews
4.6% Gary Brackett
4.6% Justin Smith
4.3% Jon Beason
4.3% Jabari Greer
4.3% LaMarr Woodley
3.4% David Harris
3.4% Michael Jenkins

So I'm in Indianapolis last week and I sit down with the folks from NFL Films to tape some bits for the upcoming season of Top 10. One of the shows is going to be "best undrafted players." I look at the list. No London Fletcher. He's not even listed under "Best of the Rest." Another one of the shows is "best short players." I look at the list. No London Fletcher: not in the top ten, not in the "Best of the Rest." Come on, people. Suffice it to say, I made sure they taped me saying that it was ridiculous not to have Fletcher in the top ten for both categories. Maybe that will help put him (and video of me) in the "Best of the Rest" portions of both shows. Fletcher did eventually make it to the Pro Bowl this year, finally, as a "Super Bowl replacement" for Jonathan Vilma.

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


11.7% Sebastian Janikowski
9.3% Johnny Knox
7.8% Mike Scifres
4.3% Ryan Longwell
3.5% Courtney Roby
3.1% Donnie Jones
2.7% Pat McAfee
2.7% Brian Moor
man

Sea Bass was 26-for-29 on field goals in 2009, and his only misses were from 45 (hard), 57 (extremely hard), and 66 (three yards longer than the NFL record).

Player most likely to breakout in 2010 (open question, top 12 listed): (Last year's winner: Anthony Gonzalez)


7.4% Michael Crabtree
5.8% Shonn Greene
5.8% Matt Leinart
3.6% Jamaal Charles
3.1% Devin Aromashodu
3.1% Anthony Gonzalez
2.9% Jerome Harrison
2.9% Beanie Wells
2.1% Steve Slaton
1.9% Ray Rice
1.7% Joe Flacco
1.7% Limas Sweed

By break out, we did not mean "break himself and fall out of the lineup," but that's what Anthony Gonzalez did after readers picked him a year ago. As for this year's winner, Crabtree should hit that 1,000-yard projection that we made for him in FOA 2009 before we knew he was going to hold out like an idiot. But seriously, Devin Aromashodu? Dude does nothing for three and a half years, and some readers are excited about a couple games at the end of his fourth season? I don't really see it.

By the way, what would Ray Rice have to do to break out more than he already has broken out? Fly?

Player most likely to significantly decline in 2010 (open question, top 12 listed): (Last year's winner: Kurt Warner)


19.6% Brett Favre
8.4% Chris Johnson
7.3% Thomas Jones
7.1% Randy Moss
4.9% Tom Brady
4.9% Ray Lewis
4.2% Adrian Peterson
2.7% Donovan McNabb
2.2% Cedric Benson
2.2% Darren Sharper
2.0% Wes Welker
1.8% LaDainian Tomlinson

When you have the best numbers of your career at age 40, yeah, that's usually not going to be repeatable.

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


43.5% San Francisco
18.0% Chicago
10.5% Jacksonville
8.8% Washington
4.5% Kansas City
3.9% Seattle
3.1% Cleveland
2.0% Tampa Bay
1.6% Detroit
1.6% Oakland
1.4% St. Louis
1.1% Buffalo

We picked San Francisco as our favorite in the NFC West back in 2008, but apparently we were just a couple years too early. With Seattle and St. Louis rebuilding, San Francisco will make a popular pick in 2010, especially for all the Leinart doubters out there. Chicago could be a nice bounce back candidate if Mike Martz can fix Jay Cutler's head without getting him creamed in the process. I'm sick and tired of trying to figure out Jacksonville. Screw 'em. (Well, except MJD, he's awesome.)

Which playoff team is most likely to miss the playoffs in 2010? (Last year's choice: Miami)


44.0% Cincinnati
30.7% Arizona
9.2% New York Jets
4.3% Minnesota
2.9% Philadelphia
2.7% New England
2.1% Dallas
1.2% Baltimore
1.1% Green Bay
1.1% New Orleans
0.6% San Diego
0.2% Indianapolis

Ah, there are those Leinart doubters I just mentioned. Along with a lot of Cincinnati doubters. Count me in that second category, especially after watching Carson Palmer devolve in the AFC playoffs. Indianapolis may never miss another postseason until Peyton Manning retires around, oh, I don't know, age 50.

Which is your choice for Game of the Year in 2009? (Last year's choice: Arizona 32, Philadelphia 25 in the NFC Championship)


34.6% Wild Card Round: Green Bay Packers 45 at Arizona Cardinals 51 (OT)
31.1% Week 10: New England Patriots 34 at Indianapolis Colts 35
12.8% NFC Championship: Minnesota Vikings 28 at New Orleans Saints 31 (OT)
6.2% Week 15: Green Bay Packers 36 at Pittsburgh Steelers 37
4.8% Week 11: Cleveland Browns 37 at Detroit Lions 38
3.2% Week 2: Indianapolis Colts 27 at Miami Dolphins 23
Five other games were at 1.5% or below.

Do you notice something about our top game? Yes, that's the one where the team featuring the official Defensive Player of the Year gave up51 friggin' points. (No, I'm not blaming Charles Woodson for that, but he wasn't exactly shutting anyone down that day, was he?) I'm surprised that "fourth-and-2" finished second. I would have thought most of you were sick and tired of Colts-Patriots games by now.

The "Get Your Story Straight" Award for best commercial during NFL games this year was (Last year's choice: Mastercard "Peyton Manning on the Road")


30.3% Head and Shoulders Troy Polamalu
27.6% Snickers "Hungry German Guy"
14.9% Old Spice "Different Smelling Man"
14.2% Nike Adrian Peterson
13.0% Dr. Pepper Gene Simmons/Dr. Dre

Apparently, Troy Polamalu's hair is so mesmerizing that the people at MasterCard's ad agency forgot to write funny Peyton Manning commericals this year.

The "John Mellencamp Must Die" Award for most annoying commercial during NFL games this year was (Last year's choice: Toyota "Saved by Zero"):


28.1% Bud Light "Jimmy Football" (a.k.a. "Tailgate Tested, Tailgate Approved")
20.0% "I'm Steve and Windows 7 was my idea."
15.7% Toyota "Saved by Zero"
13.8% eTrade "Talking Baby"
11.4% Best Buy "Christmas Carolers"
5.2% Pepsi Super Bowl commercial comparing Will.I.Am to Bob Dylan
5.1% Pizza Hut "Jackpot!"
0.6% Pepsi Throwback

Whoops. I think I left Toyota's "Saved by Zero" ad on the list by accident, although it was so amazingly annoying that it probably does deserve votes in two separate years. I would really like to take one of those Toyotas and run over Jimmy Football with it. Oh, and Will.I.Am sucks, but I would have to buy a Pepsi or two if they could somehow put together a commercial where Bob Dylan covered "My Humps."

The funniest thing to happen during the 2009 NFL season was: (Last year's winner: Dan Orlovsky absent-mindedly rolls out the back of the end zone for a safety.)


32.8% The ultimate Al Davis moment: drafting Darrius Heyward-Bey over Michael Crabtree.
18.4% "Goddamit, Donald!"
13.7% Seahawks try out new long snappers on the sidelines during the game.
11.2% Mark Sanchezcriticizes Pete Carroll for leaving USC.
10.3% LaDainian Tomlinson's "Electric Glide" video
5.2% DJ Steve Porter's"You Play to Win the Game" Remix
4.8% Brett Favre's rendition of "Pants on the Ground"
3.7% Randy Moss fools around with fan in Randy Moss mask.

Hey, you know that YouTube montage of bad New York Jets draft picks? We're pretty close to getting one of those for the Raiders, right?

That does it for the 2009 Football Outsiders Awards. Once again, thanks to all the readers for participating.

Comments

186 comments, Last at 21 Mar 2010, 6:47pm

1 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Troy Polamalu's hair won??? If it wasn't for Jimmy Football, that would have been a good choice for Most Annoying!

176 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Dear FO,you had me at DPoY...but what the hell were you thinking with this one. Troy's commercials are of the ilk as stalking, domestic abuse and anything related to the hair on the back of your neck standing straight!

3 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Good stuff. I wish I actually voted. As a guy who charted every Giants game, I think Sheridan's award was well deserved. Same goes for CC Brown. Good god is CC Brown is bad (but solid on special teams). A little bummed Hakeem Nicks didn't get any recognition in the rookie category. Overall can't really argue with much here.

4 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

As for funny moment, where there any votes for that absurd fake field goal by the Redskins against the Giants?

5 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

I'm surprised by Lance Briggs being on the overrated list. He's great at everything that isn't getting to the quarterback.

I can understand why people are excited for Aromashodu. He plays receiver more like Cutler likes, with a big body and jumping for the ball. Instead of relying on speed to get open. I would say he's more likely to break out than Limas Sweed.

Almost all the underrated offensive players are from the AFC, don't know if that means anything, but it's kind of interesting.

10 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Aromashodu also has a really good rapport with Cutler (Doug Farrar wrote about it on this very site), and Cutler was lobbying for him to play all year. If you think that Cutler and the Bears' offense will be improved next year (which Aaron implies is a reasonable prediction), then it makes sense you would also think Aromashodu would break out, as there's a good chance he's the Bears' most-targeted receiver next year.

15 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Preliminary-style rough research has shown that preseason rushing numbers are much more valuable as a future indicator than preseason receiving numbers. So yeah, not a big deal.

Oh, and for the comment above, I forgot the swinging gate in the "funniest" category. My fault there.

54 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Exactly. Cutler wanted Aromashodu to play all year. Their rapport started during training camp, and you could see their chemistry during the preseason. Yes, it was only the preseason, but it was obvious that Aromashodu brought an element to the Bears that they really haven't had in years. The last Bears receiver who could make the kind of plays that Aromashodu was making was Marcus Robinson.

Unfortunately, Aromashodu got dinged up toward the end of the preseason and was out for a while. Along with many others, I think the Bears held him out far too long. I think he could have returned to the field a lot earlier, at which point he might have made a difference in some of the close games the Bears lost because of repeated red zone failures. But, as usual, the Bears' coaching staff took too long to make needed changes that were obvious to the fans and the media. (Another example was sticking too long with Orlando Pace.) Once "the other Devin" got on the field, he showed why Cutler had been lobbying for him all year.

That's why I and many others think that Aromashodu will break out next year. If he hadn't missed so much time at the beginning of the year, he probably would have broken out this year.

52 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Total agreement about Briggs. The guy was playing on his own at times last year.

I am not sure how much value there is in the over-rated voting, I would guess that too many people simply use it as an opportunity to be snide about a team or player they don't much like. It isn't very objective.

7 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

"As for the New Orleans Saints, how often do you have a team -- let alone a Super Bowl champion -- where the two best offensive linemen are the guards?"

I wonder if this is by design, at least a little bit.

1. Brees is a short quarterback.
2. Brees is very good at feeling the rush.
3. Brees has a very quick release.

Therefore, he's a bit more capable of handling outside pass rush that most quarterbacks, while at the same time, less capable of dealing with pass rushers being directly in front of him. It makes sense that you would want to invest more in guard play when you have a short-yet-very-poised quarterback.

17 Saints guards

But remember, the right tackle Stinchcomb made the ProBowl this year (although probably more because of playing for the Saints than great O-line play), and the real starting LT, Jamaal Brown, has been to 2 PB's. It's not like they have the corpse of Orlando Pace out there at tackle.
BTW--they got both of those guards, IIRC, in the 4th round. Interesting story about Evans--the father of one of the Saints' scouts was his OC at Bloomberg. The other G, Carl Nicks, is from Nebraska--IIRC, he carried a 2nd round grade, but dropped because of character problems. The Saints took a chance on him--and now they have a very good O-line that will still be playing together for several years. The only old guy is the backup guard Nesbit--the second oldest is RT Stinchcomb--and his "replacement" is already on the roster--either Strief or Bushrod.
You know you have a strong offense when your "needs" are backup young guard, 3rd string RB (maybe), and 5th receiver (again, maybe). That's why G. Williams won his well-deserved asst. coach of the year award--his defense did enough to win the SB!

12 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Dude.

Where is it? It's entirely unsurprising that a Pats fan would be unduely defensive and have a persecution complex. But where is the Patriots hate? It's intriguing that you can actually feel slighted in any category. Which ones?

11 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

I'm guessing about 89.7% of the voters have not seen that LaDainian Tomlinson video... Oh, man.

78 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

The best thing about it, to me, was that it led me to the Tim and Eric duh duh ba video which is hilarious. To me, "You play to win the game" is the clear winner. So Peyton shouted at Brown. I bet it happens all the time.

34 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

I didn't. But I can't say I typically get excited about the latest offerings from youtube. Most of the pop-culture ideas are things of which I'm blissfully ignorant, so I voted for the Seattle special teams. To me, that's funny.

16 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

By the way, what would Ray Rice have to do to break out more than he already has broken out? Fly?

My thoughts exactly. Although not as bad as the national media member (Clark Judge, possibly) who put Adrian Peterson on his preseason "Breakout Candidate" list. That's right, the guy who was drafted #1 in 95% of fantasy football leagues was a breakout candidate.

Can't someone give this guy an endorsement deal or something to raise his level of fame?

My vote goes to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

Oh, and there's an error in the underrated defense category, labelled as offense instead.

104 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Well, I voted for Delhomme, not because he was worse that Russell, but because his team was a lot better. If the Panthers had just started Matt Moore right away (or Delhomme not been so god-awful) they'd probably have made the playoffs, whereas starting Bruce Gradkowski wouldn't have made THAT BIG of a difference. So Delhomme was more un-valuable to his team, if that makes any sense.

21 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

I'm not ashamed to admit that I would have voted for Jimmy Football for best commercial if I could have. I frequently have trouble putting on a condiment, and I thought those commercials were funny. Certainly better than Polamalu's shampoo commercials.

22 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

I was disappointed in the "funny" category. The Raiders drafting Heyward-Bey was a ridiculously stupid moment. It was an absurd moment. It was amusing at the time.

But "funny"? Not in the way of Orlovsky running out the back of the end zone, or the Redskins running the exact same play right after a timeout despite the other team being 100% prepared for it. Or even the Sanchez criticism of Carroll.

But then again, none of them can top last year's, so I guess no matter what it was going to be a slight disappointment.

96 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

It may be because of the bad plays where DHB was involved. Like the ball bouncing off his chest for a pick six. Falling down just short of the end zone as the time is running off the clock. Just generally dropping passes. And it doesn't help that he had the NFL's most inaccurate QB trying to get him the ball much of the season.

38 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

He did a good job this year, but it's the same phenomenon as the previously mentioned "Rivers for MVP" thread. In order for Phillips to get a vote, someone has to think he was THE BEST coach in the league this year. There is no 2nd place vote. If it was "rank your top 10 and we'll assign weights to it", then he might have made it into the top 10, maybe. But I can't imagine anyone making a case that Wade Phillips was THE BEST coach in the NFL this year.

41 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

But I can't imagine anyone who would say that about Mike Singletary or Ken Whisenhunt either. And even Caldwell I would argue has no credentials to be CotY. He was part of the "Destruction of Perfection" (even though the Saints won the SB). What did he really accomplish? Exactly what the Colts have accomplished every other year minus 2006.

If 8 coaches get votes, Phillips deserves to be one of those 8 is my main point. I didn't vote for him myself, but I would've surely voted for him over Ken, Mike, and Jim.

55 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Caldwell's team had the best record in the league and made the Super Bowl, so I'm not sure how that's "exactly what the Colts have accomplished every other year minus 2006". I'd say it's more than they have accomplished every year EXCEPT 2006.

As for Singletary or Whisenhunt, yeah, I wouldn't have voted for them either. In Singletary's case, I suppose a case could be made that he took a 4-12 quality team and got an 8-8 record out of them. That does sound like a very good job of coaching. That would be the knock on Phillips -- he took a talented team just about exactly where they should have gone. I would say the same about Whisenhunt. I can only think that the Whisenhunt votes had some residual carryover from last year.

"I didn't vote for him myself, but I would've surely voted for him over Ken, Mike, and Jim."

That's kind of the point. I assume you didn't vote for him because you didn't think he was the coach of the year. So... if you weren't willing to vote for him, why should I, or anyone else?

63 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

But if I'm not willing to vote for Ken, Mike, or Jim, why should you or anyone else? The fact that they got votes shows that some people are willing to vote for them as being THE BEST, and my point is that it's odd that those guys can be thought of as THE BEST but Wade cannot, even when I find it reasonable to think that he did a better job this year than those guys.

As for the Colts, I meant more along the lines of "ridiculous regular season followed by no SB win." Maybe making the SB and losing is an upgrade to you, but it's not to me. It's yet another wasted year for a franchise that has the regular season resume of a team with at least 2 championships, if not 3 or 4. Hence, Caldwell in my book just continued more of the same.

75 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Like it or not, Phillips is perceived as simply being a caretaker for a wealth of talent. He also was on the hot seat all year, which I'm sure didn't help him in the voting.

The others at least can be explained:

Singletary coached what is perceived to be a relatively talentless team, with a bust first-overall pick at quarterback, to an 8-8 record. The 49ers were mostly a laughingstock before Singletary took over, and now they're seen as a team poised to become a contender.

Caldwell has the same caretaker issues that Phillips has, yet he led his team to a 14-2 record, better than the Cowboys'.

Whisenhunt likely got some carryover from last year, like Lola was a dude said. I think he also has a better track record than Phillips.

I'm not necessarily saying that these coaches are better or worse than Phillips, just that I can see why people would vote for them. Especially when Phillips was perceived to be on the hot seat up until the Cowboys beat the Eagles in the wild card round.

86 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

"But if I'm not willing to vote for Ken, Mike, or Jim, why should you or anyone else?"

I did vote for Caldwell, mostly for reasons of homerism, although I do feel the choice can at least be justified. But I'm not trying to convince everyone that Caldwell was slighted or that he should have won. Why are you championing Phillips now if you weren't willing to vote for him then?

Anyway, it goes back to the point about all-or-nothing voting. In my opinion, there is a line of thought that can get someone to a vote for Caldwell or Singletary as their COTY (not Whisenhunt though, I'll grant that). Probably not enough people will take that line of thought for one of them to win, but I can at least see the sequence that gets me there. With Phillips, what is the train of thought that leads me to vote him #1? It has to be #1. "He should be in the top 10" doesn't count. It has to be "he's #1, and here's why".

For my money, the most surprising omission is not Phillips, it's Belichick. I'm not saying he deserved to win at all, but I figured he'd have a few die-hards in his corner. Especially around here, where 4th-and-2 isn't seen as an all-time blunder.

106 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

I sincerely doubt that is the case. In fact I'm pretty sure the numbers are not even close, especially between the Cowboys and the Cardinals.

How many Cowboys fans want Wade Phillips fired? Now how many Cards or Niner fans want Wisenhunt or Singletary fired? That might explain some things for you.

126 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

There are almost certainly fewer Dallas fans on this site than Niner fans, mostly because the Niner blog community has embraced FO in a way that the Dallas blog community has not.

Hard believe that Cardinals fans outnumber Cowboys fans anywhere, however. Including Arizona.

105 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

I think you're putting a little too much stock in team success. A coach can only play the cards he is given. Do you think the Cowboys record would have been worse if Singletary or Wisenhunt had been their coach? I certainly don't. Do you think the Cards or Niners record would have been better if Phillips was the head coach? I certainly don't. Perhaps you disagree, but most people don't think Wade is a very good coach, and the fact that he had a better team does not mean he outperformed his fellow coaches.

I think if you think about it for a minute it's pretty easy to understand why Wade was not one of the top 8.

82 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Philips only really coaches half of his team. Garret seems to have the offense to himself and might actually be the better coach. Dallas have a sweet set-up there. I do rate Phillips, I felt he had a bum rap in his previous jobs but it's hard to give coach of the year to a guy who might not be the best coach on his team.

29 Thoughts

I wanted to vote for Charles for breakout player, but I figured 1120 yards in basically 8 games counted as a "breakout." I guess if he plays a full season at close to the same level and falls into the end zone more often, 2010's numbers will crush 2009's, but he's no Ray Rice or Rashard Mendenhall. Actually, I'm not sure why he didn't make the Elway list. Seems he missed the "high draft pick" cutoff by ten spots. Not that he deserved to win, but it's odd that people think of him more as "poised to break out" than "a surprising sophomore."

I never like the Game of the Year choices. Too many scoringfests, often due to sloppy play. The Browns/Lions game was a joke, the punchline being that the Browns were so bad, they couldn't beat the Lions.

Never saw the Polamalu commercials. I don't see what's so annoying about Jimmy Football. Wait, nevermind, I never saw those either. All this time, I thought people were talking about those cooler/grill tailgate commercials. Must be why I voted for Saved by Zero again. Worst. Commercial. Ever.

35 Re: Thoughts

In reply to by Snowglare

Jimmy Football is the cooler/grill tailgate commercial. That was one of them, anyway.

44 Re: Thoughts

In reply to by Lola was a dude (not verified)

The regular season has been over for 2 months, and I still am annoyed just thinking about Jimmy Football again. I remember during the season suggesting that if I ever saw the actor who played him, I'd be sorely tempted to kick the guy in the nuts for subjecting us all to that crap.

What makes it worse is that some bright young ad exec at Bud probably really thought he had a winner on his hands with this campaign. I pray to all that's holy that they do not bring him back next year.

56 Re: Thoughts

In reply to by Dean

Meh. I thought it was funny.

57 Re: Thoughts

In reply to by Dean

BOOM! Whooooaaa! It's a STAMP!

74 Re: Thoughts

In reply to by Snowglare

So what is your vote then for game of the year? The Cowboys beating the Skins in a 7-6 nailbiter? Perfect example of how you can't make everyone happy.

131 Re: Thoughts

In reply to by Thinking (not verified)

As you know, extremely poor offense is no better than extremely poor defense. A great game doesn't have to be low scoring, but it does need to feature a minimum of mistakes, in my opinion. Two teams playing well, battling all the way.

The first BAL/PIT was pretty good. Dixon was overmatched, but he largely avoided errors, and as a whole, the Steelers played well enough that you'd think they'd have won with a healthy Roethlisberger. Of course, they collapsed after that.

I guess the winner wasn't so bad, since it was more about two good offenses dominating two good defenses, though the ending was lame, the Packers losing due to their terrible protection. I don't know how some made the list at all. The Saints played poorly enough to be seen as the Super Bowl underdogs by nearly everyone, only winning thanks to yet another Favre meltdown. The Browns and Lions shouldn't qualify for any game they play, and that one was no exception. I kinda like the Colts/Dolphins pick, but I'm in the minority.

30 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

I can't believe Faneca got any votes for best OL. His pass-blocking this year was absolutely awful.

31 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

There was a certain reader who was awfully ... "vocal" in his belief that Phillip Rivers should have gotten more consideration for the AP MVP Award. I can't say I agreed with all the arguments he gave ... but Rivers did lead the league in DVOA while taking a team handicapped by a nonexistent run game, mediocre defense, and questionable coaching to a very respectable season. I'm surprised that such a strong effort didn't receive more appreciation in this vote.

Some other thoughts...

-Given how much hype Revis received here, I don't think it's really any surprise that he received such a large share of the Devensive MVP vote from FO readers. Has any individual defensive player gotten so much ink in support of an award before? (To be clear, I voted for him, too ... but I think the voting might say as much about the coverage of "Revis vs. Woodson" as it does about their actual contributions.)

-Alan Faneca and Steve Hutchinson? Really? I know they finished far from first, but if you're that unsure about the category, just leave it blank!

-I'm astonished that Mike Nolan didn't receive more credit for the Broncos' defensive improvement from "historically awful" to "pretty darn good." With the Saints winning the Super Bowl, I can see how Williams gets more votes ... but Dom Capers and Mike Zimmer? Sure, they did great work this year, but I'm astonished that Nolan finished fourth when he helped the Broncos attain the second largest year-to-year improvement in defensive DVOA since 1993. (And there was even an XP to bring attention to it!)

-Considering how badly Vincent Jackson deserved to go to the Pro Bowl, I thought Brandon Marshall was the best pick for "undeserving offensive Pro Bowler."

-Having watched London Fletcher a considerable amount, he was his usual, very-steady-but-usually-not-spectacular self. I think both his Pro Bowl appearance and his FO "most underrated" are really more lifetime awards, but I don't know how else you can recognize a guy who's in the top-5 or 10 at his position every year but never has the peak to be one of the top two.

-The candidates for game of the year were all quite offensive!

39 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Actually, Nnamdi whould be Defensive MVP. Revis at least gets thrown at; quarterbacks don't even -try- to throw at Nnamdi. I know it is a quiet kind of value, but when opposing teams just completely ignore the player you're covering (He was thrown at 15 times in the CB rankings... less than once a game), what more are you supposed to do?

Charles Woodson was what, the third or fourth most valuable -cornerback- this year?

113 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Hahaha, I can't believe I already forgot about how frequently FO shouted "Asomugha!" or "Nnamdi!" or "Raiders CB1!" last year. Considering that didn't even win him the "FO Defensive MVP award," much less an outright majority, maybe the coverage here didn't really have all that much to do with the vote after all. Then again, maybe the readership just found this year's evidence for Revis stronger than last year's for Nnamdi (perhaps because of Lola's reasoning).

171 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Point is, the Raiders 2nd and 3rd CB's aren't actually that bad (although their pass rush is). Stanford Routt, the nickel corner, is max tendered, and he would start for some teams (cough, Indianapolis, cough). Nnamdi is really that much better than they are.

My point was just that CB is a lot like OL for voting. There are no good stats to define CB's, especially at the top end. Is Revis the best cover corner in the league? I don't know. I do know he hasn't proven he's better than Nnamdi.

90 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

yeah who was that vocal jackass on the phillip rivers bandwagon? He was simply the best quarterback in the league last year based on numbers. While numbers show a coorelation to how good a player is, i understand they are not the tell all when it comes to future predictions. Numbers do show what happened in the past and are what the mvp vote should be about. Once we let our judgement in, that is when we let our biases in as well. According to the numbers, Rivers was the best quarterback this year and should have won the mvp award. Its easy to give an award to another player because of a lifetime achievement. If Manning throws for 4000 yards this year, just pencil his name in for mvp again. Yes even if a player breaks records or if a team goes undefeated. If peyton has a good year he will win mvp. Thats how ludicrous this award has become.

100 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Austin Collie is terrible and Pierre Garcon is mediocre. The Colts offensive line is very mediocre. Manning has basically one good skill position player in Wayne and the non-skill aren't much to talk about. Rivers has Jackson and Gates who are both excellent and a considerably better offensive line. 'The stats' do not take into account team context. When that is factored in, Manning's performance is quite clearly more impressive than Rivers'.

108 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Manning also has that other skill position player, Dallas Clark or something. He's alright.

Also, I'm not sure where you got the idea that the Chargers offensive line is "considerably better". The Chargers line is not very good at all. We could look at the run blocking (or LT and Sproles' numbers), or we could look at PFF (not the be-all end-all, but another unbiased source). They gave the Colts line a 7.0 in pass blocking and a -26.3 in run blocking, and the Chargers a -8.5 in pass blocking and a -12.1 in run blocking.

So I'll completely disagree with your non-objective opinion that Manning has way worse skill position players (though the Chargers have a much better #2 WR, Malcom Floyd) or a worse line. And I'll say that in no way is Manning quite clearly more impressive than Rivers, except to Colts homers.

116 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

*Sigh* ... I was hoping this wouldn't happen...

-DYAR is also a "number" that certainly wouldn't put Rivers as the most valuable quarterback of 2010.

-More to the point, pretty much any stat is useless without taking context into account.

-Manning has thrown for 4000+ yards in ten different seasons; he won the MVP in four of those seasons. (Of course, one of those seasons he shared it with Steve McNair, so I'd call it 3.5 awards...) No need for hyperbole.

-I'm not sure what broken records or undefeated seasons you're referring to. The last time a prominent QB broke a major single-season record or contributed to an undefeated regular season was in 2007, when Tom Brady did each of those, and it was he, not Manning, who won both the AP and FO Offensive MVP awards ... and by gargantuan margins.

-FO voters had the opportunity to see both Manning and Rivers play against a common opponent in the playoffs, and one had considerably more success than the other.

I'm not saying that Manning had an open-and-shut case this year; in fact, I personally voted for Rivers. But acting like Rivers should have been a shoo-in is just as tenuous as suggesting that Manning had an airtight case.

121 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

"FO voters had the opportunity to see both Manning and Rivers play against a common opponent in the playoffs, and one had considerably more success than the other."

Oh god. How many jets DB's went down with injury in the colts jets playoff game?

"-I'm not sure what broken records or undefeated seasons you're referring to. The last time a prominent QB broke a major single-season record or contributed to an undefeated regular season was in 2007, when Tom Brady did each of those, and it was he, not Manning, who won both the AP and FO Offensive MVP awards ... and by gargantuan margins."

Oh god. You say you arent sure what broken records or undefeated seasons im referring to yet you point out that the last 3 mvps were tom brady and his RECORD BREAKING SEASON and two peyton manning mvp's by default. you describe the exact thing i was talking about and in pretty good detail and context.

Brees threw for 5000 yards two years ago and this year broke the record for completion percentage. Did he win the mvp in either season? oh yeah peyton threw for 4000 yards! give me a break. Rivers had a higher dyar and dvoa than Manning and while the dyar was extremely close, Rivers had an 8% lead over manning in dvoa. 8%! that is a huge margin. I am sure i am taking it out of context though. Someone please feed me the right context to take all of these stats.

172 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Yeah, it's too bad Rivers hasn't been even a top 3 quarterback in the league -any- season, or maybe he would have won something by now. Talking about how great Brady and Brees are when they don't win isn't a very good argument for why Philip Rivers should win something.

Manning wins the award because he wins games without nearly the support that Rivers has on the Chargers. He makes people like Garcon stars; Garcon wouldn't make the Chargers' practice squad. Rivers is great because Norv Turner runs an offense that inflates QB stats, and because he has six receivers over 6' tall and with good hands. He also benefits from LT2's reputation as a running back, even if the running game isn't special anymore.

I can see other names for offensive MVP (I'd even consider Vincent Jackson, actually). But Rivers is an above average NFL starter, a valuable commodity but not a best-in-league commodity. He would have been sixth in my voting for the QB position alone...

1. Manning
2. Favre
3. Warner
4. Brady
5. Brees

175 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

This doesnt make sense though. If height is all that matters for receiver then why is shaq not on an nfl team right now? To say Rivers is good because of tall receivers is an awful statement. I guess this year we will see that Rivers didn't benefit from LT2. The offense will be 2007 patriot good if they can get a runningback that is above average. While that probably won't happen, I will predict they will lead the league in ppg, and Rivers will lead this league in dvoa for the third straight year. And to say that Manning doesnt have as good of support is a fallacy. Wayne was drafted higher than vincent jackson and has been a better pro so far in their careers. Clark was drafted higher than Gates and is so highly thought of that he was the pro bowl starter ahead of gates despite gates having arguably the best year ever at tight end. Floyd was drafted lower than Garcon and if they both hit the free agent market Garcon would go for much more. Out of those three comparisons, Jackson and Wayne is virtually a wash, Gates is better than clark, and Garcon is better than Floyd. This is a wash. The colts had a better offensive line based on everything. Find me one stat that disagrees and ill be shocked. And the running game for the colts was more efficient than the charger running game. Also to say that Rivers is in a pass happy system is to completely ignore Peytons system. How many more pass attempts did Manning have? Nothing in ur post makes any sense.

178 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Let me straighten some of that out; bit stream of consciousness there.

I guess you're saying that since Manning had a strong supporting cast and a better offensive line and threw more passes, he's a worse quarterback. The only problem is that apart from pass attempts, none if it is true. Garcon, as I mentioned, wouldn't make the Chargers' practice squad. (He couldn't get a phone call in New Orleans, but that's another story). The Colts' offensive line was awful this year, even in pass protection; San Diego regressed run blocking but has a competent left tackle, a Pro Bowl center who isn't 36 years old, and two decent guards. Rivers had decent time to throw, which is how he racked up DVOA numbers on long passes.

The Chargers are a great team; but they're great because of their breadth of talent, not because Philip Rivers is a great quarterback. Philip Rivers is every bit as good as Eli Manning, but he doesn't hold a candle to Peyton or Warner.

181 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

You couldnt be more wrong. Thats an unfair evaluation of the Garcon situation.

"Garcon, as I mentioned, wouldn't make the Chargers' practice squad. (He couldn't get a phone call in New Orleans, but that's another story)" I'm assuming you are saying since the chargers (and saints for that matter) didn't acquire Garcon that he isn't good enough to be on their practice squad. Ok, then Gates wasn't good enough to be on the colts practice squad when he came into the league. Your logic is trash. Absolute utter garbage. Im saying that Rivers had a better dvoa (past two years), a better dyar, better ypa, better ypc, better offense based on ppg, a lower int ratio, a higher td ratio and to steal from raider joe..... and some.

Manning had higher drafted skill position players and more pro bowl players on offense and STILL put up worse advanced statistics and ended up with a WAY WORSE offense. Manning isn't even close to the player Rivers is and the best part about this is that Rivers will prove that in the next couple years. The chargers were great because of 3 players; Rivers, Gates, and Jackson. And if they don't sign vincent jackson I will probably stop watching football this year to save myself from depression.

183 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

We are on a football website not a DND website or a billy goats gruff website. Advanced metrics show that they are virtually even on their overall value (dyar) and that is while given way less pass attempts. Their value per play isnt even close.... give Rivers 20 passing plays and Manning 20 passing plays and Rivers will outproduce Manning in their given systems. Im sorry but it isnt even close. Rivers is a much better quarterback than manning. He has been better for the last two years and will probably be better than manning for the rest of their careers. Sorry but i actually watch football games instead of reading billy goats gruff or defeating troll warriors in DND.

140 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Re Nolan. I think he did a good job. He took the defense from horrible (2008) to good early in 2009 but IMO they faded down the stretch, perhaps as other teams figured out his defense and the weaknesses of the players in it. I don't have a lot of analysis to support this, and DVOA disagrees, but consider:

Last week of the season, KC (3-12) at DEN (8-7). Chiefs came into Denver on a five game losing streak. They had nothing to play for while DEN had a slim chance to make the playoffs with a win. In the last four years KC had scored 40 total points in Denver and they hadn't won there since 2000. DEN was hampered by having its #1 and #2 WR out for the game, but was still a 9 point favorite in what Vegas pegged as a low-scoring game (O/U 38). With its season on the line, the Denver defense gave up 44 points to a woeful Chiefs offense, including 259 rushing yards to Jamaal Charles who might have gotten more if the Chiefs had given him the ball on their final possession. I think that qualifies as EPIC FAIL and it's hard to give CoY honors to the DC responsible, with all due credit for what he had done to that point.

32 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

I think the LT dance video was more "embarrassing /what was he thinking" than funny.

Jimmy Neutron had potential, the "Grooler" was funny. But once they started with the calk gun for condiments it was a mess.

33 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

"The guy shut down everyone he played this year (except, maybe, Reggie Wayne in the first half of Week 16)."

this is flat-out wrong. Steve Smith was beating him all day when they played the Panthers, for instance. He's a great player who had a great season, but he's quickly becoming overrated - both here and in the media at large. It's a shame that Charles Woodson's amazing season is being devalued by you guys (who should know better, considering FO likes to make a big deal about not overly privileging single-game results) based on a single bad playoff game.

101 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

The thing is, when you ask the question, who faced worse QBs this year the answer is quite obvious (hint: not Revis). Not to mention the WRs, Revis was up against a much, much more impressive cast of receivers than Woodson was. It may have been a fluke, but Woodson wasn't even close to as good as Revis this year, turnover hype aside.

91 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

I agree. Revis was a nobody before this year happened. Never has a player kept such noteriety and been dubbed an all time great because of 1 good year. If thats the case, i hope they vote antonio cromartie into the hall of fame once he retires.

152 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Yeah if i don't share the opinion you have that means i know nothing about football and never watch it. Im sure you were one of the people on here telling me over and over how i was wrong about how awful matt forte was last year and how awful jay cutler is. Sorry to burst your bubble but Revis isn't great. He had a good year but isn't an all time great. His interception against vincent jackson bounced off his back and into his lap. How is that skill? It isnt. Lucky plays happen and he was the beneficiary of atleast 1 in his 7(?) picks.

Here let me display my football knowledge. Colts and Pats are the two best teams ever. Peyton is great and his commercials are funny, i could drink a beer with him. Jay Cutler is good. Orlando Pace is great (going into last year). Revis is one of the best 10 players to ever play in the nfl. Aaron Rodgers will be the best quarterback during the 2010's. Any player to come out of USC will be awful. Is the team west of the mississippi river? Then it is the worst team in the league. Brandon Marshall is one of the best receivers in the league because he has awesome street cred.

90% of the people that go on here are puppets. Screw you and your conformist mind. Did it ever cross your mind that the jets have 3 cornerbacks in the top 10 in the whole nfl based on an article published by this site and that (in my opinion) shows that the system has more to do with cornerback play than the "skill" of the player? How did leigh bodden do in detroit? Well he did good everywhere else. Revis is the cornerback du jour. And you scumbags voted for him as the first majority defensive player of the year in the 7 years footballoutsiders has done the awards. Pathetic. I find it hard to believe that his year this year was the best defensive year in atleast the last 7 years. I know you do too but I also know it will hurt ur puppet mind to give in. The only way this will get resolved is if my strings get pulled in the same manner that everyone elses do. Revis is one of the 10 best players to ever play in the nfl.

179 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Wow.

I agree Revis is a little overhyped, but he's a very, very good cornerback (and better than Woodson). He won votes not because he is the best ever, but because this year he was dominant at his position, and some of the usual suspects weren't performing (Ray Lewis is getting old, Haynesworth in Washington, Merriman not the same off the roids...).

99 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Revis has been in the league three years, at a position where it's not unusual to see a guy take two years just to get things figured out. He made the Pro Bowl in both 2008 and 2009, and he can't have been trading on rep in 2008, right? Just because you don't hear about someone unless he's a frontrunner for DPOY doesn't mean he wasn't any good before.

--
There's a place I want to be. It's the NovaCare Center. That's in Philadelphia. One NovaCare Way, where the Eagles practice and then they eat cafeteria food and they watch film and we eat and we have fun.

-Donovan McNabb

150 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

havent had time yet to read entrie thrread but had a few momenrs to skim. when randomaly scroll down first post read was 91 by bigJohsnon poster. Is guy drunk in cave during 2008 seaosn?

Not a Jets fan here but have to amdit revis was one of best cbs in elague in 2008 maybe #2 right behind Nnamdi Asomugha. only peopl e who think D revis burst on scnene in 2009 are drunkards or people who did not watch nfl games in 2008

153 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

hey raiderjoe when is jamarcus gonna break out? youve been telling us how good he is for the last 3 years. Maybe you should spend more time watching nfl games and less time creating fake persona's on the internet.

154 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

What are u talking about? Big Johsnon seem like more of fake perosna to me. Memo to you: when on internet if say johnson is big, then it's not big.

Russell going to be gerat qb just need some time.

166 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

only go to sports sites aor reputbale sites if lookin up soemthing not about sprots.
dont look at pron becuause not interetsying in getting viruses. even if wanted to look would be lesbian sites. dont want tro see guys naked. hated scene in any Given Sunday when guy standinh naked in locker room in front of cameron diaz. disgusting scene

159 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

They play a cornerback friendly defense, very aggressive.
But it takes tight cornerback play to make it successfull and Revis does it to near perfection.
It takes some knowledge of defenses to see that.
I don't know where your frustration towards the FO crowd comes from, maybe RJ is right (he often is) but Revis is recognised as an outstanding player on an outstanding defense.

92 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

This comment is wrong. First of all, Smith was absolutely dominated by Revis all game, with his only catch (I think) coming on a ridiculous one-handed catch. Revis was all over Smith, and the one pass to Smith in the end zone would have required an incredible catch.

I did most of the Jets charting this year, and he's not over rated. He was isolated in man coverage much of the time and his performance was unreal

40 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

I saw the Jets/Panthers game live and took turns focusing on Revis/Smith and Peppers vs both tackles. Jake did miss Smith at times, but to say he was getting beating him all day is absurd. There was a play that Jake under threw deep that Revis picked off. If he gets that out in front, who knows what happens. But Revis still made the plays available to him that day.

66 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Are you talking about the pick-six that Jake threw off of Steve Smith's foot before Smith had even turned around? It would be hard to give Revis credit for such a fluke play.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioDNkr7bk00

43 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

I'm astonished by the 43.5% San Francisco vote to be a Super Bowl contender. I guess if that just means "makes the playoffs," then sure, okay, we have a good chance to win the division next year. But even if we make it to the playoffs, it's hard to imagine anyone will think we're a contender unless Alex Smith starts playing like a #1 overall pick in his 6th season, Jimmy Raye finally figures out how to be an offensive coordinator after 27,000 years in the league, and whatever RT we draft comes in and playes like Oher II.

47 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

I think that's mainly a result of the competition on the ballot. SF is by far the most likely team to make the playoffs of the bunch.

The only quarterback I see who will become a superbowl calibre QB is Cutler. The two rookies are unknown. Smith, Campbell, Garrard etc are more or less known mediocrities at this point.

110 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Nah, I think it's mostly (as loneweasel said, though it's curious that he would say this after saying earlier the Niners ceiling was 8 or 9 wins) that the Niners are much more likely to make the playoffs than any other team. Once you're in the playoffs, anything can happen (see the 2009 Jets, 2008 Cardinals, 2007 Giants, ect.).

Will Alex Smith play like the #1 pick? No. Does he need to when you're talking about being only 2-3 games away from a championship, especially with a very nice possibility of having a great defense? No.

114 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Well I don't think any other team in their division has a prayer to win more than 7 games next year. They certainly have the best shot at the playoffs among teams on the ballot.

Chicago has an outside shot at being a better team, though their record might not relect it due to the division. Their road to the playoffs is definitely harder.

119 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

"Well I don't think any other team in their division has a prayer to win more than 7 games next year."

I'd say the Cards do, even though I'm not a Leinart believer at all. because IF Leinart can play somewhat decently the rest of their team (assuming they make a couple of offseason moves) should be fairly good.

"They certainly have the best shot at the playoffs among teams on the ballot. Chicago has an outside shot at being a better team, though their record might not relect it due to the division. Their road to the playoffs is definitely harder."

Agreed.

48 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Further evidence of Vincent Jackson's underratedness, or maybe Brandon Marshall's overratedness: ESPN is currently running a poll on which wide receiver you would want your team to pursue, Jackson, Marshall, or Miles Austin. Austin is winning in Texas and Oklahoma. Marshall is winning in every other state in the union -- even in California, which is one of the few states where he's managed to finish as high as second.

49 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Consider the source. Their "results" come from People Who Vote In Online Polls At ESPN.com.

A ballot from that group would probably find Reggie Bush outpolling Steven Jackson in a "who's the better RB" poll.

59 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Maybe he should start prancing around like a jackass, bring some props onto the field for some idiotic end-zone celebration, pretend to moon the crowd, then flip them off, demand a trade, do some situps in his driveway, and generally act like a petulent douchebag? That seems to be the way to get noticed anymore. God forbid you carry yourself with any dignity.

137 Bush is a great player

What you mean? Bush win super bowl, Jax win one gaem. Not close. Bush explosieve player, TD madchine, taking New Orleans back next this year. Jax stuck in Saint Losey for life, must have been terrible person in past. case for Dr. Kate.

Geaux Saints!

64 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Jackson plays with a great QB, an all-time great receiving TE and some pretty good other talent, and his stats reflect that. I'm not disputing he's a good player, but you have to take context into account.

79 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

That's m point for defending Marshall. Jabar Gaffney, a slumping Eddie R. and Kyle Orton. If you produce like Marshall has in that system, you're a lock for ProBowl in my book unless you share conference with 4 other guys defying similar odds - like Andre Johnson for example.

122 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Johnson had to defy far worse odds than that early in his career, but the supporting talent in Houston's pretty good these days.

I don't know whether fans were considering this in the poll, but Marshall would come cheaper, in draft pick terms, than Austin or Jackson. It's also probably less likely that his current team would match any tender offer you made for him than is the case for the other two.

61 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

I specifically voted against Revis (for Patrick Willis) in part to spite the over-hypers. A meningless gesture, I know, but there are few things more obnoxious than people that over-confident in their convictions. That, and Willis very well may have been better - and that's the point.

123 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Wow. Um, really? I thought the research done on the subject suggested it was the second most valuable, a hair behind pass rusher. In terms of the franchise tag numbers (a passable though far from infallible indicator of what teams think on the subject), CB is almost exactly the same as LB, behind DE, but well ahead of DT or S. Unless you think that no non-passrusher should ever be defensive MVP, I think your comment is hard to defend - though I do agree that in Tampa-2 defenses corners really do have a much lower value. Revis was hugely valuable not just because of all the incomplete passes that were thrown at him but because his ability to handle top receivers with minimal help enabled the rest of the defense to be structured in a way it otherwise could not have been. In fact, he was indirectly probably the single most important contributor to the Jets' pass rush.

132 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

I think there is some confusion because some positions are "valuable" due to the difference between a star and an average player and other positions are "valuable" due to the difference between an average player and a scrub.

For instance, QB, DE, LT are positions where having a star rather than an average player makes a huge difference. Obviously having a scrub in one of these positions will kill you.

LB, S, G, and RB (and special teams) are positions where having a star, while better than having an average player, is not as critical, but having a total scrub will kill you nearly as much as with the first group. Personally, I would put CB in the second group, although I suspect that most NFL front offices would put it (and RB) in the first group.

134 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

I suspect that the talent/value curves for all those positions are probably a lot more complex and a lot more different from each other even than that, actually. It's also worth noting that the distribution of talent, and the scarcity of elite players at a given position, are factors too. I put it to you that while an elite WR is probably worth nearly as much as an elite LT, and an elite pass rusher probably more than an elite CB, elite LTs and CBs are far rarer than elite WRs and pass rushers. There never seem to be more than a couple of truly dominant corners in the league at any given time. Currently, I'm not even sure there are any elite left tackles at all (though Clady and Thomas may be getting that way). Scarcity adds value.

139 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

I agree, and I guess that's why I see CB as relatively low value. Having incompetent CBs is, as you say, very detrimental, but as long as you have someone competent, it doesn't seem to make much of a difference to have a great corner. Therefore, the best CB is less valuable in my mind than some others (and which others really depends on the defense).

I certainly think there's room for disagreement here, and I'm not sure how you would prove one way or the other. Mr Shush points out that it appears that teams value CB more highly than anything other than pass rusher, which is certainly a good point. Obviously, it's an imperfect measure, but it does show something. However, I can also point out the DVOAs of Nnamdi Asomugha and Champ Bailey's defenses recently (Asomugha: -8.1%, 6.7%, 7.8%, 10.3%. Bailey: -3.0%, 7.0%, 24.7%*, -7.9%). They're not awful, but they're not great either. They're also quite inconsistent for having great players at supposedly highly valuable positions. Again, it isn't perfect, but it seems to suggest that maybe they're not that valuable. I think you can probably find ten different ways to show the value of the position and have ten different ideas of its value.

*Yes, I know he was injured.

129 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

I don't know about LEAST valuable, but I agree for the most part. I came to this conclusion based not on any sort of stats, but just from watching games like the Colts/Jets AFCCG.

There is, in my opinion, a finite amount of impact that even the best CB can have. An awesome CB can shut down the opponent's top WR. OK, that's great if you're playing the Panthers, but most of the good teams have more than one player they throw the ball to. For a great CB to really matter, you have to have multiple good DBs. Otherwise you end up with what happened in that Colts/Jets game, or in every Raiders game.

My opinion is that the CB position as a unit is very important, but that one individual CB can really only make a moderate impact by himself. In that respect, a top flight CB is only as valuable as his teammates make him, much like any other defensive player.

130 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Yes, but if you're going to use that logic, you can never pick a defensive MVP. Heck, we even see great quarterbacks on mediocre teams because there's only so much they can do (Drew Brees, 2008).

You're right that Revis will never be worth a full win in any given game, but if his total wins added is more than any other defensive player's, he should be the MVP.

144 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Having a top flight CB lets you structure your defense to make the job a hell of a lot easier for the rest of your CB's. Taking away the top WR is a HUGE help, no matter how many WR's a team has.

85 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

I did not see Revis play much, playoff games and I think one regular season game. I voted for Willis. I watched all 49ers games this year with the exception of Eagles game.
Whenever 49ers play you see Willis as the best defensive player on the field on almost all games, regardless of who they play against. I don't think a CB can contribute to his team as much. I think had Willis played for Jets, he would be considered a better player than Revis.
But the 64% is quite high. Maybe I should watch more games that Jets play.

69 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

"But at a certain point, when are all the talent evaluators in the media going to be honest about how wrong they were about JaMarcus Russell? We all make fun of the guy, and we make fun of Oakland because he's never developed, but almost everyone out there thought the Raiders were making the right pick when they took Russell number one."

Other than our friend Raiderjoe, I don't remember anyone saying that JaMarcus Russell was a good pick. I thought he would be a huge bust, and I thought many others shared my view. He has lived up to my expectations.

76 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

The only one I thought I remembered being a fan of his was Kiper, and I did find this: http://youbeenblinded.com/revisiting-mel-kipers-jamarcus-russell-prediction/5489

I haven't been able to find anything else directly from an analyst, but I also wasn't willing to put in a lot of effort. In general, I had the same feeling you did. I thought that a lot of people thought Russell was questionable.

77 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

I would have to agree. I don't remember ANYONE saying that Russell was a great pick. In fact, I remember many pundits opining that Brady Quinn was the better pick and that Davis' infatuation with the big arm was leading him down the wrong path.

Of course, i don't remember anyone lobbying for Kevin Kolb either...

- Alvaro

70 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

I think it's difficult to make this point without sounding more outraged than I actually am, but it really looks bad to demand that Kiper/McShay/et al. be held totally accountable for being wrong on Russell, and then in the very next sentence totally blow off the Lewin Forecast being wrong on Quinn. Where's the paragraph saying "David Lewin needs to step back and say, 'Hey, I was wrong about Quinn, and this is why, and this is what it means for how the LCF evaluates quarterback talent in the future'"?