2009 Football Outsiders Awards

2009 Football Outsiders Awards

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

80 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

The thing is the LCF is a rule that is applied by rote without regard to circumstances. It ought to be less accurate than a carefully considered case-by-case evaluation. He doesn't need to take nearly as much responsibility for his rule of thumb deviating from the observed result in one case as he would for a specific assertion deviating from the observed result (in the only case that assertion applies to).

81 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Hey. The LCF was wrong about Quinn. We're not sure why. We're going to look at it in the offseason to try to improve things and avoid similar mistakes. David Lewin can't do it because he works in the NBA now. I'm going to try to take the time. Hope that makes you feel better. We're always looking to improve accuracy on our work. People understand that, right?

83 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Thanks for the response, Aaron. Like I said, I'm not really outraged by it, but I felt that it needed pointing out. Of course, I expect the LCF to make mistakes; it's not a perfect system, after all, but then again, neither are the draft gurus, so they should be allowed the occasional mistake themselves.

I'm glad to hear that FO will be looking at it some more, though. One of the things that really inspires a lot of my trust in DVOA is the very public process that when something obviously wrong comes out, you guys acknowledge and look at it, and do what you can to make the method better. It seems like the LCF hasn't really gone through that process as much (and, admittedly, I'm sure it's hard to change without affecting the simplicity that makes it so appealing), so I think it would benefit from that.

89 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

My problem with the LCF is that its accuracy seems to depend on it being a secret. That is, as soon as it becomes publicized that completion % and games started are important, QBs that score well with both suddenly become valued higher and QBs who score poorly are valued lower. And since the LCF depends on physical scouting filtering out 1st & 2nd round picks (who are also affected by knowing about LCF), the LCF itself becomes less accurate with each successive iteration.

In other news, never gamble with a sicilian when death is on the line.

94 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

I'm still not so sure the Lewin forecast is wrong about Quinn. He hasn't done it so far. But it's not as if he can do it alone either. Other than Thomas, the Browns' offense is full of replacement level players. He's only played three years. Give him some support and a bit of Mike Holmgren's guidance, and he could still turn out to be a decent QB.

115 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

I'll answer myself in case anyone else wants to see it: http://www.footballoutsiders.com/nfl-draft/2007/2007-quarterbacks-draft-preview

"In my opinion, Quinn's college stats match up pretty well with his scouting profile. He completed 58.0 percent of his passes in college and started 46 games. This projects Quinn as a good pro quarterback, but not a great one. . . . Carson Palmer, Donovan McNabb and Jay Cutler all started 45 games, and completed 59, 58 and 57 percent of their passes respectively. If Quinn's pro career is as similar to those players as his college stats are, then he should be good enough to justify a high pick. . . . Quinn is far from flawless as a prospect, but, in spite of his occasional shortcomings on the national stage, all evidence points to Quinn becoming a very good NFL quarterback."

I guess LCF was higher on Quinn than I remembered.

However, this statement ended up being perfect: "At least the Raiders will be able to admire the velocity and distance of Russell's passes on their way to the arms of opposing defensive backs."

Also, interestingly, in response to a commenter who said they thought Kevin Kolb was the second-best QB in the draft, Lewin said, "Kevin Kolb is a good prospect. He's a little tough to project because he could go anywhere from the late second to the fourth round. He started a lot of games and had a high completion percentage in college, but he doesn't have superstar talent. He's pretty similar to Beck in that he could be a good player, but probably not a great one."

88 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

If Woodson had not "unjustly" won the writers' award, we probably would have had lower turnout for Revis here. It was FO's version of a wedge issue.

102 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

I probably put a note about this when I voted, but I really like the change to the overrated/underrated category. My vote in previous years was always "I don't know how everyone else is rating players, so I can't answer this in a way I feel good about." Narrowing it down makes it a much better question.

--
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

117 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Hmm, the DJStevePorter "Play to win the game" mix was nice, but his best piece was press hop:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exOxUAntx8I&feature=related

118 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

"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? "

Woodson had 9 Interceptions + 5 Forced Fumbles + 1 Fumble Recovery+ 3 TDs + 2 Sacks
Revis had 6 Interceptions + 0 Forced Fumbles + 0 Fumble Recoveries + 1 TD + 0 Sacks

I think to say "a couple more turnovers" is not very accurate. At minimum Woodson had a 10 vs 6 Turnover advantage and that is if you give him 0 credit for the fumbles that he forced. If you give him 1/2 credit for a FF that put the Comparison at 12.5 Turnovers vs 6 Turnovers (hardly just a couple more).

Woodson also had 2 more TDs + 2 more sacks. While plays like this may not be predictive, a defensive TD is a pretty critical event in a game and can be game changing.

Undeniably Revis was the better cover Corner, but was his covering enough to overcome 2x the Turnovers, 2 more TDs, and 2 more sacks? I think it is hardly as clear cut as the vote suggests

124 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

interesting point. I just assumed the turnover margin was close because everyone said it was but its pretty evident that they werent close. The revis love is baffling to me. We don't see nnamdi complaining about where he finished in the defensive mvp voting

148 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

How many interceptions did woodson's teammates get because he had perfect coverage on the offense's #1 target? sorry but the packers had 30 interceptions and the jets had 17. You gotta argue non stats to make the case for revis. And mvp is never voted for on non stats otherwise nnamdi woulda been up for discussion. The only player that doesnt need great stats to win mvp is peyton manning. Everyone else needs stuff on paper to win the hardware.

120 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

The Sporting News polled almost 600 NFL coaches and players for their awards. Woodson easily beat Revis in the polling for Defensive Player of the Year. You can ridicule the football writers and fans for their votes; a bit harder to denigrate the votes of the people actually in the league. Revis is a great player; Woodson is a great player. Woodson won the Defensive Player of the Year. So be it.

127 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

NFL players and coaches tend to have a strong bias towards long time vets over younger players, for obvious reasons. Also, an awful lot of players don't necessarily do a very good job of analysing football or evaluating opponents. The correlation between the skills necessary to do those things and the skills necessary to play the game is pretty limited.

133 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Not only that, but coaches and players generally do zero scouting on anyone who's not on their schedule. They know less about players they don't have to play than fans do. That is not an exaggeration.

135 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

It was a panel of 636 players, coaches and executives. Only 583 of them were players, so it was mostly players. Here's how the voting went:

Charles Woodson 241
Darren Sharper 113
Jared Allen 94
Elvis Dumervil 60
Darrelle Revis 22
Patrick Willis 21

Yea, when Elvis Dumervil gets 3x as votes as Patrick Willis and Darrelle Revis, it's safe to say that you don't want to trust the survey.

Players aren't good evaluators. They went for whoever got the highlight plays, like Sharper, Woodson, Allen, and Dumervil. If this was a poll by coaches and execs only, I'd trust it a ton more.

128 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

I had never seen the Randy Moss video where he plays around with the guy with the ridiculously realistic Randy Moss mask.

I laughed so hard, I think a little pee came out.

141 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

I was disspointed to see little to no love for Michael Roos of the Titans. He had Chris Johnson breaking records behind him, was the best lineman on his line, and was often dominating the guy in front ofhim. Posters at this site can do a very good job at identifying underrated players, but I think people missed the mark on Roos. I couldn't think of a better Left Tackle last year, and for all the talk about the value of left tackles, he was probably the most underrated player in the league last year ( that was my vote).

145 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

I disagree, I didn't think he looked that good last year when I saw Titans games (which was a good amount of the time) and neither did PFF. There's no way he was the best offensive lineman in the league.

161 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

FYI I voted for Roos for most underrated. He might not have been the best O-Lineman in the NFL last year ( he got 2.2% of the vote here), but didn't make the list for deserving the pro bowl. I think some of the lineman more made it for name too.

I voted Faneca as the best lineman of 2009, but who would you say were better LT's in 2009? Keep in mind Jordan Gross was injured at the end of the year. Roos might not be the #1 pass blocker, but he was a punishing run blocker who had a record setting back behind him.

143 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

What more does Ray Rice have to do, fly?

Yet another reason this wite is awesome.

A beautiful writeup, Aaron. Have a good off-season, which I think is, technically, one week these days.

And how can Scifres be regarded as underrated? He single-footedly won a playoff game last year. Dr Z had been pimping him as the guy who invented the human foot AND hangtime for a couple yeaqrs (sniff). I'd put him in the Ray Rice category--do people think he's underrated because he doesn't have his face on US Currency and Warren Buffett doesn't have him on speed-dial? Well, okay then, I see what you mean....

146 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

People think he's under-rated because the general perception is that he's not as good as Lechler, when in fact he is better. Everyone knows he's very good, but he's not widely acknowledged as the best P of his generation, which is what he is. He's never been named as a pro-bowler or first team all pro.

149 This

Exactly. Lechler's given more credit for pure power than Scifres is for accuracy and skill. Lechler's a touchback machine.

147 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

What a tragic miscarriage of justice.

How did the Old Spice commercial not win??? Over Troy Polamalu's idiotic hair care commercials? The Old Spice ad is sharp, well-written, and hilarious. The other one... not so much.

Also, "Goddammit Donald" should have cruised to an easy victory.

Clearly, the voters know football, but not humor.

151 Re: Ploamula's hair

yes was horirible comemrical. guy has woman's hairdo and soft voice. after watchign that commericla more than 1 time it make you want to drink anyhting wth alochol even Bartkles and James wine coller

160 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

For funniest moment I'm surprised you didn't nominate that play where two Raiders recievers ran 5 yards down the field and then ran right into each other and fell down. A beautiful illustration of Radier football these last several years of putridity. Certainly made me laugh.

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

186 Re: 2009 Football Outsiders Awards

Why wasn't "All we're trying to do is win the mother#@&%ing game!!" not even nominated for funniest moment of the year???