Football Outsiders
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2010 Football Outsiders Awards

2010 Football Outsiders Awards
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

comments by Aaron Schatz

Welcome to the results of the eighth annual Football Outsiders Awards -- the best and worst players of the year, as voted on by you, our readers. This year's awards were our biggest ever, with over 1,200 votes. For those curious about past years, here are links to each previous year's results:

Who is your choice as Offensive MVP for 2010? (Last year's winner: Peyton Manning)

54.8% Tom Brady

12.0% Aaron Rodgers

8.0% Michael Vick

7.7% Jamaal Charles
6.6% Peyton Manning

4.5% Philip Rivers

4.0% Arian Foster

2.4% New York Jets offensive line (as a group)

Brady had 2,141 passing DYAR this season, the fifth highest total of all-time. In fact, the top six totals of all-time all belong to either Peyton Manning (2004, 2006, 2009) or Brady (2007, 2009, 2010).

Who is your choice as Defensive MVP for 2010? (Last year's winner: Darrelle Revis)

37.9% Clay Matthews

17.8% Troy Polamalu

13.1% Haloti Ngata

10.7% Julius Peppers

8.8% Ndamukong Suh
4.5% Tamba Hali

3.9% Darrelle Revis

1.5% Cameron Wake

1.2% DeMarcus Ware

0.7% Jonathan Babineaux

For the second straight year, our voters disagree with the official voters at the Associated Press when it comes to the best defensive player of the year. Last year, the AP went with the guy from Green Bay; this year, FO goes for the guy from Green Bay. It's a pretty healthy victory for Clay Matthews, although nothing like the 66.4 percent of the vote Revis picked up a year ago.

Who is your choice as NFL Rookie of the Year for 2010? (Last year's winner: Brian Cushing)

55.7% Ndamukong Suh

28.5% Sam Bradford

8.1% Maurkice Pouncey

4.0% Devin McCourty
2.3% Mike Williams

0.8% Joe Haden

0.6% Rodger Saffold

0.1% Gerald McCoy

This was a fun award because unlike the official AP awards, we combined offensive and defensive players. I was curious to see which of 2010's two big rookies would win out, and the award goes to the defensive tackle by a healthy margin. Last year, our eighth nominee had 2.5 percent of the vote; only four of this year's nominees did better than that.

Who was the best offensive lineman of 2010? (open question, two votes per ballot, top 12 listed) (Last year's winner: Nick Mangold)

19.8% Joe Thomas (LT, CLE)

17.5% Nick Mangold (C, NYJ)

9.1% Jake Long (LT, MIA)

7.5% Logan Mankins (LG, NE)

6.2% Josh Sitton (RG, GB)

5.5% D'Brickashaw Ferguson (LT, NYJ)
5.1% Maurkice Pouncey (C, PIT)

2.4% Jahri Evans (LG, NO)

2.0% Jeff Saturday (C, IND)

1.5% Chad Clifton (LT, GB)

1.3% Tyson Clabo (LT, ATL)

1.3% Chris Snee (LG, NYG)

Last year's top two linemen get switched for 2010, which is a bummer for those of you who like to see players accept their FO awards over Twitter. This year's award winners are a good argument for getting your best linemen at the top of the draft. Yes, sometimes the linemen you take later can blossom, like Josh Sitton, who was a fourth-round pick in 2008. However, six of our top seven finishers were first-round picks, including three guys chosen in the top four.

Who is your choice for NFL Coach of the Year in 2010? (Last year's winner: Sean Payton)

36.1% Bill Belichick

25.0% Raheem Morris

13.7% Mike Tomlin

8.9% Mike Smith
7.4% Rex Ryan

4.6% Todd Haley

3.9% Lovie Smith

0.3% Sean Payton

This is the fourth time our readers have chosen Belichick as coach of the year. A lot of people complained that I did not include Mike McCarthy on the list of nominees. Remember, these awards are supposed to represent the regular season. McCarthy did overcome plenty of injuries, but he also led a team that was one of the two or three Super Bowl favorites at the start of the season and barely made it into the playoffs. They lost six close games. Some of that is luck, of course, but it isn't crazy to attribute some of that to coaching. I generally nominated coaches from teams whose regular-season records surpassed either conventional wisdom, the FO preseason projections, or both. Green Bay doesn't really qualify in either category.

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

45.9% Dom Capers, GB defense

23.9% Dick LeBeau, PIT defense

10.2% Marty Mornhinweg, PHI offense

6.0% Hue Jackson, OAK offense
5.0% Bill O'Brien, NE offense

4.5% Greg Olson, TB offense

2.4% Perry Fewell, NYG defense

2.1% Mike Pettine, NYJ defense

The two men who lead our two Super Bowl defenses finish one-two. You have to give a lot of credit to Marty Mornhinweg for teaching Michael Vick how to actually play the quarterback position in the NFL. I think people also gave credit to Hue Jackson simply for not sucking in Oakland.

Who is your choice for the Keep Choppin' Wood Award for 2010 (player who most hurt his team)? (Last year's winner: JaMarcus Russell)

43.3% Brett Favre

23.2% Randy Moss

22.9% Albert Haynesworth

4.0% Matt Dodge
2.8% Thomas Jones

2.6% Terrell Owens

0.7% David Jones

0.6% Richie Incognito

Let us never speak of this again.

Who is your choice for the Keep Choppin' Game Film Award for the worst coach of 2010? (Last year's winner: Bill Sheridan)

26.1% Mike Singletary, SF head coach

21.8% Brad Childress, MIN head coach

18.4% Steve Crosby, SD special teams

12.6% Wade Phillips, DAL head coach
11.0% Mike Shanahan, WAS head coach

9.2% Frank Bush, HOU defensive coordinator

0.9% George Edwards, BUF defensive coordinator

Proving there are limits to a coach who is all motivation, no strategy -- especially when he can't choose a quarterback.

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

41.6% Ted Thompson, GB

22.7% Scott Pioli, KC

13,2% Bill Belichick, NE

8.5% Mark Dominik, TB
7.6% Mike Tannenbaum, NYJ

3.9% Howie Roseman, PHI

2.5% John Schneider, SEA

The Packers are an interesting team because they had such a poor draft record between 2002 and 2005. Those are the players who generally should be the core of your team, the guys in their primes, ages 26-30. The Packers don't have those guys. They built a champion almost entirely with either veterans over 30 or younger players. (Obviously, Aaron Rodgers is a big exception; so is Nick Barnett, although he wasn't healthy for much of the 2010 season.)  The younger players were generally chosen by Mr. Thompson, also known for doing a great job trading up and down the draft board.

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: Ray Rice)

68.0% Josh Freeman

12.6% Ziggy Hood

9.3% Malcolm Jenkins
7.2% Jason Smith

1.7% Robert Ayers

1.3% Ron Brace

Yeah, this wasn't a tough one this season.

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

13.3% Matt Ryan

9.1% Logan Mankins

9.1% Jason Peters

7.5% Andre Gurode

5.4% Reggie Wayne
5.2% Drew Brees

5.0% Tony Gonzalez

4.4% Michael Turner

4.1% Steven Jackson

3.5% Shaun O'Hara

I may need to re-do these awards again next year and make them "choose a nominee" instead of open questions. People seemed confused about the idea of only picking people on the original Pro Bowl roster, possibly because I apparently linked to a page that included both original Pro Bowlers and replacement Pro Bowlers. But we got a lot of votes for people like Matt Cassel who weren't actually originally named to the Pro Bowl. I tossed those votes out, so these percentages are solely based on players who technically fit the category.

The appearance of Matt Ryan and Drew Brees on this list are probably connected to the winner of the "biggest Pro Bowl oversight" award below. (Hint: He also owns a Super Bowl MVP award now.) I'll agree with all those who thought sending Logan Mankins to the Pro Bowl for playing just nine games seemed a little odd -- although I'm not sure it's much stranger than sending Antonio Gates to the Pro Bowl for playing just ten games.

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

30.4% Brandon Meriweather

29.9% DeAngelo Hall

10.0% Ray Lewis

6.3% Antrel Rolle

3.5% Devin McCourty
2.6% Adrian Wilson

2.4% Jerod Mayo

1.8% Darrelle Revis

1.7% Jay Ratliff

1.3% DeMarcus Ware

Here's a two-man race. Meriweather was actually benched by the Patriots at midseason, and nobody has any clue how he made the roster ahead of Michael Griffin or Eric Weddle or somebody. DeAngelo Hall has become one of those classically overrated players. The guy runs fast, and he takes a lot of chances which lead to a lot of very impressive-looking interceptions. That also means he gives up a lot of big completions. His charting numbers this year feature 8.6 yards per pass (a yard above the average for cornerbacks) and a really poor 42 percent Success Rate. Carlos Rogers, a common Washington whipping boy who played across from Hall, allowed 7.4 yards per pass with a 50 percent Success Rate.

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

16.1% Devin Hester

14.7% Adam Vinatieri

8.6% David Akers

6.1% Josh Cribbs
4.9% Bill Cundiff

4.9% Marc Mariani

4.3% Leon Washington

3.5% Reggie Bush

This is the third straight year that Hester wins this award, although he had more special teams value this year than he had the last two.

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

44.6% Aaron Rodgers

10.7% Mike Wallace

5.3% Larry Fitzgerald

4.2% LeSean McCoy

2.6% Ben Roethlisberger
2.5% Peyton Hillis

2.1% Hakeem Nicks

1.8% Darren McFadden

1.6% Josh Freeman

1.4% Chris Johnson

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

26.3% Tramon Williams

16.7% Tamba Hali

5.7% Lawrence Timmons

4.0% Antoine Bethea

3.7% Trent Cole
2.8% Kyle Williams

2.8% LaMarr Woodley

2.4% B.J. Raji

2.0% Champ Bailey

2.0% Brent Grimes

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

13.5% Leon Washington

9.4% Brad Smith

7.0% Corey Graham

4.3% Adam Vinatieri
3.0% Sebastian Janikowski

2.7% Josh Cribbs

2.7% Jacoby Ford

2.7% Sam Koch

Which is your choice for Game of the Year in 2010? (Last year's choice: Arizona 51, Green Bay 45 in the Wild Card round)

49.5% Week 15: Philadelphia Eagles 38 at New York Giants 31

20.8% Wild Card: New Orleans Saints 36 at Seattle Seahawks 41

9.1% Week 11: Indianapolis Colts 28 at New England Patriots 31

3.5% Week 7: Minnesota Vikings 24 at Green Bay Packers 28

3.4% Week 4: Baltimore Ravens 17 at Pittsburgh Steelers 14
3.4% Week 14: Baltimore Ravens 34 at Houston Texans 28 (OT)

2.9% Week 10: Houston Texans 24 at Jacksonville Jaguars 31

2.8% Week 15: New York Jets 22 at Pittsburgh Steelers 17

2.5% Week 6: Baltimore Ravens 20 at New England Patriots 23 (OT)

2.1% Other

Player most likely to breakout in 2011 (open question, top 12 listed): (Last year's winner: Michael Crabtree)

7.3% Sam Bradford

6.0% Matthew Stafford

5.4% Dez Bryant

4.4% Ryan Mathews

3.6% Josh Freeman

3.4% Emmanuel Sanders
3.1% Colt McCoy

3.1% Tim Tebow

2.3% Jermichael Finley

1.9% Sam Shields

1.9% James Starks

1.8% Jahvid Best

Our friend Ian Dembsky pointed out just how bad the readers choices for this category were a year ago. The one good choice in the top six was Jamaal Charles. We also had Crabtree, Shonn Greene, Matt Leinart, Devin Aromashadu, and the new Mr. Glass, Anthony Gonzalez. Eek.

Player most likely to significantly decline in 2011 (open question, top 12 listed): (Last year's winner: Brett Favre)

9.7% Michael Vick

7.4% Brandon Lloyd

6.8% Tom Brady

6.1% Ray Lewis

5.8% Matt Cassel

5.7% Arian Foster
5.5% Peyton Manning

4.0% LaDainian Tomlinson

3.3% Reggie Wayne

2.4% Jamaal Charles

2.1% Michael Turner

2.0% Peyton Hillis

This category, however, you guys had spot on last year. The top four finishers were Favre, Chris Johnson, Thomas Jones, and Randy Moss. This year's choices look pretty good too. We've got a couple veterans whose 2010 stats were far better than in any previous season, and we've got Tom Brady, who was so good in 2010 that he could decline next year and still be the best quarterback in football. People keep choosing Ray Lewis for this one and he keeps not really declining very much. I guess the significant decline has to come eventually. I'm not sure why so many people think Peyton Manning is going to decline significantly in 2011, given that 2010 may have been his worst season in a decade and his receivers are bound to be healthier next year.

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

32.7% Detroit

29.2% St. Louis

11.3% Oakland

8.8% San Francisco

4.2% Cleveland

3.6% Tennessee
2.7% Denver

2.7% Seattle

1.7% Washington

1.4% Buffalo

1.2% Arizona

0.4% Carolina

Good job by the 18.0% of you who picked Chicago last year. I don't know if I would go so far as to pick Detroit as a 2011 Super Bowl contender, but I do think they have a good chance to make a wild card run. It's a small sample size, but the Lions had the fourth-best total DVOA in the league over the final four weeks of the regular season.

Which playoff team is most likely to miss the playoffs in 2011? (Last year's choice: Cincinnati)

47.8% Seattle

21.2% Kansas City

17.6% Chicago

3.7% New York Jets

2.3% Atlanta

2.3% Indianapolis
1.5% Philadelphia

1.0% New Orleans

1.0% Pittsburgh

0.8% Baltimore

0.4% Green Bay

0.4% New England

This one is kind of strange, because let's be honest, Seattle could go 7-9 and win the NFC West again. Well, maybe not 7-9. 8-8?

Finally, let's bring on the awards for funny, ads that are funny, and ads that think they are funny but are really, really not funny.

The "Get Your Story Straight" Award for best commercial during NFL games this year goes to:

(Last year's choice: Head and Shoulders Troy Polamalu)

23.6% Old Spice Ray Lewis campaign

22.9% DirecTV "Russian Mobster"

17.1% Logitech Revue "Kevin Bacon fan"

15.3% Call of Duty: Black Ops

8.3% NFL Training Camp game with Chad Ochocinco

7.9% Windows Phone "Really?"

5.0% Mentos "Spider"

The "John Mellencamp Must Die" Award for most annoying commercial during NFL games this year goes to:

(Last year's choice: Bud Light "Tailgate Tested, Tailgate Approved")

18.1% Miller Lite "More Taste or Less Taste"

18.0% Geico "Little Piggy"

16.0% eTrade "Talking Baby"

14.7% Burger King Breakfast "Epic Flute Solo"

12.8% Southwest Airlines "Bags Fly Free"

10.8% State Farm "new girlfriend/new boyfriend"

7.6% Metro PCS "Racist Indian Stereotypes"

1.9% Adidas "Slim Chin vs. Dwight Howard"

The funniest thing to happen during the 2010 NFL season was:

(Last year's winner: Al Davis drafts Darrius Heyward-Bey over Michael Crabtree)

21.2% Rex Ryan foot fetish scandal

20.0% Antonio Cromartie can't name all his kids on "Hard Knocks"

18.3% Dan Connolly's kickoff return against Green Bay

12.4% "Now let's go eat a goddamn snack"

9.1% Mike Shanahan's ever-changing reasons for benching Donovan McNabb.

7.6% Peyton Manning's reaction to Jim Caldwell's oddly timed timeout in the playoff game against the Jets

6.8% Danny Woodhead as Modell's employee selling his own jersey to customers.

4.6% Ted Ginn inexplicably thinks he can end a Mike Singletary-Troy Smith fight with a towel to Troy's face.

That does it for the 2010 Football Outsiders Awards. Once again, thanks to all the readers for participating.


126 comments, Last at 24 Feb 2011, 12:50am

1 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

Pouncey getting more votes than McCourty is a joke. Everyone should thank Peter King for the Pouncey hype train.

2 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

I simply suspect that 5.5% of your readers would LIKE very much to see Peyton Manning decline significantly next season.

Remember, even in this bunch, not every fan is a fan of the game.

3 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

Wow, the Ravens make it into three of the games listed as "Game of the Year" candidates? I'm uncertain if that should be considered in their favor or as a strike against them.

Also, how did Ray Lewis' commercials beat out the Russian Mobster? That guy was fantastic. Glad to see that Geico Hated Pig was only barely defeated though. Every one of those commercials was deserving of *that* distinction.

4 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

16% of FO readers think Devin Hester is over-rated on special teams. That is a really depressing stat as regards the intelligence of FO readers. The fact that this is the third straight year of winning the 'award' is even dumber. Teams spent two whole seasons figuratively putting the ball into Lake Michigan rather than give him a chance to return the ball and the first week someone is foolish enough to allow him to bring one back he scores. He breaks the all time record for return TDs, scores more this season than anyone else and has absurd averages yet still he is over-rated.

46 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

Every Bears game I've seen in the last 2 years, which I'll admit is mostly the 'national' game with the worst color commentators, spends the entire punt coverage talking about how great Hester is in terms that make him fall short if he doesn't take the return for a touchdown.

If you're a Bears fan getting a little more balanced diet of Hester commentary from local bloggers and writers with more than one talking point to hammer on so it doesn't look like they don't know what they are doing, your perception is probably different.

59 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

Given that conventional wisdom is something like "Hester scores every time he returns a kick", it's quite easy for him to be simultaneously the best returner in the game and overrated as well.

Basically, his special team play is worth like 5 points a game, but people think it's worth more like the equivalent of 15 points.

24 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

I don't think he's so much overrated for his special teams play as the media extrapolating that because he is such a great returner (and as a Packers fan I've seen it too often) that he is also a great WR. The Bears don't have any great receivers, but the Bears have at least 2 guys better than Hester. Knox is pretty good. Bennett is ok. But Hester wouldn't know a route if AAA gave him a TripTik.

38 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

Do people ever suggest Hester is a very good WR? I can't think of any articles I've read that have suggested as much. And I watch every game and never hear the announcers saying so. The assumption that he could be a quality receiver was certainly voiced a lot in 2006, but since he's begun to play the role I always find the praise is modest, and I never, ever hear him in a discussion as being one of the top WRs in the game. I'd say he's rated accurately as a kick returner and wide receiver as well. He's great as the former and serviceable as the latter.

70 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

I can't speak for those who voted for him in that category this season, but I have in a previous season for a couple reasons:

(1) Hester tends to get all the credit for the proficiency of the Bears' return game, even though those units have done well with the ball in other peoples' hands. This leads me to believe that Hester gets an awful lot of the credit for the blocking in front of him. (Not to say he doesn't add any value -- clearly, he contributes significantly -- but just perhaps less than is often attributed to him.)

(2) Take a look at his return stats from 2008 and 2009, and consider that the hype never stopped in those years. To be fair, the stats don't tell the whole story; as has been mentioned, he adds value by convincing teams to kick away from him, etc. But considering how he was still discussed in such reverential terms while averaging 6.2 and 7.8 yards per punt return, 21.9 and 22.3 yards per kick return, and no touchdowns in either category ... well, that's simply not great production from a guy constantly described in such superlatives.

So I think you could make a case for him receiving it in the previous two seasons. As for this season, I'm pretty surprised. I don't know of many returners having so many huge seasons spread out over so many years.

6 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

I suspect Peyton Manning was picked to decline because he's 35 years old, and pro athletes tend not to age gracefully.

9 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

I have to say that one of the amusing things about looking at the old awards pages is finding deranged comments by obnoxious posters who subsequently got themselves banned. There are some very troubled folk out there on the internets.

10 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

"DeAngelo Hall has become one of those classically overrated players. The guy runs fast, and he takes a lot of chances which lead to a lot of very impressive-looking interceptions. That also means he gives up a lot of big completions."

Hey cool, you just described the best-case scenario of every Redskins CB since Champ Bailey.

11 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

8.3% NFL Training Camp game with Chad Ochocinco.

Eight-point-three?! That was the funniest ad I've seen in YEARS.

55 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

I was torn between that one and the Windows Phone commercial.

The kid nailing his dad in the head with a baseball was the tie breaker.

Personally, I don't get the love for the Russian opulence commercial.

60 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

Agreed on the Russian commercial. I don't like it at all.

Tastes vary so widely, I think there should be significant overlap in the best and worst commercial categories. The results would be much more interesting. I'm sure you'd see some commercials rank highly on both lists.

82 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

There's a show back in New Zealand called 'Fair Go' that does ad awards once a year. (The rest of the time it is a consumer rights show.) Every year people vote on their most liked and most disliked ads, and every year there are a number of ads featuring prominently on both lists.

I thought the Russian ad was okay, but not great. For me, it came down to Call of Duty and Old Spice. I voted for the Ray Lewis ad because it took the piss hard. The gags might be cheap ones, but I like cheap gags.

12 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

I'll agree with all those who thought sending Logan Mankins to the Pro Bowl for playing just nine games seemed a little odd -- although I'm not sure it's much stranger than sending Antonio Gates to the Pro Bowl for playing just ten games.

Gates, despite playing only 10 games, still led AFC tight ends in receiving yardage, touchdowns (tied with Rob Gronkowski and Marcedes Lewis, whose tying 10th TDs came after rosters had been announced), DYAR (by a large margin), and DVOA (historically high).

Mankins played only 8 games before the rosters were announced, and while it's possible (the Patriots' offense did improve after he returned, and he was a deserving Pro Bowler in previous seasons), it's hard to believe that he was that much better than the other AFC guards in those 8 games to offset the 7 he missed.

13 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

Will pour over later to see ig ones I pickrf won. Gonna grab 7 layer burrito at taco bell and reaf this layer. Good job ghis year. Did read intro. Over 1200 voted. Hopefully all rwal peiple and not thosd shoe bots

14 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

Wrong. How much attention did you pay to Pouncey? If you paid any at all, you'd see how good he is on every snap. He's an animal already at a position at which this sort of thing doesn't happen to rookies.

15 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

Let's be honest, how many readers are qualified to answer the "Best O-Lineman" question? Most of us here are, more or less, fans --- fans who generally will watch their team the majority of the time and ignore games from nearly every other team. I'm a Steelers fan and I have a decided opinion on the quality of Trai Essex vs. Ramon Foster, but who else would? I have zero idea how Nick Mangold played this year, except that in both games where the Jets played the Steelers he looked very average against Casey Hampton. But he definitely could have dominated other games - I have zero idea.

16 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

That's the thing with o-line. It's the hardest thing for a fan to judge. To me, I remember saying in the divisional round that Mangold was dominating Wilfork. That said, it's more because Wilfork didn't do much. Maybe he was doubled. Maybe he was chipped. I don't really know, and I have no way of objectively judging an o-lineman.

32 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

It's easy. If he's lying on his back his defender having bowled him over on the way to a sack, it's Essex. If he's standing completely upright five yards away from the nearest defender, it's Foster.

27 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

Agree. As a Ravens fan I know Matt Birk had a terrific season, but I've no idea whether he was one of the best two Centers in the league, let alone one of the best two O-Linemen, so I couldn't in confidence vote for him in a league-wide awards. Clearly the same could be said to apply to all players, but at least other positions make it to the stats sheet and the highlight reel, so your average fan has some means of comparison. It's nitpicking, but perhaps the question should be rephrased to something along the lines of 'Best O-Linemen you have seen' or 'Best O-Linemen you are aware of'. After all, we can't all spend our weeks breaking down film of every game.

36 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

That's why I used the two spaces provided for Best O-Linemen to say, essentially: "I have no earthly idea, and neither does anyone else who doesn't scout full time ... but Nick Mangold, if you must have a name."

44 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

I took one line - possibly this one - and wrote a protest vote in for Andy Reid as Coach of the Year. I went into greater detail when the thread was new, but he made two major decisions with his QBs that were the sort of decisions that cost coaches their jobs if they backfire (the decisions to trade McNabb and to bench Kolb) and not only had the guts to do both, but the skill to do both without losing the locker room. As a direct result of his decisions, a team that was expected to be rebuilding ended up winning their division. You could argue that someone else should have been coach of the year, but it's utterly absurd to me that he wasn't even nominated.

17 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

"and we've got Tom Brady, who was so good in 2010 that he could decline next year and still be the best quarterback in football."

Err, surely you mean 'quarterback of the best passing attack'. Because the Patriots aren't any worse at QB with Manning, Rodgers or Brees at the helm.

122 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

If every QB, including even Manning, Brees and Rodgers, could lead a juggernaut with Brady's 'personnel', they would, and world class receivers would be relegated as late round picks. The Pats offense is Brady's, not Belichick's.

18 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

Can we please not hype the Lions any more until we can be certain there will be a 2011 season? It's all I can do to box up my optimism as it is, pretending there isn't a giant container of liquid nitrogen ready to spill over onto it at a moment's notice.

On a related note, I hope the people who voted for Stafford rather than Sam Bradford realize that the award is for a player most likely to breakout.

31 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

I really think that with all the pieces in place the way they are and with the ages of their players, the Lions are in a terrific position to make a Super Bowl run in 2011. They've clearly got the talent, and all the right parts, and more than that they're hungry. However, I think 2011 is the sweet spot. There will be a significant decline in 2012 and further in 2013 as their best players age and retire. For the Lions, it's a run in 2011 or bust. Of course in the event that there actually is a 2011 season I think that will severely hurt the Lions' chances.

94 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

Really? Calvin Johnson (25), Cliff Avril (24), Ndamukong Suh (24) and Louis Delmas (23) are going to be declining in 2012 and 2013? I'm sure some of the older players are still valuable contributors, but to me the problem the Lions face is what looks set to be murderous divisional competition going forward, not a lack of elite young talent on their own roster.

103 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

He uses words like 'really'... you're seeing things that aren't there.
I thinks he's just very optimistic about the Lions. Or he's on crack since the Lions are still with the Bears and Packers in the division.

105 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

Then what does the sentence I quoted mean?

The poster says "hey, look, the Lions are definitely serious contenders for the Lombardi trophy in 2011. Well, unless there actually is a 2011 season, in which case they're not."

107 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

I wasn't being sarcastic, exactly. More tongue-in-cheek. The poster to which I replied was saying he can't read good things about the Lions without letting his optimism run wild and expressed concerns about the 2011 season. So naturally I had to say the most over top optimistic thing I could think of and couple it with the nonexistence of the season.

My actual view of the Lions is that they are a not-very-good team on the rise. They will improve over the next few seasons. I would be surprised but not shocked were they to make the playoffs next season.

108 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

I am have good smart reading comprehension. Oh yes.

Agree completely. The Bears are liable to take a significant step forward on offense, a significant step back on defense, and a significant step back in luck. The Packers will have a record more reflective of their talent, and the Lions will continue to improve and be solid but not great. 7-10 wins, 2nd or 3rd in the division, probably no playoff spot.

96 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

I'd argue that they're certainly better off than the Vikings now, and given the age of the Bears' defense and their incredible luck getting to the NFC Championship game (12 games missed by starters all year, faced 4 backups QBs, got a bye with an 11-5 record because of the Megatron catch that wasn't week 1, then got to face a sub .500 team at home in the second round), that I think the Bears weren't all that much better than the Lions this year and next year I won't be surprised at all to see the Lions finish second in the division.

100 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

great comments from thebuch.

Detroit Lons not much worose than Chicago Beras in 2010. Just had some bad luck and Suh msisied key EP. Staffrod get injured. C Johsnon ctach/no ctach week 1. Other things here and there.
Beras all kinds of greta luck all season.

Vikings on downswing. might be good if get proper QB but who?

Lions have real up and cominger head coahc in J. Schwartz.

Detroit Loins fans- may the Schwartz be wirh ytou.

72 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

As opposed to...

Break-in? Najeh Davenport is out of the league, so this category seems wide open.

Break-up? I don't follow celebrity romance stuff too much, but I know that there's always a bunch of talk about Tony Romo's love life, so I guess that would get my uneducated vote...

93 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

"Richards renamed the team the Lions, as a nod to the Detroit Tigers. He also said that the lion was the monarch of the jungle, and he intended for his team to be the monarch of the NFL."
Yeah, Lions in the jungle.

34 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

- Give me a break - just over 50% thought Brady (fractured foot and all) deserved the offensive MVP - what a joke, there really is so much hate for the Pats that people can't be objective - NO OTHER PLAYER WAS EVEN CLOSE.

- Hester is NOT overrated, I am sure all who think so would also love to have him be their return man.

- The Geico little piggy ad is awsome, I wish they would start showing it again. Long live the Gecco!

69 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

That was my reaction, too. Jesus Christ, it's just some informal poll done by a handful of like-minded football fans at an obscure website, and this clown explodes like people started questioning Brady's birth certificate. I'm sure Saint Tom was initially so dejected over this he considered retiring, but then he realized that shit like this is meaningless, and is going to soldier on.

99 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

Since when is it impossible to be both the best and most overrated? If the best team in the NFL has a 1% better DVOA than the second best but everyone thinks the best teams is the greatest team of all time, wouldn't you say they're the best (by virtue of having the highest DVOA) and most overrated (by virtue of having the greatest disparity between perception and reality)?

109 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

Hi. Welcome to the Internet. You must be new here.

Also, how can you say a guy is the most valuable player when we saw years back that another quarterback can do MOST of what Brady can do on the same team, with the same scheme and coaches?

Look at other teams. Do you think there is any other quarterback in the league that could run that Colts offense should Manning get hurt? How about the Eagles -- the offense changed (for the better) to suit his skills when he was inserted into the line-up -- do you think Kolb could run it and keep them competitive? And what about Jamaal Charles for MVP, because the Chiefs were nothing without him; Jamaal Charles showed time and again that he was much better than Thomas Jones, with both advanced stats and regular NFL stats proving it.

You are sort of mixing up "best overall stats" with "most valuable." Yes, stats are valuable, but context is everything. Brady was a very good quarterback this year, if not the best quarterback. But I think the idea of a "best quarterback" belies his value, because the rest of that team has value if he departs. Other teams are not in the same boat.

111 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

Well firstly, people who come to FO are generally much more intelligent fans (thats what I assumed anyway) so its not just another internet poll.

Secondly, NE changed its entire offensive philosphy mid-season when they got rid of Moss. Didn't most people here write that Pats off at that point. Then you add 2 rookie TE, Welker coming off an major knee surgery, getting a "washed up" dien Branch back from Seattle when he had done nothing in 4 years there, Brady playing with a fractured foot and they beat pretty much every playoff team in the second half - SO YES EXCUSE ME IF I THINK THAT BRADY WAS BY FAR AND AWAY THE BEST PLAYER.

And no I dont think that Manning, Brees or rOgers would have been just as good under those circumstances as much as highly as I think of those QB's.

115 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

Take a look at a quarterback across the country, down in San Diego. He had what I would consider a better season given similar circumstance. In multiple weeks, his starting "skill position" players were different than the week before, and he made multiple cast-offs and street FA look like stars (even if they were just one-hit wonders).

Did you ever hear of Seyi Ajirotutu before or after November 7th? Do you remember Patrick Crayton being jettisoned from the Cowboys? How about Vincent Jackson and his long hold out?

Yes, the Patriots had some breakout players, and had some players leave, but you also have to look at the track record of the Patriots as an organization. Your example of Deion Branch is proof -- he was nothing without the Patriots scheme.

While the Patriots have William Stephen Belichick, the Chargers have...Norval Eugene Turner. The disparity is obvious.

123 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

"but you also have to look at the track record of the Patriots as an organization"

Ummmm, the track record for the NE organization begins with Brady. You are assuming that record of achievement won't end with him, and I'd like to believe that, but as of today there isn't a shred of evidence to support that it actually will.

124 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

In 2007 Matt Cassel went 10-5 as the Patriots starter after Tom Brady was injured in the first quarter of the season.

Sure, the Patriots had an easy schedule; and they still missed the playoffs. But I'd say that going 11-5 with only one quarter of production from Brady constitutes a shred of evidence that the Patriots, coached by Belichick, could continue to be successful without Brady.

125 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

That year, NE lost to PIT --at home --with playoff consequences; nuf said. Besides, I object to any references of Cassell not being a fine QB. Regardless of what some have been told, he's actually pretty good.

39 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

Honest question as I hate the Pats (unless they play the Jets). How are Belichick Coach of the Year and Brady Player of the Year at the same time? Which is it? The system or the player?

Just trying to understand it.

Thank you.

45 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

I'm an admitted Tampa homer here, but Raheem Morris did more with less than anybody in the league. Even if Randy Moss flakes out, you still have Tom Brady and Wes Welker. Tampa? This was a team loaded with rookies, castoffs, and nobodies, and remained competitive in every game except two early-season contents (against the Steelers and the first Saints game). Also, if there was a coach equivalent of the Elway award, Morris would have won it running away--he looked utterly clueless in year one, but did a simply phenomenal job in his second year.

Also, Josh Freeman for Jesus. President isn't high enough.

79 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

I'm not a Bucs fan by any stretch, but I totally agree with you about both Morris and Freeman. If you had asked me for a preseason prediction, I would have said that right about now, Tampa's new coach would be trying to decide which QB to take with their Top 5 pick.

41 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

Vinatieri amnog the most overrated and most underrated. yeah, okay, whatever. Coming from a team that has had no returner for a decade, I don't think ANY of those KR/PR guys are overrated.

As a Colts fan of about four decades, I am LMAO at Manning's face entry in the last category. If a guy can have WTF written on his forehead, that's it.

Bounceback/breakout players: Safe to pick a Colts defender, like Session, or Angerer, Bethea, etc. Because a litle more health and starters alongside him who were actually on the roster one week ago will go a long way.

42 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

The Rookie Of The Year probably could have been more clear.

I voted for Sam Bradford, but I didn't realize they were being combined. Maybe I didn't read carefully and maybe it was obvious to the entire world except me?

Anyway, even living in St. Louis and having been a big Bradford supporter all year, if I'd realized O and D were combined, I'd have voted for Suh. Which should not be misconstrued. Bradford was still the only logical pick for the Rams last year.

63 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

I don't know how Shaun O'Hara wasn't least deserving of his spot. He played Six games people. Six!!!! Did no one outside of New York know this?

67 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

Plus, he wasn't good when he played.

But somehow, Mankins got all the exposure when the Pro Bowl was announced and O'Hara got none of it. That leads to people knowing "Oh yeah, he only played x games", while they don't know or care about O'Hara.

76 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

I think some of the "How could Mankins make it?!?!" is because he missed time for a contract issue. I've noticed that a lot of casual football fans really, REALLY hate it when a player tries to hold out for more money.

64 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

"I think people also gave credit to Hue Jackson simply for not sucking in Oakland."

He took an offense with no WRs and an unstable QB situation and had them 6th in the league in scoring a year after they were 31st. That's pretty impressive.

73 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

Interesting that the top 12 vote recipients for "most likely to break out" all line up on offense.

74 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

I really think Mike Singletary deserves his own award category going forward. Not necessarily worst coach, but something like "most ridiculous coach" or "The 'just when you thought high school P.E. had been permanently scrubbed from your memory' award"

84 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

I thought that Jimmy Raye should have been there too. He was a joke. Every play was, "mffmmm twenty one mumble lead mgghgmm zero", invariably followed by either a delay of game penalty or a run for no yards straight up the middle.

81 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

I don't understand the disonnance between:

"This is the fourth time our readers have chosen Belichick as coach of the year. A lot of people complained that I did not include Mike McCarthy on the list of nominees. Remember, these awards are supposed to represent the regular season. "

And having the "Best game" list include postseason games.

Frankly, the "limit them to regular season" argument is pointless. If people still believe Montana was a better player than Marino because of his rings, we can sure as hell let "season awards" include the postseason. It matters too.

-- Go Phins!

101 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

Completely agree with you, at the end of the day, what good is it to be great if you peak early in the season when the awards are based on than late and get the ring? We all know Mike McCarthy was expected to go far before the season, but we were expecting him to do it with Jermichael Finley and Ryan Grant, why punish him for not being able to figure out how to overcome the injuries until late in the season, at which point they caught fire when it mattered and won the Super Bowl? Why only look at Brady's dismantling of the Jets the second game but not losing to them at home in the postseason? And as for the AP awards, what good is Troy Polumalu's DPOY award received before the Super Bowl when he is rendered invisible while Clay Matthews forces the huge, potentially game saving fumble? By ignoring the postseason, we knock off a full 20% of the games the Packers played, and if those players/coaches were so worthy of their awards, they would have won at least a playoff game.

102 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

This is why ignoring the postseason is a reasonable idea, and why the media votes for awards before the playoffs start. Obviously, the Super Bowl champion's players and coaches are going to look good at the end of the postseason, while most of the league hasn't played for more than a month.

116 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

"Obviously, the Super Bowl champion's players and coaches are going to look good at the end of the postseason,"

Shouldn't they look good? And get the accolades? They're winning games against the "best" competition of the season. They deserve credit for that.

117 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

Not always. I can certainly tell you the '05 Steelers were nothing special compared to the '05 Colts, and no amount of "but they're the champions" drivel is going to make me change my mind. Hell, I think the Seahawks were a better team. And so forth, you can make judgements without getting influenced by the shiny.

I'm not arguing against the Pats particulary, nor for Green Bay. I'm just saying it's nonsensical to forget about the postseason when it clearly matters - Belichick certainly loses points for going one-and-done (for like the third year in a row) and that *should* count, even if he still is CotY with that consideration.

But you shouldn't just discount it out of hand.

-- Go Phins!

119 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

Taken to its logical conclusion, that means that the champions' coach should always be Coach of the Year.

The '05 Colts were better (in the large sense) than that year's Steelers, just like the '07 Patriots were better than the Giants. In those cases, though, on one playoff day, the underdog was better. If you want to draw conclusions from that for the purpose of handing out awards, you can, but it becomes much too easy to lose track of the bigger picture.

88 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

How does Josh McDaniels not get any love for the Keep Choppin' Game Film Award?

89 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

That was explained in the voting article. Basically it boiled down to him screwing up as a personnel guy rather than an on-field coach, whereas guys like Singletary had the talent but screwed it up on the field. Several disagreed with that distinction in the comment thread, but that's the distinction the poll writer made.

104 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

He was overmatched by Singletary who actually chopped game film in pieces, threw it into his players faces and screamed "we don't need no game film about them! We just have to hit them in the mouth! And pray."

118 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

"Last year's top two linemen get switched for 2010, which is a bummer for those of you who like to see players accept their FO awards over Twitter."

What, does Mangold tweet a lot?

120 Re: 2010 Football Outsiders Awards

I agree with most of these choices except for the offensive lineman award. I thought this should have gone to Logan Mankins. Once Mankins came back to the pats mid season, the offensive line improved dramatically and the attitude of the team changed.