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:
- 2009 Football Outsiders Awards
- 2008 Football Outsiders Awards
- 2007 Football Outsiders Awards, Part I (on-field awards)
- 2007 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II (off-field awards)
- 2006 Football Outsiders Awards, Part I (on-field awards)
- 2006 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II (off-field awards)
- 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part I (on-field awards)
- 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II (off-field awards)
- 2004 Football Outsiders Awards
- 2003 Football Outsiders Awards
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)
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
8.8% San Francisco
|2.7% Denver |
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
3.7% New York Jets
|1.5% Philadelphia |
1.0% New Orleans
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.