NFL Awards Based on Position, Not Merit

February 10, 2011 Opinion

In the week leading up to last Sunday’s Super Bowl, the National Football League periodically announced their award winners. The results are listed to the bottom-right of this article.

The way I see it, there are a few problems here, but first let’s dismiss the good choices; defensive tackle Ndomukong Suh, with his quarterback-pile driving, ten-sack season for the Lions, was clearly the year’s top rookie on defense.

Coming out of prison and then a role backing up now-Redskin Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick had an electrifying season for the Eagles both through the air and on the ground, handily taking the job from McNabb’s heir apparent, Kevin Kolb.

The same can’t be said for the OROTY award with Bradford’s season entailing a rather pedestrian 15:18 touchdown-to- interception ratio and a 76.25 QB rating. Tampa Bay’s LaGarrett e Blount punched his way through defensive lines for over 1,000 yards to the tune of 5.0 per carry, outdoing Bradford’s performance, but the real rookie star on offense was his fellow Buc, receiver Mike Williams, who racked up 964 yards with a formidable 11 receiving touchdowns, good for fourth in the league.

All in all, I think it is telling that the only two awards of the six which were not won by a quarterback were the two for which they are ineligible. The fascination with NFL quartertbacks, from the accolades—and blame—they are given, to the fact that people consider wins a statistic attributable solely to them, is misplaced at best and ludicrous at worst.

That said, the award going to the rookie QB is to be expected, and Tom Brady absolutely earned his offensive award in route to putting up a leagueleading 36 touchdowns paired with a scant four interceptions.

What he did not deserve, however, was the MVP award; Tom Brady is not even the most valuable person to the Patriots: Coach Bill Belichick is.

The Coach of the Year sees success independently of the presence of any one player, be it Tom Brady, Randy Moss, or Richard Seymour, and doesn’t even need an offensive or defensive coordinator to do so. Brady had a great, productive year, but he was far from the most valuable player in the league.

The final award remaining is the DPOTY award, which was given to Troy Polamalu. Like with Brady’s MVP, there is another Steeler who deserved the award more: outside linebacker James Harrison put up outstanding stats across the board.

In my mind, however, the most deserving defensive player in the NFL this season was Clay Matt hews. On a Packers defense featuring Charles Woodson as the only other big name, he had much less help than either Polamalu or Harrison, but if you watched him play, you could see how effectively he dictated an opposing offense’s gameplans and chances of success.

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