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  • Contributors


    Cris Collinsworth

    Former Pro Bowl wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals and Emmy-winning analyst from Sunday Night Football and Inside the NFL.
    Dave Lapham
    Has called game for the Bengals radio network for 25 years. Analyst for Big 12 games on Fox Sports Net. Played 10 years in the NFL for the Cincinnati Bengals.
    Turk Schonert
    NFL quarterback for 10 years with the Bengals and Falcons. Has served as quarterback coach for the Buccaneers, Bills, Panthers, Giants and Saints and Offensive Coordinator for the Bills.
    Phil McConkey
    Played 6 years in the NFL as a WR, punt returner and kick returner for the Giants, Packers, Cardinals and Chargers. Played college football at the Naval Academy and served in the U.S. Navy before joining the NFL. Best remembered for his oustanding game in Super Bowl XXI.
    Josina Anderson
    Josina "JoJo" Anderson is contributing reporter on Showtime's Inside the NFL and is a weekend co-anchor/reporter/producer for FOX 31 Sports in Denver, Colorado. Josina produces the nightly sportscasts and covers the Denver Broncos, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, and the Colorado Rockies.
    Jerry Jones
    NFL Draft Expert, has published the acclaimed Drugstore List since 1978.
    Russell S Baxter
    Researcher, writer and editor covering the NFL for over 30 years.
    Andy Freeland
    Statistician and researcher for NBC's Sunday Night Football.
  • THANKS FOR THE HELP! Here are my picks

    MVP: I hated making this pick. Not fair to leave either Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers off the MVP trophy, but I was told only one vote. I took Aaron Rodgers. About half the interceptions and beat Brees head-to-head. It will be hard to explain to my grandchildren (one day) why I didn't vote for the guy that shattered all the passing records.

    Offensive Player of the Year: Tom Brady....Just kidding. Drew Brees was easy. Brees is probably the best player in the league right now. So why isn't he the MVP? The Saints didn't score a TD from the 1 yard line against the Packers on the last play of the game in the first game of the year. Otherwise, the teams' records would have been the same and I would have voted for Brees. Pretty lame huh? Tom Brady must be thinking what else do I have to do? He overcame his own defense all year.

    Coach of the Year: I almost voted for Marvin Lewis, but Jim Harbaugh was just too good in his first year. Plus, Clem had to eat crow about Alex Smith and Ted Ginn....what more could I ask.

    Comeback Player of the Year: Matthew Stafford. 5,000 yards and the playoffs for the Lions in his first healthy season. Pretty impressive.

    Defensive Rookie of the Year: Von Miller. Almost took a flier on Patrick Peterson, who I think is already a star, but settled for the guy that I thought was the best player in the draft. Aldon Smith made me pause too. Broncos are in the playoffs due to their defense, and Von Miller dragged them there.

    Offensive Rookie of the Year: Cam Newton. I am still stunned by what he accomplished this year. The league has an uncertain future at QB because of the way he played. Sorry Big Red.

    Defensive Player of the Year: Jared Allen. Another tough call. I think I would have voted for Patrick Willis if he had finished the year healthy, but 22 sacks on a bad team that rarely forced the other team to throw is pretty impressive.

    As usual, feel free to pick it apart. I still feel a little dirty about the MVP choice. Amazing that Matt Flynn's performance actually made me hesitate as much as Drew Brees' records.

    Comments 47 Comments
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      Tough to argue with that list. The only question I have is why Darren Sproles isn't getting more consideration as comeback player of the year. He went from being a really good return man in SD, to having a bit of a down year last year. SD didn't seem to want him back, he goes to NO and becomes the single biggest X Factor in the league, what Reggie Bush was SUPPOSED to be, and breaks the record for total combined yards.

      I get that he didn't come back from an injury, but it seems to me he'd qualify. Sproles ended up as arguably the best FA signing in the entire league last season. Who'd have predicted that in August?
    1. vancemeek's Avatar
      Looks good Cris. If you read the thread I started called **** awards, you picked exactly who I picked, although, I completely disagree about Marvin Lewis.
    1. ScottDCP's Avatar
      First, good call on Aldon Smith in last spring's mock draft. Which I accurately mocked.

      Peterson is in if there's a STROY. As a defender, no clue as I haven't seen any of him.

      I'll attack Newton. His stat line wasn't all that much more impressive than Dalton's. His W-L line was somewhat less. He had a couple really big games early against teams that turned out to be almost as bad as Carolina was last year. OK, great. Not too much more remarkable than Dalton, though. Better runner to be sure, but took ore sacks, had more turnovers. Especially when you measure them by Strength Of Schedule. Bad call, methinks. If you're going for a QB, better to shoot someone's eye out.

      And don't worry about the Flynn Effect. Rodgers would've gone for 600.

      Raises a question I should've asked earlier - is an Assistant Coach eligible for COY? In that case, Wade P or Mike Zimmer.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      No argument with your picks, Chris.

      I'm surprised Dalton didn't get more weight for taking his team the playoffs. Would that have been different if the Bengals hadn't backed in?

      And again, what are the criteria for comeback player?
    1. SpartaChris's Avatar
      I wouldn't feel bad about taking Rodgers over Brees. So what if Brees broke Marino's record. So did Tom Brady, and Stafford was close. And let's not forget Rodgers finished with exactly 1 less TD than Brees did despite playing 1.5 fewer games (He sat the final quarters against both the Raiders and the Bears and all of the Detroit game.) You could make the case without reaching that Rodgers too would have broken Marino's record had he played every quarter of all 16 games. But yards don't translate into points, and even ignoring the head to head win, Rodgers was flat out better than Brees this year. I don't know why you'd feel bad taking him over Brees.
    1. mikesteelnation1's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by SpartaChris View Post
      I wouldn't feel bad about taking Rodgers over Brees. So what if Brees broke Marino's record. So did Tom Brady, and Stafford was close. And let's not forget Rodgers finished with exactly 1 less TD than Brees did despite playing 1.5 fewer games (He sat the final quarters against both the Raiders and the Bears and all of the Detroit game.) You could make the case without reaching that Rodgers too would have broken Marino's record had he played every quarter of all 16 games. But yards don't translate into points, and even ignoring the head to head win, Rodgers was flat out better than Brees this year. I don't know why you'd feel bad taking him over Brees.
      Perhaps Cris watched too much ESPN last night before sealing his vote, Sparta. Boy do they love their volume stats! Cris made the right choice with rodgers.
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by ScottDCP View Post
      I'll attack Newton. His stat line wasn't all that much more impressive than Dalton's. His W-L line was somewhat less. He had a couple really big games early against teams that turned out to be almost as bad as Carolina was last year. OK, great. Not too much more remarkable than Dalton, though. Better runner to be sure, but took ore sacks, had more turnovers. Especially when you measure them by Strength Of Schedule. Bad call, methinks. If you're going for a QB, better to shoot someone's eye out.
      Let's look at Offensive numbers (rankings in parenthesis)

      Carolina DVOA 2010: -31.9% (32)
      Carolina DVOA 2011: -23.9 (4)
      Change: +55.8%

      Cincinatti DVOA 2010: +5.1% (17)
      Cincinatti DVOA 2011: +1.8% (17)
      Change: -3.3%

      Now let's look at the other side of the ball, defense (remember, the lower the number on defense the better)


      Carolina DVOA 2010: 1.8% (16)
      Carolina DVOA 2011: 17.3% (30)
      Change: -15.5

      Cincinatti DVOA 2010: +4.8% (13)
      Cincinatti DVOA 2011: +3.1% (17)
      Change: -1.7%

      Comparing Dalton to Newton with a little depth shows who the superior player was. You can look at all kind of numbers and it'll prove the same. And people seem to forget to add Cam's rushing TDs into the mix, even when his passing production is superior to Dalton's.

      Dalton is good. With Cam there are not enough superlatives to describe. Dalton might even be a better QB between the 20s (I don't think so by the way), but Cam is far better in the red zone at scoring. That kind of matters.
    1. Bengals1181's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by iwatt View Post
      Let's look at Offensive numbers (rankings in parenthesis)

      Carolina DVOA 2010: -31.9% (32)
      Carolina DVOA 2011: -23.9 (4)
      Change: +55.8%

      Cincinatti DVOA 2010: +5.1% (17)
      Cincinatti DVOA 2011: +1.8% (17)
      Change: -3.3%

      Now let's look at the other side of the ball, defense (remember, the lower the number on defense the better)


      Carolina DVOA 2010: 1.8% (16)
      Carolina DVOA 2011: 17.3% (30)
      Change: -15.5

      Cincinatti DVOA 2010: +4.8% (13)
      Cincinatti DVOA 2011: +3.1% (17)
      Change: -1.7%

      Comparing Dalton to Newton with a little depth shows who the superior player was. You can look at all kind of numbers and it'll prove the same. And people seem to forget to add Cam's rushing TDs into the mix, even when his passing production is superior to Dalton's.

      Dalton is good. With Cam there are not enough superlatives to describe. Dalton might even be a better QB between the 20s (I don't think so by the way), but Cam is far better in the red zone at scoring. That kind of matters.
      while I have no problem giving Newton the award, it absolutely has to be considered that Dalton faced 10 top 10 defenses, and Newton only faced 2. Newton also faced far more defenses ranked at the bottom of the league as well.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      I also don't see the point in judging the QB's by how they improved their respective teams over last season.
    1. Ty2010's Avatar
      I'm still a little thrown off as to how people can say Brees is a better QB than Rodgers. Rodgers has more accuracy, a quicker release, is better on his feet, threw more touchdowns (in the same amount of play) and far less interceptions
    1. Dave Lapham's Avatar
      All of your selections are more than worthy of winning the awards and recognition that comes with it. But as is the case with these awards, you can make a case for more than one candidate in almost every category. I would be tempted to give half votes to as many worthy candidates as possible. In many cases co-award winners may be the best solution.
    1. ZambianBillsFan's Avatar
      MVP: I think given that Brees, Brady and Rodgers are playing lights out, why can't Football Pros give out the MVP award after the championship games. I also had Rodgers winning MVP until I saw what Matt Flynn did last Sunday. For me it shows that Rodgers get's way too much credit in Green Bay, the weapons and system in place are ridiculous. He would still get it, but it would be a much closer race.

      Offensive Rookie: All the guys clamoring about Dalton, I get your point, but you need to have watched Carolina games this season and seen what Cam Newton did, forget the stats and look at actual game film. Had Cam Newton been drafted by the Bills this year, we would have gone 9-7 with him, probably 7-9 or 8-8 with Dalton.

      Executive(s) of the Year: The guys who convinced (probably blackmailed) Goodell into not a being a part of the story this season. Isn't it great that we have gone through an entire season without hearing so much as a squeak from the Commissioner except on Inside the NFL footage from week 1 - pre game warm ups! All he needs to do is remain quiet, hand the Superbowl over to whoever comes out of the AFC and keep silent until the draft. This is the way it should always be.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Ty2010 View Post
      I'm still a little thrown off as to how people can say Brees is a better QB than Rodgers. Rodgers has more accuracy, a quicker release, is better on his feet, threw more touchdowns (in the same amount of play) and far less interceptions
      Bigger arm too, by far.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by ZambianBillsFan View Post
      All he needs to do is remain quiet, hand the Superbowl over to whoever comes out of the AFC and keep silent until the draft. This is the way it should always be.
      As a point of principle, I disagree with you there, Z. When the situation calls for it, a leader needs to speak up. Goodell is the leader.
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Bengals1181 View Post
      while I have no problem giving Newton the award, it absolutely has to be considered that Dalton faced 10 top 10 defenses, and Newton only faced 2. Newton also faced far more defenses ranked at the bottom of the league as well.
      Depends how you measure things. Total yardage, yards per play, points per game?

      Pro-football reference gives the edge on strength of schedule to Carolina, as does Football Outsiders.

      Sure, the Bengals played 10 top 10 defenses in those games (according to the criteria you gave). How did they do against them? And against those teams with good defenses that they beat, how were their offenses. It's not the same loosing to Pittsburgh than beating Seattle, after all.

      Carolina faced some tough offenses on the flipside. Green Bay, Houston, NOLAx2, Atlantax2, Detroit.

      In those games Cam had to put up points to keep pace, while his sieve of a defense allowed them to score at will.
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by wxwax View Post
      I also don't see the point in judging the QB's by how they improved their respective teams over last season.
      Why not? You seem fine to give the edge to Dalton because of Wins (a team accomplishment), but not give the nod to Cam because he actually was the lynchpin in tunring the worst offense in the league into a top 5 unit in any measure you want to use.

      For a much better presentation of my argument, read this

      The best quote of the article is:

      In short, it's fair to say that Cam Newton has played like a young Peyton Manning and a rookie Herschel Walker all rolled into one. Any questions about who the rookie of the year should be?
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by iwatt View Post
      Why not? You seem fine to give the edge to Dalton because of Wins (a team accomplishment), but not give the nod to Cam because he actually was the lynchpin in tunring the worst offense in the league into a top 5 unit in any measure you want to use.

      For a much better presentation of my argument, read this

      The best quote of the article is:
      Because how a team performed the previous season has nothing to do with whether the rookie played well. They are unconnected events.
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by wxwax View Post
      Because how a team performed the previous season has nothing to do with whether the rookie played well. They are unconnected events.
      Same unit, same players except for Cam.

      The only reason thePanthers didn't have more wins is because the defense didn't even play at an average level. The Bengals made the playoffs on Defense.


      Not sure what else you have to do to be OROTY
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Different head coach, different systems. But that's irrelevant. Rookie of the year is based only on how the guy played that season. Doesn't matter whether the team is improved or not. The past has no relevance.

      My mention of Bengals going to playoffs is because most of the time, team results bias individual awards. If Aaron Rodgers had produced the same stats on a 3-13 team, he wouldn't be getting any votes over Brees or Brady.
    1. JTSticks's Avatar
      List looks good, my only comment is:

      The MVP does not necessarily mean the best player, it means the Most VALUABLE Player. With that in mind, I would give it to Brees over Rodgers. And my point of contention is Week 17. Rodgers does not play and Green Bay goes out scores a crazy amount of points with a QB that no one really knew before that game. So is it the QB or the system??

      Just my thought....