Week 1 Nominees! With Great Non-QBs, JaMarcus Imitators, and Players who Surprised us
by, 09-13-2011 at 11:54 PM (1182 Views)
DISCLAIMER: The following is my best attempt to find the great and not-so-great performances from last week. However, I cannot watch all the games and may have missed some performances. If you would like to nominate someone I missed, please do so. Please. I'm serious.
Welcome to the Week 1 Award Nominees! As I explained last week, this blog will be my attempt to find and honor some great performances, as well as dishonor the worst of the worst. So, here we go!
The What The...? Award- Given to the player who performed the most above expectations. Often meant to honor those who may actually be better than our perceptions (aka: Not Tom Brady. Everyone knows he's really good). The Nominees:
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Bills: (17/25, 208 yds, 4 TDs). I was at a restaurant/sports bar to watch the Bears game, and this game happened to be not too far out of my sights. And every time I looked over there, it seemed like Buffalo had just scored again, or there was a perfect pass, or KC was doing something bad on offense. Before the year, I would have said he was an average to below average QB. Now, I'm not so sure.
Cam Newton, QB, Panthers: (24/37, 422 yds, 2 TDs, 1 INT). I realize that the Cardinals defense is probably really bad, but I was impressed. He looked poised, confident, and everything a rookie QB doesn't usually look like.
Steve Smith, WR, Panthers: (8 Rec, 178 yds, 2 TDs). On this list because I thought his best days were long long gone. At least for one week, Steve Smith was really good again.
Early Doucet, WR, Panthers: (3 Rec, 105 yds, 1 TD). 3 great catches from a guy I didn't know was still in the league.
Chad Henne, QB, Dolphins: (30/49, 416 yds, 2 TDs, 1 INT). I still have a naive belief that the Pats have a pretty good defense. I still have concerns that Henne isn't really even a decent QB. But he looked really good last night.
Rex Grossman, QB, Redskins: (21/35, 305, 2 TDs). I remember a day when I had to hear the words, "Rex Grossman is our QB". It wasn't a good day. But maybe he's grown up. Maybe he just needed a change of scenery. Or maybe he just got lucky. Still needs to be here.
The JaMarcus Russell Award: Recognizing QBs who most performed like JaMarcus Russell. We have 3 strong candidates this week. The Nominees are:
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers: (22/41, 280 yds, 1 TD, 3 INT, 2 Fumbles). Barely 50% completion and 5 turnovers in a big rivalry game. Plus every time I looked, it seemed like something was going wrong in that offense. I don't care how good a defense is, there's something that has to fall on the QB.
Donovan McNabb, Vikings: (7/15, 39 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT). There were at least five individual passes that went for more than 39 yards this past week. Probably more. It was ugly.
Kerry Collins, Colts: (16/31, 197 yds, 1 TD, 3 Fumbles/2 Lost). The stats did not fully reflect just how bad he looked. And the stats don't look good either.
Note: iwatt, I know you mentioned Romo and Sanchez. Though they didn't have great games, I felt like they were solid and a clear step above these guys. Feel free to disagree.
The Non-QB MOP: I've decided to slightly switch this to make this a little more clear on the selection process. Personally, I believe that by definition, the Most Outstanding Player is also the Most Valuable Player. I understand that this is (probably) not the majority view, but since I don't want to argue value, I will just ask for the outright best player among Non-QBs. With that in mind, the Nominees:
Haloti Ngata and Ed Reed, Ravens: Ultimately, Baltimore's win was predicated on how much their defense destroyed the Steelers offense. I feel like these two had the best game among all those that played. Couldn't pick a winner at this point.
Brian Urlacher, Bears: Yes, this is a homer pick. But he did so much for that defense that I gotta give him some credit for the win.
Steve Smith, Panthers: See above. He was not only a great surprise, he was just awesome.
Darrelle Revis: In case you weren't sure before Sunday Night, he's still the best CB in the league.
Now that I have given my nominees, who did I miss? Who would you give the awards too? Post in the comments below. Schedule permitting, I will post the winners on Friday