Friday, January 2, 2009

2008 NFL season awards

By Rick Morris

I recently participated as a voter in the Culture Popped NFL awards voting. Results of the voting should be appearing there within days, but I thought that in the meantime that I would unilaterally pronounce winners in The FDH Lounge balloting. Democracy is overrated!

1. Peyton Manning -- It's a tough category to determine a winner, but he battled more obstacles than usual and gave his team plenty of momentum heading into the playoffs.
2. Chad Pennington -- In this day and age of the NFL being a 12-month job, he parachuted into Miami like seven minutes before the start of the season and led a 1-15 team to the playoffs. Are you kidding me?
3. (TIE) Adrian Peterson/Michael Turner -- These super-backs meant so much to their team's playoff runs.

1. Drew Brees -- Statistically, he is now "The Man" among NFL QBs. If his defense didn't still stink and his team wasn't surprisingly in the league's newest meat grinder division, he'd have had a chance at some MVP votes.
2. Michael Turner -- Are there still any questions as to whether he's a legitimate lead back?
3. Adrian Peterson -- He's now the undisputed top fantasy back, and fantasy haters can't deny what that signifies in terms of on-field production.

1. James Harrison -- He became the linchpin to arguably the league's best defense.
2. DeMarcus Ware -- Much like Brees, it's not his fault his teammates let him down.
3. Ed Reed -- He took back the mantle (if perhaps temporarily) of league's best safety from the Samoan with wild split ends who's in his same division.

1. Matt Ryan -- This rookie QB is leading one of '07's biggest garbage teams to the playoffs. 'Nuff said.
2. Joe Flacco -- This rookie QB is leading an '07 mediocrity to the playoffs.
3. Chris Johnson -- Although only the lead in a platoon, he might have won this distinction any other year; that's how explosive he is.

1. Jarod Mayo -- Like Chris Johnson, his team reached to pick him in the draft, but now we see why the Pats wouldn't risk trading down to take him.
2. Curtis Lofton -- This force in the middle is a big part of the A-T-L's turnaround.
3. Chris Horton -- There were big shoes to fill in the D.C. secondary, but he was equal to the challenge.

1. Chad Pennington -- Not to rub it in, but who'd you think would get the vote, Brett Favre?
2. Jake Delhomme -- Like Pennington, he proved that he still had life in a beaten-down arm and led his formerly underachieving team to a first-round bye.
3. (TIE) Antonio Bryant/Kris Jenkins -- Bryant overcame his previous attitude and underachieving to play at a consistently dominant level for the first time. Jenkins overcame his knife and fork to return to his previous consistently dominating level.

1. Mike Smith -- These coaches are basically 1A/1B/1C because they were so great and were rookies! Smith gets the nod over the next candidate simply because he did not have The Tuna available for advice.
2. Tony Sparano -- Will he ever get the credit as his own man that he deserves? Hopefully.
3. John Harbaugh -- Between a spring chicken at QB and not a lot of spring chickens on defense, Harbaugh fashioned a return to the team's glory from earlier this decade.

1. Tom Dimitroff -- He gets a narrow nod for this award out of awe generated by his rookie GM status.
2. Bill Parcells -- While not the day-to-day GM (that would be the highly underrated Jeff Ireland), Parcells generated "miracle worker" headlines for the umpteenth time in his storied career.
3. Jerry Reese -- In only his second year as Giants GM, he's clearly a top-tier exec already. Few will ever top his 2007 season (with ALL draft picks contributing in some way to a Super Bowl in his rookie season leading the front office), but he's doing as well in living up to that insane standard as anyone ever could.

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