Reed Complaining About Brady

Ed Reed had to have off-season surgery on his hip after winning the Superbowl with the Ravens a few months ago. He has since been signed by the Houston Texans, after many thought that the Pats might try to sign him. Yet, we surprise everyone and sign this guy. Anyways, Reed had an interview and said he has no idea how he got hurt. He did, however, say this:

“The only play I could look at is when I got kicked by a certain quarterback. But even then, I played in the Super Bowl and you saw what happened there.”

Clearly, he’s blaming Tom Brady (see video below). This is a guy who most respect and that Bill Belichick really likes, typically not someone who will complain about a sports-related injury. It’s part of the game, and you know for a fact that if Reed had the chance to absolutely crush Brady, he would. Just like everyone else in the league. Anyways, Ed Reed doesn’t know if he’ll be ready for the opener, but says he is doing very well with his rehabilitation.

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Tebow Time? Probably Not.

The Patriots have signed Tim Tebow. If you are like me, you couldn’t care less. Unless you are in love with him, or absolutely hate him, you probably don’t care. When I heard about it yesterday afternoon, I was more confused than anything. Clearly, he’s not competing for the starting job, and most likely won’t even be a backup. And we obviously didn’t bring him031812_tebowbrady in for the circus that follows, cause Belichick will put an end to that real quick. So why sign him? They haven’t disclosed the contract details, but you gotta imagine we got him for a dollar and a donut, not much more. You can be sure of one thing, his publicity will end after the Press Conference to introduce him.

Maybe we’ll use him in short yardage runs to save Brady from the QB sneak? Maybe we can somehow turn him in to a Tight End (Edelmen was a QB before)? Maybe even use him as a defensive player? Doubtful. Maybe he just wants another chance to take someone’s sloppy seconds and fix their careers? We know that Belichick won’t let us know, regardless. Here’s a list of a few players that Bill has already done this with.

Wes Welker: We all know this story. Dolphins traded him to us for basically nothing, and he went on to be the star of the league for the next 5 seasons. Welker now has 8,580 yards receiving, 38 TD (37 with Pats). SUCCESS.

Randy Moss: Set record for TD’s in a season. Basically caught everything from Tom Brady in 2007. Great Career before, decent career after. Still a SUCCESS with the Pats.

Chad Ochocinco: Has since been arrested. Basically, a FAILURE.  Couldn’t read the playbook, did virtually nothing except make people buy his jersey and draft him to their fantasy teams for no reason.

Albert Haynesworth: One of the highest paid lineman of all time. Great in Tennessee. Went to Washington for a gigantic pay increase, and then got released after barely trying, and completely sucking. Bill signed him, and he did nothing. Total bust and FAILURE.

Danny Woodhead: Now with the Chargers. He was a fan favorite in Foxborough after being released by the Jets in 2010. He was the little engine who could. I consider him a SUCCESS.

There are clearly plenty of others too, just pointing out a few. Do you think Tebow will be a success or a failure? Guess we’ll see soon enough.

Throwback Thursday: Patriots Draft Tom Brady

A Tribute to Tom Terrific: 13…the number of years that have passed since the New England Patriots drafted Michigan Quarterback Tom Brady in the sixth round pick number 199.

It’s hard to believe now that Brady was chosen so late in the draft, when you consider his body of work:

Three time Super Bowl champion (2001, 2003, 2004).

Two time Super Bowl MVP (2001, 2003).

Two time NFL MVP (2007, 2010).

Eight time pro bowler (2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012).

125 regular season wins and 17 post-season wins (2001-2012).

Helped the Patriots go undefeated (16-0) and broke the single-season record for touchdown passes in the same season with 50 (2007).

But before all the accolades, records, playoff appearances, and Super Bowl trips Brady was at the bottom of the barrel on Bill Belichick’ roster. Let’s recap how Brady began and review who went before him in that 2000 NFL Draft:

Brady began the 2000 NFL season ranked fourth on the depth chart and would only play in one game completing a lone pass for six yards.

But in 2001 Brady rose to second on the depth chart behind then starter Drew Bledsoe. Bledsoe would suffer internal bleeding in an injury from a week two contest against the New York Jets.

Brady took over the reigns and from there would lead New England to the post-season winning 11 of the 14 games in which he started.

The Pats would defeat the Oakland Raiders in the infamous “tuck rule” game, by way of an Adam Vinatieri field goal. Brady threw for 314 yards in the blistering cold and snow to bring New England back from a 10-point deficit.

Then New England would go on to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC championship game and would be led once more by Brady on Super Bowl Sunday to defeat the St. Louis Rams.

Brady led the game winning drive and spiked the ball with seven seconds left on the clock to set up another clutch kick for Adam Vinatieri. Brady won SBMVP honors with 145 yards passing and one touchdown. At the time, Brady was the youngest quarterback to ever win a Super Bowl. The rest is simply history.

Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the players who were chosen ahead of Brady in the 2000 NFL Draft:

Patriots Picks in 2000:

2nd round pick number 46 OT Adrian Klemm

3rd round pick number 76 RB J.R. Redmond

4th round pick number 127 OT Greg Robinson-Randall

5th round pick number 141 TE Dave Stachelski

5th round pick number 161 DT Jeff Marriot

6th round pick number 187 CB Antwan Harris

Can you recall how those guys panned out for the Pats? If so, you may want to apply for Mel Kiper’ job at ESPN whenever he retires.

QB’s taken higher than Brady:

1st round pick number 18 Chad Pennington

3rd round pick number 65 Giovanni Carmazzi

3rd round pick number 75 Chris Redman

5th round pick number 163 Tee Martin

6th round pick number 168 Marc Bulger

6th round pick number 183 Spergon Wynn

Of the six quarterbacks above only Pennington and Bulger went on to have semi-successful NFL careers. Pennington of course was plagued by re-occurring shoulder injuries, and Bulger failed to lead the rams anywhere in almost a decade.

Redman only played in 30 regular seasons games in an eight year NFL career. Then there’s Wynn (10 career games in 2000-2001) and Martin, whose careers were very, very short lived (three games from 2001-2003). As for Carmazzi, he never played a game in the NFL.

Notable Players taken ahead of Brady

1st round pick number two LB LaVar Arrington

1st round pick number five RB Jamal Lewis

1st round pick number seven RB Thomas Jones

1st round pick number nine LB Brian Urlacher

1st round pick number 12 DE Shaun Ellis

1st round pick number 13 DE John Abraham

1st round pick number 14 TE Bubba Franks

1st round pick number 15 CB Deltha O’Neal

1st round pick number 16 LB Julian Peterson

1st round pick number 17 K Sebastian Janikowski

1st round pick number 19 RB Sean Alexander

1st round pick number 30 LB Keith Bulluck

2nd round pick number 44 T Chad Clifton

3rd round pick number 76 WR Laveraneus Coles

5th round pick number 142 P Shane Lechler

5th round pick number 149 DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila

5th round pick number 153 WR Dante Hall

6th round pick number 169 K Neil Rackers

6th round pick number 186 LB Adalius Thomas

Among all of those notable NFL players, only Brian Urlacher and Jamal Lewis have came within Tom Brady’ range of success. Brady has been regarded by many experts as one of the greatest draft picks of all-time, and when you look at his career numbers it’s not hard to see why.

Brady by the Numbers:

Career Stats:

Passing Yards: 44,806 (9th all-time).

Passing Touchdowns: 334 (5th all-time).

Passer Rating: 96.6 (3rd all-time).

Passes Completed: 3,798 (8th all-time).

Completion Percentage: 63.7% (9th all-time).

(fun fact: Chad Pennington, 2000-2010, ranks 1st all-time in Career Completion Percentage at 66.0%)

Post-season:

Passing Yards: 5,949 (1st all-time).

Passing Touchdowns: 42 (3rd all-time).

Passer Rating: 87.4 (12th all-time).

Passes Completed: 553 (1st all-time).

Completion Percentage: 62.3% (24th all-time)

When you couple those numbers with his championships, Brady is one of the best NFL draft success stories of all-time.

Final Thoughts: Brady’ contract extension of three years will keep him in Foxborough for what will likely be the remainder of his career. Meaning Tom gets to finish what he started all those years ago, when he was just a back-up quarterback above suspicion. Brady’ time in New England has certainly been nothing short of terrific.

Gronk Surgery Part IV?

Just when you thought the Patriots were starting to recover from the Welker loss and move forward with new pieces to the puzzle, Patriot Nation received some troubling Gronk Dancingnews. Rob Gronkowski will “very likely” require surgery on his left forearm, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss.  Ever since breaking it originally on November 18th when we crushed the Colts, he has gone through multiple surgeries. This would be the fourth one he has to get.

This surgery would remove that plate that they inserted into his arm originally in order to make sure that there is no infection. Gronk was in California with friends (doing Gronk things) when he noticed a large swelling in the morning and noticed some stuff oozing out of it. He called the Patriots front office and they immediately flew him back.

Even if Gronkowski gets surgery right away, he still needs 10 weeks typically to get him healthy. This time frame is creeping up towards training camp. And that’s if it can even be done right away. Hopefully they can figure out another way but the way it looks now, Gronk will be in a cast a while longer.

The Welker Situation

wesBeing a Boston-based sports blog, how could we not touch on the whole Welker situation? I didn’t want to and put it off because, frankly, I’m indifferent about it. My general essence over this ordeal can be summed up by one word, “meh”. I mean we clearly had this coming. As much as I wanted Wes to stay, this was inevitable after how things have been panning out over the last few years. You can argue that he chokes in the big game situations, but the guy put up crazy numbers for us and left it all on the field. I’m not going to blame him, or the Pats for that matter. The NFL is a business. Belichick, Kraft, and the front office made a business move that they feel made sense to better their business. Granted, letting him go to Denver wasn’t ideal for us in New England, this isn’t the first time the Pats have made risky moves in terms of signing, or not signing, a big player. Also, keep in mind Danny Amendola isn’t some scrub. The guy can play. Oh and in case you forgot, Brady will still be the one throwing the ball to him. I don’t know about you but the way the Patriots have completely dominated over the last decade, and that’s not an opinion, I think I can safely put my trust in Bill and company to make the right offseason moves for the team. There’s always a plan. With that said, will we miss Wes Welker? Of course. You haven’t watched a single Pats game over the last five years if you say different. Just how much though, is the question? Only time will tell.

manning-welker

Brady Signs Extension

BREAKING NEWS:

Tom Brady has just signed a contract extension through 2017. The reason why this is getting so much publicity right away is because it is only worth $27 million. Yes, that’s a lot for you and I, but for Tom, its chump change. He wants to win another STomBrady-010708-775408uperbowl and cement his legacy even further after the team-who-shall-not-be-named beat him twice in the big show.

Since it is a new story, there are no facts about the contract such as incentives and bonuses or how exactly it will look on the books each season. However, it will definitely make it easier to bring in some top 5 position players that should most certainly help with the success of the Pats going forward. Brady has always said that he wants to keep his loyalty and retire with the team that he started with. This isnot the first time that he has restructured his contract or taken less money for the good of the organization. Hopefully we can get some defensive backs and some other role players and make another run or two (or three, or four).

To put this into perspective, Drew Brees signed a 5-year, $100 million contract last season ($20 million a year). Peyton is making twice as much as Tom at $18 million. Even Sam Bradford made $15.6 million last season!  Brady deserves another chance at a title after all he has done to make this team a powerhouse, and all of the salary sacrifices he has made over the years. I guess Giselle and hundreds of millions of dollars isn’t enough for him, he wants more rings.

NFL PLayoff Predictor: AFC/NFC Championship Matchups

Well so much for my prediction of a Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl. As you probably know by now, both those teams lost this past Saturday and Sunday. The Baltimore Ravens beat the Broncos 38-35 in OT at mile high and the Atlanta Falcons edged their way past Seattle by a score of 30-28 in Hot-lanta. The other two teams to advance were the New England Patriots who defeated Houston 41-28 and the San Francisco 49ers who beat Green Bay 45-31.

With that, here’s a look at the AFC and NFC Championship games, and My New Predictions:

AFC: New England Patriots vs. Baltimore Ravens:

Tom Brady and Joe Flacco meet up in the AFC Championship game for round two of what is sure to be a great grudge match between these two squads. If you find yourself feeling a sense of Deja Vu’ this Sunday, that’s because these two teams met up in last year’s AFC Champ showdown. The Ravens though are hoping this Sunday is anything but a re-run of last year’s finish, which left them a few plays away from reaching Super Bowl XLVI.

Meanwhile, the Pats will be trying to return to the Super Bowl once more to avenge last year’s loss to the New York Giants and capture their first Lombardi Trophy since 2005. The Patriots will also have to try and beat Baltimore without the help of Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski. Gronk suffered an injury to his forearm in last Sunday’s win over Houston and will miss the remainder of the post-season.

My Prediction: Despite missing a big-time weapon like Gronk, I feel as though the Pats can outlast the Ravens in a great showdown between Brady and Flacco. Though on a sad note, it will be tough to watch knowing it could likely be NFL linebacker great Ray Lewis’ last NFL game. Nevertheless, New England wins 24-21 edging Baltimore out again and returning to their second straight Super Bowl.

NFC: Atlanta Falcons vs. San Francisco 49ers:

This matchup will be a slightly different grudge match between these two teams. On one side you have San Francisco who like Baltimore were a few plays away from last years Super Bowl when they lost to the Giants in OT by a field goal. So, like Baltimore, the 49ers will look to avoid the same fate twice against 1st seeded Atlanta.

On the other hand, the Falcons want to prove their the same team who started the season 8-0 and finished the season tied for he NFL’s best record with the Denver Broncos at 13-3. Atlanta will look to avoid another fruitless post-season and return to their first Super Bowl appearance since 1998 (where the Falcons lost the then defending Denver Broncos 34-19).

My Prediction: This game will ultimately come down to one key factor that has been absent throughout this year’s playoffs…DEFENSE. The Falcons arguably sport one of the top QB’s in the league with Matt Ryan behind center. Ryan can light up a scoreboard and uses his weapons on offense like a General on the battlefield.

Meanwhile, the 49ers, have an X-factor at QB…Colin Kaepernick. He put up a stat line against Green Bay that was like something straight out of a Madden game: 444 total yards of offense with 4TDS (2 passing, 2 rushing) that’s 263 passing yards and 181 rushing yards (the most ever by a QB in a playoff game).

With that said, whichever defense can hault the others QB first wins this battle. I give this one to San Fran as Patrick Willis and Co. find away to stop Matt Ryan and the Falcons at home. 49ers win 31-21 as Kaepernick does it again with 276yds passing for 2TDS and 77yds rushing and 1 rushing TD.

Super Bowl XLVII: New England Patriots vs. San Francisco 49ers:

On the games biggest stage two storied franchises collide in a Super Bowl for the ages. In what will be a grueling back and forth battle in the Superdome of New Orleans, I have the Patriots edging out the 49ers 28-24 as the Pats capture their first Super Bowl title since 2005. Tom Brady wins SB MVP.

Final Thoughts: We’ll see how it all plays out this Sunday. Until then, what do you think will happen in the Championship games? Who do you have winning Super Bowl XLVII? Leave a comment.

Playoff Predictor: Broncos vs Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVII

The 2012 NFL PLayoffs are set and with the Wild Card round starting this Saturday, here’s a breakdown of the match-ups and my Bold predictions:

 

AFC Wild Card: Houston Texans vs Cincinnati Bengals Saturday at 4:30pm

Houston (12-4) will probably feel a sense of Deja Vu as they play the Bengals (10-6) on Saturday as the two tangoed in last years playoffs. The game marked the first time the Texans had made the playoffs resulting in a 31-10 drubbing of Cincy.

Houston Playmakers RB Arian Foster, DE J.J. Watt and WR Andre Johnson were keys to victory against the Bengals last year and will be relied on again come Saturday. Also the Texans will have starter Matt Schaub this year (Schaub was injured last season late).

For Cincinnati, second year studs QB Andy Dalton and WR A.J. Green will be the X factors for Cincy on Saturday. Also, to the Bengals credit, their defense has been solid all season finishing the year with the 7th best passing defense (212.5 yards per game) and the 12th best rushing defense (102.5 yards per game).

Prediction: I foresee a more competitive contest between these two teams in this go-around. The game will ultimately come down to turnovers. Andy Dalton threw 3 interceptions in last years wild card game. The Texans committed no turnovers. I have the Texans winning 21 to 17 over the Bengals.

Baltimore Ravens vs Indianapolis Colts Sunday at 1:00pm

The Ravens (10-6) will take on the surprising Colts (11-5) in a game that will be high with emotions on both sidelines. The Ravens were a few different play calls away from making it to the Super Bowl last year, and went on a campaign to prove themselves this year in the AFC (though they slowed down at seasons end). The Colts came into this season with little to no expectations at all. A rookie quarterback leading a team that went 2-14 the season before didn’t exactly add up to a winning season. However, Andrew Luck and Co. fought their way into the post-season game by game. Not to mention doing so while watching their head coach, Chuck Pagano, battle Leukemia .

The Ravens will be led by QB Joe Flacco and RB Ray Rice as they’ll attempt to mix their power running game and passing attacks together to try and overwhelm Indy’s defensive schemes.

The Colts will no doubt rely heavily on the shoulders of potential Rookie Of the Year winner Andrew Luck. Luck broke Cam Newtons rookie record for passing yards in a single season finishing with 4,374 yards.

Prediction: I see the Baltimore Ravens winning this contest, but not without a fight from Indy. While the Ravens defense hasn’t been up to snuff with the loss of Ray Lewis and Co. I still believe the Ravens have the upper hand in this one. Luck and the Colts have had a phenomenal season, no doubt about it, but I believe the magic ends this Sunday as Luck cracks under the pressures of post-season play. Ravens win 28-13.

NFC Wild Card: Green Bay Packers vs Minnesota Vikings Saturday at 8:00pm

The Packers (11-5) were stunned by the New York Giants in last years NFC Divisional Round and have an opportunity in this years post-season to prove their still as good as they were when they won it all in 2011. The Minnesota Vikings were similar to the Indianapolis Colts this year in the sense that they weren’t expected to make the playoffs. With second year QB Christian Ponder at the helm, and Adrian Peterson coming back from a knee injury, Minnesota had a few questions marks to say the least. Well, Adrian “All Day” Peterson had a response…run…a lot. Led by Adrian Peterson’ stunning season, becoming only the 7th NFL rusher to reach 2,000 yards (he finished with 2,097 yards), the Vikes find themselves in the post-season.

Green Bay will no doubt be led by the likes of QB Aaron Rodgers, LB Clay Matthews, and WR Greg Jennings, etc. The Packers started shaky at 2-2 but finished strong going 10-2 to close out the season.

The Vikings will no surprise call an number 28 to once again carry the load and the team on his shoulders in this one. The Vikes could stand a chance in this one seeing as they did beat Green Bay to close out the season 37-34. This one, however, I have going to Green Bay with the Packers winning 21-7.

Seattle Seahawks vs Washington Redskins Sunday at 4:30pm

The Seahawks (11-5) and the Redskins (10-6) are nearly mirror images of one another. Both teams sport sensational rookie QB’s in Seattle’ Russell Wilson and Washington’ Robert Griffin III. Both teams are in the top 5 in the NFL for rushing yards per game, Washington leading the league with 169.3yds and Seattle in 3rd with 161.2yds. The only edge Washington has over Seattle is that the Skins made the playoffs by winning the NFC East division in a season finale this past Sunday over the Dallas Cowboys.

Despite both teams having play-makers on both sides of the ball, this games outcome will be determined by the play of two men. The performances by Seattle’ Russell Wilson and Washington’ Robert Griffin III will decide who moves on and who goes home.

I predict a shootout in this one with both rookie QB’s trading punches all game long. I have Seattle edging out Washington 31-28.

Divisional Rounds and Super Bowl Pick:

The Denver Broncos and New England Patriots earned a first round bye, same for the Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers. Both the Broncos and Falcons earned home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. With the picks I made above the Broncos would play the Ravens with the Patriots playing the Texans in the AFC. In the NFC, based on my picks, the Falcons would play the Seahawks and the 49ers would play the Packers.

My Picks:

I have the divisional rounds and championship rounds going down something like this:

Patriots vs Texans: The Pats send Matt Schaub and the Texans home as they win 24-14 in style led by Tom Brady and Co.

Ravens vs Broncos: Peyton Manning and the Broncos make it look easy in Mile High Denver as they beat Baltimore 28-14.

AFC Championship Broncos vs Patriots: Peyton Manning gets the better of Tom Brady and leaves New England fans heart broken as Denver wins it at Mile High by a score of 24-21.

Falcons vs Seahawks: In an absolute shocker, I have the Seahawks upsetting the Dirty Birds as Russell Wilson and Seattle find a way to keep Matt Ryan and Atlanta at bay winning 17-14.

Packers vs 49ers: The Colin Kaepernick show continues, with help from the defense and a solid rushing performance by Frank Gore, as San Fran sends Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers packing with a final score of 28-24.

NFC Championship 49ers vs Seahawks: In an NFC West battle for the ages I have the Seattle Seahawks pulling off another upset and catapulting themselves into their first super bowl appearance since 2006. The Seahawks recently walloped the 49ers back in week 16 42-13 and split the season series 1-1 with a 13-6 loss to San Fran in week 7. It could happen.

Super Bowl XLVII Broncos vs Seahawks: Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos win the franchises first Super Bowl since 1998 (The Denver Broncos had home-field advantage in 1998 also) as Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks heroics aren’t enough with Denver winning 31-21. Manning wins Super Bowl MVP.

Final Thoughts: I want to here from NFL fans and Pats fans on this one. Can the Patriots win their first Super Bowl since 2005? How do you see the playoffs panning out? Leave a comment below.

2012 NFL Awards: Handing Out the Hardware

The votes for this years NFL awards including MVP, Comeback Player Of the Year, Offensive and Defensive Player Of the Year, and Rookie Of The Year have to be in by this week. Like most years the voting is intense, but this year we may see the closest race yet in nearly all the above categories. Let’s take a look at the awards and their nominees:

NFL MVP: The Nominees: Peyton Manning, Adrian Peterson, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and J.J. Watt.

Of the nominees, two men stand above the rest. Peyton Manning has led the Denver Broncos to home-field advantage in this years playoffs by going on an 11 game winning streak to finish the season tied with the Atlanta Falcons for the leagues best record at 13-3 overall. Manning has also done all of this coming back from a neck injury that kept him out all of last season.

Adrian “All Day” Peterson. Peterson much like Manning, had a simply phenomenal comeback season this year. Last year Peterson was out due to a knee injury. Some wondered how Peterson would respond this season. Needless to say, Peterson answered all the questions and then some. Peterson put on a rushing clinic this season eclipsing the 2,000 yard mark, a feat only 6 other NFL running backs have done in the history of the league. Peterson finished the season with 2,097 yards, just 9 yards shy of breaking Eric Dickerson’ record of 2,105 set back in 1984. All Day’s performance this year has helped put the Vikings in the post season.

My Pick: I have to go with Adrian Peterson. The fact that this man came back from reconstructive knee surgery, and nearly broke a 28-year-old NFL rushing record is enough for me. The selling point on Peterson to win this award though, rests in the fact that he helped lead the Minnesota Vikings to the playoffs.

A feat few thought to be possible when the season began so many weeks ago. Peyton has no doubt had a great year, and is vital to the Broncos success, but Denver could have made the post-season with someone else at quarterback, especially with the awful play by the rest of the AFC West this year. The Vikings don’t do much of anything without Adrian Peterson this year (or any year for that matter).

MVP is the Most Valuable Player award, and in my opinion there’s no one whose been more valuable to a team than Adrian Peterson this year.

Peyton Manning - Seattle Seahawks v Denver Broncos

Comeback Player: This year the award for Comeback Player Of the Year is probably the most clear cut award as only two players fit the bill. The two men mentioned in the paragraph above, Manning and Peterson, have both done more than what anybody expected from them. Both have had great seasons. Both have their teams in the playoffs. Both came back from career jarring injuries. However, only one of them can win the award.

My Pick: I’m choosing Peyton Manning for this one. Peterson could very well win this award, but I’m giving it to Manning because he not only had to comeback from an injury, but he had to comeback with a brand new team, brand new offensive sets, brand new targets to throw to, brand new everything. Manning not only came-back as the Manning we all know, but he made us nearly forget he ever left. With that, Manning is my choice for Comeback Player Of the Year, hands down.

Offensive Player Of The Year: The Nominees: Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Calvin Johnson, Adrian Peterson.

Like the first two awards this is another one that either Manning or Peterson could win, but given they both may win one of the two aforementioned awards Brady, Rodgers, and Johnson have a higher chance at this award.

Brady and Rodgers have both had solid seasons. Brady threw for 4,827 yards with 34 TDS while Rodgers threw for 4,295 yards and 39 TDS. Both are essential to their offenses overall success. However, I’d like to argue my pick for Offensive Player Of the Year, Calvin Johnson.

My Pick: Johnson has been nothing short of amazing this season. Johnson not only had the most receiving yards of any wide receiver this year, he broke Jerry Rice’ single season record for receiving yards with a 225 yard 11 catch performance against the falcons in week 16 against Atlanta. “Megatron” finished the season with 1,964 yards. Johnson averaged 115 yards and 7 catches per game this season. Those numbers are certainly award worthy. Of course, it will be hard for Johnson to beat out the likes of Brady and Rodgers, but he should absolutely be considered and is my pick for this year’s Offensive Player Of the Year.

Defensive Player Of the Year: The Nominees: J.J. Watt, Von Miller, Aldon Smith.

All of the nominees are no doubt a quarterback, heck lets be honest, these guys have any one on offense scared to death on any given Sunday. But, like any award, only one of them can bring home the hardware. Let’s go to the stats:

J.J. Watt- NFL season sack leader with 20.5 sacks, 81 combined tackles, and 4 forced fumbles.

Aldon Smith- Finished second in total sacks with 19.5, 66 combined tackles, 3 forced fumbles and 1 interception.

Von Miller- Finished 3rd in sacks with 18.5, 68 tackles, 6 forced fumbles, and 1 interception.

My Pick: Again, all of these men wreak havoc on opposing offenses week in and week out, but I have to choose one. My choice has to be J.J. Watt. Watt burst on to scene last year in his rookie season with his tenacious play in the regular season, and really broke out in the Texans playoff win against the Bengals with an interception return for a TD. Watt has , asserted himself as a force to be reckoned with this year in the NFL and has earned the right to this award.

Rookie Of The Year: The Nominees: Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson.

The three rookie QB’s listed above have all had incredible seasons in their own right. Each of them have led their respective teams to the playoffs. Here’s the numbers on these newbies:

Luck: rookie record for passing yards with 4, 374 and 23 TD with a 76.5 QB rating.

RGIII: 3,200 yards passing with 20 TD and  102.4 QB rating, Griffin also rushed for 815 yds and 7 TDS ranking him in the top 20 in rushing yds in the NFL.

Wilson: tied Peyton Manning’ rookie record for passing TDS with 26 and threw for 3,118 yards. Wilson also had 489 rushing yds with 4 TDS.

My Pick: My choice for Rookie Of the Year would have to be RGIII. No disrespect to Andrew Luck, but at the end of the day it’s hard for me to not pick a rookie stud who finishes in the top 5 for QB rating with the likes of Rodgers and Manning. Plus with his versatility in the pocket as a rushing threat he is hard to ignore.

Final Thoughts: Almost forgot an award. Coach Of the Year. Mike Shanahan (Redskins), Leslie Frazier (Vikings), Pete Carroll (Seahawks), and Bruce Arians (fill in for Chuck Pagano and the Colts) all up for the honor. I believe for what Arians accomplished, in Pagano’ honor while he battled Leukemia, is more than deserving of the award and has undoubtedly earned it. Who do you think will take home the NFL Hardware? Leave a comment below.