Here’s to many more!
Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos
Why: Why not? Statistically speaking, Manning just had the best season a QB has ever had, completing 450 of 689 attempts (!) for an outstanding 68.3 completion percentage, 5,477 yards (!!) and 55 touchdown passes (!!!). Oh, and he only threw 10 interceptions, was sacked a paltry 18 times and basically rewrote every season record for a QB. What would the Broncos be without him? A good team. What are they with him? The best team.
Honorable Mentions: Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Phillip Rivers, LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles, Calvin Johnson, Robert Mathis, Robert Quinn, Vontaze Burfict
NFL Offensive Player Of The Year
LeSean McCoy, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
Why: As the season progressed, and as each game the Eagles played wore on, McCoy simply got better and better. He averaged over 6 yards per carry in the 4th quarter, combined for 2,146 yards of offense and scored 11 total TDs. He was the pivotal piece in Chip Kelly’s offensive machine, the cog that drove the Eagles into the playoffs and, despite past success, McCoy peeled back a layer of skin to reveal an even more dominant player than anyone remembers him being.
Honorable Mentions: Matt Forte, Josh Gordon, Drew Brees, Jimmy Graham, A.J. Green
NFL Defensive Player Of The Year
Robert Quinn, DE, St. Louis Rams
Why: His 19 sacks only scratch the surface. He was stout against the run and, when he wasn’t sacking the quarterback, he was almost constantly disrupting the pocket, demanding double and triple teams and shrugging them off regularly. Quinn has quietly been building himself into the player he now is, namely the most dangerous pass rushing threat in the NFL, who isn’t afraid or incapable of scrapping in the run game as well.
Honorable Mentions: J.J. Watt, Vontaze Burfict, Robert Mathis, Karlos Dansby, NaVorro Bowman, Luke Kuechly
NFL Rookie Of The Year
Keenan Allen, WR, San Diego Chargers
Why: This was a close call, but in the end, it was the position as much as the player that led to my decision. In the NFL, the wide receiver position is notoriously difficult for a rookie to pick up in his first year as a pro. Allen, the 76th player taken in last year’s draft, managed to top 1,000 yards receiving, snag eight touchdowns, have more than 75% of his passes result in first downs and average close to 15 yards for each of his 71 receptions…all while playing in 15 games and starting 14. Undoubtedly impressive.
Honorable Mentions: Eddie Lacy, Giovanni Bernard, Mike Glennon, Le’Veon Bell, Kiko Alonzo, Eric Reid
NFL Head Coach Of The Year
Bill Belichick, New England Patriots
Why: From the very beginning, this was a team that had doubt in its wake coming off of a disappointing loss in the 2012 AFC Championship game. By the time the regular season started, almost every meaningful wide receiver and tight end on the Patriots’ roster in 2012 was either released, injured or behind bars (Aaron Hernandez). As the season went on, it become more and more clear, as injuries to the improving defense began to mount, that while New England hit a few road bumps along the way, their course was being kept by the best head coach in the NFL. How else do you explain the record, the halftime adjustments, and in case anyone wants to argue that assistant coaches played some major role…who was the last Belichick assistant to successfully lead an NFL team to anything significant? No, the Hoodie is a living legend, and this was probably his most clear cut performance to justify such a claim. The Superbowl is still a reality, and that is an incredible feat considering the extraordinary circumstances this team has faced all year.
Honorable Mentions: Chip Kelly, Andy Reid, Bruce Arians, Mike McCoy.
KevTalksNFL’s All-Pro Team
QB – Peyton Manning (Denver Broncos)
HB – LeSean McCoy (Philadelphia Eagles)
FB – Charles Clay (Miami Dolphins)
WR – Calvin Johnson (Detroit Lions)
WR – Josh Gordon (Cleveland Browns)
TE – Jimmy Graham (New Orleans Saints)
LT – Joe Staley (San Fransisco 49ers)
LG – Logan Mankins (New England Patriots)
C – Mike Pouncey (Miami Dolphins)
RG – Jahri Evans (New Orleans Saints)
RT – Sebastian Vollmer (New England Patriots)
Defense: (4/3 Lineup):
LDE – Robert Quinn (St. Louis Rams)
DT – Geno Atkins (Cincinnati Bengals)
NT – Paul Solai (Miami Dolphins)
RDE – Robert Mathis (Indianapolis Colts)
LOLB – Vontaze Burfict (Cincinnati Bengals)
MLB – NaVorro Bowman (San Fransisco 49ers)
ROLB – Lavonte David (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
CB – Richard Sherman (Seattle Seahawks)
CB – Brent Grimes (Miami Dolphins)
FS – Jairus Byrd (Buffalo Bills)
SS – Antrell Rolle (New York Giants)
K – Justin Tucker (Baltimore Ravens)
P – John Hekker (St. Louis Rams)
KR – Cordarrelle Patterson (Minnesota Vikings)
PR – Dexter McCluster (Kansas City Chiefs)
Gunner – Marcus Easley (Buffalo Bills)
PART II Coming Soon…