Offensive MVP: Eli Manning, Giants
His 4933 yards were good for 6th on the all-time list. He’s not Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, or Tom Brady, but so what? He’s a great QB that played behind a creaky OL with no run game whatsoever, and put the team on his back the entire season. Big boy performances against the Eagles (first matchup), Packers (even if it was a loss), Cardinals, Dolphins, Patriots, Cowboys (twice), and yesterday in their first playoff game against the Falcons. I’m pretty sure Eli dipped the football in cinnamon sugar butter before delivering this perfect ball to Mario Manningham yesterday.
Apologies to: LeSean McCoy, Victor Cruz, Tony Romo, Jason Peters
Defensive MVP: Jason Pierre-Paul, Giants
Just a special player. He had 16.5 sacks, so we know he can rush the passer, but he’s also great against the run and may have come up with the play of the season when he blocked Dan Bailey’s game-tying FG attempt in the first Cowboys matchup. Best of all, he produced the image of the mysterious Jerry Jones white afro tag-along kid doing a facepalm in the owners box (0:58 mark):
Apologies to: Jason Babin, DeMarcus Ware.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: DeMarco Murray
It’s a shame we didn’t get to see him for an entire season, but the parts that he played in he was a clear upgrade over former 1st round pick Felix Jones. 164 for 897 (5.5 YPA) and a couple TDs. Also caught 26 for 183. Here’s his first TD as a pro, a 91 yard run:
Apologies to: Tyron Smith, Roy Helu, Jason Kelce
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Ryan Kerrigan
There isn’t anyone close. The guy simply doesn’t come off the field (he led the defense with 1056 snaps) and he makes plays: 7.5 sacks, 4 FF, and this monster interception Week 1 against the Giants:
Apologies to: Brian Rolle
Best TD celebration: LeSean McCoy’s chest bump with Howard Mudd
Worst TD celebration: Brandon Jacobs acting like a jackass despite the scoreboard.
Conveniently not pictured in the screen on this video (presumably shot by a Giants fan of his TV)… is the score. The Giants were down 21-3 before the TD run, and would eventually lose 24-49.
Apologies to: Laurent Robinson spiking the ball despite previously being down 34-0 to the Eagles, and Miles Austin for doing the same to avoid a shutout in another blowout by the birds.
Biggest surprise: Victor Cruz
Again, no-brainer. 82-1536-9. His 99 yarder:
Apologies to: Jake Ballard, Laurent Robinson, Jabar Gaffney.
Biggest disappointment: The Philadelphia Eagles (team effort)
Talented players galore. 4th ranked offense. 8th ranked defense.
8-8, and no date to the prom.
(All video was either lost or destroyed)
Apologies to: Eagles fans.
Best highlight of the season: Victor Cruz’s 99 yard TD catch and run (see above)
Worst highlight of the season: Ronnie. Brown.
Apologies to: Chas Henry’s noodle-armed fake punt throw, stev smit stopping short of a 1st down, Tony Romo getting breathed on and stumbling back like Piston Honda into the end zone for a safety.
Best sideline conversation: John Beck, Kyle Shanahan, and Rex Grossman
I don’t know what these three were talking about here, but I’m sure it was smart:
Beast Badass: Brent Celek
Apparently, he played all season long with a torn labrum in his hip and a sports hernia. Badass. Watch the volume at work on this vid:
Apologies to: London Fletcher (just because).
The Mike Jenkins Award for excellence in not wanting anything to do with tackling somebody: DeAngelo Hall
DeJon Gomes and Reed Doughty look silly trying to bring down the Gronk here, but at least they tried. Check out D Hall:
Best radio interview: Antrel Rolle (all of them… at the end of the day)
The guy was a content gold mine for me this season. Thanks, Antrel.
The Old Yeller Award: Terence Newman
I imagine that when Jerry Jones cuts Newman this offseason, it’ll go something like this:
Apologies to: Keith Brooking