Now everybody loves analysis. That’s why the so- called experts are so expert. But sometimes quantity is better than quality.
Being a full- time college student and a writer for Below Mendoza can be a big workload. So instead of boring you with lengthy explanations for what I believe, I present to you…. The Lists!
The way this will work is I will give you a brief insight into my brains. Prepare yourselves for a set of brief lists that are open for discussion (@CoachKochman or using the GH
For this edition of The Lists, I’ll hand out some of the most coveted awards in football to studs and sleepers alike. Let’s go!
Most Valuable Player (MVP):
1. Tom Brady à 2015 Tom Brady is putting past Tom Brady’s to shame. We’ll see how the loss of Dion Lewis affects the offense, but with a new and young offensive line. Outside of Sebastian Vollmer, no offensive lineman has more than five years of experience and two of them are rookies.
2. Andy Dalton à The Bengals have for sure surprised me this season. They are 9-0 and I had them going 8- 8 this year. The Red Rifle has done a fantastic job integrating all of the offensive weapons Cincy has to offer rather than just throwing to AJ Green. Jeremy Hill has struggled this season and Dalton has effectively picked upthe slack.
3. Cam Newton à The last of the starting quarterbacks for an undefeated team, Newton follows the trend. He lost Kelvin Benjamin preseason and has found a way to use Devin Funchess, Corey Brown, and Jericho Cotcheryto win games.
If you eliminated everyone in MVP contention, these are some guys that could win the next level of MVP and deserve more credit
1. Devonta Freeman à Freeman earned his starting job when Tevin Coleman got hurt early in the season. Since then he has been a huge reason for the Falcons leading the wild card charge in the NFC. He can run the ball and catch the ball and leads the league in both rushing touchdowns and all purpose touchdowns.
2. Antonio Brown à Antonio Brown has had to help out the Steelers to stay competitive in light of the Le’Veon Bell injury. Some may argue that Julio Jones has been better but Antonio Brown has 27 fewer yards receiving with THREE DIFFERENT QUARTERBACKS! It’s difficult to stay elite when you have some combination of Ben Roethlisberger, Landry Jones, and Mike Vick throughout the season
3. Derek Carr à Derek Carr has revitalized the Oakland Raiders organization and made a name for himself at the same time. Using guys like Clive Walford and Seth Roberts, Carr has a stat line to put himself in the conversation for elite quarterbacks. Derek Carr has time to grow as a player too and it helps being on a young and successful team.
Most Likely to Win the Super Bowl:
No explanation necessary
New England Patriots- The best team in football and maybe all-time
Cincinnati Bengals – From top to bottom this team is good, how long can Dalton stay hot?
Green Bay Packers- When they are on, this team is near unstoppable. They just have to prove that they can beat a good team
Denver Broncos- Amazing on defense and shaky on offense. We will get a good look when they place Cincy and the Pats later this season
Carolina Panthers- I still don’t trust the offense but the defense has been big. They need to learn to protect leads better (Colts, Packers)
New York Jets- Sleeper pick! The Jets have a great receiver tandem, running back, and a good defense to back it up
Arizona Cardinals- The Cards started so hot and trounced many opponents. They have the talent on both sides of the ball to compete with anyone
Rookie of the Year:
Todd Gurley- There aren’t many running backs that carry their team and make a defense worried. Gurley has become one of those guys even after coming off of injury
Amari Cooper- Cooper has been the best rookie wide receiver and has shown long- term potential. He’s proven that he can compete with anyone in the league
Jordan Hicks– Hicks is 4th among rookies in tackles and has five turnovers to his name including a pick six
Marcus Peters- Three interceptions including a touchdown makes Peters a nice tool for a Kansas City defense that already has Eric Berry, Tamba Hali, and Justin Houston
Stephone Anthony- The two- headed monster of Anthony and fellow rookie Hau’oli Kikaha has combined for over 100 tackles and 5 sacks. Anthony leads all rookies in tackles
Marcus Mariota- Finally a quarterback, Mariota has had many brilliant games this season but also struggled at times. He needs to continue to get better if he wants to keep his starting job in Tennessee
Scandal of the Year:
Anything that has happened this calendar year that has become notorious. Ranked from most despicable to least despicable.
Greg Hardy –Greg Hardy should not be playing in the NFL right now. He is a good player but a hothead on and off the field. Jerry Jones has managed to draw unnecessary negative attention to the Cowboys in a season where that is the last thing they need
Geno Smith vs. IK Enemkpali –This was kind of harmless at the time, but both players were kinda in the wrong. It wasn’t hard for Geno to just show up to the event or pay back the $600 but then you don’t go and break the QBs jaw. Props to Rex Ryan for rekindling the rivalry with the promotion on Thursday Night Football.
Color Rush –Following the debut of TNF’s Color Rush jerseys, there has been quite some drama. The millions of Americans who suffer from red- green colorblindness were vocal about the impossibility of distinguishing the Buffalo Bills (all red jerseys) from the New York Jets (all green jerseys). Also, the Jaguars color for next Thursday is anything but appealing to the eye.
Running the Ball in the Super Bowl –I did say calendar year so let us just remember the decision that was made in Super Bowl XLIX that resulted in a Patriots victory. This left plenty of Seahawks fans outraged, including Marshawn Lynch’s mom.
Daily Fantasy Sports –DFS has become one of the most popular formats of fantasy football today. Unfortunately, states are arguing that this is a form of illegal gambling. There will be more to come on this issue as the New York situation develops.
DeflateGate –Surprise! Yea, yea, the point of this section was kind of to show the harmless of the media circus that was DeflateGate. The only aftershock we’ve seen is Angry Tom Brady running through the NFL like they were Pop Warner. Thanks Goodell!
Well, that’s all for this issue. Have a list you want me to make? Have some questions about my rankings? Contact me directly on Twitter or the Forums.