Opinion Corner: Year-end awards for NFLSurprisingly, writing for the Jamestown Sun doesn’t give me a vote for year-end awards. You’re probably just as shocked as I was when I heard this disturbing news.
By: Jessy Sandhu Fantasy Football Writer, The Jamestown Sun
Surprisingly, writing for the Jamestown Sun doesn’t give me a vote for year-end awards. You’re probably just as shocked as I was when I heard this disturbing news.
Regardless of the NFL’s unwillingness to give me a vote, I will disclose whom my vote would have gone to.
Let’s start with what may be the most difficult award to hand out in recent years: The Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Being hidden in the Pacific Northwest made it difficult for Russell Wilson to make some national headlines early in the season, but Wilson’s and the Seahawks victories as of late have made everyone well aware of what they are capable of.
For some, tying Peyton Manning’s rookie record of 26 touchdowns, and leading his team to the playoffs should be enough to win the award. Any other season, Wilson would have received my “vote,” but this season had a number of exceptional rookies.
Over in the AFC, Andrew Luck has been racking up record-breaking stats that have Colts personnel and fans dreaming of Super Bowls.
Luck has led the Colts to an 11-5 record and a trip to Baltimore during Wild Card weekend. We can’t ignore Luck’s stats, but he did join a team that was built around the passing game.
There is no doubt in my mind that he’ll get my vote (assuming that I’ll get one) in the future for several awards. This year, however, my vote for the Offensive Rookie of the Year goes to Robert Griffin III.
RG3 filled up Sunday night highlight reels on a regular basis. Besides the highlight’s, RG3 was racking up the stats and eventually wins.
The Redskins got off to a disappointing 3-6 start and it looked as though the Mike Shanhahan experiment in Washington needed to come to an end. It was at this junction of the season that changed the Redskins, and RG3’s fortune.
RG3 was named the team captain and under his leadership, Washington went on to end the season with a seven-game winning streak and the NFC East title.
RG3 went on to break Cam Newton’s record for most rushing yards by a quarterback and it’s his dual threat that will eventually help him beat out Wilson and Luck.
Hopefully the media personnel that do get a vote consider RG3’s leadership when voting.
Leading up to the final quarter of the season, the Comeback Player of the Year was a tight race. Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson continued to defy odds all season long, but eventually one of them pulled away in what is no longer a tight race.
Manning’s stats are impressive, but the second half of the season was soft for the Broncos. It was a cakewalk as wins came quick and easy.
Peterson, on the other hand, had to deal with the pressure of leading his team to victories.
This season will go down as the second-best season by a running back in NFL history. Manning was great, but Peterson’s season was historic. Manning’s accomplishments stand out because of his injury, but Peterson’s season was even more impressive because as the season wound down, talks were about history not his injury.
Along with Comeback Player of the Year, Peterson needs to make room on his mantle for the MVP trophy.
As always, Tom Brady, Manning and Aaron Rodgers had great seasons, but I’m sure even they’d agree that this year only one player was truly the most valuable to their team.
As always, Coach of the Year could go to a number of coaches around the league. Bill Belichick had another successful regular season in New England. John Fox has done a tremendous job watching Manning coach the Broncos, and no doubt Leslie Frazier has been instrumental in the Vikings season.
Unfortunately for the above-mentioned coaches, Jim Harbaugh should take home the hardware for the second straight season.
Harbaugh has completely changed the culture in San Francisco in his two seasons.
Then there was the quarterback situation. Most coaches wouldn’t have the guts to bench a solid starter because of one game by a backup. It wasn’t an easy call, but the switch from Alex Smith to second-year man Colin Kaepernick proved to be correct and the 49ers find themselves as the No. 2 seed in the NFC and it shouldn’t come as a surprise if they make a run to New Orleans.
Awards are great, but only one thing should matter when it comes to sports: championships.
Legends are measured by rings, not the number of trophies on their mantle. It’s time for all of the above-mentioned players to forget about the regular season and focus on the task at hand.
Enjoy Wild Card weekend!
Jessy Sandhu is the founder of www.fantasymoves.com. Follow him on