Is it really November already? It seems like yesterday we were getting ready for Thomas Morstead to kick off the NFL season in Green Bay. But it wasn’t, and we’re already eight weeks through the 2011 NFL season. So it’s time to recognize some of the guys playing some good football right now, which means unleashing our October awards on an unsuspecting public.
As usual our four analysts (Neil Hornsby, Sam Monson, Ben Stockwell and myself) got together to list their top three in all the categories, and as usual, if you win one of the major awards, you’re automatically out of the running for one of the minor ones (so our Rookie of the Month can’t win our AFC Rookie of the Month for example).
Anyways, I’m sure some people won’t read that little disclaimer so I might as well get on with this thing.
Most Valuable Player: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
The main man on the best team in football just so happens to be our MVP for the month of October. Is anybody shocked by that? If so, just watch any of his performances from this month. I dare you.
Others receiving votes: Calvin Johnson, Derrick Johnson, Darrelle Revis, Matt Forte and Fred Jackson
Defensive Player of the Month: Darrelle Revis, CB, New York Jets
Was there ever any doubt? 24 times he was thrown at in October, and the results were seven receptions for 82 yards, with four pass breaks ups and three interceptions. He’s pretty good.
Others receiving votes: Justin Smith, Ray Lewis, Jared Allen and Derrick Johnson
Offensive Player of the Month: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
There isn’t a quarterback in the league playing nearly as well as Rodgers right now. His lowest grade of the month was a +5.7. That’s the kind of grade most quarterbacks go to bed dreaming we’ll give them.
Others receiving votes: Fred Jackson, Matt Forte and Calvin Johnson
Rookie of the Month: Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers
At times Newton was somewhat less than accurate (remember that New Orleans game), but for the majority he was making Carolina competitive. Did more with his feet than in September.
Others receiving votes: Von Miller, Andy Dalton, Marcell Dareus and Tyron Smith
AFC Offensive Player of the Month: Fred Jackson, HB, Buffalo Bills
How can you not like Fred Jackson? You get the feeling the Bills wish C.J. Spiller was the player Jackson already is, as he breaks tackles and picks up plenty of yards.
Others receiving votes: Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Wes Welker, Joe Thomas and Andy Levitre
NFC Offensive Player of the Month: Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions
The Lions are 5-2 because of Calvin Johnson. A bold statement but there isn’t a receiver out there who has the kind of impact on games Johnson does. Other may help you march down the field, Megatron will get you there before you know it.
Others receiving votes: Matt Forte and Jimmy Graham
AFC Defensive Player of the Month: Ray Lewis, MLB, Baltimore Ravens
Lewis gets the nod despite not receiving a single first place vote. They all went to Revis who wasn’t eligible. Still, Lewis has been lights out with grades in the green in every game.
Others receiving votes: Brian Cushing, Terrell Suggs, Carlos Dunlap, Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson
NFC Defensive Player of the Month: Jared Allen, DE, Minnesota Vikings
Just the eight sacks this month for Allen. He knows how to finish plays.
Others receiving votes: Justin Smith, Patrick Willis, Carlos Rogers and Sean Weatherspoon
AFC Rookie of the Month: Marcell Dareus, DT, Buffalo Bills
With two of the best performances of a rookie all year in his last two games, Dareus is starting to show why he was the third overall pick. Stepping up when the Bills need him to.
Others receiving votes: Von Miller, Jabaal Sheard and Andy Dalton
NFC Rookie of the Month: Aldon Smith, OLB, San Francisco 49ers
It says something about Smith’s ability that he has earned this role despite being limited to a situational role. Getting to the quarterback seven times in a calendar month will do that.
Others receiving votes: Adrian Clayborn, Tyron Smith and KJ Wright