Offensive Player of the Year: Comeback Kids
We’re at that time of the year where attention begins to turn to after the season. For some that means focusing on the playoffs, hoping this is the year for their teams. For others it’s to free agency and the draft as they look at how their team can rebuild.
For some? Well, thoughts turn to which players are going to earn end-of-season praise. With that in mind four of the analysts and myself put together our own individual ballots for Offensive Player of the Year. Keep in mind each analyst has their own criteria.
Here’s what we each came up with, and here’s the combined results when we added them altogether.
|1||Adrian Peterson||Duane Brown||Adrian Peterson||Adrian Peterson||Adrian Peterson|
|2||Evan Mathis||Adrian Peterson||Reggie Wayne||Tom Brady||Tom Brady|
|3||Tom Brady||Reggie Wayne||Rob Gronkowski||Peyton Manning||Andre Johnson|
|4||Reggie Wayne||Percy Harvin||AJ Green||Rob Gronkowski||Rob Gronkowski|
|5||Percy Harvin||Tom Brady||Tom Brady||Matt Ryan||Peyton Manning|
|6||Duane Brown||Peyton Manning||Vincent Jackson||Aaron Rodgers||AJ Green|
|7||Rob Gronkowski||AJ Green||Peyton Manning||Andre Johnson||Matt Ryan|
|8||Peyton Manning||Evan Mathis||Andre Johnson||Reggie Wayne||Duane Brown|
|9||CJ Spiller||Rob Gronkowski||Matt Ryan||Drew Brees||Calvin Johnson|
|10||Matt Ryan||CJ Spiller||C.J.Spiller||AJ Green||Evan Mathis|
And now the overall Top 10.
1. Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN
What can you say about Peterson that hasn’t already been said? He leads the league in rushing, has forced 43 missed tackles and is picking up 3.4 yards per attempt after contact. He’s enjoying some of the best blocking in his career and is really making it count.
2. Tom Brady, QB, NE
It’s kind of flown under the radar but Tom Terrific has a quite crazy 24:3 touchdown to interception ratio. And he’s really attacking defenses, not dinking and dunking his way down the field like he did a couple of years ago. As good as ever.
3. Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE
His injury will likely take him out of this race, but the league’s best tight end has proved a real difference maker. His size and skillset makes him nearly uncoverable, while his blocking is so much better than anyone is prepared to give him credit for.
4. Reggie Wayne, WR, IND
Something of a controversial high choice. He didn’t make my ballot but is second in the league in terms of yardage and has proven a reliable safety net for a rookie quarterback. Still, I think my colleagues are smoking something to have him ahead of other guys.
5. Peyton Manning, QB, DEN
We wondered if Peyton would come back anywhere near close to the player he once was. It’s safe to say that while he may never be 100% that guy, he’s pretty darn good. The concerns about arm strength have dissipated with Manning making full use of his arsenal of weapons in arguably the most talented team he has ever been on.
6. Duane Brown, OT, HST
Lineman alert! Our top ranked left tackle is coming off one of the best performances we’ve ever seen from a tackle, looking impenetrable in protection and having the kind of agility you just don’t associate with linemen. A special player.
7. A.J. Green, WR, CIN
He just keeps scoring touchdowns. But more than that, Green is the type of weapon that you know the Bengals have to use, yet you still can’t stop him. There aren’t many scarier receivers out there.
8. Andre Johnson, WR, HST
Oh how we all slept on Johnson, speculating he was a faded force with age and injury catching up to him. Oh how wrong we were. He leads the league in yards per route run and has shown that when the Texans need to open up their passing game, he’s still a guy who will get the job done.
9. Matt Ryan, QB, ATL
= Evan Mathis, PHI, LG
= Percy Harvin, MIN, WR
A three-way tie for ninth with all earning a spot in the Top 10. Ryan leads a team with the joint best record in the league, but some of his more recent performances haven’t exactly pushed him to the forefront of this competition. Mathis, it’s safe to say, has established himself as the best left guard in the league and it’s a credit to him that he hasn’t let the mess around him affect his play. Only playing time knocks Harvin this far down. There isn’t a more explosive player in the league.
Follow Khaled on Twitter: @PFF_Khaled