Offensive Player of the Year: Comeback Kids

Adrian Peterson and Peyton Manning have rebounded from injuries to resume their places among the best offensive weapons in the NFL.

| 5 years ago

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.

1Adrian PetersonDuane BrownAdrian PetersonAdrian PetersonAdrian Peterson
2Evan MathisAdrian PetersonReggie WayneTom BradyTom Brady
3Tom BradyReggie WayneRob GronkowskiPeyton ManningAndre Johnson
4Reggie WaynePercy HarvinAJ GreenRob GronkowskiRob Gronkowski
5Percy HarvinTom BradyTom BradyMatt RyanPeyton Manning
6Duane BrownPeyton ManningVincent JacksonAaron RodgersAJ Green
7Rob GronkowskiAJ GreenPeyton ManningAndre JohnsonMatt Ryan
8Peyton ManningEvan MathisAndre JohnsonReggie WayneDuane Brown
9CJ SpillerRob GronkowskiMatt RyanDrew BreesCalvin Johnson
10Matt RyanCJ SpillerC.J.SpillerAJ GreenEvan 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

  • redmid17

    Arguably Manning’s most talented team ever?

    I don’t even think it’s close when you look at the 2005 and 2007 teams he played on.

  • SeanJE

    Someone want to tell me why Calvin Johnson is nowhere to be found here? Out of five voters, he gets one ninth-place vote. The guy is only forty yards off the pace of Jerry Rice’s all-time rec. yds/season record (Calvin actually has more yds through 11 games than Jerry had in that year), and impacts coverage like no other WR ever has. His impact on the game is unparalleled as a pass catcher.

    The only conclusion I can think of is to call this yet another example of the PFF anti-Lions bias.

    • Sppash101

      Ill let you know why, though Calvin Johnson is no question a monster, He is second in targets with 122 and only has 4 more receptions than andre johnson when he has been targeted only 104 times.. He has the 33rd worst drop rate in the league when you consider only 50% of snaps, and he is down this year in touchdowns compared to last year. Which has resulted in less of an impact. He is still a top five receiver, but looking with detail his 1257 yards isn’t as impressive. A saying to describe this is ” you keep feeding a mouse, he will eventually get full.” In comparison, you keep throwing at Calvin Johnson he going to get yards, but that doesn’t mean its helping the team win games. Another example of this is Arian Foster who is second in the league in rushing, but that is mostly due to the amount of carries he has compared to other backs. If you want to call it bias opinion that on you, but its not like DET Lions are playoff bound.

      • SeanJE

        Calvin also has 200 more rec. yards than Andre Johnson right now. I imagine the depth of those throws, along with the Lions zero threat of a running attack (espec. when compared to Houston) has a lot to do with the lower catch rate. Teams are in two-high, and nickel personell an incredible amount against the Lions. That doesn’t help Calvin out. I imagine there’s a stark difference there when compared to Houston.

        He has dropped more balls than normal this year, I will admit that, but 33rd worst? Really? Is that really all that bad, all things considered (including the catches he makes that no one else can, because of his sheer size and leaping ability, as well as his nerve damage sustained earlier in the year)?

        Have you watched how teams defend Calvin on the goal line? I suggest you check it out. And I suppose the six-plus times he has been tackled inside the opponent’s two yard line isn’t worth anything, right?

        You are pointing out all the obvious stat-sheet numbers, but are you actually watching the games? Are you watching what having Calvin (or Arian) in the game does to opposing defenses? These guys are the focal point of each’s offense. Just because they aren’t producing, on a per-play basis, at tops-in-the-league clips, does NOT mean they’re aren’t having an impact. Take them out of the game, and see what happens. I’ll be the first to admit that Stafford would struggle immensely dealing with the coverage evening out across his receiving options.

    • william

      same reason people aren’t all excited with all these passing records being broken lately.
      Its probably more than talent thats moving passing records north in this era of NFL. Not sure how you can compare a relative rookie to a HOF WR any kid football fan could spell out