Thursday, January 21, 2010

My (long-awaited) 2009 NFL All-Pro Team and Awards

It's a little delayed and a little late compared to most of the media's all-pro teams and awards (did I just compare myself to the actual media?), but I finally got around to compiling and, most importantly, posting my 2009 All-Pro Team and individual awards.

First, the all-pro team:

Offense

WR Vincent Jackson, San Diego Chargers: A tremendous play-maker in 2009, catching nine touchdowns and ranking behind only Philadelphia's DeSean Jackson in yards per reception among NFL starters.

LT Joe Thomas, Cleveland Browns: His team was horrendous, and his quarterbacks shaky for most, if not all, of the season, but Thomas was far and away the best and most complete blocker in the NFL this past year.

LG Carl Nicks, New Orleans Saints: One of the league's best run blockers, and also very stout in the passing game.

C Nick Mangold, New York Jets: Was simply a monster for the Jets all season, nearly doubling any other center's run-blocking efficiency.

RG Jahri Evans, New Orleans Saints: Was the best run blocker in the NFL this season, while also helping Drew Brees lead one of the NFL's most high-powered passing games.

RT Willie Colon, Pittsburgh Steelers: The best pass-protecting right tackle in the NFL this season, allowing only six quarterback pressures.

TE Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys: Didn't have the touchdown total of some of the other elite tight ends, but racked up catches and yards and was also a huge factor as a run-blocker.

WR Andre Johnson, Houston Texans: Is as complete a receiver as their is in the NFL and helped quarterback Matt Schaub lead the NFL in passing yards.

QB Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts: Manning wasn't the most efficient quarterback in the NFL statistically, but he was near the top, and his leadership skills/importance to his team are second to none.

RB Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans: An easy choice, as Johnson was an absolute monster as a receiver and on the ground, with just the sixth 2,000-yard rushing season in NFL history.

FB Lousaka Polite, Miami Dolphins: No fullback in the NFL came close to Polite's efficiency in run blocking and short-yardage conversions this season.


Defense

DE Dwight Freeney, Indianapolis Colts: Is only average against the run, but he led the NFL in quarterback pressures this season as a constant terror to opposing passers.

DT Randy Starks, Miami Dolphins: Plays defensive end in Miami's base 3-4 scheme, but is essentially a tackle, and was excellent in all facets of the game in 2009.

NT Kelly Gregg, Baltimore Ravens: One of the most underrated defensive linemen in the game, Gregg was superb against the run as he anchored the Ravens' 3-4.

DE Justin Smith, San Francisco 49ers: Plays as a constant end in the 49ers' hybrid scheme and was by far the most productive 3-4 end in the NFL.

OLB DeMarcus Ware, Dallas Cowboys: Started off slow, but had a great finish despite a frightening neck injury and is more than just a good pass rusher.

ILB Ray Lewis, Baltimore Ravens: Still playing at an extremely high level and can make plays all over the field.

ILB Patrick Willis, San Francisco 49ers: Easily the best 3-4 inside linebacker in the NFL, and just an absolute beast.

OLB Brian Cushing, Houston Texans: A tremendous playmaker as a rookie, racking up 133 tackles, 4.0 sacks, two forced fumbles and four interceptions.

CB Darrelle Revis, New York Jets: Only allowed two touchdowns to opposing wide receivers all season as the best shutdown corner in the NFL.

CB Charles Woodson, Green Bay Packers: Fantastic against both the pass and the run, and an astounding playmaker in 2009 with four forced fumbles, nine interceptions, and three touchdowns.

Ed Reed, Baltimore Ravens: Darren Sharper has the big interception total, but Reed was much better against the pass overall and continues to be an absolute ball-hawk.

SS George Wilson, Buffalo Bills: Very strong against the pass and the best run-stopping strong safety this season.


Special Teams

K Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland Raiders: Two of his three field goal misses on the season were from 57 and 67 yards out, and his kickoffs were extremely strong as well.

P Shane Lechler, Oakland Raiders: Easily the best punter in the NFL this season, and one of the best in league history.

KR Josh Cribbs, Cleveland Browns: Was a huge game-changer on special teams, averaging 27.5 yards per return and taking two back for scores.

PR DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles: Led NFL in punt return average among full-time returners, with a league-best two touchdowns.

ST Tim Shaw, Chicago Bears: Led NFL in special teams tackles without missing one and also forced a fumble.


And now, the player and coach awards:

NFL Awards

MVP — Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts: One of the league's best passers, and no player is more vital to his team's success.

Offensive Player — Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans: A hugely productive season and absolutely astounding final numbers as both a runner and receiver.

Defensive PlayerCharles Woodson, Green Bay Packers: A complete corner who had more big plays in defensive than anyone in the league.

Offensive RookieOT Michael Oher, Baltimore Ravens: Percy Harvin made a strong case, but Oher played two very difficult positions for a rookie (five at left tackle, 11 at right tackle) and performed extremely well in all areas.

Defensive Rookie Brian Cushing, Houston Texans: A tackling machine and huge playmaker his rookie season.

Comeback Player — Tom Brady, New England Patriots: Returned from a tough knee injury and played extremely sound football all season, despite some pretty poor play around him.

Head Coach — Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals: Dealt with HBO cameras during training camp, the death of Chris Henry, and the death of his defensive coordinator's wife, all the while leading his team to an AFC North title.

Offensive CoordinatorJason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys: Got his team over its regular December woes and into the postseason with great play-calling and tutelage of Tony Romo.

Defensive Coordinator — Mike Zimmer, Cincinnati Bengals: Turned Cincinnati's usually sub-par defensive into a Top 10 unit, all while dealing with the unexpected death of his wife mid-season.

General Manager — Ozzie Newsome, Baltimore Ravens: Is entirely responsible for the personnel of Baltimore's third-ranked defense, as well as the arrivals of vital offensive players like Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, Jared Gaither, Matt Birk, and Michael Oher.


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