Wednesday, January 12, 2011

NFL 2010 All-Pro Team and Awards

The 2010 NFL regular season is officially over, and it's time to hand out my coveted season awards and announce my highly-anticipated All-Pro team.

You can view my midseason all-pro team and awards here to see how things have chances since a few months ago.


Offense

WR Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons: White was the NFL's most productive receiver this season, leading the NFL with 115 receptions and finishing second in yards while catching 10 touchdowns.

LT Jake Long, Miami Dolphins: Long was the best left tackle in football for much of the season and continued to hold his own after a torn labrum in his shoulder in November.

LG Logan Mankins, New England Patriots: Mankins only started nine games due to a lengthy holdout, but once again showed he's one of the best guards in the game.

C Nick Mangold, New York Jets: Mangold continued to perform head and shoulders above the rest of the league's centers despite receiving a huge contract extension before the season.

RG Carl Nicks, New Orleans Saints: Nicks dominated up front for the Saints despite blocking for a new running back every week due to injuries.

RT Kareem McKenzie, New York Giants: McKenzie did an excellent job run blocking for Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs while allowing only two sacks on the season.

TE Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers: Despite an injury forcing him to miss six games, Gates had a better 10-game span (50 catches, 782 yards, 10 touchdowns) than any tight end in the NFL this year.

WR Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions: Johnson doesn't quite lead the NFL in the main receiving categories, but he was as dominant as anyone and his numbers (77 catches, 1,120 yards, 12 touchdowns) considering that he dealt with three different quarterbacks this year.

QB Tom Brady, New England Patriots: Brady went more than 300 attempts without an interception during the middle of the season and finished the year with incredible numbers, including 3,900 yards, 36 touchdowns and an NFL-best 111.0 quarterback rating.

RB Arian Foster, Houston Texans: Foster tore apart opposing defenses all year, leading the NFL with 1,616 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns on an impressive 4.9 average.

FB Vonta Leach, Houston Texans: Foster didn't do it on his own, and Leach paved the way for Foster all season as the Texans' brutal lead blocker.


Defense

DE Osi Umenyiora, New York Giants: His 11.5 sacks ranked near the top of the league, but it was his 10 forced fumbles that put this guy over the top as one of the biggest defensive playmakers of the year.

DT Ndamukong Suh, Detroit Lions: The second overall pick burst onto the scene as a rookie with 66 tackles and an incredible 10 sacks to lead all interior defensive linemen in 2010.

NT Kyle Williams, Buffalo Bills: Buffalo's defense was terrible, but it certainly wasn't the fault of Williams. He finished second among nose tackles in tackles with 77 and recorded 5.5 sacks.

DE Justin Tuck, New York Giants: Not to be outdone by his teammate Umenyiora, Tuck recorded 11.5 sacks of his own and forced six fumbles, recovering five of them.

OLB Clay Matthews III, Green Bay Packers: Although he missed game that prevented him from padding his sack total, Matthews was a constant force as a pass rusher with 13.5 sacks.

ILB (3-4) Jerod Mayo, New England Patriots: Mayo was everywhere for the Patriots in 2010, as his 175 tackles were 24 more than anyone else in the AFC. He also added two sacks, a forced fumble, and three fumble recoveries.

MLB (4-3) Brian Urlacher, Chicago Bears: After being limited to just one game in 2009, Urlacher turned in one of his best seasons at age 32 with 125 tackles, four sacks, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, and an interception.

OLB Cameron Wake, Miami Dolphins: Tempting to give DeMarcus Ware or Tamba Hali a nod here, but having watched Wake so much, I was just really impressed with how good he became against the run in addition to his 14 sacks.

CB Tramon Williams, Green Bay Packers: 2009 Defensive Player of the Year Charles Woodson gets all the attention, but Williams was as shutdown a corner as there was in 2010 with six interceptions and 20 pass deflections.

CB Joe Haden, Cleveland Browns: Rare for a rookie cornerback to be so effective, Haden really came on in the second half and finished his first pro season with six interceptions and 18 pass deflections.

FS Ed Reed, Baltimore Ravens: Reed was limited to just 10 games this season due to injury, which makes his NFL-leading eight interceptions all the more ridiculous and impressive.

SS Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh Steelers: Polamalu was his usual self in 2010, flying all over the field making plays with 63 tackles, a sack, and a career-high seven interceptions in 14 games.


Special Teams

K Billy Cundiff, Baltimore Ravens: Not only did Cundiff convert 26 of his 29 field goal attempts (90 percent), but he also blew all other kickers away with 40 touchbacks.

P Shane Lechler, Oakland Raiders: The NFL's best punter was his usual dominant self in 2010, posting a 47.0 average, 40.8 net average, and 27 punts downed inside the opponent's 20-yard line.

KR Brad Smith, New York Jets: Despite having his least productive year as a receiver, Smith was an electric kickoff returner with a 28.6-yard average and two touchdowns.

PR Devin Hester, Chicago Bears: One of the game's best career return men was as good as ever on punts in 2010, averaging 17.1 yards per return and taking three back to the house.


Awards

Most Valuable Player — QB Tom Brady, New England Patriots: Not only did Brady put up some of the best numbers of his career, but he also did it without his best offensive lineman for half a season, without Randy Moss for most of the season, and with a pair of mediocre running backs playing significant roles.

Offensive Player — QB Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles: Vick was as good as we've ever seen him in the NFL, throwing for over 3,000 yards and 21 touchdowns against just six interceptions in only 12 starts. He also rushed for 676 yards and a career-high nine touchdowns on the ground.

Defensive Player — SS Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh Steelers: The numbers don't do justice to how valuable Polamalu was to the NFL-leading Steelers' defense.

Offensive RookieQB Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams: Starting immediately as the quarterback for a bad team as the No. 1 overall pick is a huge challenge. Bradford looked comfortable from day one, keeping his team in playoff contention the entire season and posting solid numbers with 3,512 yards, 18 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions.

Defensive Rookie DT Ndamukong Suh, Detroit Lions: No NFL rookie had a bigger first season than Suh, who posted an improbably 10 quarterback sacks from the defensive tackle position.

Comeback Player — WR Mike Williams, Seattle Seahawks: Most guys with talent that lack the motivation or drive to succeed usually fade into oblivion and stay there. Give credit to Williams for turning his life around and working his way back from overweight and out of the league to one of the best possession receivers in the league.

Head Coach — Todd Haley, Kansas City Chiefs: With what people assumed was maybe the third best roster in their division, Haley got the offense going right and got some great production from his young defensive players like Tamba Hali, Brandon Flowers, and Eric Berry.

Offensive CoordinatorCharlie Weis, Kansas City Chiefs: It's unfortunate for the Chiefs he'll be one and done in Kansas City, because Weis finally turned Matt Cassel into the player they thought he could be while making Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones the best running back tandem in the NFL.

Defensive Coordinator — Dick LeBeau, Pittsburgh Steelers: Let's be real. Mike Tomlin doesn't really do anything, inheriting what LeBeau and Bill Cowher built in Pittsburgh. LeBeau is still getting it done and led the NFL's best defense this year.

General Manager — Bill Belichick, New England Patriots: (Note: Nearly the exact same copy as my midseason award. It says it all.) The de facto GM for a franchise that lacks someone with that official title, Belichick traded Randy Moss for a third-rounder that released him after a month while his team ranked first the NFL in scoring. He has also drafted immediate contributors like tight ends Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski and cornerback Devin McCourty, while also getting production for NFL cast-offs like running back Danny Woodhead, guard Dan Connolly, and linebacker Rob Ninkovich.


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