The Aerys NFL staff got together to weigh in with their thoughts on The Associated Press’ 2012 NFL Awards, to be announced on Super Bowl eve, Saturday, February 2nd from 9-11 pm EST on CBS.
Miranda (Offsides): Adrian Peterson
Brenda (Broncos): Peyton Manning. With all due respect to Adrian Peterson, I vote for Manning because 1) he played a larger role in the Broncos’ offense than Peterson did with Minnesota, and 2) I’m not diminishing Peterson’s knee injury, but Manning had four neck procedures, including the fusing of two vertebrae. Still, can you go wrong with either player?
Patty (Rams): Peyton Manning (See what Brenda said).
Kristine (Jets): Adrian Peterson
Taina (Bears): Adrian Peterson. I have no words except that the man is not human.
Jamie (Browns): Peyton Manning. MVP and comeback player of the year could be a toss up, but Peyton deserves the MVP because he started out a bit rusty but turned it around and got his team to the playoffs.
Kim (Vikings): Adrian Peterson. No one was more valuable to their team than Adrian Peterson. Vikings come NO WHERE near the playoffs without him. And I know Manning was outstanding, but the Broncos were a playoff team with Tebow.
Emily (Steelers): Adrian Peterson. Not to take anything away from Peyton Manning, but the Broncos were favorites for the Super Bowl the moment he signed with them. The Vikings would have been nowhere near the playoffs without AP.
Casey (Packers): Adrian Peterson
Krissy (Saints): Adrian Peterson. I just wish he’d shut up about it.
Melanie (Steelers): Colin Kaepernick. Simple. Without him, the 49ers don’t win their playoff games and make it to the Superbowl. Sorry, but AP and PeyPey didn’t accomplish that.
Comeback Player of the Year
Miranda: Peyton Manning
Brenda: Peyton Manning. Not to sound like a broken record, but four neck procedures, including two fused vertebrae. Plus, he missed the entire 2011 season.
Patty: Adrian Peterson (What can I say other than he’s not 100% human. Look up the word “cylon” if you haven’t watched Battlestar Galactica).
Kristine: Peyton Manning. This award was invented for seasons like his 2012 season.
Taina: Peyton Manning. Not a huge Manning family fan, but he deserves this one. And if you need an explanation to why then you missed the entire season.
Jamie: Adrian Peterson. Back on the field less then a year after such a traumatic injury might seem crazy, but he was clearly ready to play, and have a fantastic season.
Kim: Adrian Peterson was thought to never be the same player when he came back from a torn ACL, they were right — HE WAS BETTER.
Emily: Adrian Peterson
Casey: Peyton Manning
Krissy: Peyton Manning
Melanie: Peyton Manning. Not only did he risk permanent injury and possible paralysis when he had nothing to prove, he compensated for his limitations by playing smart and working his way back into shape after a whole year off. Admirable.
Offensive Player of the Year
Miranda: Colin Kaepernick
Brenda: Adrian Peterson. What a pleasure to watch this season.
Patty: Adrian Peterson. 2,097 yards. Enough said.
Kristine: Adrian Peterson.
Taina: Adrian Peterson. 2,097 yards and a recent knee injury. And that is a fact.
Jamie: Colin Kaepernick. Was to the 49ers what Tebow was in NY…except he showed exceptional talent; so much talent that he was bumped to the #1 QB and is now going to his first Super Bowl.
Kim: Call me a homer but Adrian Peterson. He had the second best rushing season in the HISTORY of the National Football League and he did it in a pass-happy league AND with extra men in the box most of the time.
Emily: Peyton Manning. I have to give him props.
Casey: Adrian Peterson
Krissy: Adrian Peterson
Melanie: All Day. No doubt. Peterson wins this hands down.
Defensive Player of the Year
Miranda: J.J. Watt
Brenda: J.J. Watt. Von Miller ended the season quietly, as did Aldon Smith. Watt was consistently dominant all season long.
Patty: J.J. Watt. Unlike Aldon Smith, Watt doesn’t need to heavily rely on a teammate *cough, Justin Smith, cough* to be effective.
Kristine: J.J. Watt. Truly amazing performance from him all season.
Taina: J.J. Watt. Because not only is he handsome, he is being compared to Howie Long as a sophomore in the game. Amazingly talented for 23.
Jamie: J.J. Watt. JJ Swatt. That is all.
Kim: J.J. Watt
Emily: J.J. Watt. The dude is a beast.
Casey: J.J. Watt
Krissy: J.J. Watt!
Melanie: J.J. Watt. Nuff said.
Rookie of the Year
Miranda: Andrew Luck
Brenda: Andrew Luck. Luck’s numbers weren’t stellar, but the Colts’ turnaround this season was, and Luck was a big part of that.
Patty: Alfred Morris. I’m going against the grain and take the 6th round draft pick who finished second in the league with 1,613 rushing yards.
Kristine: Russell Wilson. I know he won’t win the AP award but his season wasn’t just impressive as the other two and it was less expected.
Taina: RGIII. His type of play will affect the length of his career (as we saw first hand), but until then, he is damn fun to watch and had the best rookie season this past year.
Jamie: Russell Wilson. It was tough because SOME of the rookie QB class was just exceptional this year, but Wilson, at 5’11” had a great first year using his arm and his legs.
Kim: RGIII for the lone fact that Andrew Luck was turnover happy.
Emily: Russell Wilson. It’s really a toss-up between Wilson, RG III, and Andrew Luck, but Wilson gets the edge because he was on my fantasy team.
Casey: Andrew Luck
Krissy: Robert Griffin III
Defensive Rookie of the Year
Miranda: Luke Kuechly
Brenda: Luke Kuechly. He led the league in tackles this season.
Patty: Luke Kuechly. He finished his rookie season leading the league with 164 tackles. In doing so he beat the likes of NaVorro Bowman (149), Chad Greenway (148), and Jarod Mayo (147).
Kristine: Luke Kuechly. I love that no one thought he was worth a top 10 pick and now he is the front-runner for DROTY.
Taina: Bobby Wagner. Overlooked because of the Wilson hype in Seattle, but another great rookie on the Seahawks. 140 combined tackles, 3 interceptions.. Wagner deserves some praise.
Jamie: Lavonte David
Kim: Luke Kuechly
Casey: Luke Kuechly
Krissy: Luke Kuechly
Melanie: Bruce Irvin
Offensive Rookie of the Year
Miranda: Robert Griffin III
Brenda: Robert Griffin III. But for the sake of conversation, let me create another category call Offensive Rookie of the Year Teammates, or OROTYT, because Alfred Morris deserves recognition. Who saw Morris rushing for 1,600 yards this season?
Patty: Robert Griffin III. Not only did RG3 have the best rookie QB passer rating with 102.4 (3rd overall behind Aaron Rodgers 108.0 and Peyton Manning 105.8) he also ran for 815 yards on the ground.
Kristine: RGIII. Obviously.
Jamie: Alfred Morris. Relatively unknown at the beginning of the year, fantasy owners quickly snatched him up, and he paid off big.
Emily: Russell Wilson
Casey: Andrew Luck
Krissy: Andrew Luck
Melanie: Russell Wilson. RGIII couldn’t stay upright, plus I find his cockiness annoying. Wilson lead a team with quiet authority when everyone said he couldn’t do it, after stealing the job from Matt Flynn. Not bad for a 5th rounder.
Special Teams Player of the Year
Miranda: Blair Walsh
Brenda: Blair Walsh. For the record, I was rooting for Walsh to miss that game-ending Week 17 field goal against the Packers so Peterson would get a chance to break the single-season rushing record in overtime. But Walsh connected. He was also named All-Pro and to the Pro Bowl. Not a bad rookie season at all.
Patty: Blair Walsh. The rookie kicker only missed three of his league leading 38 field goal attempts and was a perfect 36 of 36 for PATs.
Kristine: Blair Walsh. And it’s not close.
Taina: Blair Walsh. A remarkable year.
Jamie: Blair Walsh. One of the least cared about positions on special teams until the end of the game when you need three points. He’s only missed 3 field goals all year, giving him a rate of 92%. And he’s a rookie.
Kim: Blair Walsh — 10 of 10 from 50+ after a horrible senior season at Georgia.
Emily: Blair Walsh. He was also on my fantasy team, so he wins.
Casey: Blair Walsh
Krissy: Blair Walsh
Melanie: Yup. Blair Walsh.
Coach of the Year
Miranda: Bruce Arians
Brenda: Bruce Arians. Indianapolis was the NFL’s feel-good story of 2012.
Patty: Bruce Arians. 2-14 to 11-5 with a rookie QB (albeit it was Andrew Luck) as a surprise interim head coach.
Kristine: Bruce Arians/Chuck Pagano. Amazing story.
Taina: Bruce Arians. Not sure anyone else can do what that man managed to do in Indy.
Jamie: Bruce Arians. He had a tough job, and he performed brilliantly
Kim: Bruce Arians/Chuck Pagano helped turn around the Colts franchise
Emily: It pains me to say this, but Bruce Arians. “Retiring” from the Steelers did wonders for his career.
Casey: Bruce Arians
Krissy: Chuck Pagano & Bruce Arians
Melanie: Sorry, but I can’t go with the feel-good story of Arians/Pagano. That team was going to be much improved anyway, and I would credit Andrew Luck for a lot of that. How about Jim Harbaugh? No, I don’t want to have dinner with him or give him a hug, but what a ballsy move to pull the QB that helped them get to the NFC Championship game last year. And he was right. Could have been a disaster, but now he’s going to the Superbowl. And he didn’t have Reggie Wayne to catch his QB’s passes.
Executive of the Year
Miranda: Jim Irsay
Brenda: John Elway. I give the nod to Elway—barely. Ryan Grigson did a fantastic job his first season with Indianapolis, but he also walked into an ideal situation: ample draft picks, including No.1 overall, and plenty of money to work with. Elway’s luring of Manning to Denver and segue from Tebowmania couldn’t have been handled any better.
Patty: Ryan Grigson. It took some major cojones to let go the most important Colt in Indianapolis’ history and to start fresh. Gutsy move on Grigson’s part.
Kristine: John Elway. Because Peyton Manning.
Taina: Phil Emery. Controversial hire for the Bears, but his tweaks led the team to a 10-6 season. Although they missed the playoffs, Emery proved he is the man with the plan for Chicago.
Jamie: Colts execs. They had a rough year but they made some great choices that got them to the playoffs
Kim: Ryan Grigson
Casey: Ryan Grigson
Krissy: Ozzie Newsom
Stay tuned for more 2012 NFL Awards from the Aerys NFL staff, including worst post-game press conference, best Twitter follow and favorite spokesperson.