2012 NFL Preview: Awards and Playoffs

With the season just a day away, here’s the final 2012 Preview post I’ll write. I’ve covered every division(click the tag “NFL Preview” to see them), so now to finish off here’s my award predictions and how I see the playoffs going with my final Super Bowl champion.

MVP: Tom Brady

It may not be a flashy pick, but Tom Brady is in for an incredible season. He had an MVP caliber season last year, but Aaron Rodgers was just better. He keeps down his interception numbers and always throws for high TD and yard numbers. We know he’ll be playing on a good team. That’s all you need to be an MVP, and the only person who could stop him from winning it is Aaron Rodgers. With all the new additions that the Patriots brought it, Brady is in for a great season and the Patriots offense will be hard to stop.

Offensive Player of the Year: Tom Brady

See: Above

Defensive Player of the Year: Jason Pierre-Paul

Yesterday, New York Giants linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka said that he could see Jason Pierre-Paul getting 30 sacks in a season. While I don’t see that happening, JPP is about to wreak havoc on opposing offensive lines. Last year was his first full season as a starter and he pulled in 16.5 sacks. The beautiful thing about playing on that Giants defensive line also means that he won’t be facing any double teams because if he does, the other guys will bring in plenty of sacks. There aren’t many people in the NFL who could block Pierre-Paul one-on-one, and the scary thing is that he hasn’t even hit his prime yet. JPP is in for a great year, and looks to be the first defensive lineman to win the award since 2006.

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Andrew Luck

This really could be a toss-up between Luck and RGIII, but I give the edge to Luck. He’s the more pro ready QB and looked great in the preseason, even if his team is going to have a worse season. There’s also no doubt in my mind that it will be a QB with the way the league is heading. Since 2004 only three non-QB’s have won the award; Cadillac Williams, Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin. Compare that to the previous 36 years of the award-when only 1 QB won the award-and it tells you everything you need to know.

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Luke Kuechly

As a fan of a team who needed LB help, I prayed that Luke Kuechly would somehow fall to my team. That didn’t end up happening, but Kuechly fell into a great situation. He’s coming into an improving team and is going to play alongside one of the best LB’s in the league. If you watched Kuechly in the preseason, you’d see that he isn’t missing a beat. He was one of the best prospects in the draft and he’s playing like it. If he stays healthy, I have no doubt Luke Kuechly wins the Defensive Rookie of the year award. And like Luck, the history is on his side. Since 2000, only two non linebackers have won the award; Julius Peppers in 2002 and Ndamukong Suh in 2010.

Coach of the Year: Chan Gailey

If you scroll down a little, you’d see that I have the Buffalo Bills making the playoffs as a wildcard. With that in mind, Chan Gailey seems like the best decision to win this award. They have brought in a great team and for the first time in a while Buffalo fans have something to be excited about. This team is good, and with their improvement from last year Gailey makes the most sense as Coach of the Year.

Comeback Player of the Year: Peyton Manning

This pretty much feels like a slam dunk as long as Peyton Manning has even an okay season. Everybody knows what he went through last year, and if he leads his team to the playoffs he’s the easy choice for Comeback player of the year.

NFC

1. San Fransisco 49’ers
2. Green Bay Packers
3. New York Giants
4. Atlanta Falcons
5. Detroit Lions
6. Chicago Bears

AFC

1. New England Patriots
2. Houston Texans
3. Denver Broncos
4. Pittsburgh Steelers
5. Baltimore Ravens
6. Buffalo Bills

Wild Card Round

(3) New York Giants over (6) Chicago Bears
(4) Atlanta Falcons over (5) Detroit Lions
(6) Buffalo Bills over (3) Denver Broncos
(4) Pittsburgh Steelers over (5) Baltimore Ravens

If we can get these matchups, the Wild Card Round should be a good one. The Giants don’t get a first week bye, but they get to play the Bears at home in Week 1 which seems like a great matchup for them. Their D-Line makes it a tough time for the Bears shaky offensive line and the Giants continue their quest for back to back championships with a win over the Bears. The Falcons and Lions sounds like a great matchup, between two teams with high-flying offenses. Much like the Saints vs. Lions playoff game from last season though, I see the Falcons winning this shootout. My upset prediction of the first round, the Bills over the Broncos is a big reflection of what I think of the Broncos. I think they’re a bit overrated and they make the playoffs in a bad division. They get upset by getting pressure on Peyton Manning, whose poor playoff record continues. The final predicted matchup of the first round has division rivals against each other, but I have the Steelers beating the Ravens again like they have done plenty recently in the playoffs.

Divisional Round

(3) New York Giants over (2) Green Bay Packers
(1) San Fransisco 49’ers over (4) Atlanta Falcons
(1) New England Patriots over (6) Buffalo Bills
(2) Houston Texans over (4) Pittsburgh Steelers

The Giants continue their road back in the divisional round with another win in a rematch of last years divisional matchup. The Giants have the Packers number as of recently, and I don’t see that changing. The Falcons offense gives the 49’ers a test, but their defense is just too strong for the Falcons. They return to their second straight conference championship. The Bills try again for an upset, but fall short to Tom Brady and their division rival Patriots. The Texans win their second playoff game in franchise history, with a win over the Steelers at home.

Championship Round

(1) San Fransisco 49’ers over (3) New York Giants
(2) Houston Texans over (1) New England Patriots

In a rematch of last year’s NFC Championship game, this time I see the 49’ers winning the  game. They shot themselves in the foot last time around, but this time I think they get away with the win at home. The Patriots trying to return to the Super Bowl also fall short against the Texans, who make their first Super Bowl in franchise history. The Texans offense is too good for the Pats D, and the Pats offense can’t score enough against the Texans solid D.

Super Bowl XLVII

(2) Houston Texans over (1) San Fransisco 49’ers

It’s an interesting Super Bowl matchup, and I could be totally wrong. After all, it is a QB league now and neither of these teams are really incredible at QB. Both of them do have good defenses though, and this Super Bowl would be a defensive matchup. In the end though, my Super Bowl prediction is the Houston Texans winning their first Super Bowl and beating the San Fransisco 49’ers.

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2 Responses to 2012 NFL Preview: Awards and Playoffs

  1. Michael Gazdik says:

    3 NFC North teams making the playoffs, eh? I’d love for that to happen.

    You make some ballsy predictions here. Really good post. Well written and thought out.

    – Mike Gazdik / thefarmclub.net

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