View Full Version : Dirty Dozen: Non-Quarterback MVPs

Bronco Rob
12-17-2009, 04:50 AM
Dirty Dozen: Non-Quarterback MVPs

12/16/2009 3:30 PM ET By Dave Goldberg

This isn't about quarterbacks. We hear and read too much about them anyway -- the most refreshing development of the college season was what appeared to be a rebellion against QBs by the Heisman voters.

This isn't a rebellion. Not when the league MVP will be named Brees, Favre or Manning (the "P" sibling, of course.) But it's about a dozen or so guys who could contend for the award if it didn't go so often to QBs. The standard is how much a player contributes to his team but the stats are there, especially for running backs Chris Johnson and Ray Rice.

So here goes. Once again, no quarterbacks.


This tells a lot about the guesswork in drafts and college recruiting. Johnson, DeSean Jackson and Rice are all second-year men: Johnson was the 16th overall pick in the draft, Jackson and Rice second-round picks. Jones-Drew also was a second-rounder and Welker was a walk-on at Texas Tech -- then a walk-on with San Diego and Miami, before he went to New England for a second-round pick:

1.) Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee: On pace for 2,000 yards rushing with 1,626Already over 2,000 -- 2,017 -- in combined rushing and receiving yards, The record is 2,429 set by Marshall Faulk a decade ago. Odds says he gets it and more.

2.) DeSean Jackson, WR, Philadelphia: All about impact. The Eagles will win the NFC East because of him. He has eight touchdowns of more than 50 yards. His impact? After the Giants had come back last Sunday from three two-touchdown deficits to take a 31-30 lead in the NFC East showdown, their lead lasted 15 seconds because Jackson simply ran down the field and caught a 60-yard TD pass on the next play from scrimmage. Earlier he had a 72-yard punt return. Value plus stats.

Andre Johnson of the Texans belongs on this list but the Texans are so frustrating, he should ask to be traded.

3.) Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore: Not as fast as Chris, which makes him less scary to some teams. Actually, he's very scary. He has 1,041 yards on the ground on a team with a three-headed running game and 68 catches (one more than SIDNEY Rice) for 652 yards. Sort of a Tiki Barber clone -- he's from just outside New York City and went to Rutgers, so he saw plenty of Tiki and might approach his combined yardage total, second-best ever, of 2,390. Maybe not this season, but soon.

4.) Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota: Not having the season he was supposed to have because he's "only'' third in the league in rushing with 1,200 yards. But Favre is having a better year because everyone who plays the Vikings uses eight men up to contain Peterson. He has power to Johnson's speed and Rice's versatility.

Steven Jackson of the Rams belongs here somewhere because he's playing for a 1-12 team. But if you use the "value'' standard, St. Louis would be 1-12 without him. Although, maybe 0-13 -- he had 149 yards rushing in their only win, 17-10 over the Lions.

5.) Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville: Another LaDainian-Tiki-Chris Johnson-Ray Rice type, who is most of the Jags' offense. Let's not debate his flop at the 1-yard-line against the Jets again. It worked.

6.) Wes Welker, WR, New England: He has 100-plus receptions for the third straight season and may hit 130. Good enough on his own, although those who knock Randy Moss won't get any support from Welker, who roams free underneath while opponents double-team Randy deep. Note: Bill Belichick fell in love with him when he filled in as a kicker for the Dolphins against the Patriots in 2004 and made a field goal and an extra point.

The "next'' Wes Welker: The "other'' Steve Smith of the Giants, who really is the Steve Smith this year. He has 85 catches and a 12.4 average, about a yard and a half better than Wes. New York's No. 1 receiver who will probably drop to No. 2 when rookie Hakeem Nicks realizes his potential -- next year or in 2011.


1.) Charles Woodson, CB, Green Bay: Why is he having his best season since 1997, when he won the Heisman at Michigan? Maybe because Dom Capers' 3-4 defense allows him to play linebacker and defensive end as well as cornerback and safety. Sometimes all at the same time. Some guys who have a lot of interceptions (eight in Woodson's case) also give up big plays. He doesn't.

2.) Patrick Willis, LB, San Francisco: Leads the league in tackles with 132, which is not necessarily a telling number because linebackers always lead teams in tackles. But he makes game-turning plays, too -- four sacks, two interceptions and three forced fumbles. Bigger, faster and stronger than his coach, Mike Singletary, who's in the Hall of Fame and better than any linebacker on the 49ers team that won five Super Bowls.

3.) Darrelle Revis, CB, New York Jets: Simply the best cover cornerback in football. In his third season and will only get better. The 2007 draft was a good one for the position: Cincinnati's Leon Hall, taken four picks later, belongs in the Pro Bowl.

4.) Jared Allen, DE, Minnesota: Second in the league with 12 1/2 sacks, even though he's getting double- and triple-teamed. That's value, especially since it frees up the other guys on the best defensive line in football. Most notable is Kevin Williams, the smaller (310 pounds) and younger member of the Williams wall, who has six sacks of his own and deserves at least some of the money Albert Haynesworth is getting.

5.) Elvis Dumervill, PR (for pass rusher), Denver: Dumervil is sort of a specialist. He was a 5-foot-11, 260-pound defensive end who got run over a lot on Mike Shanahan's bad Broncos defenses. Now he's primarily an outside linebacker who can maneuver more so plays more and is more effective. He leads the league with 15 sacks and, with Champ Bailey and Mike Nolan, is the main reason the Broncos have done a 180 on defense.

6.) Darren Sharper, S, New Orleans: Having one of his better seasons at 34 -- he's been around so long he played in the same secondary at William & Mary with Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. He gambles to make plays so he'll get beaten occasionally. But that doesn't matter as much, because the Saints offense scores enough to make up for mistakes. And Sharper has three touchdowns this season on interceptions and 11 for his career.


12-17-2009, 06:18 AM
That should read With Champ, Mike and Dawkins!

12-17-2009, 07:05 AM
No B-Marsh? Honestly, I think he is more valuable to this team than Doom. Its close, but I would give the nod to Brandon.

And Champ is the other reason our 'D' is better? I love me some Champ but the dude has looked pretty mortal in coverage this year. When I read that, it reminded me of fan voting for the Pro Bowl... "Lets see, a name that I know... ahhh, Champ Bailey. And for the NFC I will vote for Darrel Green and Deion Sanders."

Beantown Bronco
12-17-2009, 07:26 AM
No B-Marsh?

Apparently, someone forgot to tell Mr Goldberg that B-Marsh is an unprecedented threat out there at WR. :poke:

Bronco Boy
12-17-2009, 11:27 AM
No Peyton Hillis?