2009 NFC Featured Columnist Competition Winners: Seattle Seahawks!

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2009 NFC Featured Columnist Competition Winners: Seattle Seahawks!

Week 17 is in the books of the 2009 NFC West Featured-Columnist Competition, bringing an end to the inaugural competition of Featured Columnists!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the competition, you may click here to read all about the competition, even if you are a little late tuning in this year.

 

Congratulations to the following:

Individual Season Champion: Rob Staton (Seattle Seahawks)

Team Season Champions: Rob Staton and Scotty Kimberly (Seattle Seahawks)

 

Here are the results and honors from the final week of the season, as well as the final standings.

 

Week 17 Individual Standings (16 Games)

Ron 13, Seth 13, Andrew 12, Rob 12, Chris 11, Scotty 11,  Dray 10, Steven 8

 

Week 17 Team Standings

St. Louis 26, Seattle 23, San Francisco 22, Arizona 19

 

Final Individual Standings

Rob 188, Andrew 182, Scotty 182, Seth 174, Chris 172, Dray 169, Ron 168, Steven 166

 

Final Team Standings

Seattle 370, San Francisco 351, St. Louis 342, Arizona 338

 

In the introduction piece, each contestant was asked to predict a breakout player, a breakout team, and a "bold" prediction (i.e. something that would have been a shock in 2009). 

Here is each contestant's responses to those three prompts, as well as a grade for each (subjectively given by the editor, of course, so feel free to disagree).

 

Andrew Garda

Breakout Player:  WR Josh Morgan (San Francisco)
Breakout Player Stats:  52 Receptions, 527 Yards, 3 TD
Analysis: Morgan didn't necessarily break out, but he played better than his rookie campaign, improving in nearly every statistical area.
Grade: C+

Breakout Team: New Orleans Saints
Breakout Team Record: 13-3, 1st NFC South
Analysis:  This shouldn't need much of a description. Spot on, Andrew, you nailed it.
Grade: A+

Bold Prediction: "With Carson Palmer back Chad Ochocinco will Return to Form and hit 1500 yards (he will, however, still be ridiculous)." 
Result : Ochocinco certainly bounced back from a poor 2008 campaign, more than doubling his TD total and nearly
doubling his yards. Ochocinco fell short of 1500 yards, but his ridiculousness did return in fine fashion (the sombrero).
Grade: B+

 

Chris Farmer

Breakout Player:  WR Chris Henry (Cincinnati)
Breakout Player Stats:  N/A
Analysis:  In 2009, Henry passed away tragically after falling from the back of a moving pickup truck. 
Grade:  N/A

Breakout Team:  Houston Texans
Breakout Team Record:  9-7, 2nd AFC South
Analysis:  I like this pick. Houston has always been a sexy pick, but is so inconsistent it pains most sports writers. They pieced it together this year, and finished with a strong record. Had it not been for Indianapolis and Cincinnati collectively laying down to the J-E-T-S, Houston would be in the playoffs.
Grade:  B+

Bold Prediction: "RB Ahmad Bradshaw will lead the NY Giants in yards from scrimmage."
Result : Bradshaw finished the year with 985 yards from scrimmage, slightly behind Brandon Jacobs' total of 1,019. 

Grade:  D

 

Dray Miller

Breakout Player:  DE Jarron Gilbert (Chicago
Breakout Player Stats:  4 Games Played, 1 Total Tackle
Analysis:  He could jump out of a pool, but couldn't jump out of behind Tommie Harris on the depth chart. I don't blame Dray for taking him though, gotta rep San Jose State!
Grade: D+ (the plus is for the Spartans)

Breakout Team:  San Francisco 49ers
Breakout Team Record: 8-8, 2nd NFC West
Analysis:  San Francisco seemed well on their way after starting the season 3-1, but tanking four straight after that didn't help. Another homer pick for Dray, and another pick that didn't work out.
Grade:  C-

Bold Prediction: "Josh McDaniels will be fired after just one season, in which he manages to completely ruin the Denver Broncos organization."
Result : Six weeks into the season this pick looked awful. Ten weeks later it looked not-so-bad. McDaniels and the Broncos completed the epic fail of going from 6-0 to 8-8... Sad day. That being said, he isn't getting fired, and the team is far from ruined.

Grade:  C-

 

Rob Staton

Breakout Player:  RB Cedric Benson (Cincinnati) 
Breakout Player Stats:  301 Carries, 1,251 Yards, averaging over 96 yards per game, which was good for 2nd in the NFL (behind Chris Johnson)
Analysis:  Boom goes the dynamite. Spot on, Rob. 
Grade:  A+

Breakout Team: Houston Texans
Breakout Team Record:  9-7, 2nd AFC South
Analysis:  See above analysis.
Grade:  B+

Bold Prediction: "Knowshon Moreno will rush for 1500 yards and 12 touchdowns."
Result : Whew! Go big or go home... Rob did both... This was bold! Moreno did tally 947 yards and 7 TD, but didn't quite make the 1500/12 plateau. Maybe if he had got the ball more... (single-digit carries in three separate weeks).
Grade:  C-

 

Ron Clements

Breakout Player:  TE Billy Bajema (St. Louis)
Breakout Player Stats:  8 Receptions, 94 Yards, 0 TD
Analysis:  Epic fail. Bajema didn't catch a ball until week 8, which turned out to be his most productive week (43 yards). 
Grade: F

Breakout Team:  Green Bay Packers (predicted ten wins)
Breakout Team Record: 11-5, 2nd NFC North
Analysis:  I'll put aside my man-crush on Aaron Rodgers long enough to praise this pick. Although it was a homer pick, which don't always work out (see Dray), Ron nailed this one, as the Pack finished hot, ending with an 11-5 record. 
Grade:  A+

Bold Prediction: "Steven Jackson will lead the NFL in total yards from scrimmage AND Billy Bajema will finish the season with more receptions than Randy McMichael."
Result : Jackson finished 5th behind Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Maurice Jones-Drew, and Ray Rice. Bajema (as previously mentioned), finished slightly behind David Boston...
Grade:  D-

 

Scotty Kimberly

Breakout Player:  RB Ray Rice
Breakout Player Stats:  254 Rushes, 1,339 Rushing Yards, 78 Receptions, 702 Receiving Yards, 8 Total TD
Analysis: Boom-shaka-laka. It's not often that a player explodes out of obscurity (and third on the depth chart), but it happens, and Ray Rice turned into a mini-MJD this year. Great pick, if I do say so myself.
Grade:  A+

Breakout Team: Detroit Lions (predicted 6+ wins)
Breakout Team Record:  2-14, 4th NFC North
Analysis:  Ouch. The Lions let me down... Big time. The only reason this avoids getting an F is because the Lions won a game , which was a step up.
Grade:  D-

Bold Prediction: "Pat White will finish the year with 15-plus combined TD (Rush/Receive/Throw)."
Result : Holy Mother of God he's flat-lining... I thought that Pat White would do more than Reggie-Bush-it-to-the-outside-for-a-short-loss... But did anyone else see him get BLOWN UP in Week 17?...
Grade:  F- (yeah, that's an F-MINUS!)

 

Seth Doria

Breakout Player:  RB Michael Bush (Oakland)
Breakout Player Stats:  123 Rushes, 589 Yards, 3 TD
Analysis:  Epic fail. This cat is dynamite when he touches the ball (4.8 YPC), and he looked explosive when he got extensive touches (14 rushes for 119 yards in Week 10; 18 rushes for 133 yards in Week 15). He didn't break out, per se, but he could in the very near future.
Grade:  B

Breakout Team:  Green Bay Packers (predicted 10 wins)
Breakout Team Record:  11-5, 2nd NFC North
Analysis:  See above analysis.
Grade:  A+

Bold Prediction: "Vince Young will make more starts than Kerry Collins."
Result : I'm not sure how bold this was, since no performance prediction is attached, but it was definitely accurate. Had he predicted that Vince Young started and looked good, it would be an A+, but as is it's a solid B+.
Grade:  B+

 

Steven Smith

Breakout Player:  WR Nate Washington (Tennessee)
Breakout Player Stats:  47 Receptions, 569 Yards, 6 TD
Analysis:  Washington had a solid season in 2009, but it was nothing that he hadn't done before. He set a career-high in receptions, but only by seven, and had finished with more yards in two of the previous three seasons. A good year, but not breakout compared to his prior performance.
Grade: C+

Breakout Team: San Francisco 49ers
Breakout Team Record: 8-8, 2nd NFC West
Analysis:  See above analysis.
Grade:  C-

Bold Prediction: "Louis Murphy leads all rookie WR in yards and touchdowns."
Result : Murphy finished with a respectable 521 yards and 4 TD, but some other rookie wide receivers got in there and absolutely did some work. Austin Collie, Percy Harvin, Jeremy Maclin, Mike Wallace, and Michael Crabtree, to name a few.

Wait a minute, so you're saying taking DHB (9 receptions, 124 yards in 16 games) over Michael Crabtree (48 receptions, 625 yards in 11 games) was a bad idea?...
Grade:  C+

 

That's it guys.

Congratulations to Rob and Scotty on their new Seahawks jerseys.

Thanks to the contestants for sticking with it through the whole season.

Thanks to the readers for following along.

 

Cheers.

sk.

 

 

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