While pundits around the country were busy doling out their midseason awards last week, I was busy stealing their ideas for this column.
I was told this is how FOX Sports does things.
That said, my picks are going to be a little different.
Theoretically, I could have picked a New England Patriot for just about every one of these awards—and being the incredible homer that I am, I would have done it.
Therefore, I’m banning Patriot players and coaches from my choices. Consider it my own personal punishment for Spygate.
That oughta finally make them learn their lesson.
NFL MVP: Tony Romo
The Cowboys have the makings of a 15-1 team, which would be quite the accomplishment in any season not featuring a 16-0 team.
Romo is as responsible as anyone for the team’s success—he's looked great in and out of the pocket, and the Cowboys feed off his energetic play.
Carrie Underwood should be very proud.
COACH OF THE YEAR: Dick Jauron
Jauron's Bills have no right to have five wins at this point of the year.
Buffalo has a starless defense and a tepid offense—and still has more wins than all four NFC defending division champs.
How Jauron is doing it is beyond me, especially considering the subpar results of his previous coaching stints.
At least he’s not videotaping opposing defensive signals, right?
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Adrian Peterson
This one is pretty easy to pick at this point.
No one has been as important to his team as Adrian Peterson has—which both seals Rookie of the Year honors and makes him at least a candidate for MVP.
Lots of rookies have played well, but Peterson has played outstanding.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Derek Anderson, Browns
Brady Quinn’s favorite mentor is doing just fine as the starter in Cleveland.
Anderson has exceeded all expectations in keeping the Browns in the playoff chase. And two years from now, I have no doubt that I won't be able to remember his name.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jared Allen, Chiefs
His motor and his mullet are easy to love, but what makes Allen my MVP is the difference he's made on a lackluster Chiefs defense.
Without him, KC was 0-2. With him, the Chiefs are challenging for the AFC West title.
AFC CHAMPION: Steelers
NFC CHAMPION: Cowboys
SUPER BOWL CHAMPION: Cowboys
Team of the Week: Rams
The Rams finally broke through for their first win of the season—and thrust themselves back into the NFC West race.
Seriously, they’re only 3.5 game back.
Marc Bulger looked like the old, good Marc Bulger, throwing for 300 yards and two touchdowns. Torry Holt and Steven Jackson also had solid games, and the Ram defense was opportunistic in the early going.
With so much offensive talent, it seemed like only a matter of time before the Rams turned it around. With four winnable games in a row, they could salvage a little hope from a lost season.
Bad Team of the Week: Saints
The Saints blew their four-game winning streak against a winless St. Louis team, and hurt their playoff chances in the process.
After an 0-4 start, New Orleans knew it needed to win all of its easy games to get back in the playoff hunt. St. Louis was supposed to be one of those games.
Instead, Drew Brees came out turning the ball over, and the New Orleans defense made the Rams look like the Rams of old.
Thankfully, the NFC South is very winnable, and the Saints are only one game off the lead. However, they can’t afford to have any more weeks like this if they want to contend for a conference title.
Kevan Lee’s Beverage of the Week: Sparkling cider
This is how non-alcoholics celebrate...with carbonated fruit drinks.
In fact, we like our bubbly juice so much that we invent holidays and anniversaries just to bring home that $3.00 bottle of pure heaven.
My wife and I created an anniversary this past weekend, and we celebrated in style with plastic goblets and Martinelli’s. Life is so(ber) good.
Nap of the Week: Chiefs-Broncos, third quarter
Somewhere between Brodie Croyle’s throwing incompletions off his back foot and Denver receivers' literally dropping the ball, I realized my time would be better spent dreaming of Patriots victories and drooling on a throw pillow.
Mmmm, Patriots victories.
Most Misleading Stat: Donovan McNabb, four TDs
McNabb did have a great day, but not four-touchdown great.
He threw a four-yard shovel pass to Brian Westbrook for one score. His 45-yard touchdown to Reggie Brown was an ugly throw that should have been picked. And the game-winner—a 57-yard screen—was all Westbrook and little McNabb.
Donovan finished with good numbers, but they were inflated by some big plays. The real star was Westbrook.
Painfully True Stat: Steve McNair, 128 yards, one INT, two fumbles lost
The fact that Kyle Boller entered to raucous cheers is all you need to know about McNair's plight.
Premature MVP Ballot
1. Tom Brady: Rumor has it he threw three TDs and impregnated a supermodel on his bye week.
2. Tony Romo: Oh yeah? He threw four REAL touchdowns...and just may have gotten to first base with B Spears.
3. Ben Roethlisberger: Strange that beating Derek Anderson gets you on this list.
Weekly Super Bowl Prediction: Patriots vs. Patriots scout team
I couldn't help myself.
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