Is it fair to "wrap-up" the NFL week before Monday night's game? Yes.
We all try our best to supply a top-notch Fourcast; however, I feel the juice of a successful Sunday running through my veins (J-E-T-S) and think it's time our loyal reader(s) get to enjoy Monday analysis outside of Peter "Stiller" King and whomever else wants to rant today.
While I could generate talk of the week galore, instead I want to focus on the "awards chase", which changes weekly (of course).
Awards Index: Monday of Week 12
1) Kurt Warner
-The 300+ yards would've looked better with a W, more than 1 TD, less than 2 turnovers, and countless other reasons. Nevertheless, the Cardinals remain 7-4 and primed for a NFC West title and good shot at a bye (the NFC South will beat each other up). What was truly telling - even with the G-Men absent Jacobs & Plax - was the Cardinals expecting to win yesterday. Guess who changed that philosophy??? Warner (and Whisenhunt).
2) Peyton Manning
-Don't look now but the Colts are becoming the favorite in the AFC playoff picture. If they get in. To think, David Thomas might end up playing a huge role in a tie-breaker between Colts/Pats. The more likely scenario has the Ravens falling off and the Colts/Pats being lethal 5 and 6 seeds. Yikes.
3) Eli Manning
-Jacobs and the RBs get all the acclaim; however, it's obvious Eli is a changed QB. Despite some struggles at times, he is a poised passer who can win games. The Giants are 10-1 and the consensus best team in the league. It's because of their QB they are 10-1. Thus, the #3 slot.
4) Michael Turner
-Matt Ryan's story is getting more pub; yet, Turner changed Atlanta. A few frowned at how much of an impact he could have, until he finally won me over with a 4 TD day. He's 3rd in the NFL in rushing and is a fantasy force to boot. Turner has Atlanta in prime contention for a playoff spot. Nobody saw that. NOBODY.
5) Brett Favre
-Jets fan, right? Of course. Check the atmosphere in New York around Favre and the team. He breeds confidence and winning. The Jets are 8-3. After the 1-2 start and that loss at Oakland, I questioned the move. Now, I realize why Green Bay fans love the guy so much. He's an egotistical prick who wanted everything handed to him. Now, he's winning with a team that has a lot more talent - and spent their money oh so well this off-season - and is becoming dangerous.
Offensive Player of the Year
1) Clinton Portis
-On a gimpy knee he carried the Skins to victory in Seattle. Then Ladell Betts ruined it. Why Jim Zorn had to back up Betts the way he did is beyond me.
2) Adrian Peterson
-Durability is still an issue...or is it? A-Pete is likely to take home a rushing crown, but can he get his team into the playoffs out of a crowded NFC North?
3) Kurt Warner
-As talented as Fitz/Boldin/Breaston are, do you honestly think Matt Leinart would have them at numbers anywhere close to they are now? Seriously?
4) Brandon Jacobs
-Missed a week; however, his rushing prowess, goalline abilities, and the steamrolling attitude has been a godsend for the Giants. He's also made Derrick Ward and Bradshaw better because their contrasting styles are a nightmare after Jacobs bulldozes you.
Defensive Player of the Year
1) Kris Jenkins
-Slips past Alby due to shutting down he gameplan for the Titans. Guess how many rushing attempts Len Dale had? ONE. That isn't because the Titans planned on passing. (Not with Revis, Rhodes, & Elam playing so well) Instead, the Titans knew Jenkins would swallow up the inside rush attack and CJ had to be deployed outside the tackles. Didn't work either way. Jenkins or Favre is a great "better off-season trade" debate.
2) Albert Haynesworth
-One week doesn't take away from an incredible campaign. He is getting better. Although, I don't like the excuses of him being dinged up in the second half. He was barely a factor in the first. Faneca has breathed life back into Mangold. It's ironic Mangold and Mawae were on the same field yesterday, at least for me.
3) Charles Woodson
-He might intercept 12 passes...tonight. Drew Brees is overrated as an offensive force. So what if he throws for a lot of yards. His team constantly underachieves and it isn't 100% the defense. The offense makes plenty of mistakes, including Brees. As Pay told me, his stats are biggest in his losses. I smell a pick-six for good old AllProCW2 (plug!).
4) Julius Peppers
-His return to dominance might've been rushed. He's been a force this year, yet I want to see it in a big game. A really big game. He'll get his shot soon enough.
Offensive Rookie of the Year
1) Matt Ryan
-If you thought the Falcons would be 7-4 and that Ryan would have 7 games without an INT, go to Vegas and start placing multiple bets.
2) Joe Flacco
-If you thought Joe Flacco would be 7-4 as a rookie starting QB, you'd have to think the Ravens defense from 2000 was cloned in 2K8.
3) Matt Forte
-Amazing he's an obvious third-selection. The guy is a force of nature as of late. By the way, this dude can catch the ball too. If anything, he would've been a great third down back by this point for any other team who might've drafted him.
Defensive Rookie of the Year
1) Jerod Mayo
-Enough said. Oh wait, he's a BEAST. (Damn Patsies)
I'll let you all worry about Comeback and Executive of the Year and all the rest.
Although I gotta give more Jet love to our former QB Chad Pennington.
Could he really win Comeback Player of the Year two years in a row?
Stranger things have happened...
See you next Monday!!!