As the NFL season comes to an end, I can’t help but imagine what next season has in store for us football fans. This season has provided us with plenty to talk about and it looks like half the teams in the NFL will have a chance to make the playoffs come next week. I have thoroughly enjoyed the excitement and entertainment that the NFL has provided all of us with this year and I think its about time I summarize this years NFL season with a couple of awards. It may be a week early but hey…just means I’ll be the only one with awards out in time for the holiday season. So lets get started.
 Pittsburgh Steelers (7-8) – I consider the Steelers underachievers for one reason and one reason only and that is because they are the defending Super bowl champs and they will most likely miss the playoffs this season. Pittsburgh’s season isn’t all that surprising to me considering they made the playoffs last year as a wildcard and this year they will just barely fall short but anytime the defending Superbowl champs fail to make the playoffs the following season, you have gotta chalk them up as underachievers because you can be sure their fans have.
 Cincinnati Bengals (8-6) – How can an 8-6 team on the verge of making the playoffs as a wildcard be considered a disappointment? Very easily, considering experts pick you to easily win your division and challenge for the best record in football as well as a trip to the Superbowl all while boasting one of the best and most explosive offenses in the entire NFL…and you do none of them.
 Indianapolis Colts (11-4) – How can an 11-4 team on the verge of finishing their season tied with the fourth best record in football be considered a disappointment? Trust me, Colts fans are not going to forgive their team for their recent collapse so neither will I. The Colts have lost 3 of their last 4 games and although that ain’t too bad, considering the losses were to teams like the Titans, the Texans (who beat them today for the first time in franchise history) and an absolute blowout by the Jaguars just two weeks ago, the Colts look tired and finished. That defense needs to be completely rebuilt. They’ll be lucky to get by the first round.
 New York Giants (7-8) – This is a team many picked to make it to the Superbowl but they won’t even make it to the playoffs. The Giants have had a rough season (right Plaxico?) and considering this is Tiki Barber’s last year and the Giants don’t have another RB, I’d say they are kinda lucky to have a chance to get a replacement in the draft. Better luck next year.
 Carolina Panthers (7-8) – It’s definitely a disappointing season when your team could be 11-4 instead of 7-8 had they just held on in the 4th quarter in four games this year. Well it’s better to give then to receive and the Panthers have demonstrated the Holiday spirit all season long.
 Miami Dolphins (6-8) – Can anyone remember at the start of the season when people were talking about Cullpeppers comeback year and a potential trip to the Superbowl for the Dolphins? Anyone? Guess nobody wants to admit it because EVERYBODY predicted it. Makes me wish I had started writing earlier because I had Cullpepper as my fantasy QB last year and when the Dolphins got him I was saying what a mistake it was and how the team will go nowhere with him. Maybe Joey Harrington can be the answer…ok, definitely not.
 Chicago Bears Offense (13-2) – The Bears offense deserves very little credit if any credit at all for the Bears 13 wins this season. Grossman has had an on and off year (where he has mostly been off) and the Bears defense has bailed this team out on more than just a few occasions. In fact, I wonder who scored more points…the Bears offense or their defense? Either way, Grossman has got to play better.
 New Orleans Saints (10-5) – This team came together in the darkest of times and gave a city as well as a nation something to cheer about. This team was playing for more than themselves or their city or even their fans, they were playing for an entire country’s hopes and dreams and they did so with class, dignity and a passion that can only be described as incredible. Congratulations and thank you.
 Tennessee Titans (8-7) – The Tennessee Titans along with their spectacular rookie QB Vince Young have been one of the most pleasant surprises this season. The Titans have definitely overachieved this year finishing with at least a .500 record and amazing wins against teams like the Colts, Giants, Eagles, Jaguars and Bills and have the possibility of making the playoffs with a little luck (I can dream, can’t I?). Vince Young has been magnificent and PacMan Jones deserves A LOT of credit as well.
 New York Jets (8-6) – What are the Jets doing with a winning record and a serious shot at making the playoffs? Don’t ask me but I’ll bet it has something to do with Laveranues Coles’ 1000 yards receiving and 6 TD’s and maybe a little something to do with their team leader and starting QB Chad Pennington coming back and playing 14 games this season. Just a hunch.
 Baltimore Ravens (12-3) – The Ravens’ defense is back in full force and look like the team they were back when they won the Superbowl against the Giants…only this time they are younger and faster and have a MUCH better offense (McNair, Heap, Lewis…). Everyone knows how great a QB McNair is but I think we failed to realize what a great leader he truly is.
 Tony Romo (6-2) – 2440 yards, 16 TD’s, 10 INT’s and a 98.4 QB Rating. His stats scream overachiever and the Cowboys couldn’t be happier…after all, where would they be without him?
 Chicago Bears Defense (13-2) – How can a team have a spot on both lists? Their offense is that bad and their defense is that good. Like I said before, the Bears defense had to play both roles of defending and scoring on more than a few occasions and gave this team wins they did not deserve. If you don’t believe me, just ask the Arizona Cardinals.
Drew Brees – Tomlinson will no doubt win Offensive Player of the Year and he absolutely deserves it after the incredible season he has had this year however he should not win the MVP. Drew Brees has been the best offensive QB this year and has thrown for over 4200 yards, 25 TD’s, 11 INT’s, a 65.6% completion percentage and a 98.2 QB Rating on a team without a real number one receiver. But that is not why he should win. Brees has transformed rookie wideout Marques Colston into a pro bowl receiver with 1000 yards and 7 TD’s. But that is not why he should win. Brees has elevated his play and the play of everyone around him (including Colston, Bush, Mcallister…) and brought a team that went 3-13 last year to a 10-5 record and a division win…and that is only part of why he should win. Hurricane Katrina left the city of New Orleans and its people devastated and without hope after it completely destroyed everything they had known and loved. Throughout the NFL season, the Saints have truly become Saints for their city as well as their entire country as they restored hope and happiness across a country that had seen more than its fair share of disasters in the last couple of years. New Orleans is the real MVP of the NFL and their MVP is Drew Brees.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
LT: 1626 yards rushing and 28 TD’s, 484 yards receiving and 3 TD’s, 2 TD passes. Anyone disagree?
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Champ Bailey: This is a bit of a biased pick considering I’m watching the Bengals-Broncos game right now and Bailey just picked off Palmer but I think its the most legitimate pick I can make. 75 Tackles and 8 INT’s not including todays is pretty good and considering he is the best defensive back in the league and can shutdown absolutely anyone…ya, I’d say he deserves it.
FUNNIEST PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Chad Johnson (aka Ocho Cinco): This pick is more because of what he did last year (like making a list of everyone who was going to cover him and ticking off who could and who couldn’t do their job against him or like when he proposed to the cheerleader as a TD celebration) than what he has done this year, mostly because of the league’s new restrictions. This year, Chad’s antics included cutting his hair into a yellow mohawk (looks even weirder than it sounds) and then a few weeks later promising to cut it off if he didn’t score in a game (I think it was just an excuse to shave it off). Can’t wait to see what he’ll have in store for us next year.
MOST WARRANTED SUSPENSION
Shawne Merriman: I’m sorry but there is no room in professional sports for steroids. No exceptions.
MOST UNSPORTSMANLIKE PLAY
Albert Haynesworth: Everyone probably expecting Terrell Owens (and he would be a legitimate choice) but we cannot forget that Albert Haynesworth stepped on an opposing player’s head, tearing his face open and requiring many stitches. No room for this in professional sports either.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Vince Young, QB: Easy choice considering his team is 8-7 and he is the reason why.
Bill Belichick: Every year, only three constants on the New England Patriots remain the same, Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and their winning record. What more can I say other than that Bill is the best coach in the NFL.