Earlier than having fun with the NFL playoffs, let’s look again at the greatest and worst moments of the regular season.
First, the primary awards…
Most Beneficial Participant: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas Metropolis Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes had an unprecedented season for a first-year starter. The solely different participant to throw for five,000 yards and 50 touchdowns was Peyton Manning throughout his 2013 MVP season. Mahomes led the league in landing passes (50), yards, yards per try (Eight.Eight), and was second in passing yards (5,097). Soccer Outsiders charges Mahomes as the greatest quarterback.
Can Drew Brees throw a no-look move?
Offensive Participant of the Yr: Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams
Todd Gurley is so good that he missed the last two video games and nonetheless led the league in touchdowns (21). He rushed for a league-high 17 touchdowns and caught 4 extra scores. Gurley’s explosiveness from the backfield, on screens, and as a receiver is what makes the Rams offense particular. Soccer Outsiders ranks Gurley the prime general operating again. We’re not arguing towards that.
Defensive Participant of the Yr: Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams
Aaron Donald was a fair greater terror than he was final season when he gained the Defensive Participant of the Yr honors. He led the league in sacks (20.5) and set a document for many by an inside lineman. Along with having extra sacks than final yr (11), he additionally posted profession highs for tackles for a loss (25) and quarterback hits (41).
Offensive Rookie of the Yr: Saquon Barkley, New York Giants
Saquon Barkley turned simply the third rookie to eclipse 2,000 complete yards (2,Zero28). The others: Eric Dickerson (2,212 yards in 1983) and Edgerrin James (2,139 in 1999). He additionally set the rookie report for receptions with 91. Barkley operated behind one of the worst run-blocking offensive strains in soccer.
Defensive Rookie of the Yr: Darius Leonard, Indianapolis Colts
You might argue that Darius Leonard has the greatest rookie season by a linebacker since Luke Kuechly of the Carolina Panthers in 2013. He led the league in tackles (163), which was additionally a franchise report. Leonard additionally added seven sacks, two pressured fumbles, and two interceptions.
Comeback Participant of the Yr: Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
Wasn’t too way back we have been questioning if Andrew Luck would ever be wholesome sufficient to play once more. Luck rallied the Colts from a 1-5 begin to 10-6 document and a playoff berth. Luck set profession highs in passer score (98.7), completions (430), and makes an attempt (639).
Coach of the Yr: Andy Reid, Kansas Metropolis Chiefs
Andy Reid traded away the 2017 passer scores chief — Alex Smith — and All-Professional cornerback Marcus Peters. The Chiefs received higher, ending 12-Four with the No.1 seed in the AFC. They led the league in factors per recreation (33.Four) and complete yards per recreation (425.6).
And now, the enjoyable awards…
Greatest recreation: Los Angeles Rams 54, Kansas Metropolis Chiefs 51
Pure cocaine for soccer followers. A recreation that not solely lived as much as the hype however included three (?!?) defensive touchdowns. The highest-scoring recreation in Monday Night time Soccer historical past was spectacular, that includes 1,001 complete yards with each quarterbacks passing for 400. The groups mixed for 14 touchdowns and it was the first time ever that two groups scored 50 factors in any NFL recreation. A lot enjoyable we needed it to enter additional time.
Greatest end: Miami Dolphins 34, New England Patriots 33
The solely factor lacking was the Stanford band. The desperation multi-lateral play that nearly by no means works… labored. What made it funnier was that it occurred to the most detailed-oriented coach in NFL historical past: Invoice Belichick. The “Miami Miracle” started with Ryan Tannehill’s cross to vast receiver Kenny Stills. Stills lateraled it to DeVante Parker who tossed it Kenyan Drake. Drake ran 52 yards for a landing. The punctuation was a stumbling Rob Gronkowski’s futile try at a deal with.
Greatest comeback: Inexperienced Bay Packers 24, Chicago Bears 23
Aaron Rodgers hurting continues to be higher than most quarterbacks wholesome. Down 20-Zero in the third quarter, the Packers rallied for his or her second-biggest comeback at Lambeau Subject in workforce historical past. Rodgers, who was carted off in the second quarter with a knee damage, returned. Extra miraculous, after the damage, he went 17 for 23 for 273 yards. Rodgers threw three TD passes in the fourth quarter, together with the game-winning 75-yard rating to Randall Cobb on Third-and-10 with 2:13 left to play.
Most surprising upset: Buffalo Payments 27, Minnesota Vikings 6
In response to Las Vegas oddsmakers, it was the largest upset since the visiting Washington Redskins surprised the Dallas Cowboys, who have been 17.5-point favorites, 24-17 in Dec. 1995. These Cowboys went on to win the Tremendous Bowl. The Vikings didn’t even make the playoffs however nonetheless they have been anticipated to trounce a visiting Buffalo staff with rookie quarterback Josh Allen — who was making simply his third begin — and enjoying with out operating again LeSean McCoy. The Payments have been up 27-Zero at halftime.
Greatest run: Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans
Derrick Henry is a late bloomer which is uncommon for operating backs. Most — particularly a Heisman Trophy winner — get a heavy workload early. However Henry began simply 4 video games in his first two seasons. This yr was his popping out celebration. Nonetheless, solely 24 years previous, Henry introduced his presence with a dominating 99-yard run. In entrance of a nationwide Thursday Night time Soccer viewers, he stiff-armed three Jacksonville Jaguars on his method to tying NFL historical past. The solely different individual with a run that lengthy was Corridor of Famer Tony Dorsett.
Greatest catch that didn’t rely: DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans
Typically referees get in the approach of phenomenal performs. On a Third-and-Eight cross from the Texans’ 19-yard-line, DeAndre Hopkins used his go-go gadget arms to snare a deep cross from Deshaun Watson with one hand towards the Dolphins. The first-down catch was a factor of sheer magnificence and displayed his unearthly athleticism. The play was negated on account of off-setting penalties. #Boo
Greatest catch that did rely: Keelan Cole, Jacksonville Jaguars
Keep in mind when the Jaguars have been 2-Zero after beating the Patriots 31-20 in September? Man, that seems like many years in the past. New England allowed Blake Bortles to cross for 376 yards and 4 touchdowns. One of his completions was this catch by Cole, which seemed like one thing out of The Matrix. The soccer appeared to magnetically keep on with Cole’s hand whereas he was sprinting down the sidelines.
Prettiest landing cross: Jared Goff to Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams
This throw tells you why Jared Goff was the No.1 general decide of the 2016 draft. There are only a few individuals on this planet who could make this play. The diploma of problem is insane. Towards the Minnesota Vikings, Goff is on the transfer sprinting to his proper. Vast receiver Cooper Kupp shouldn’t be solely double coated, however he’s in the nook of the finish zone. The soccer seems prefer it’s going to sail out of bounds. No. Goff drops it in completely for the rating.
Greatest fourth-down conversion: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas Metropolis Chiefs
The Chiefs have been about to be upset at house by Baltimore. Down 24-17, it was fourth-and-9 from their very own 40-line with 1:28 left. However when you’ve got Patrick Mahomes, you could have hope. Mahomes, avoiding strain, scrambled to his proper and uncorked a bomb towards his physique that one way or the other discovered Tyreek Hill for a primary down. The Chiefs gained 27-24 in additional time.
Ugliest interception: Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars
Blake Bortles is the worst veteran beginning quarterback in the league. However even for him, this was a brand new low. He did one thing not often seen in an NFL recreation. Bortles, who’s 6-foot-5, threw a cross that bounced off the again of an offensive lineman’s helmet and then landed into the keen arms of Kansas Metropolis cornerback Steven Nelson for an finish zone interception. You couldn’t replicate this turnover in the event you tried.
Worst fumble: Ty Montgomery, Inexperienced Bay Packers
This play encapsulated Inexperienced Bay’s complete season. The Packers, trailing 29-27, had an opportunity to attain a serious upset towards the then-unbeaten Rams. All they wanted to do was give Aaron Rodgers an opportunity. That didn’t even occur. Why? As a result of a operating again who wears the quantity 88 went rogue. In the remaining minutes, Ty Montgomery was advised particularly to not take the ball out of the finish zone on a kickoff. He did. He fumbled. He was traded two days later.
Worst kicking efficiency: Mason Crosby, Inexperienced Bay Packers
Kickers in the NFL have by no means been higher in phrases of accuracy. So, when you will have an epically horrendous efficiency, it will get observed. Mason Crosby missed 4 area aim tries and an additional level in a 31-23 loss at the Detroit Lions. Three of the area objectives makes an attempt have been from makeable distances of 41, 42, and 38. He additionally missed a 56-yarder. Crosby went 1 for five, nailing his remaining attempt from 41 yards.
Worst kicking efficiency (runner-up): Cody Parkey, Chicago Bears
He missed two subject objectives and two additional factors towards Detroit. What makes it extra unimaginable? He hit the upright on all 4 kicks! The Bears gained 34-22, however one Chicago fan is fed up, beginning a GoFundMe web page to purchase out Parkey’s contract. (The web page is not lively.).
Worst offensive line: Houston Texans
Deshaun Watson is fortunate he didn’t wind up in hospice. He deserves hazard pay and a hug. He’s been hit a league-high 126 occasions and sacked a league-high 62 occasions. Watson was so banged-up that he needed to take a 12-hour bus journey to Jacksonville because of a bruised lung and injured ribs. It’s a miracle that he began each recreation for the Texans (11-5). Houston can also be dangerous at run-blocking.
Greatest Mohamed Sanu imitation: Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants
Atlanta Falcons receiver Mohamed Sanu is legendary for being maybe the greatest non-quarterback passer in the recreation. For his profession, he’s 6 for 7 for 228 yards and three touchdowns. This season, Beckham went 2 for two for 106 yards and two touchdowns. The first one was a 57-yarder to Saquon Barkley towards Carolina. The second was a 49-yard bomb to Russell Shepard towards Chicago. Beckham turned the first wideout with a number of landing passes in a season since Antwaan Randle El threw two in 2010.
Greatest landing celebration: Dalvin Prepare dinner, Minnesota Vikings
You’ll be able to’t beat Dalvin Prepare dinner’s limbo dance. After scoring on a 26-yard display move towards Inexperienced Bay for his first landing of the season, Prepare dinner caught everybody abruptly. The choreography on this celebration is hilarious since you’re initially questioning: why is Adam Thielen is leaping on prime of his offensive linemen? When Prepare dinner comes dancing beneath Thielen adopted by Stefon Diggs and Brian O’Neill, LOL.
Worst drive: Miami Dolphins at Inexperienced Bay Packers
This looks like a math riddle. Trailing 28-12 in the third quarter, the Brock Osweiler directed the Dolphins on a 14-play drive that lasted 7:34. It resulted in a punt from the Inexperienced Bay 38 that landed in the finish zone for a touchback. Miami misplaced 31-12.
Worst 400-yard passer: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 403 yards and but Tampa Bay failed to attain a landing in a 16-Three house loss to Washington. He was intercepted twice and misplaced a fumble. Fitzpatrick had extra 400-yard passing video games this season (4) than Brett Favre had in his complete 19-year profession (2).
Worst particular groups play: Pittsburgh Steelers
Towards the Cleveland Browns, the Steelers handled a brief kickoff like a punt. They determined to not area it. Drawback is: it’s reside ball. After 10 yards, any staff can recuperate it. The Browns grabbed it at the Pittsburgh 24-yard-line. Amazingly, this isn’t the first time this has occurred to the Steelers. Method again in 1990, Barry Foster made a good worse blunder.
Greatest named audible: “Halle Berry,” Los Angeles Rams
Towards Seattle, Rams quarterback Jared Goff yelled out “Halle Berry.” The Oscar-winning actress observed.
Greatest quote: Bruce Irvin, Oakland Raiders
“We lost, but I’ve got a beautiful wife I get to go home to, boy. I’m going to try to make some babies, man.”
Greatest Eli face: Eli Manning, New York Giants
For 19 years, since he took the area as a freshman at Ole Miss, we now have had Eli Face. By way of good occasions and dangerous, every week we might all the time rely on Eli Face. It was our rock. The factor that sure us all collectively.
If Eli Face is gone perpetually, I worry our nation will quickly comply with. pic.twitter.com/ukzikTYk9q
— SportsPickle (@sportspickle) December 30, 2018