The editors of FansidedNFL have chosen Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson as the 2012 NFL MVP.
Peterson edged out Denver QB Peyton Manning for the award. The overall voting was close, but Peterson topped Manning in both in total votes the number of first place votes.
This result shouldn’t come as any surprise. Peterson also was chosen for Offensive Player of the Year and shared the Comback Player of the Year honor with Manning. Peterson was only 9 yards short of the all time single season rushing record. He also carried a fairly average Vikings team into the playoffs.
In a distant third place was JJ Watt from the Houston Texans. It is uncommon for defensive players to be considered for the MVP award, so his 3rd place finish was slightly surprising to me.
The only Seahawk to get votes was QB Russell Wilson, who finished 8th. He somehow managed to get 2 4th place votes. While I expect him to get plenty of MVP votes in the coming seasons, I was surprised to see him get any this year.
My MVP ballot mimicked the overall voting: 1) Peterson, 2) Peyton, 3) JJ Watt, 4) Calvin Johnson, 5) Tom Brady
I’d first like to start off by saying that I’m not a fan of awards that aren’t based on metrics such as rookie of the year, comeback player of the year, etc. It’s like asking me what my favorite movie is. Depending on the time and my mood I will give you a different answer. Instead, I can give you a grouping of my top movies in no particular order. This is how I view the rookie of the year selection. Clearly there are a few offensive rookies that should be considered. In my opinion they are Russell Wilson, Robert Griffin, and Alfred Morris. Sorry Andrew Luck, but if you lead the league in interceptions, you can’t be considered.
On defense the group is Bobby Wagner, Casey Hayward, and Chandler Jones. Sorry Janoris Jenkins, you have lots of talent but aren’t very disciplined at this point and need to improve.
Being the quantitative geek that I am, I have decided to compare Wilson and Griffin using some sort of quantifiable metrics. (Don’t worry, there will be lots of graphs, too.) Since I personally don’t really care who wins this award I came into this analysis without a dog in the hunt.
Let’s start by looking a quick set of basic metrics.
As you can see, Griffin edges out Wilson is every category except for touchdowns. That being said, Wilson’s TD/INT ratio is only 2.6 while Griffin’s is 4. Don’t get me wrong, they are ridiculously close but objectively Griffin has the edge in these basic stats. They also both threw 393 times and Griffin has only 82 more yards than Wilson. Wilson also attempted a higher percentage of deep throws than Griffin.
While those baseline stats are nice, they don’t really add much color. For instance, Seattle played a harder schedule than Washington. Seattle’s opponent’s winning percentage was .505 while Washington’s was only .494.
There is also the fact that both quarterbacks are not qualitatively all that similar. Keith wrote an article illustrating just that point. Given that, I thought it would add more clarity to break out the separate aspects of their games — passing, rushing, and total against the quality of the opposing defenses in those same categories. Let’s first look at rushing.
First, I include the game that Griffin did not play in because I believe that if a player gets statistical credit for playing a certain way and thereby accepting the risk of playing in such a way, then the costs of those risks should also be factored in. In this case, it’s the game that Griffin sat out. (In all fairness, Wilson also sat out about 2.5 quarters of the season.)
Some quick data information. The defensive averages are the average of a certain type of yard in games up to that game not counting yards from a Washington or Seattle game. So, in essence, a quarterback’s numbers won’t be used against himself. It’s his performance compared to the defenses performance against every other opponent, rushing and passing.
The quarterbacks’ cumulative average is the average of all games played up to the end of each week. I prefer this average because it shows trends rather than a flat line over the entire season.
You can see above that Griffin generally ran for more yards per game than did Wilson. This is both a stylistic difference in the players and a difference in play calling. Griffin was provided with an offensive scheme much more catered to his abilities as a mobile quarterback while Wilson was basically forced to stay in the pocked for the first half of the season. Wilson clearly began running more in the last third of the season and that moved his average up a bit, while Griffin was up and down all season. Griffin’s best rushing games came against Minnesota, New York, and Philadelphia. Wilson’s came against Chicago, Buffalo, and St. Louis.
Now let’s look at the two quarterbacks’ aerial statistics.
The passing data and charts show a different story. Wilson’s passing average increased by nearly 50 yards per game over the season while Griffin’s dropped by almost 100 yards per game. Even if you don’t count the Cleveland game his average still drops by over 100 yards a game over the season. Both Wilson and Griffin ended the season averaging nearly the same however, 195 and 200 yards per game respectively. I do think the upward trend of Wilson though speaks more to his actual development while Griffin trended down most of the season and became prone to injury toward the end. I would prefer to have a steady-as-she-goes upward trending quarterback like Wilson than someone who is a spectacular player when they’re healthy, but is unable to play a complete season. (Paging Michael Vick! Who, ironically, also had the best selling jersey in the NFL, before he decided he’d rather kill dogs for sport.)
The final set of charts shows the quarterbacks’ QBRs in each game overlayed their QBR rank and their opponent’s defensive rank for each game. I highlighted in green the games in which the quarterback was ranked first in QBR for the week. The ranks are at the top of each column.
Russell Wilson had three weeks where he was the best performing quarterback in the NFL. Those games came against Miami, Buffalo, and San Francisco. Seattle also played an average ranked defense of 13th. Washington’s opponents averaged19th. That’s a substantial difference in quality of defensive opponent. Griffin finished the season with a 71.4 QBR while Wilson had a 69.6 QBR.
In the end, I would probably vote for Wilson because I’m a Seahawks fan. I don’t see enough discernible differences between the two players to make an overwhelming case one way or the other. A vote for either man is completely defensible. In the end, I’d put money on Griffin to win, largely because of media bias and ignorance that is generally displayed week to week by too many of the people that get to vote in this popularity contest. I doubt many of the voters have done even the level of analysis I’ve done here. I’d value the award if there was some sort of objectivity inserted into it. Right now it’s more subjective than Olympic figure skating and gymnastics.
There are a lot of other conclusions and analyses that can be drawn from these charts and the underlying data but I already feel like my head is so far up my own butt in doing this that I should probably stop. If you want the data to go down the rabbit hole with me, let me know. I was unable to find any sort of massive database available from the NFL or ESPN that could be downloaded so if you want the individually and painfully collected data to do something else with it, I’ve got it.
*I refuse to use the pretentious and obnoxious III moniker. As far as I know there isn’t a Robert Griffin I or II in the NFL. Same goes for all the idiots putting “JR” and “SR” on their jerseys for no reason. This is more a statement to the ridiculous trend of players to get creative on their jerseys than a stab at just one player. I’m getting off my soapbox now.
We’ve obsessed ourselves with league-wide MVPs, Cy Youngs and Rookie of the Years for long enough now. Don’t worry, you won’t find any of those, or Silver Sluggers, Roberto Clemente awards or any of that crap here. I instead present you with the Mariner Awards of Irrelevance.
Let’s get things started off with the Bored Fans Relief Award.* This player made sure to keep the game moving while additionally providing action that a bored fan would enjoy (or enjoy yelling at). Our winner swung at 54.4% of all pitches and 44.2% of pitches outside the strike zone, leading the team in both categories. Not surprisingly he averaged just 3.62 pitches per plate appearance, good for second on the team. He also managed homeruns in a whopping 3.7% of his plate appearances en route to appeasing all fans tired of long, monotonous batter-pitcher matchups with a remedy of quick plate appearances full of swings, strikeouts and homeruns. His catching was always an adventure in and of itself, and without further ado, I present to you Miguel Olivo.
The Manly-Man Award* was a difficult one to choose, and so I really had to split it between two tough, manly men. Each took a team-leading five pitches off his body without so much as a grimace, and promptly responded every time with, “thank you, sir, may I have another.”** Each played one of the most physically demanding positions on the diamond—shortstop and catcher, respectively—while sporting the manliest and ruggedest of facial hair. I present to you, Brendan Ryan and John Jaso.
The offensive Most Well-Traveled Award goes to the guy that covered more ground than anyone. Thanks to a team-best 9.6% extra base hit percentage, our winner covered 219 total bases with his hits, and tacked on a team-leading 21 bases through thievery and deception. Playing center field put him over the top for this award, so let’s give it up for Michael Saunders.
The pitchers deserve some of this credit, too, of course. We begin with the MVP—Mean and Volatile Pitcher Award. This hardly gentle man led the team with 12 hit batsmen, and before you start pointing at garbage like innings pitched, those twelve poor souls represent four times the number that teammate, Jason Vargas, hit in 217 innings. His 13 wild pitches represented 41% of all Mariners starters’ wild pitches, and were more than twice the next highest count. Additionally, our winner led the Mariners in something called WAR—quite the surly, temperamental sort, to be sure. I thus present this award to Felix Hernandez.
The Best Friend Award goes to Lucas Luetge, who allowed just 8 of his 50 inherited baserunners to score (16%), leaving the ERAs of many teammates intact. Additionally, he pitched 17 of his 63 outing on zero days rest, the top percentage on the team. I mean, who didn’t like Lucas Leutge? On the flip side, the Worst Friend Award goes to Stephen Pryor for allowing 10 of 17 inherited baserunners to score (59%). Side note: he also drew the most glares from his starters.**
The last award—the Pitching Efficiency Award—goes not necessarily to the pitcher that most efficiently recorded outs, but rather the pitcher that most quickly recorded outs. We fans have other crap to do, right?! This pitcher threw nearly 15% of the entire team’s innings, or about one-seventh, and did so with a team-quickest 20.0 seconds between pitches. His 5-minute, 9-second innings were the shortest on the team, and for that, we are thankful for Jason Vargas.
*Players required at least 300 PA
**Source not found
Former Seattle Seahawk defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy has been selected for … [visit site to read more]
All this week, Fansided NFL has been announcing our awards for the 2011 season. We’ve finally gotten to biggest award of all, the MVP award. This year, it goes to Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rogers. For the official announcement, and the story as to why he was chosen , check out NFL Spin Zone.
The voting was fairly close. Roger just beat out Saints QB Drew Brees for the honors. Brees took home the Offensive Player of the Year award in a similarly close vote.
The most interesting player to get votes this year was Peyton Manning, who proved his value by not playing a single snap. Without Manning, the Colts dropped all the way to 2-14.
The only Seahawk to receive a vote did so on my ballot. Marshawn Lynch was given my 5th place vote for his contribution to the Seahawks. Lynch’s stats were good, but not great, thought I don’t think there was a single player more valuable to the Seahawks in 2011 than Lynch.
The rest of my ballot looked like this:
- Drew Brees
- Aaron Rogers
- Tom Brady
- Calvin Johnson
- Marshawn Lynch
Today is the deadline for the editors of the 35 sites that belong to Fansided NFL to cast their ballot for a number of awards. I’ll be making all of my votes public throughout the week. I don’t feel there to be any reason for secrecy. I put a lot of thought into my picks, and while i’m sure there will be plenty of disagreements, I think that’s ok.
1) Von Miller, DE, Denver
Miller was an absolute force for Denver at DE. He picked up 11.5 sacks, and also added 64 tackles. He also did this while getting constant double teams, as teams chose to double Miller more than any other player on the Broncos defensive line. While Tebow took all the credit, it was Miller and the defense that were the real heros for Denver this year.
2) Richard Sherman, CB, Seattle
People will accuse me of being a homer for putting Sherman this high, but I don’t care. I think he deserves it. … [visit site to read more]