2014 NFL Awards Week 4 – FootballTuesday, September 30, 2014 21:39
Awards for the best and worst of the 2014 NFL season Week 4.
2014 NFL Awards Week 4
The Dan Marino Award — Andrew Luck, IND….29-41, 393 yds, 4 TDs, 1 Int; 1 att, (-1) yds rush — Luck had a boatload of pressure and hype coming out of Stanford in the 2012 Draft, but has lived up to all of it so far. With a quarter of the season in the books, he leads the NFL in passing yards (1,305) and TDs (13) while completing 68.9% of his passes. He only had 23 TDs in each of his first two seasons, so he’s looking to blow by that number this year, possibly by the season’s halfway mark. Last year after 4 games he had under 1,000 yards and only 5 TDs! With a rather weak running game (Trent Richardson is as mediocre as ever, averaging 3.3 yds/carry so far), a still-strong Reggie Wayne (7 for 119 Sunday), and an emerging TE threat in Dwayne Allen, Luck looks poised to be among the yardage and TD leaders all season. Rookie Teddy Bridgewater deserves a mention as well, as he had over 300 yards, no picks, and a 21 yard touchdown run in leading the Vikings to a 41-28 win over Atlanta in his first NFL start. Philip Rivers (377, 3 TDs, no interceptions) was also strong.
The Ryan Leaf Award — Tom Brady, NE….14-23, 159 yds, 1 TD, 2 Int — New England is a mess. Their defense looked awful last night, their offensive line mediocre, and WRs below average. Brady’s most reliable target in the passing game is an undersized, overachieving Wes Welker clone in Julian Edelman, as Gronk is not the same player he used to be. Combine all that with a 37 year old QB who looks to be losing zip and accuracy on his throws, and you have a recipe for disaster. Going back to last year, this is the 6th straight game Brady has failed to reach 250 yards or 2 TD passes. It’s the 4th out his last 6 to be under 200 yards.
The Walter Payton Award — DeMarco Murray, DAL…..24 att, 149 yds, 2 TDs; 1 rec, 6 yds — After just 4 games, Murray already has a 156 yard lead over 2nd place (Le’Veon Bell) in the rushing title race, posting 534 yards so far. He looked shifty, fast, and powerful against the Saints Sunday night…but then again, their defense looks to be as bad as New England’s. Murray is just the 4th RB to rush for 100 yards and a TD in each of his first 4 games. The others are all in Canton, and all in the Top 10 all-time running back list: Jim Brown (6 gms in 1958), OJ Simpson (5 gms in 1975), and Emmitt Smith (4 gms in 1995). He has a very good chance to go down as the 3rd best RB in Cowboy history behind Tony Dorsett and Emmitt. Frank Gore (119 rush yds, 55 yd TD rec), Matt Forte (122 rush/49 rec), Jerick McKinnon (18 att, 135 yds), and Jamal Charles (108 combined yards, 3 TDs) were also big this week.
The Curtis Enis Award — tie: Donald Brown, SD….10 att, 19 yds, 0 TD; 4 rec, 35 yds……and……LeSean McCoy, PHI….10 att, 17 yds, 0 TD; 0 rec — Not only do these two win the Curtis Enis Award this week, but they would have won last week as well, as McCoy had just 22 yards on 19 carries (?!!?!!?!!?) and Brown had 62 yards on a whopping 31 attempts. Brown we understand – he’s a below average back, though he looked a lot better last year in Indy when taking over for the always ineffective Trent Richardson. But McCoy’s lack of production this year has been quite mysterious. Largely regarded as one of the top 2 RBs in the league after leading the NFL in rushing a year ago (1,607 yds), McCoy is averaging just 2.7 yds/carry so far this year with only 1 touchdown. The Eagles have a long history of strong RBs, starting out with the NFL’s first 1,000 yard rusher in Steve Van Buren and continuing on with Wilbert Montgomery (70′s-80′s), Ricky Watters (’90s), and Brian Westbrook (2000′s). McCoy has kept that tradition alive with three 1,000 yard seasons in his first 5 years in the league, and hopefully he can turn it around in 2014 to make it 4 in his 6 seasons.
The Jerry Rice Award — Steve Smith, BAL….7 rec, 139 yds, 2 TDs — Ageless. At age 35, Smith is now 3rd in the league in rec yards with 429 after 4 games. His 12,626 career rec yards puts him 18th on the all-time list, and at 5’9″, he is 2 inches shorter than anyone in the top 20. Only two guys above him are under 6 feet – Steve Largent (5’11″, 14th place), and Henry Ellard (5’11″, 11th place, and terribly underrated). Watching his Sunday highlights, Smith still looks like he’s a sub 4.5 guy, and with his first TD, caught after being tipped by his teammate, he showed his reflexes are as sharp as ever. A master of the athletic, acrobatic catch, Smith led the NFL in rec yards and TDs in 2005 with 1,563 and 12, respectively. The yardage total is still 24th on the all-time single-season list, 17th at the time he accomplished it. Antonio Brown (7, 131, 2 TDs) was also big Sunday.
Charles Johnson Award — Justin Hunter, TEN…1 rec, 12 yds, 0 TDs — Targeted 5 times in this game, Hunter was a heavily hyped name going into the season after closing his rookie 2013 season with two 100-yard performances in his last 5 games. 6’4″ and an excellent jumper, he was expected to emerge as a real threat this year, but after 4 games has caught only 9 of his 26 targets for 138 yards. Part of the problem is shaky QB play from Jake Locker and Charlie Whitehurst. Calvin Johnson (2 rec, 12 yds) was also quite small in Week 4, but played at well under 100% and was used mostly as a decoy.
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