The 2010 regular season is in the books, and I can honestly say I wasn't surprised by a lot, but a few things did catch me by surprise. I thought the 49ers would run away with the NFC West, I thought the Vikings would be much better than they were, and I never saw the Chiefs jumping to the top of the AFC West.
Of the individual performances that surprised me, I thought Chris Johnson would be closer to 2000 yards, Arian Foster blew up opening day and kept rolling all year long, and Brandon Lloyd Pro Bowler... seriously?
After the jump I'll give my usual thoughts, but I'll also hit on my predictions for the end of season awards.
1) The Packers managed to slip by the Bears 10-3 in a game that meant absolutely everything to Green Bay, and absolutely nothing to Chicago. The Packers faced a win or else scenario and all their offense could muster was 10 points? To say I was surprised by the outcome would be an understatement. I honestly expected a huge game by Aaron Rodgers.
2) AFC playoff teams have to be disappointed the Colts made it to the postseason. That team is chock full of playoff experience, and I would never bet against Peyton Manning.
3) With their 4th straight win to finish the season the Lions and their fans have to be excited for the future.
4) Speaking of young exciting teams, the Buccaneers will give teams fits in 2011. Josh Freeman and that offense is the real deal.
5) Browns head coach Eric Mangini was canned, but I think he deserved to stay. It's impossible to win in the NFL without a quarterback, and he's had a rookie, a retread, and a career backup start games for him this season. Unless Mike Holmgren is stepping down to take over, I don't see the point.
6) Miami head coach Tony Sparano is another guy I think deserves one more year.
7) Are the Redskins really going to go into the 2011 season with Rex Grossman as their QB?
8) The Seattle Seahawks... hip hip hooray...
9) I know Tim Tebow still has a long way to go, but there's an excitement he brings to every game he's in. I just hope the media doesn't latch onto him to fill some Favre void.
10) And speaking of Favre, anyone think he'll be back next year?
MVP - Who else but Tom Brady? If you're a stat guy, he has those, if you're an intangible guy, well he has that covered too. Michael Vick had an amazing season, but you take him away from the Eagles and I think they still have enough weapons offensively to be OK, but Brady is the Patriots offense. I think Tom Brady could throw passes to Kev and Dane and still put up a 100 rating.
Offensive Player of the Year - Arian Foster had over 1,600 yards rushing and caught 66 passes for over 600 yards for the Texans. And his combined 18 rushing and receiving touchdowns led the NFL. Philip Rivers and Micheal Vick were a close two three.
Defensive Player of the Year - Julius Peppers had an impact that didn't always show up on the stat sheet. I know I'm biased from watching his every snap this season, but he did so many different things on the field, I just can't make an argument against him.
Coach of the Year - This award usually goes to the coach of a team that comes out of left field to have some success, and Todd Haley of the Chiefs fits that bill. No one expected them to have a winning record, let alone win the AFC West. I would not be surprised to see Lovie Smith get some votes for this award.
Comeback Player of the Year - I though Michael Vick had an incredible season, but what did he comeback from? The Eagles bench? Had Vick done this last year, after his time in prison, I'd say he could win this award. But Brian Urlacher not only came back after missing just about all of the 2009 season, but he returned to the Pro Bowl after a few years removed from that level.
Offensive Rookie of the Year - This award could go to one of two Buccaneers, but LeGarrette Blount rushed for over a thousand yards with just 7 starts.
Defensive Rookie of the Year - Ndamukong Suh had a dominate year from the defensive tackle position. As a Bears fan, he scares me.