Wednesday, 9 May 2012

2011 Season Review

Well what a season it was for 2011 - 2012, so much to cover I don't know where to start.

I think best to start by apologising for taking so long to write my review, these last three months since the Superbowl have been crazy busy for me trying to get my journalism career off the ground. As we are just getting used to the draft news, be sure to check out EJ's draft round up later this week.

OK so on with the show. When I think about this season and look back over my previous editions I am reminded of a few things but be warned, my mind doesn't work in chronological order!

So here we go with the first of my highlights, it comes from week 7 where one of the hits of the week was made by none other than kicker Neil Rackers. Check out this hit and other nutty moments from week 7

Every time I see that hit it makes me smile and chant 'Tackled by the Kicker' lol. So onto another of my early season highlights and that would be Cobb's kick off return against the Saints in the first game of the season. Not only was it his d├ębut but he ties an NFL record for the longest kick off return.  I'm sure you are all familiar with it by now but here it is again.

I think it's the fact he gets kept on his feet by Kuhn, such a heads up play on his part, just brilliant!  On the subject of returns I can't not include the all time record of 109.88YDS by Cromartie even though it was not this season.

Oh yes and who can forget my Bills breaking the 7 year losing streak against the Patriots. I was so happy we managed to beat them I booked a ticket for the return match at Gillette Stadium. Alas the rematch wasn't quite as planned but hey there is always next year!

I have to say that possibly one of my favourite if not most favourite moment of the season was Jerome Simpsons TD. I'm sure you will all remember this one for years to come.

It seems fitting that in such a high scoring season that we had so many individual records broken this year. First up has to be that 3 QB's threw for over 5000YDS this year which is simply amazing and shows how the game has evolved in the last decade. There were more 5000YD passers in 2011 than there had been in the history of the NFL!  Can you name the 3 without the aid of google etc?

On the subject of QB's, how about Drew Brees breaking Dan Marino's long standing passing yds in a season record with 5476.  At the start of the season if anyone was going to do it, I had it to be Brady.  The scary thing is that even Brady broke Marino's record this year with 5235YDS but that wasn’t good enough.  Here is Drew Brees's happy moment.

Also I have to mention Cam Newton's record breaking rookie season with 4051YDS passing and 21TD's not to mention the 706 rushing YDS and 14TD's. Very impressive numbers but what if things went differently in last years draft, check out this edition of the N if L by Dave Dameshek

It wasn't just QB's breaking records last year, who can forget the Gronk with his record breaking season for a TE 90 receptions for 1327YDS and 17TD's, man a receiver would be proud of those stats. That's enough of the numbers I feel, let's move on to a little bit of fun. Myself and EJ have put together our top moments / players of the season and we get the ball rolling with our Top 5 Suprising Players:-

Adri - No.5 The rejuvenation of Steve Smith down in Carolina. We all knew he was a great player but I know quite a lot of us didn't expecttoo much from him this season mainly due to the uncertainty of having a rookie qb slinging him the ball. This season he racked up 1394yds and 7td's. I think he would have had more touchdowns but the amount Newton ran in himself!

EJ - No.5 Patrick Peterson's 4 NFL punt returns for TD's (tying NFL record in a season) -- usually all at critical times in the game including the walk-off 99 yard return against the Rams in overtime:

Adri - No.4 Brian Cushing. This may seem like a strange pick for some but my reasoning is this. Before the start of the season I had no idea who he was but by the end of the season I knew he was the lynch pin in the Houston Defence and one of the main reasons they managed to as well as they did when both there starting QB's went down. An unsung hero who for me was definitely worth a mention.

EJ – No.4 Jason Pierre-Paul who now I think is the most athletic freak in the NFL. He had 16.5 sacks, deflected passes, and blocked field goals. Not bad for only a 2nd year player out of South Florida. He is one of the reasons why the Giants made it to the playoffs by blocking the Cowboys FG attempt late in the season. His season highlights found here:

Adri - No.3 This pick of mine is slightly biased to say the least as its Fred Jackson. I think it is fair to say that until this season only the Buffalo faithful were signing his praises. Until he got injured in week 11 he was one of the top 3 rushers in the league with 934yds and 6td's, he also had 442yds receiving. He has really showed the league what he is capable off and is sure to get a lot more attention this coming year!

EJ – No.3 Rob Gronkowski. Only 2nd season setting TE records for receiving yards 1327 and 17 TD's. Gronk -- enough said! Here is one of his best showing how tough he is:

Adri - No.2 For my number 2 I am going to be cheeky and combine two receivers that came from nowhere this season and they are Jordy Nelson and Victor Cruz. Both started the season as back ups in my eyes and ended the season as household names. They will both be 1st or 2nd choice fantasy receivers next year for sure as they finished the season with 1263YD's and 15TD's and 1536YD's and 90TD's respectively!

EJ – No.2 Cam Newton. Who would have thought he would have been so successful as a rookie? Setting a rookie record in passing yards 4,051 and combining for a total of 35 TD's! I love Cam because he plays for the Panthers, the town I reside and I have completely fallen for his passion and skill for the game of football -- here is his rookie season's highlights (heads up--bad language used so if at work make sure to have volume turned down low, but he is a beast!):

Adri - No.1 For my number one I am going with Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford. If you would have asked me at the start of the season name three QB's who will throw for over 5000YD's this year, Stafford wouldn't even have been in my thought process let alone my list. Of course he has been helped with Calvin 'Megatron' Johnson who catches the ball in triple coverage! For me he has also lead the offence utilising the talents of Pettigrew and Burleson. Taking Detroit to the playoffs in no easy feet, I take my hat off to you Mr Stafford.

EJ – No.1 Tim Tebow. Have you ever seen anyone get so much media attention for such average performances? You have to admit, you would want him on your team with his will and desire to win in the 4th quarter. He elevates his teammates game and helped turn the Broncos season around including a first round playoff win over the favored Pittsburgh Steelers with a very memorable first play of overtime to win the game:

So many players had great seasons this year but we could only do a top 5, so as they say if yours names not down, better luck next year!

We all know there was also so much that happened off the field last year as well and here my good friend EJ breakdown his Top 5 story lines of the 2011 season!

Top 5 Story Lines of 2011-2012 Season:

5) Handshake Gate: Lets just say the Lions and 49ers coaches didn't like each other too much after the conclusion of their game. Surprised no blows were exchanged.

4) Keeping on the topic of the Lions -- who can forget the famous stomp from Suh?

3) Harbaugh Brother Dominance. Taking the Ravens and 49ers to their conference championship game, pretty impressive -- definitely a house made of football minds for that family!

2) Peyton Manning's injured neck. There was even talk of him winning the MVP as the Colts stunk without him. Still a big debate whether or not he will be returning to play and if so, if it will be with the Colts considering they are likely to draft Andrew Luck the QB out of Stanford with their first pick.

1) The Year of the QB. 3 5,000 yard passers in Brees, Brady, and Stafford. Turning the league from a rushing perspective into an aerial attack.  2011 for me will certainly go down as one of the greatest seasons of recent history and I look forward to the 2012 story unfolding.

Thank you EJ as always, I love reading your opinions and in your words 'spitting ball' with you.  Here's to our efforts next season!

With that said, always leave them wanting more is my moto and so that's all from myself and EJ for now but keep an eye out for the aforementioned draft review from the great EJ!

As always folks 'Thanks for Stopping By'

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