With the NFL regular season coming to a close it’s time to hand out the hardware. While organizations like the AP and the NFL itself give awards, it’s those given on this very blog that are the most coveted. So without further ado here are this year’s winners.
Dumbest Offseason Move
Texans trade DeAndre Hopkins and a 4th round pick to Arizona for a 2nd round pick, 4th round pick, and David Johnson
Where to begin with this trade? I, for one, am actually fine with trading away star players, since the cap space and draft picks can combine to more than make up their value, but that assumes you actually get something of value. Cancelling out the 4th round picks the only thing of value the Texans got in return was a 2nd round pick. Because of Johnson’s contract he is actually a negative asset.
To put it into perspective, the Texans made this trade before the 2020 draft, yet in that draft plus the 2021 draft they have a combined zero 1st round picks and just one 2nd round pick. Simply inexcusable. This, combined with the Tunsil trade, will set the Texans back years.
Carson Wentz sucks now
The Eagles selecting Jalen Hurts in the 2020 draft was a surprise in itself, as the Eagles had just given supposedly elite quarterback Carson Wentz a huge contract. I have always thought Wentz was overrated, but not even I thought he would be anywhere near as bad as he’s been this season. He went from marginally elite to possibly the worst starter in the NFL, and now the Eagles are scrambling to find answers.
Best Trick Play
Jarvis Landry finds Beckham for the touchdown
Not going to lie, this has been a somewhat disappointing year for trick plays. Maybe coaches didn’t have the energy with all the Covid stuff. But this was an impressive pass from Landry so it gets the nod.
Most Historic Moment
Broncos start practice squad rookie wide receiver Kendall Hinton at quarterback
Covid turned the entire sports world upside down, and made a new test for players and coaches alike. Those, like the Chiefs, who followed the rules carefully largely had no issues. While those who didn’t, like the Broncos quarterback room, had to suffer the consequences.
The NFL made clear that while safety was the top priority (which is honestly refreshing that the NFL actually took safety seriously without being forced to), a close second was getting all the games played on time. Notice how fairness isn’t on the list.
That created a situation where, due to the Broncos quarterbacks meeting without wearing masks, they were high risk contacts and couldn’t play. But because the rest of the team was safe they didn’t postpone the game, forcing the Broncos to scramble to find an answer at the most important position in sports the day before a game. The NFL denied their request to have a coach play (as it would open the door to teams stashing players on the coaching staff), so the Broncos went with the one guy they could find that had any experience at the position.
Naturally Hinton did terrible and the Broncos lost, but terrible quarterback play in a loss is quickly becoming the Broncos’ brand, so I doubt their fans even noticed.
Hero of the Year
The Buffalo Bills end the evil empire of the Patriots
In the future people will say the Titans’ victory over the Patriots in the 2019 wildcard round was the end of the Patriots dynasty, but living it in the moment, that wasn’t really the case. The Patriots were 12-4 last year, and while they lost Brady they replaced him with a former MVP in Cam Newton. While some of us were able to see the writing on the wall, the Patriots still got hype among some in the media, and there was always that undercurrent of doubt given that the Patriots hadn’t had a losing record since 2000, even when they were occasionally without Brady.
But the Bills put the end to that, not only sweeping the Patriots but winning the division in convincing fashion. Thanks in large part to the Bills crushing the Patriots we can sleep easy at night knowing it’s truly over.
Heel of the Year
JuJu Smith-Schuster dances on logos and pays the price.
Steelers receivers always seem to go through the same cycle. They’re drafted late, develop into stars known for being high character, slowly gain character concerns, then leave. Smith-Schuster, having established himself as a star, is now in the process of causing distractions for the team by making a habit of posting videos of him dancing on the opposing team’s logo on TikTok.
This was all well and good while they were undefeated, but then they faced the Bengals who were not happy, and they crushed him after a catch, causing a fumble that was a big factor in the Steelers losing the game.
After that Smith-Schuster stopped dancing on logos.