Q1: OK, let’s hand ‘em out. Who are you taking for ROY and MVP?
JAMAR: Can we give out a three-way award for ROY? That’s how I feel after watching RG3, Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck play this season. However, only one of those three led his team to seven straight wins, a division title and a home playoff playoff game. You have to give props to RG3 as this year’s rookie of the year. MVP? It’s All Day’s award.
MICHAEL TILLERY: ROY could go to a number of players, but RG3 is my pick. Andrew Luck has had a nice rookie year, but quarterback rating (102.4 (3rd) for RG3 vs. 76.5 (26th) for Luck) and interceptions (18 for Luck vs. just 5 for RG3) are hard to overlook. Washington also had a tougher schedule and looks special. I’d go RG3, Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck and Alfred Morris in that order. MVP is an easier pick. How can you go Manning, when New England defeated Denver? I said it was Adrian Peterson and leading Minny to the playoffs basically by himself is legendary. 2,097 rushing yards in a passing league?Everyone knows he’s getting the rock and he falls just 9 yards shy of Eric Dickerson’s record of 2,105?
GAMBLE: Purple Jesus proved that Lee Majors is alive, turning his banana split- knee into a 2,097-yard bionic leg. Peyton Manning, however, is MVP. He just balls so hard. What’s multiple neck surgeries to a cat like him, can you please remind me? Pushing 40 and he still throws Denver to the NFL’s best record. Choosing between the Big Three rookie QBs is like asking , “Who’s the best rapper Biggie, Jay-Z or NAS?” Hype aside, it’s a wash.
B.SCOTT: Man, RG3 and Russell Wilson’s passing stats are so close it’s crazy. They’ve thrown the exact same number of passes, completed a similar percentage, but that’s with Griffin missing a whole game and some change. Wilson played all 16. You have to go with RG3 for revitalizing that franchise, even though the same can be said for Luck in Indy. I just can’t ride with Luck’s INTs and completion percentage. Adrian Peterson isn’t just the MVP, but like I keep saying, he’s not a human being. Don’t forget how the Vikings won two out of three games without Christian Ponder throwing for at least 100 yards. Not happening without All Day.
KHALID SALAAM: I’m just gonna go ahead and call it a tie between A.D. and Manning. I can’t pick between them and I’m not gonna try to. Peyton shared a MVP in ‘04 with Steve McNair, so I’m fine him doing it again. For ROY I’m gonna go with Griffin slightly over Wilson and Luck. His intangibles are off the charts, Luck tossed a bunch of interceptions and the Seahawks have a elite D. RG3 did more with less.
Q2: Who will be the coach and starting quarterback of the New York Jets in 2013?
JAMAR: The Jets were a complete embarrassment this season and those two AFC Championship games seem like a distant memory. I believe Rex Ryan will be back simply because it’s not his fault he was dealt the roster he was. For Sanchez, with the Tebow factor and his lack of progression, a change of scenery would be good. Hello Michael Vick?
B.SCOTT: The good thing for the Jets is that it would be pretty hard to do any worse at quarterback than what they did this season. That means these cats could go get anybody from Michael Vick to Kyle Orton and they’d have a less tragic situation behind center. Mark Sanchez is owed a lot of paper. Jets have to figure out how renege on that before anything.
GAMBLE: Rex still has the juice with Woody Johnson, but he needs serious skill-position upgrades. The Jets diminishing talent coincides with Sanchize’s demise. He went from back-to-back AFC title games to filling out Thrift Shop applications. The Jets will explore band-aid options like Mike Vick. Heck, they could sign Len Dawson, Lenny Kravtiz…the list goes on and on to the breakadawn. Won’t matter. It’s open heart surgery time for Gang Green.
TILLERY: Whoever inherits those positions is stepping into a stinkin’ mess. Mark Sanchez didn’t have the weapons. Simple as that. Bringing in Tebow created a big top circus and Rex Ryan shouldn’t last the day. I nominate Chuck D because he’s a Rebel Without a Pause for head coach and Willie Beeeeamen as QB because he can handle NY. In all seriousness, I would go get Parcells for GM, Tony Dungy for head coach and Mike Vick to run the show.
KHALID: Rex Ryan will and probably should return. Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum, however, is a different story. Anyone with eyes could have told you that roster was weak from day one. As far as QB goes, might as well make a call to Alex Smith’s agent. I mean, why not? Bringing Vick to NYC would be a mistake, just more circus stuff instead of real player development.
Q3: Which team has the best chance of messing up a Manning vs. Brady AFC Championship?
JAMAR: I don’t think any AFC team can stop the inevitable — Brady vs. Manning in the AFC Championship. It’s a script we’ve seen play out before, yet can’t wait to see again. But, ironically, the only team I can see threatening the two legends from meeting is newcomer Andrew Luck and the Colts. To have the player Indy replaced Manning with eliminate the Broncos would be astonishing.
TILLERY: I’m with Jamar. No one is stopping that train. Brady and Manning and Brady wins out again. Period.
GAMBLE: The Colts are the epitome of a dangerous Cinderella team. Indianapolis has the thunderous violin-driven drama that Hollywood directors die for. Luck is the 11-win, young-gun QB, who doesn’t realize he’s surrounded by six-win talent. Coach Chuck Pagano returns from leukemia, adding inspiration to the sidelines. All of this transpires after a Manning-less season of licking cleat bottoms in 2011. Late Game Luck and the boys are always going to push it to the limit.
B.SCOTT: I’m right there with Jamar and Tillery, but y’all realize about six weeks ago that the Houston Texans would’ve been the obvious answer to this question. They also looked like they had a rather easy path to the No. 1 seed, even after the Patriots waxed them on Monday Night Football. This is more of an indictment on a fraudulent team than it is props to those undying legacies.
KHALID: I wanna say Baltimore. They have the pedigree and the intelligence to do it. The Ravens’ D isn’t gonna be shocked by anything Manning or Brady does, so I think this is gonna fall on the Baltimore O. Joe Flacco, this is your life.
Q4: What was the biggest surprise — good or bad — of the 2012 season?
JAMAR: Finishing 2-14 a year ago, it’s safe to say that nobody saw the Colts turning out as good as they did this year. Everything that happened to head coach Chuck Pagano, the play of rookie Andrew Luck, along with veteran leadership made Indy one of the feel-good stories of this season.
GAMBLE: Paul Tagliabue’s shocking ruling deflates Commissioner Goodell’s omnipotent hot air balloon. No one expected the Saints’ bounty-gaters to get sprung from The Goodell Suspension Center. The whole situation is bugged. Just a minute ago, the Saints organization was a low down dirty shame. Now, the nightmare’s over, SP is coming back and Goodell’s ass is 100 miles and runnin’ from the media and Jonathan Vilma’s lawsuit.
TILLERY: The play of the young fellas at quarterback: Griffin III, Wilson and Luck. Fresh into the league, taking over, and in the playoffs. RG3 won the tough NFC East. Luck and Wilson almost did the same. These cats are incredible and Super Bowl ready. All are calm when the hot is hottest. All will have great careers. Close in the rearview mirror is the comeback and near record of Adrian Peterson.
B.SCOTT: Yeah, J.R. is right on with this one. I never believed the NFL had enough to nail the Saints to the floor like they did, and more than anything, I was surprised at the snitching that went down in a single locker room through all of this. But Goodell’s credibility is shot with Bountygate. We all know about the story, but what this man did to the Saints’ organization and those three suspended players isn’t getting enough attention.
KHALID: How shaky the Eagles were on both offense and defense. This is a team that entered the season with optimism and leaves it in total disarray. The pass rush vanished and their O-line was manhandled game after game. Losing is one thing, but domination is quite another.
Q5: If Tony Romo’s window to win a Super Bowl was wide open in 2006, what does it look like now?
JAMAR: Tony Romo’s window to win a Super Bowl has been boarded up, cemented and filled with bricks. No matter how great his numbers are, he has proven that he can’t get it done in the big game. And if the Cowboys ever want to be relevant in the big stage, there needs to be a lot of changes in Dallas — starting with the quarterback,
GAMBLE: Romo’s failures have been discussed more than Superhead’s book on the various proportions of her celebrity lover’s genitals. The window’s closing, but in Romo’s defense, John Elway had to wait a long time for Terrell Davis to get to Denver. If Dallas stays good, all hope isn’t lost. If Jerry Jones could find another QB capable of winging it for 4,000 yards a season, he’d probably be drawing up the contract now.
TILLERY: Tony Romo got every shot. I actually dig the way he plays, but one playoff win is unacceptable. I don’t care who the owner, coach, GM or waterboy is, Romo had to step up and do everything in his power to get Dallas over the hump. It’s his responsibility as much as it’s Jerry Jones’. Romo got a superpass IMO, and the image of him walking off the field after yet another late game pick will push Romo into Manny Pacquiao meme status. He’s done there.
B.SCOTT: I’ve been Romo bashing since I got to college and it’s only escalated in the years since. But honestly, as bad as he seems in pressure moments, these one-legged Cowboys are NOT in position to punch a playoff ticket last night without Romo. Dallas’ problem is living and dying by Romo. His window very well could be boarded up, cemented and filled with brick, but Romo isn’t the singular problem he was a few years ago.
KHALID: Not just his window, but this entire Cowboys team just saw their window slam shut and set on fire. They’ve had enough talent and good enough coaching, so to come away away from this era with one total playoff victory is pathetic. But now what? Do they trade Romo? Fire Garrett? There are no easy answers for a franchise set adrift in the manner as presently constructed for Dallas.