|Andrew Luck, above, may be the front runner for Rookie of the Year. (Photo: PathosProject)|
As the regular season draws to end and the playoffs begin, the award races are beginning to heat up. For today's post, I'll be taking a look at the Rookie of the Year race.
At the beginning of the season, there were three clear-cut front runners: Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III (RG3), and Trent Richardson. Following the regular season, the number of players in the running increased to four...but two were not expected.
Andrew Luck and RG3 were essentially locks as finalists for the award. But, after a season that came up just short of 1,000 rush yards for Richardson, I am removing him from my final four. Instead, I am adding Russell Wilson and Alfred Morris.
As the season progressed, so did Wilson (and that's what landed him on this list). However, based off of his slow start and inconsistent season, you can eliminate him. Luck, RG3, and Morris were consistent in their performances throughout the whole season.
So that brings it down to three finalists: Andrew Luck, RG3, and Alfred Morris.
Let's start with the dynamic duo of RG3 and Alfred Morris. Washington's most loved players became the first rookie quarterback and running back tandem to rush for over 500 yards individually in a single season and led the Redskins to a 10-6 record and into the playoffs.
Unfortunately, when it comes to the award races, these are two are each others worst enemy. They rely on each other like blue cheese and buffalo wings. If you remove one, the other is awful. And if RG3 or Morris is removed from the offense, it is nowhere near as successful.
Who does Andrew Luck have? No one. The running game has been less then stable this season for the Colts and without Reggie Wayne the passing attack would have a hard time getting going. Simply put, Luck is doing this by himself. He's putting on an absolute display and has been doing so since the beginning of season. Plus, he's led his team to an 11-5 record, better than RG3s 10-6.
BUT, in the interest of fun, here are my final two for NFL Rookie of the Year....Andrew Luck and Alfred Morris.
OUTRAGE in the Nations capital as RG3 is left off my final two for a sixth round draft pick that just happens to also play for the Redskins...but, I have my reasons.
What happens when RG3 can't find the handle? Who do they rely on? Alfred Morris. Who is the "set-up" man for the offense? Alfred Morris. The Redskins rely on the run game of Alfred Morris to make the passing game go "BOOM". So, that's why he's my finalist.
As for Andrew Luck? Well, come on. Didn't I explain that above? He is the Colts sole source of offense and has filled some pretty big shoes (*cough* Manning *cough*) pretty well. In fact, Luck's rookie season has gone considerably better than Manning's AND Luck didn't even have a real head coach for most of it.
So...the winner of the 2012-2013 NFL Rookie of the Year Award is........Andrew Luck.
Luck has gone against all odds. The questions about whether he'll be like Manning, then his head coach leaves after being diagnosed with cancer (#ChuckStrong), and he still lead his team to an 11-6 record and a playoff birth.
Read it and weep, ladies and gents.
Who do you think should be Rookie of the Year? Leave your answer in a comment below!