NFL Czar: Dishing out the hardware

Over the course of the year, we have seen many great performances. Whether it be the 2000 yard season from Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson, or the season ending 11-game winning streak for the San Diego Chargers, there has been a lot to be excited about as football fans. In this week's article, I will take a look at my NFL Awards. So, without further adieu...the NFL Czar presents the best of 2009.

Surprise Team of the Year: Cincinnati Bengals
Who would have thought the Bengals would win the AFC North? In a division that featured the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens, the Bengals swept all of the games within the division. Despite the loss to the New York Jets in the Wild Card round, the Bengals were still among the best teams in football this season. Runner up: New York Jets

Disappointing Team of the Year: Pittsburgh Steelers
The defending champs couldn't do anything right this season. They blew late leads, lost winnable games (see Kansas City, Oakland, and Cleveland) and endured a five-game losing streak. They still had a shot at the playoffs, but in the end, they only had themselves (and the Madden Curse that took out Troy Polamalu) to blame. Runner up: Tennessee Titans

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Minnesota wide receiver Percy Harvin
Harvin excelled all season, both as a receiver and as a kick returner. His game-changing speed provided matchup problems for any defence the Vikings faced. Despite being slowed for much of the year by a concussion, Harvin still managed 60 catches and seven touchdowns. Imagine if he had been healthy all season long. Runner up: Denver Broncos Running back Knowshon Moreno

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Houston linebacker Brian Cushing
The rookie out of Southern California excelled right from the start, racking up 133 tackles, four sacks and four interceptions. There were times that Cushing was unblockable, and he will be a force on this defence for years to come. Runner up: Green Bay Packers LB Clay Matthews

Defensive Player of the Year: New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis
Say what you will about Charles Woodson deserving this award, but no player on defence was better this year than Revis. He shut down almost every wide receiver he faced, including Andre Johnson, Randy Moss and Terrell Owens (both twice). Revis has become the premier cover corner in the league, and that bodes well for the Jets in the future. Runner up: Packers CB Charles Woodson

Offensive Player of the Year: Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson
How could he not win this award? Johnson became only the sixth player in NFL history to rush for over 2000 yards, and broke Marshall Faulk's single-season record for all-purpose yards in the process. Johnson was unstoppable most of the season, as evidenced by his 11 consecutive 100-yard games to close the year. Runner up: New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees

Most Valuable Player: Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre
This was Favre's year. He came back for one more chance, and had the best season of his career. Sure, the Vikes stumbled down the stretch, but Favre's play was unreal. His seven interceptions marked a career low, and his 107.2 passer rating was by far the best of his career. The only question is: does he come back again next year to prove this wasn't a fluke? Runner up: Indianapolis Colts QB Peyton Manning.

Next week I will take an in depth look at the AFC and NFC Pro Bowl rosters.

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