Offensive Player of the Year

By ericgoodman

The Arizona Cardinals offensive player of the year is a hard one to conjure.  No, not because there were so many offensive standouts, but quite the opposite.  There are three players that is nominating for the award.

  1. Larry Fitzgerald – Despite a tough (to put it lightly) year for AZ quarterbacks, Fitzgerald still had 90 catches and yet another 1,000 yard season (1,137 and 6 of 10 receiving touchdowns).  He broke several Cardinals records, including most yards for a Cardinal and most catches in Cardinals history.
  2. Jay Feely – Jay Feely had a great year for a kicker.  He made 24 of 27 kicks, the ones that he missed were of long yardage.  He also had one of the most impressive games ever for a kicker, scoring all of Arizona’s first half points and a touchdown against the Broncos.  Mr. Reliable all season long.
  3. Larod Stephens-Howling – The most explosive kick returner in football, and would have been even more so had it not been for an injury that slowed him down over the last third of the season.  Had two return touchdowns and the most return yards in the league.

As good as he was this season, Larod Stephens-Howling cannot be named the offensive player of the year because of his lack of production down the stretch.  He was explosive, however, and kept the Cardinals in many games.  Without him, the Cardinals probably win 2 games instead of 5.

It was a great debate between Feely and Fitz, but I think Fitz gets the nod.  Feely had a great season and scored a LOT of points for the Cardinals.  However, he would not have had the opportunity to score those points had it not been for the play of Fitzgerald.

Amid a sea a chaos at the quarterback position, Larry Fitzgerald was able to continually catch tough balls in tough situations.

Larry Fitzgerald is the offensive player of the year because he WAS the Cardinals offense.  Subtract his 90 catches, 1,137 yards and 6 TD’s, the Cardinals had nothing.  It is equally impressive that he was able to do this with such terrible QB play, and that he set so many Cardinals records in doing so.

Congrats Larry, you were one of the few bright spots during a long, terrible season.

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