NFL Week 7 MVP, COY and ROY power rankings

Raise your hand if you can figure out this NFL season. Yeah, that’s what I thought. A few hands went up in Pittsburgh, a couple in New England, and a few more in New York/New Jersey. Choosing players and coaches who might be in line for postseason awards is even more difficult to grasp, but we’ll give it another shot here….

MVP Power Rankings

1. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts—His team is 4-2 and a contender in the tough AFC. But more than that, Manning leads the NFL with a 103.4 QB rating—319.3 yards per game passing, 13 touchdown passes and just 2 picks. The guy is once again dominant, and he’ll continue to make life miserable for opposing coordinators.

2. Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons—The Falcons are 5-2 and one of the top teams in a wide-open NFC, and this guy is probably the biggest reason why. He busted on to this list by catching 11 passes for 201 yards and 2 scores against Cincinnati last Sunday—a whopping 18.3 yards per catch. I’m really not sure how you defend this dude, who keeps making us open our mouths wide with some acrobatic grabs and pure athleticism.

3. Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants—Don’t look now, but the NFL has a new leading rusher (708 yards). He’s short (listed as 5’9” but probably more like 5’8” with a heel lift), and extremely hard to bring down. Now that he’s healthy and listed as the starter for the 5-2 Giants, Bradshaw is taking over, running behind a good O-line, but also making plays happen in the open field himself, and making guys twice his size miss. If he could only just stop fumbling (four times in seven games)….

Honorable mention: Clay Matthews, Green Bay Packers; Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers; Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles; LaDainian Tomlinson, New York Jets; Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers; Osi Umenyiora, New York Giants; Arian Foster, Houston Texans; James Harrison, Pittsburgh Steelers; Jerod May, New England Patriots

Coach of the Year Power Rankings

1. Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers—Sure, the Steelers got lucky with that fumble-non-recovery thing against Miami last week. But Mike Tomlin has his team ranked at or near the top in everyones’ power rankings. The man knows how to win, no matter who is under center—but with Big Ben there, and with a healthy Polamalu and another defender (James Harrison) who almost retired because the league told him to stop hitting guys so hard, there isn’t a doubt anywhere that the Steelers will go deep into the postseason.

2. Tom Coughlin, New York Giants—I’m gonna be a homer here, but you can’t not give credit to a coach who brings his team off of life support after three games, and then has them on top of the NFC by winning four straight. This, despite a team that ranks near the bottom of the NFL with a minus-five turnover differential—thanks to 10 fumbles lost and 11 picks. And also despite all those Bill Cowher rumors a month ago. The bottom line? The players have his back, and the defense is now playing lights-out under first-year coordinator Perry Fewell.

3. Jeff Fisher, Tennessee Titans—At some point you just have to bring Fisher, the longest tenured NFL coach, into the conversation, because he brings his team to play every week. Last season, the Titans started 0-6 and ended up 8-8 and almost in the playoffs. This year, his feisty bunch is 5-2 and in first place in the AFC South. They’re never out of any game no matter who is at QB, and Chris Johnson hasn’t even begun to catch fire yet.

Honorable mention: Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks; Raheem Morris, Tampa Bay Bucs; Todd Haley, Kansas City Chiefs; Rex Ryan, New York Jets; Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles, Steve Spagnuolo, St. Louis Rams; Bill Belichick, New England Patriots; Mike Smith, Atlanta Falcons.

Rookie of the Year Power Rankings

1. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys—I’m just glad my Giants won that game on Monday night, because this dude almost stole the show all by himself with three touchdowns—2 receiving and 1 on a punt return. He’s ridiculously explosive and has all-around scary talent. I mean, is it too early to call Dez a future Hall of Famer? Probably, but in 15 years, don’t forget that I just said that.

2. Ndamukong Suh, Detroit Lions—Opposing offenses were able to breathe easy last week with this beast on bye. Today, Donovan McNabb will get to know him a bit better.

3. Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams—Even last week in a losing effort, two of Sam’s 13 completions were for touchdowns, and he’s on pace for 20 TD tosses. Not bad for a rookie.

Honorable mention: Jahvid Best, Detroit Lions; Max Hall, Arizona Cardinals; Rolando McClain, Oakland Raiders; Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati Bengals

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