Offensive Workhorse – Drew Brees, QB (NO)
After seeing his Monday night performance against the Giants, Drew Brees has sealed himself has the #1 quarterback in the NFL in my eyes. If the 363 passing yards and 4 TD’s through the air aren’t convincing enough, an 8 yard scramble finished with a defender juke and endzone dive might be the icing on the cake. Brees finished with 5 total touchdowns on the night, but the most impressive to me was the rushing score. As far as I’m concerned, he’s one of the only QB’s in the league right now that would have gone the extra yard to juke and layout to break the plane. Obviously guys like Tim Tebow, Cam Newton, and Mike Vick would have done the same, but most of the top quarterbacks in the league would have happily slid at the 1 yard line and capped the drive with a handoff to the runningback. Not to point any fingers but those include guys like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning who are much too comfortable in the pocket and frankly, are too soft to risk taking a hit. I understand these guys get sacked and are tough because they are football players, yada yada yada, but that’s just the way it is. Brees is the ultimate quarterback package due to his dedication, determination, skill, and ability to burn you any way you like. These are just intangibles? Check the stat sheet if you need physical evidence; #9 is #1.
Defensive Workhorse – Terrell Suggs, OLB (Bal)
Terrell Suggs is one of those linebackers you always have to keep an eye on. He may not always have a standout performance, but he does always get the job done. He finished the Thanksgiving “Harbaugh Bowl” with 3 sacks and 1 forced fumble against the 49ers in a winning effort that I didn’t think was going to happen. Although his performance wasn’t jaw dropping, the Ravens managed to sack Alex Smith 9 times on the day to bring down the sizzling hot 9-1 49ers. Oh right, I forgot to mention that Ray Lewis didn’t even play in this game due to injury, making this feat even greater. Going into it I liked San Francisco because of the fact that Baltimore has been somewhat hot and cold this season with inconsistency on the offensive end. I didn’t think that they had what it took to score against the stonewall 49er defense but they proved me wrong. Their defense is for real, that much is clear to me. However, I am still not sold that Joe Flacco can lead this team to the promised land. If he wants to be a serious contender looking into the future then he needs to buckle down and play like a champion every game.