The 2011 NFL season is in the books and the playoffs await. But, before we look at the matchups, lets honor some outstanding performers and of course condemn some others.
Eli Manning, QB NY Giants: Manning showed he is one of the best in the league as he put his team on his shoulders going 24 of 33 for 346 yards three TDs and no picks.
Victor Cruz, WR NY Giants: Great find by the Giants personnel department. A fantastic season capped by six catches for 178 yards including a 74 yard score to start the game.
Rob Gronkowski, TE New England: The Amherst native completed the greatest statistical season by a TE with eight grabs for 108 yards and two touchdowns. He set NFL records for yards and TDs by a TE this season.
Drew Brees, QB New Orleans: Brees passed for 389 yards and five TDs as the Saints end the season on an eight game win streak. Brees set records for passing yards with 5,347, 468 completions, and completing 71.6 percent of his passes, breaking his own 2009 NFL record 70.6 completion percentage.
Matt Flynn, QB Green Bay: The Packers sat soon-to-be MVP Aaron Rodgers and his back-up did his best discount double check with 480 yards and six TD passes. Flynn wins the 2011 Matt Cassel award as some team will grossly over pay for him to be their starter next season.
Rex Ryan, Head Coach NY Jets: If Rex is going to run his mouth in March that the Jets will win the Super Bowl, the least he could do is actually make the playoffs. The Jets under achieved and that rests with the head coach. They needed a win against the division rival Dolphins and laid a collective egg.
Rob Ryan, Defensive Coordinator Dallas: Ryan's defense was awful down the stretch and failed to keep the Giants out of the end zone in crunch time. Eli Manning and co. racked up over 450 yards of offense against Ryan's swiss cheese D.
Stevie Johnson, WR Buffalo: One step forward, eight steps back for Johnson. He keeps saying he is going to be more disciplined, then pulls another stunt to throw off his team. Johnson scored a TD only to show a "Happy New Year" sign on his undershirt drawing a flag. Then, he was benched for violating a team rule essentially put in place because of him.