After perusing the list of nominees, I've drawn up our nominees for the team's offensive player. You won't be overly surprised to learn that the team MVP's name is on it...again.
The Falcons had a bit of an unusual offensive year, marked by thrilling highs and devastating lows in certain playoffs games I never want to talk about again. Still, when you take each individual part of the offense and see how it contributed to the best moments of Atlanta's 2011, the following names stand out.
- Matt Ryan: He set some team records, put up one of the best seasons and certainly half-seasons of his career and willed the team to victory more than once. He also had one of his finest seasons overall since coming into the NFL and masked some of the offensive line's worst qualities.
- Michael Turner: The Burner was sputtering late in the year, but his overall performance was strong again in 2011. He posted well over 1,000 yards, rammed in double digit touchdowns and threw Eric Weems around like a rag doll. That alone gives him a spot on the list.
- Julio Jones: Injured at times and disappearing at others, Jones would seem to be a long-shot for offensive player. Still, he was electrifying as a rookie and was, at times, arguably the best player on the field. It's scary to think what he'll be able to do with a year and a full off-season under his belt in 2012.
Sam Baker: He was nominated. Again. Twice.
Let the voting begin!
Who was the Atlanta Falcons 2011 Offensive Player of the Year?
Matt Ryan (270 votes)
Michael Turner (41 votes)
Julio Jones (69 votes)
Sam Baker (40 votes)
None of the above (34 votes)
454 total votes