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Green Zone League Articles

#GZL @ 10 Years - Random Player Awards
By Wade Pearce
Special to gzl-football.com

#GZL @ 10 Years - Random Player Awards

So, we've highlighted some franchise records over the last 10 seasons. Now we want to highlight some player awards, but because just going for the usual candidates is a bit boring, I thought we'd go digging for some more obscure awards and see what we can come up with.

Rainbow Super Warrior Award

Awarded to the player in the last 10 seasons who could be excused for forgetting which uniform he's playing for, but still being a league career leader.

HB LeSean McCoy

McCoy spent 3 seasons with the Eagles, 3 seasons with the Panthers, a season in Kansas City, a season inspecting his naval lint in free agency before finding another 1,000 yard season in Jacksonville. In the process, he compiled 11,143 yards at 4.28 yards-per-carry and 81 touchdowns. This leaves him currently ranked 7th overall in career rushing yards and 3rd overall in career rushing touchdowns. Not a bad effort for someone that barely had enough time to buy a house.

You Only Had One Job Award

Offensive Lineman have a very singular job to complete: put defensive players on their arse and stop them getting to the quarterback. Pancakes only tell half the story.

OT Ryan Clady

Not only is Ryan Clady the career leader in pancakes, he also has the best Pancake / Sack ratio of any lineman with at least 700 pancakes in the last 10 years. I will admit, this was a suprise as I was expecting Clady's time on the field and the cost of sacks meaning his ratio would be lower. But with a 28.51 sack ratio, the next highest blocker with a ratio to beat him is ranked 33 and is a tight end. Ok, maybe there is a reason why Clady has been nominated to the Pro Bowl 8 seasons in a row!

Dammit...was hoping to come up with a category that wasn't pandering to my own team's statistics Razz

Beer & Skittles Award

There's that one player. He's on the field, but no-one quite understands how he got there, why he's there or how the hell they got the result they did.

QB Pat Devlin

Drafted in the 6th round of the 2012 Draft by the San Diego Chargers, Pat Devlin's career has been anything but spectacular. Except for one brief period in the 2014 season when as a "cheap" option on a roster barely fitting under the salary cap he was called upon to replace the team's starter Blaine Gabbert who had gone down with injury after the trade window had closed. Despite the almost desperate efforts from Norv Turner and GM John Stanley, the Chargers could not find a suitable replacement in the league and Devlin took the field, despite being ranked 4th on the depth chart. He did enough to keep the ball out of the oppositions hand long enough for the rest of the team to go ahead and win the 2013 Super Bowl.

He returned to the field in the next season when Gabbert went down again, but this time he couldn't repeat the heroics and has since faded into depth obscurity.

100 Friendly Hugs Award

This player loves the opposition so much, they are like big cuddle giving teddy bear in their backfield.

DE Mario Williams

Mario Williams loves quarterbacks. So much so he is the only player across 10 seasons to give them more than 100 hugs. We're all sure he's a friendly guy but some quarterbacks would probably suggest he's a little overzealous in his efforts. In total, Williams has hugged quarterbacks 107 times, meaning he hands out over 10 free hugs every season. Others call them spear tackles, but the results speak for themselves. Who wants a free hug?

I'm The Only One Award

Awarded to the ONLY player in the league to score a punt return touchdown.

WR A. J. Jenkins

Let's be serious, if we see a player make 10 yards on a punt return, it brings the house down. In 10 seasons of GZL, A. J. Jenkins is the only player to score a touchdown from a punt return, achieving the feat with a 57-yard return for the Colts in Cincinatti for Week 5 of the 2015 season. The Colts won 30-22. Well done Mr Jenkins. You proved the impossible could be done!

Because I'm A Punter, Dammit! Award

Awarded to a punter. Why? Because there is never any awards for punters.

P Pat McAfee

Pat McAfee has racked up 42433 yards, a statistic only beaten by QB Matt Stafford and more importantly, he has a longest punt of 94 yards. In Madden. 94 yards. Screw offense, just punt it to within 5 yards of the oppositions goal line and let them dig themselves out of the hole. Our hats are tipped to you Pat, the second greatest offensive yardard producer in the GZL. Sorry Dallas...not entirely sure this is an award you want to see Razz

The Usual Suspects

While we can always talk about the unusual awards above, it's only fair that we also talk about the players who have been the league leaders across the last ten seasons. QB Matt Stafford may have been playing in a pass-heavy scheme for most of the last ten seasons, but he and WR Calvin Johnson made up one of the most dangerous passing duo's in the league. So much so that Matt Stafford is a full 7,000 yards ahead of his nearest luminary in the career rankings as well as being the only quarterback to pass for 300 touchdowns. And he still has a career QB rating of 86.2. Not a bad effort.

WR Calvin Johnson was the second half of this passing duo and quite rightly benefited from the playbooks chosen, but his 931 receptions for 14,654 career yards and 94 touchdowns are so far in front of everyone else it's ridiculous. His failing body might see him fall short of reaching the 100 receiving TD mark, but it's going to take a number of seasons for anyone, if they do, to catch his record-setting marks.

And finally, we have the AFC West duo of Ryan Mathews and Mark Ingram. While Mathews departed the AFC West after the 2017 season, he and Mark Ingram of the Oakland Raiders have combined, together, for 27,646 yards of rushing and 177 touchdowns. On the career rushing board, the #3 and #4 ranked rushers are either retired or in the UFA pool. While Mathews is seeing diminishing rushing returns, Ingram still gets starting time in Oakland and is a high possibility to become the #1 career rusher in the league.
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Well, there we have it...some (hopefully) different takes on 10 years of player statistics in the GZL.
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