Nov 8, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) reacts after touchdown in the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Week 8 is in the books, and the NFL’s playoff picture is getting clearer and clearer. Here’s a look at our weekly awards after yet another exciting week of NFL football.
AFC MVP: Marcus Mariota
Marcus Mariota led one of the most improbable comebacks of the season, guiding a terrible Titans team to a huge victory against the New Orleans Saints. Mariota’s 371 passing yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions proved the difference in a six-point game, and he was able to succeed despite several key injuries on offense. The rookie hasn’t had a Pro Bowl-caliber season, but he’s been a solid performer on an almost weekly basis. Tennessee has itself a gem.
NFC MVP: Cam Newton
SuperCam led his Carolina Panthers to an eighth straight victory on Sunday, beating the Green Bay Packers in a game that was almost close. Newton has carried the load on offense for the Panthers on a weekly basis, and Week 9 didn’t prove any different. The Panthers’ signal-caller tossed three touchdowns and rushed in for a score, tallying 297 total passing yards to only one interception. More impressive, however, was his team’s victory over the Green Bay Packers. The Panthers are 8-0; that’s pretty crazy.
Coach of the Week: Chuck Pagano
Pagano’s team came out of nowhere and delivered the performance of the season in what could be a career-saving win over the Denver Broncos. Just a week ago, experts were calling the Indianapolis Colts a “bad, bad football team,” and rightfully so. The offense couldn’t move the ball, the defense was scattershot at best and coaching was bad. Pagano got rid of Pep Hamilton, promoting Rob Chudzinski to offensive coordinator, and it worked. The Colts’ upset of the Broncos was easily the biggest upset of the 2015 season; for that reason alone, Pagano deserves the credit.
With the awards handed out, let’s get right into it and take a look at this week’s Power Rankings. If you don’t agree with where your team is ranked, just remember that I purposely ranked them lower than they should be ranked as a personal attack towards you because I don’t like your team. That being said, hit me up on Twitter @HoweNFL if you want to discuss why I ranked your team where I ranked it. Without further ado, let’s get started.