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2012 NFL Awards Week 1: Redskins rack up kudos after shocking Saints

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Week 1 NFL AwardsExpertOffenseDefenseSTeamsCoachFreemanManning49ersSundbergShannyJudgeRG3DRCAkersRyanBrinsonRG3ReedWalshShannyKatzowitzRG3PorterAkersShannyWilsonFlaccoPatriotsKaedingRyan

Awards time! And you won't be stunned to know that the Redskins -- who were the stunners from Sunday's action -- managed to rack up on awards after their upset of the Saints in New Orleans.

Peyton Manning got plenty of consideration (and so did Joe Flacco ... IS HE ELITE?) but ultimately it was Robert Griffin III who nailed down the Eye on Offense Award.

All of our experts were split on the Eye on Defense Award which, as always, means "tie goes to the guy Brinson picked," so congrats to Ed Reed for picking up the award as he neared 1,500 interception-return yards.

David Akers and his mind-blowing 63-yard bonk of a field goal were good enough to win the Eye on Special Teams Award.

And Mike Shanahan narrowly edged out Rex Ryan for the Eye on Coaching Award.

Eye on Offense Award
Mike FreemanClark Judge
Peyton Manning Peyton Manning, QB, Broncos
Has had about 17 neck surgeries, no meaningful game for almost two years, and goes out and beats a very good Steelers defense.
Robert Griffin IIIRobert Griffin III, QB, Redskins
He not only won his first game as a quarterback; he beat the New Orleans Saints ... in the Superdome ... after Bountygate ... after Will Smith returned. RG3 had two touchdowns, no interceptions and one huge upset. The other four rookie quarterbacks? Try a combined two touchdowns, 11 picks and no victories.
Will BrinsonJosh Katzowitz
Robert Griffin III Robert Griffin III, QB, Redskins
RG3 went down into New Orleans and lit up an angry, emotional Saints team to stun the world in his first career start. Mike Shanahan should get props for the planning, but Griffin executed that plan to perfection.
Tom BradyRobert Griffin III, QB, Redskins
His NFL debut was fairly solid. He threw for 320 yards and two touchdowns. He ran for 42 more yards. He started a trend. Things could not have gone better for RG3 and the Redskins.
Ryan Wilson
Joe FlaccoJoe Flacco, QB, Ravens
If the rest of the season looks anything like the Bengals game, Flacco could end up as the NFL's highest paid quarterback. He was in total control from start to finish, ran the no-huddle like he was Peyton Manning, and showed accuracy and a touch that should have the rest of the AFC worried.
Eye on Defense Award
FreemanJudge
Patrick Willis49ers, DST
A total butt kicking for San Francisco on Sunday. It's rare for the Packers to be completely out-classed offensively like that but the 49ers flat out intimidated Green Bay.

Haloti Ngata Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Eagles
He had two interceptions and four pass breakups in the Eagles' escape of Cleveland. Somebody had to come to the club's rescue, and it wasn't going to be Michael Vick. It was DRC and a defense that produced four takeaways.
BrinsonKatzowitz
Ed ReedEd Reed, S, Ravens
Yes, it was all about the O in Baltimore on Monday. But the Bengals were keeping things close against the Ravens until Reed picked a pass and did what he's done so very often: take it to the house. Reed's pick six also gave him 1,497 interception return yards for his career. That's mind-boggling.
Tracy PorterTracy Porter, CB, Broncos
With the way Porter played Sunday, it's fair to ask: why did the Saints let him to escape in free agency? Porter had five pass break-ups, and he pick-sixed Ben Roethlisberger for a game-sealing touchdown with 1:58 to play. This was the reason he drew such interest on the free agent market this offseason.
Wilson
Vince Wilfork Patriots, DST
I know, big deal: they slowed up a Titans offense starting an unproven young quarterback and without WR Kenny Britt. Here's a stat for you: RB Chris Johnson had four yards rushing. On 11 carries. At that pace Johnson would've needed 275 carries to reach 100 yards for the day. Both New England's rookie first-rounders, DE Chandler Jones and LB Dont'a Hightower, contributed right away; Chandler's strip-sack of Jake Locker was recovered by Hightower who scored a touchdown on the play.
Eye on Special Teams Award
FreemanJudge
Nick SunbergNick Sundberg, LS, Redskins
Easy. Not even close. Long snapper Nick Sundberg broke his left arm in the first half against New Orleans and still played the entire game. It was an incredible feat of mind over pain.
David Akers David Akers, K, 49ers
After hitting a 61-yarder in warmups, he nailed a 63-yard field goal at the end of the first half to tie a league record. Akers later described it as "a little bit of a miracle," but there was nothing miraculous about the victory. The 49ers hammered the Packers for the first time at Lambeau in nine tries.
BrinsonKatzowitz
Blair WalshBlair Walsh, K, Vikings
If you're a rookie kicker and you can walk out onto the field and nail a 55-yard field goal with time expiring during regulation, then come back and hit a 38-yarder in overtime that eventually wins the game, all while being perfect on your kicks (4-for-4), you have onions, sir. ONIONS.
David AkersDavid Akers, K, 49ers
It's not very often somebody smacks a 63-yard field goal (it only had happened three times in NFL history before Sunday), but David Akers accomplished it with a sweet ricochet off the cross bar in which the ball softly landed on the grass behind the goal post as the second quarter expired.
Wilson
Nate Kaeding Nate Kaeding, K, Chargers
Kaeding, who hasn't played since suffering a knee injury in the 2011 opener, went 5-for-5 in the Chargers' win over the Raiders. Oakland punter Shane Lechler finished a close second for the award because of the bravery he displayed while backup long snapper Travis Goethel skipped him medicine balls after starter Jon Condo left with an inury.
Eye on Coaching Award
FreemanJudge
Mike ShanahanMike Shanahan, HC, Redskins
I've been hard on Shanahan. Part of me believes that Shanahan built his legacy off the back of John Elway. But the way Shanahan had not just RG3 prepared but the entire Redskins team ready to go in a hostile environment was impressive.
Rex Ryan Rex Ryan, HC, Jets
His Jets have been compared to a circus, with Rex the ringleader. Worse, they're supposed to be a circus that doesn't know how to perform. So with critics ready to pounce on Rex, Sanchez, Tebow, you name it, the Jets put up 48 on a Buffalo team that is supposed to leap frog them for the playoffs. Not based on what I just saw.
BrinsonKatzowitz
Mike ShanahanMike Shanahan, HC, Redskins
It's close between Rex and Shanny, but I gotta give the nod to the Redskins coach (and his son Kyle, the offensive coordinator) for getting RG3 ready to head into the dome. The Shanaclan tailored the 'Skins' offensive gameplan around RG3's strengths and scripted a confidence-building drive to start the game and kickoff his career.
Mike ShanahanMike Shanahan, HC, Redskins
He couldn't have picked a better gameplan to introduce Robert Griffin III to the world. The first six RG3 passes were actually behind the line of scrimmage, allowing Washington to make significant yardage after the catch and taking the pressure off Griffin. Hey, Mike, this guy might be better than Rex Grossman and John Beck, eh?
Wilson
Cliff Lee Rex Ryan, HC, Jets
Ryan said this might be the best Jets team he's coached. That idea sounded ridiculous as recently as Sunday morning. Now, not so much. Maybe these are the same old Jets but they hung 48 on the Bills and that can't be overlooked. The Power of Tebow, indeed.
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