Keenan Allen's explosiveness leads to CBSSports.com OROY award
Chargers receiver Keenan Allen narrowly beat out Packers running back Eddie Lacy for our rookie of the year award.
The case for Allen: The offseason was rough for the Chargers receiver after he posted a picture of himself sporting a Raiders cap after knocking back a nice lunch, but he quickly ingratiated himself with San Diego fans with his play on the field. He recorded 71 catches, 1,046 yards and eight touchdowns -- as a reminder, he didn't play in Week 1 and only had a combined three receptions in Weeks 2 and 3 -- and he played a big role in a resurgent Chargers offense that ranked No. 5 in the league. Overall, Allen arguably had the best season by an NFL rookie receiver since Michael Clayton in 2004.
The case against Allen: His name would be Eddie Lacy, and for the first time in five years, a Packers running back rushed for more than 1,000 yards. Lacy, in fact, gained 1,178 yards (with a 4.1 average) and 11 touchdowns, and Green Bay's running game -- which finished as the seventh-best attack in the league -- was a top-10 unit for the first time in 10 years. You could have also made the case, as our voters did, that Vikings receiver/kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson or Lions guard Larry Warford were worthy of a first-place vote. Plus, Allen ranked third on the team in receptions behind Antonio Gates and Danny Woodhead.
Why Allen is our choice: Based partially on the contributions of Allen and the help he gave Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers in his career renaissance, the Chargers went to the playoffs, beat the Bengals on the road and gave a scare to the Broncos in Denver. You wouldn't be wrong going with Allen or Lacy, but we liked Allen just a little better.
Will Allen win the hardware: Probably not. The Packers are a team with one of the highest profiles in the league, and the run game with Lacy was SO much better than it's been in the past few seasons without him, the voters will lean toward Lacy.
The vote totals (first-place votes in parenthesis):
Chargers WR Keenan Allen: 53 (4)
Packers RB Eddie Lacy: 48 (1)
Bengals RB Gio Bernard: 31
Vikings WR/KR Cordarrelle Patterson: 26 (1)
Lions G Larry Warford: 17 (1)
Chargers T D.J. Fluker: 10
Cardinals RB Andre Ellington: 1
Follow Josh Katzowitz on Google+
The Chiefs took a big step toward winning the AFC West title
The Lions cruised to a victory but will need to win out to have any chance of reaching the...
Here's every official injury designation for each NFL team for Week 15
This might go down as the best catch of Week 15
Our computer model simulated every Week 15 NFL game 10,000 times with very surprising resu...
Ryan Shazier and the Steelers were the big winners in Pro Bowl voting that was unveiled on...