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December 31, 2008

Williams: NFC's offensive player of the month

Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams is the NFC's offensive player of the month for December. Williams ran for a league-high 560 yards, averaging 140.0 yards per game and scored seven touchdowns in the Panthers' four December games. He's one of only three Panthers players in history to be named the NFC's offensive player of the month, joining receivers Patrick Jeffers (December 1999) and Steve Smith (October 2005).

It's the third straight month a Panthers player has been named player of the month. Linebacker Jon Beason (October) and end Julius Peppers (November) won defensive honors earlier. -- David Scott

Posted by Observer Sports on December 31, 2008 at 03:42 PM | Permalink


Steve Smith played for Utah in October 2000...

Posted by: Felix | Dec 31, 2008 3:48:35 PM

Yeah, Smitty's first game ever was against Minnesota, one week before 9/11....2001

Posted by: matt | Dec 31, 2008 4:03:24 PM

Smith earned NFC Player of the Month honors in October 2005.

Posted by: NSpicer | Dec 31, 2008 4:16:52 PM

At least it's cool to see the Panthers getting recognition for their great play this year. It's kind of strange to see the defense honored more than the offense. But I guess Beason and the boys were lighting it up back in October when we were playing an easier schedule. And then Peppers got honored for suddenly amassing a bunch of sacks, forced fumbles, QB hurries, etc.

Presumably, our offense didn't go on a tear until later in the season anyway. And that was mostly Deangelo's success...though, an honorable mention has to go to Steve Smith for his game-changing catches and amassed yardage despite missing the first two games of the season.

Bottom line: Kudos to Deangelo...and really to the whole offensive line, Brad Hoover, and Muhsin Muhammad. Without those guys all blocking together, he wouldn't have had as much success. He made plenty of long gains by using his talents to shake people in the second and third level of the defense because the frontline guys had already occupied everyone else. So it's really a team honor for it to be our RB. And, given his modesty, I'll bet Deangelo views it that way, too.

Just my two-cents,

Posted by: NSpicer | Dec 31, 2008 4:25:44 PM

The reason Deangelo is the best running back in the league is because of his ball safety.

He has ZERO fumbles on the year.

Adrian Peterson, the number one rusher this year, has nine.

Michael Tuner, the number two rusher, has three.

Can you guess who the number three rusher is?

Posted by: Alex | Dec 31, 2008 5:05:12 PM

Thanks guys, it's fixed. Spelled December right this time, too.
David S.

Posted by: Observer Sports | Dec 31, 2008 5:07:45 PM

David!! how is Dwill not getting any consideration for MVP??? He has the stats and he's playing for a good team... why is he not even in the consideration? I just went to nfl.com website and looked at who their "writers" are nominating along with an article discussing all the canidates and williams isnt mentioned once!!

Posted by: matt s | Dec 31, 2008 5:42:42 PM

And dont give me any of the "small market" crap or "had a slow start to the season" cuz so did peyton manning and that who is apparently the "obvious" winner

Posted by: matt s | Dec 31, 2008 5:45:06 PM

Guys, they are afraid to give it to a first year star. If this were the second year that D-lo was productive and playing at a high level, then he would be a shoe in.
Simply put, Peyton is the safer choice to put their media support behind.
I do not agree, but it seems to me that this would be the most logical reason. I mean Peyton struggled earlier in the season, yet most of the national writers quickly jumped on his ship once they made the playoffs.
I have only seen two articles saying that D-lo should get the award.

Posted by: GGrrrr | Dec 31, 2008 6:21:25 PM

At least D-Will is getting some props.

My vote for MVP is D-Will all the way (but my vote doesn't count, sorry).

Posted by: SSGPat | Dec 31, 2008 6:35:54 PM

At least D-Will is getting some props.

My vote for MVP is D-Will all the way (but my vote doesn't count, sorry).

Posted by: SSGPat | Dec 31, 2008 6:36:33 PM

I think somebody mention that he is the best rb in the league and i agree..the major reason to me is all the yards he have and tds and no FUMBLES.......BALL SECURITY.. MVP OF THE NFS SOUTH AT LEAST!!!

Posted by: tim | Dec 31, 2008 8:46:56 PM

I think MVP should be named after the Superbowl

Posted by: jake the snake | Jan 1, 2009 1:23:41 AM

Spice.. you left out the blocking of Steve Smith. He's a monster blocker too, despite his small stature. He does great things, goes without saying, on the field.

Posted by: Keeping It Real | Jan 1, 2009 2:23:53 AM

I considered mentioning Smith's blocking...as it is much improved this year...but then I considered he was here last year and his blocking wasn't nearly as good as this season.

Muhammad is the WR that makes the most difference in this area. Smith helps with blocking downfield, but Muhammad does all that and also takes on LBs and even DEs at the line. So, in my book, he gets the honorable mention over Smith.

Regardless, point taken...

Posted by: NSpicer | Jan 1, 2009 7:45:05 AM

Yeah, I'm pretty outraged that D. Williams has gotten zero respect from the league. He wasn't even voted to go to the pro bowl for crying out loud. That is ridiculous. His stats are amazing. 3rd in the league in rushing with over 1500 yards. 1st in touchdowns scored. Of the top 5 rushers he's the best in ypc. And yes...ZERO fumbles. The whole award system is ridiculous. Williams just needs to use it as motivation and show the world in the playoffs how good he is.

Posted by: Christian | Jan 1, 2009 7:49:33 AM

There is no way Williams gets MVP (don't get me wrong, I think he deserves at least strong consideration), but what are the chances of at least getting offensive player of the year?

Posted by: jeff | Jan 1, 2009 9:06:33 AM

Christian, DeAngelo wasn't very good until the second half of the season, and the team was winning regardless. Hard to make an MVP case when the team can win consistently while you're not at your best.

Jeff, I think it'll be tough to beat out Drew Brees for that honor. Journalists who were scared to give him an MVP vote because of his team success are happy to give him that purely stat-based honor. DeAngelo had a good season but he wasn't breaking or threatening any LEAGUE records, just team record.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Jan 1, 2009 10:05:52 AM

Much of Deangelo's success came too late in the year for Pro Bowl consideration. And, in terms of the MVP award, I still think Steve Smith is our MVP because of the big-time game breaking and game-changing plays he makes. If Deangelo has another year like this one, though, then it really starts to get interesting...

Meanwhile, league MVP is an award I could see going much more easily to someone like Drew Brees or Peyton Manning or even Philip Rivers. Those guys pretty much made their teams go this year. Deangelo certainly was a huge component of the Panthers' success too this season...but if he hadn't been there, don't you think Jonathan Stewart might have performed about as well? Or that Steve Smith would have picked up more plays and the team would have kept on trucking? I do.

But, if you removed Peyton Manning or Drew Brees or Philip Rivers from their teams this year, I seriously doubt any of their teams would have performed anywhere near as well. To me, that's what it means to be the MVP. So I'd put more of those guys ahead of Deangelo for the award as a result. Still, I would like to see his name mentioned for it. I just don't think he should win it.

And, because of that, I think it's good to at least have him honored as the NFC offensive player of the month for December. It recognizes what he did during the home stretch...and against some of the toughest competition we faced all year.

Just my two-cents,

Posted by: NSpicer | Jan 1, 2009 1:49:08 PM

I wouldn't vote D. Williams for MVP...I think that award has to go to Peyton Manning. That team would stink without him...and he's the best quarterback in the league. I'm just sore about D. Williams no even going to the pro bowl.

And Neil, Deangelo has to be our MVP. I love Steve Smith, he is my favorite player on the team and there are at least 2 or 3 games that we would've lost without his amazing catches. However, if you take into account how Fox's style is only effective if he has a productive running game then you have to give it to Williams. His ability to consistently gash defenses for first downs, big plays, and touchdowns allowed Steve Smith and Jake Delhomme enough time to connect for those big plays. Our passing offense would be nothing without the running game we had this year.

Posted by: Christian | Jan 2, 2009 12:04:54 PM

I hear you, Christian. But then I also have to look at how much of a role the offensive line, Brad Hoover, Muhsin Muhammad, and even Jonathan Stewart had in contributing to our running game's success. Deangelo would be the first to tell you it wasn't all him.

He's deserving of the Pro Bowl, absolutely. But league MVP honors? No. And MVP on the Panthers this year? As much as I recognize his contribution to the team, I still think Stewart could have performed quite ably if he'd had to go by himself.

Meanwhile, if you took Steve Smith out of the equation for the Panthers this year, we would have lost a couple of games that we managed to win this year and we might not have even made the playoffs. That's because Steve changed a couple games from losses into wins. I also think if we didn't have the threat of Steve Smith on our team, opposing defenses would have stacked the line and neither Williams nor Stewart would have had as much success...despite the excellent blockers in front of them.

So, I'm willing to say Deangelo would be our team's MVP runner-up. And he only barely gets edged out. But, in my mind, Smith still gets it over him.


Posted by: NSpicer | Jan 2, 2009 3:19:49 PM

You could call them the chicken and the egg, as to which comes first (but enough about nicknames!)

I did a little research, which might surprise some -- it did me.

Over the last 6 games (Falcons, Packers, Bucs, Broncos, Giants, Saints -- overall record of those 6 teams was 54-42):

DeAngelo Williams totaled 733 yards rushing (122 average per game), and 12 TD's.

Steve Smith totaled 736 yards receiving (122 average per game), and 2 TD's.

I didn't include yds gained by Smith rushing, or Williams receiving, but the point is made.

Since the trend of recent games should carry more weight than early-season efforts, let's prorate these numbers to see what they'd be for a 16 game total (and keep in mind that Smith only played 14 games, anyway, and still finished the year 3rd in the league in total yards receiving.) It would work out to 1954 yds rushing for Williams, and 1963 yds receiving for Smith. They would dominate their positions by far.

These are the two most potent offensive weapons in the NFL, as a 2-pronged attack. And they demand 2 different defensive strategies, which only reinforces their potential to harm the defense.

We can run; we can pass -- can you stop both?? Do you dare put 8 or 9 in the box to stop Williams (as defenses do regularly against Adrian Peterson) without Smith going off? If you don't, we'll run it down your throat with Williams, and Stewart.

The Panthers have got to be a nightmare to prepare for.

After these wildcard elimination games get out of the way, and the focus shifts to include the four teams getting byes, we'll hear plenty of this analysis, as the "experts" begin to sift through the stats that show how the Panthers are the team to beat.

Posted by: bigdavis | Jan 2, 2009 6:42:18 PM

I'll tell you who really deserves the credit, is the offensive line. They've been spectacular all season. Opening big holes for our rb's and giving Jake plenty of time to find an open receiver. Jake hasn't taken that many sacks this year and our rushing attack is top 3 in the league. Really great job by them and by Fox and Hurney for putting it all together.

Posted by: Christian | Jan 3, 2009 8:10:15 AM

brad hoover is the best fulback in the nfc.

Posted by: ray | Jan 3, 2009 12:56:34 PM

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