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2007 Season Preview - Awards
MVP: Tom Brady, Patriots
Tom Brady has never had anyone as talented as Randy Moss at receiver. It can even be argued that Donte' Stallworth is superior to every New England wide out since Terry Glenn. Deion Branch was nice, but he didn't do much in Seattle (53 receptions, 725 yards in 14 games). David Givens had eight catches in Tennessee last year. David Patten hasn't accomplished anything since leaving Foxboro. Moss and Stallworth are clearly a cut above those wide outs.

With Brady's arsenal much stronger than it ever was, I think we can assume that the three-time Super Bowl champion will break all of his single-season records. If New England finishes with a 13-3 record, Brady will win the MVP.

Most Passing Yards: Peyton Manning, Colts
Already a safe bet to win this award, Peyton Manning should be able to put up at least 4,300 passing yards. With Cato June, Nick Harper, Jason David and Montae Reagor all gone, Indianapolis' defense will have even more trouble stopping teams from scoring. Thus, Manning will be forced to throw more often.

Most Rushing Yards: Frank Gore, 49ers
Frank Gore almost won the rushing title last year, totaling 1,695 yards on just 312 carries. Imagine what he'll be able to do with 350 rushing opportunities. The reason Gore's carry total was so low was because the team often fell behind, especially in the earlier parts of the year. The defense has been strengthened this offseason, so the 49ers consequently will be able to run the ball more.



Most Receiving Yards: Steve Smith, Panthers
Steve Smith is one year removed from 103 receptions, 1,563 yards and 12 touchdowns. His numbers dropped a bit because he missed the first two games of the season, and Jake Delhomme struggled because half of his offensive line was on the IR. If Smith stays healthy and Delhomme reverts back to his former self, the former will garner the most receiving yards in the NFL.

Most Sacks: Shawne Merriman, Chargers
Let's review Shawne Merriman's 2006 campaign - he missed four starts because of a suspension and collected a whopping 17 sacks. That's 17 sacks in 12 games! How is that even possible? Merriman could break Michael Strahan's single-season sack record in 2007.

Most Interceptions: Champ Bailey, Broncos
I don't get it. If you're a quarterback, and you see Champ Bailey on one side of the field, why in the world would you throw it toward him? Almost every single NFL signal caller who played the Broncos in 2006 was guilty of that sin. That's why Bailey tied Asante Samuel for the most interceptions (10) in the NFL last year.

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Marshawn Lynch, Bills
Marshawn Lynch will be the opening-day starter for the Bills, and will have the luxury of running behind a huge offensive line. Running backs make the quickest transition into the NFL, and Lynch is the only rookie who's guaranteed a starting gig.

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Jamaal Anderson, Falcons
Unlike Gaines Adams, Jamaal Anderson will be starting on Day 1. With teams concerned about John Abraham, Anderson seems like he could be poised for a double digit-sack campaign.

Most Improved Quarterback: J.P. Losman, Bills
If ESPN paid more attention to the Bills, more people would be talking about how much J.P. Losman improved over the course of the 2006 season. He completed 62.5 percent of his passes, threw 19 touchdowns and commanded an offense that averaged 25.5 points per game Weeks 11-16 (the Bills played the Ravens Week 17). I don't see any reason why anyone should think that Losman's progression will come to a halt.

Most Improved Running Back: DeAngelo Williams, Panthers
Almost all of DeAngelo Williams' production - 501 rushing yards, 303 receiving yards - came in the final eight weeks of the season. I think he'll assume a larger role in Carolina's offense, replacing the oft-injured DeShaun Foster.

Most Improved Receiver: D.J. Hackett, Seahawks
D.J. Hackett finished well in 2006, catching 19 passes for 291 yards and two touchdowns the final four weeks of the season. With Darrell Jackson gone, Hackett will undoubtedly win the starting gig over the disappointing and lethargic Nate Burleson.

Most Improved Defensive Linemen: Tamba Hali, Chiefs
I think Tamba Hali has the talent and work ethic to be a perennial double-digit sack producer in the NFL. Considering that nearly half of his eight sacks came during the final three weeks of his rookie campaign, Hali is poised for a dominant 2007 season.

Most Improved Linebacker: Freddie Keiaho, Colts
No one heard of Cato June when he stepped into Indianapolis' starting lineup. June went on to attend the Pro Bowl and sign a huge contract with Tampa Bay. Now, Freddie Keiaho will be taking June's place. Tony Dungy has a knack for turning sub-par players into solid ones.

Most Improved Defensive Back: Gerald Sensabaugh, Jaguars
When the Jaguars released former Pro Bowler Donovin Darius, they either lost their mind or liked Gerald Sensabaugh enough to do it. Despite what other members of the media who used to play professional football will lead you to believe, Sensabaugh actually started nine games in his first two NFL seasons.



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