The NFL recently announced it's player of the month awards for October 2009.
On the NFC side the offensive award went to Packers QB: Aaron Rodgers; on the defensive side the award went to Saints safety Darren Sharper; and on Special Teams the award went to Johnny Knox on Chicago.
Knox had a 28.9 Ret Avg and a TD. I don't mind giving him the award. Sharper had two "pick-six's" this month, so I have little issue with him receiving the award. Although Rodgers had a "so-so" (to be kind) effort against the Vikings on October 5th, and a bye the following week, still Rodgers completed almost 75% of his throws and put up a 123.9 passer rating; so I have no issue with him getting the award as well.
In the AFC the offensive award went to Tom Brady, the defensive award to James Harrison, and the special teams award to Eddie Royal. All three players had great months and I'm sure an honest case could be made for Brady.
Afterall, Brady did put up an astonishing 12 TDs, 1,161 yards, and a 121.7 passer rating; but let's go inside the numbers game by game.
October 4 vs Baltimore 21/32 for 258 yards and 1 TD. Typical Tom Brady numbers (2002-2006), but nothing astonishing. He did what he had to to get his team the much needed win.
October 11 @ Denver 19/33 for 215 yards and 2 TD. Again, typical Tom Brady numbers, but nothing eye popping. More importantly the Patriots and Brady fell to the Broncos, temporarily setting back the teams hopes of getting a first round bye in the playoffs.
October 18 vs Tennessee 29/34 for 380 yards and 6 TD. This was against an awful Titans team, but the numbers were still astounding. Brady should have, and did, win the AFC player of the week award for this game.
October 25 vs Tampa Bay in London 23/32 for 308 yards 3 TD's and 2 INT's. Average numbers, a lot of yards, but nothing fantastic. His team won the game, but two interceptions against a hopeless Tampa Bay team seems like a lot.
As you can see, the numbers from the Tennessee game really pad Brady's stats from an otherwise pedestrian month. His numbers (and team performance) were no better than Matt Schaub's to be honest, and Kyle Orton arguably had a more impressive month, guiding his team to wins vs Dallas, New England, and San Diego.
What this also shows us is how QB biased the media is. Were Cedric Benson's 120 yards against Baltimore and 189 against Chicago not enough to warrant the medias attention? Or is he just not on the cover of GQ?
Why not give it to Peyton Manning for the second month? Compared to Brady he had just as many 300 yard games, a +110 QB rating, just as many wins in one fewer game. Manning also didn't lose a game in October like Brady did. I can understand why the media wouldn't give the award to Peyton for this month, considering he's the number one contender for yet another (his fourth) MVP trophy.
Then what about Rashard Mendenhall? He lead the NFL in yards per carry for the month with a stifling 5.4 ypc. Mendenhall also picked up 4 TDs on the ground, and produced over 400 yards for the month as part of the Steelers undefeated October.
I'm not saying the Orton, Schaub, Manning, Mendenhall, or Benson necessarily deserved the award over Brady, I'm just looking at it and wondering why?
As I said early, Tom Brady absolutely deserved the Week 6 Player of the Week award, but when you really dissect the numbers, Brady likely should have been a distant #3 for Player of the Month; in the very least behind Benson.