We've reached our 30th and final Speed Bump poll of the 2012 season. With this we've covered 110 players, including 16 QBs, 39 RBs, 47 WRs and 8 TEs. We've covered at least one player from each NFL team, with Atlanta, Denver, Detroit and Washington leading the way with six players each. The statistical odds of getting all 30 polls correct quickly gets astronomical. The finally tally, the odds of getting all 30 correct (randomly guessing), is exactly 1 in 15 quadrillion, 45 trillion, 919 billion, 506 million and 432 thousand. Not likely. We close out with the three QBs who posted 5,000-yard seasons last year. Drew Brees set the NFL record with 5,476 passing yards, Tom Brady had the 2nd-best season ever at 5,235 and Matthew Stafford became the fourth player ever to hit 5K, finishing his first full 16-game season at 5,038.
Just two seasons removed from being unanimously selected as the NFL's 2010 MVP, the first player in NFL history to receive all 50 first place votes, Tom Brady's 39 TDs last year was the 2nd-best season of his 12-year career. He again led the Patriots to the Super Bowl last year, but again was defeated by Eli Manning and the Giants. In Brady's ten seasons as a starter, the Patriots have earned trips to the Super Bowl in half of them where Brady is 3-2. Not only are all the weapons in the passing game back, the Patriots added Brandon Lloyd to the mix.
It's been a prolific career but 2011 was the crown jewel for Drew Brees statistically speaking - a second 5,000 yard passing season, setting the NFL-record at 5,476 yards, and easily set a career-best 46 TDs. Brees has cracked 4,000 yards passing every year as a Saint. Drew Brees is so awesome he even overcame the Madden cover curse in 2010. Brees has averaged 4,733 passing yards and 34 TDs in six seasons with the Saints. He'll of course lace them up this season without HC Sean Payton suspended as a result of "Bountygate". The Saints re-signed Brees this off-season to a 5-year, $100M contract.
Matthew Stafford came into 2011 full of upside but with uncertainty having missed most of his first two NFL seasons. He left it as a clear-cut elite QB as just the fourth player in NFL history to throw for 5,000 yards in a season (in his first season as a full-time starter no less). Among the highlights last year, Stafford had a 500-yard passing game, had two games with 5 TDs plus he threw at least one TD in every single game. Can Stafford hang with Brees and Brady? In the first half of the year Stafford averaged 272 YPG with 19 TDs; in the second half of the season he averaged 357 YPG (the most in the NFL over that timeframe) with 22 TDs. Detroit has improved in scoring by 100 points in back-to-back seasons, the first time that has ever by done in NFL history.
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