The Ravens ended their regular season today with a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, falling 17-23. The score of the game only mattered in playoff positioning as the Ravens are still going to be the 4th seed in the AFC playoffs. Let’s do some end of season awards Maryland Sports Blog style.
Offensive player of the year: This one is easy, this goes to Ray Rice who had 10 total touchdowns and led the team in rushing with over 1,100 yards. Rice has been the most consistent Ravens player on offense and also attributed 478 receiving yards. Rice is the Ravens offensive player of the year, followed by Torrey Smith and Joe Flacco.
Defensive player of the year: Paul Kruger had a breakout year for the Ravens and finished the season with nine sacks. Kruger got really hot late in the season and has been by far the Ravens best pass rusher. In a season where the Ravens missed Terrell Suggs for most of the year Kruger has been one of the few guys healthy all year. It will be fun to watch a fully healthy Suggs and Kruger work together for a full season, quarterbacks beware. Bernard Pollard was a close second.
Biggest offensive surprise: Bernard Pierce did an incredible job backing up star Ray Rice. Pierce had over 500 rushing yards in backup duty and more importantly did not fumble the ball at all. For a mid-draft pick rookie he was more than impressive. Pierce played smart and ran hard, everything the Ravens want from a number two running back. Jah Reid was a close second.
Biggest defensive surprise: Corey Graham takes this honor with his two interceptions and two forced fumbles. The Ravens were injured at cornerback this season and Corey Graham, who has played mostly as a special teams player in his career, stepped up big. Graham kept guys covered ever since he started and rarely made mistakes. Great pickup by the Ravens. Chykie Brown comes in second.
Best off season pickup: Without a doubt Jacoby Jones was the Ravens best pickup. Valuable in the passing games and completely dominate in the return game. Justin Tucker was also a great pickup.