Moving on with our 'best of' series, we now turn to offensive player of the year. So far in the voting, Patrick Peterson was the overwhelming choice for rookie of the year, while the Cardinals' win over the San Francisco 49ers narrowly edged out their victory against the Cowboys for game of the year.
As far as the offense goes, we all know the ups and downs it went through this season. The quarterbacks had a difficult run this season, so for the sake of arguing whether or not Kevin Kolb or John Skelton was better, they will be omitted from this ballot. Let's take a look at some of the other nominees for offensive player of the year after the jump.
Fitz, as Cards fans have become accustomed to, had another extraordinary season. Despite all of the flux at the QB position, Fitzgerald still managed to haul in 80 receptions for over 1,400 yards and eight touchdowns. We saw him make spectacular catches game after game, all while putting the team on his back and carrying them to victory.
For the first time in his relatively short career, Beanie was able to eclipse the 1,000 yard rushing mark, racking up 1,047 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground this season. With rookie Ryan Williams having to sit out the entire season due to a preseason injury, Beanie knew he would have to be the workhorse for this team in order for them to be successful. Even after sustaining a couple of injuries himself, Beanie persevered and showed that he has what it takes to be a very solid running back in the NFL.
With Todd Heap only being able to start four games at the tight end position this season, free agent acquisition Jeff King had to step in and make an impact. When he was brought in, King was described as an above average blocking tight end that could help seal the edge for the running back or provide an extra body in pass protection. After watching him for a full season, I think it's safe to say that he was so much more for the Cards. King had 27 receptions for 271 yards and three touchdowns in 2011. He did everything and more that was asked of him and was arguably the best free agent pickup of the offseason.
Although he struggled at times during the season with dropped passes, Doucet had a fairly strong season. Especially early on, Doucet proved that he still has the potential to be that bruising receiver that the Cardinals lost when they traded away Anquan Boldin. The best part of all is that for the first time in his career, Doucet was able to play in all 16 games for the Cardinals. He hauled in 54 catches for 689 yards and five touchdowns on the season and really showed his growth as a receiver in this league.
My vote has to go to Larry Fitzgerald. As has been noted many times before, Fitzgerald seems to thrive no matter who is throwing him the ball. He surpassed the 1,000 yard receiving mark for the sixth time in his career and he did so with perhaps the least talented group of wide receivers surrounding him. The guy is an absolute stud and I am certainly glad that he is locked up to be a Cardinal for the next eight seasons.
Who gets your vote for offensive player of the year? Is there someone I didn't mention that should receive some consideration? Leave your comments in the section below.