An Argument for the Panther’s D’Angelo Williams for League MVP

By PFC Panthers Writer Scott Lange

His stats for the 2008 season are staggering to say the least.  D’Angelo ended his 2008 season with over 1600 total yards and 20 total touchdowns.  It’s hard to imagine what the Panther offense would have been like without his solid all around play.  Yet DWill got no love for the Pro Bowl or MVP.  I would like to take a closer look at some of D’Angelo’s numbers to support why I feel he should be the league MVP.

Starting in week seven of this year, DWill went on a 10-game tear racking up 1232 total yards and 16 touchdowns.  He had two games where he found the end zone four times in one game on the ground.  No other running back in the league can say that.  During that time he also ripped of more 40 yard runs than any other running back in the league.  He also averaged more yards per carry (5.5YPC) than any other running back.  He had more touchdowns than any other running back or wide receiver in the league with 20.  But the most amazing part of DWill’s production is that he put up all of these sick stats while splitting carries with rookie running back Jonathan Stewart for a good portion of the year.  He also only carried the ball more than 20 times four times this year.  He has done more damage with less carries than any other running back in the league.

Some fans may say D’Angelo is not even the MVP on his own team.  Steve Smith to me is one of the best WR in the league and maybe the most difficult to defend.  I absolutely love the guy.  But without DWill there to keep the defenses honest, I’m not sure #89 reaches 1400 yards receiving and six touchdowns.  Smith’s six receiving touchdowns were only four better than Williams.   Statistically again, Williams has better overall numbers with more yards and touchdowns.  He carried the offense down the stretch if you ask me.  The game against the Giants to me in week 16 showed the world what he could do against the one of the league’s best defenses.  The G-men at the time had a top ten run defense, but he was still able to fight for 100+ yards and four scores.  That was an MVP type performance.

So why does this guy get no love for MVP or the Pro Bowl?  I’ll tell you why.  Because the Pro Bowl voting and MVP voting are a joke.  Are you really going to tell me Clinton Portis deserves to be in the Pro Bowl more than D’Angelo?  Don’t get me wrong, Portis had a great season with 1500 yards rushing and nine scores, but this is a guy who went eight games without scoring, EIGHT!  I thought that Turner and ADP deserved to be there, but Portis making the Pro Bowl instead of DWill is an absolute joke, and the stats show it.

And let’s now look at the MVP voting.  Now I understand that usually quarterbacks win this award, but to me D’Angelo has been more consistent down the stretch than any other quarterback, running back, or wide receiver in the league.  Let’s look at some of the contenders for the league MVP.  Again the stats support my argument.  ADP led the league in rushing which he deserves some credit for.  But while he may have led the league in rushing, he also practically fumbled away his team’s chances of making the playoffs against the Falcons in week 16.  Something you will never see is DWill fumbling.  That’s why there is a big fat ZERO on fumbles lost in 2008.  Drew Brees had a great season, but his team did not make the playoffs.  What Kurt Warner is doing in Arizona is great to see, but the Cards fizzled a bit down the stretch if you ask me.  And then we come to Peyton Manning.  Did his number honestly look that great?  Manning has had much better seasons in the past than his 4000 yards and 27 touchdowns he passed for in 2008.  And oh, by the way, how did that first round playoff game go huh?  DWill has been so dominant the past two and a half months how could he not make an impact in the playoffs this year?

In conclusion, it’s easy to see why Williams is not the MVP or not going to the Pro Bowl but at the same time it’s frustrating.  DWill does not have the name recognition that comes with MVP’s like Manning and the Pro Bowlers like Portis.  Statistically speaking though, his numbers have been better than any other running back in 2009.  Trust me when I say D’Angelo Williams has arrived folks.  Don’t be surprised next year if you see him getting the Pro Bowl and MVP votes.