Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award
|Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award|
|Awarded for||Awarded annually to the best offensive line.|
|Presented by||National Football League|
|Currently held by||San Francisco 49ers|
The Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award is the trophy awarded annually to the best offensive line of the National Football League. The trophy, sponsored by Prilosec OTC, is named in honor of former NFL coach and commentator, John Madden. Designed and sculpted by artist Tom Tsuchiya, the award's shape is meant to evoke a castle wall with the figures of the five offensive line players representing crenellation. The bronze trophy, finished with a silver nitrate patina, weighs 102 lbs (42.3 kg) and stands 161⁄2" (42 cm) tall.
Five offensive lines are selected as finalists by John Madden and a team of four from the NFL Network: Jamie Dukes, Marshall Faulk, Rich Eisen and Steve Mariucci before an online fan vote at NFL.com determines the winner.
The line of the New Orleans Saints became the inaugural winner of the trophy (for the 2009 season) on February 2, 2010 during the week leading up to Super Bowl XLIV. The Saints' offensive line included Jermon Bushrod, Carl Nicks, Jahri Evans, Jonathan Goodwin and Jon Stinchcomb. Each name of the members of the winning line will be engraved on the back of the trophy. Because the trophy is one of a kind, it will travel from one winning line's city to the next.
The New England Patriots' line was selected as the NFL's best offensive line for the 2010 regular season. The five finalists in 2010 were the offensive lines of the Atlanta Falcons, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, 2009 winners New Orleans Saints and the New York Giants. The Patriots' offensive line consisted of; starting Tackles Matt Light and Sebastian Vollmer, starting Guards Dan Connolly and Logan Mankins, starting Center Dan Koppen and backups Mark LeVoir(T), Stephen Neal(G), Rich Ohrnberger(G/C), Quinn Ojinnaka(T/G) and Ryan Wendell(C). Behind their powerful offensive line the Patriots led the league in points per game (32.4), ranked 4th in sacks allowed (25), finished 8th in average yards (363.8), ranked 9th in average rushing yards (123.3) and ranked 11th in passing yards per game (240.4).
The New Orleans Saints won the award for the second time for their play during the 2011 regular season. The five finalists in 2011 were the offensive lines of the Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, 2010 winners New England Patriots and the 2009 winners New Orleans Saints. The Saints' line consisted of; Tackles Zach Strief, Jermon Bushrod and Charles Brown, Guards Carl Nicks and Jahri Evans and Centers Brian De La Puente and Matt Tennant. Behind their dominant offensive line the Saints had the top-ranked offense in the league with a league record 467.1 yards per game. They also ranked 2nd in sacks allowed (24 sacks), ranked 1st in total passing yards on the season (5,347), 6th in total rushing yards (2127), and finished 2nd in total points scored on the season (547). Quarterback Drew Brees would also break Dan Marino's 27-year-old record for most passing yards in a season behind the line.
The San Francisco 49ers won the award for their play during the 2012 regular season. The line was composed of Pro Browlers Joe Staley and Mike Iupati at left tackle and left guard, respectively, center Jonathan Goodwin, who previously won the award with the New Orleans Saints, right guard Alex Boone and right tackle Anthony Davis.
- Fine, Larry. "New 'Madden Award' to Honor Best Offensive Line." ABC News/ESPN Sports. November 12, 2009. 
- Sandomir, Richard. "For Madden, at 73, The Game's Still On." The New York Times. December 16, 2009.
- Erardi, John. "Local Sculptor Crafts Tribute to Blockers." The Cincinnati Enquirer. December 16, 2009. 
- National Football League (February 3, 2011). "Patriots O-line wins Most Valuable Protectors award". nfl.com. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- Madden, John. "Saints earn 2011 Madden Protectors Award". nfl.com. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- ESPN.com (December 27, 2011). "Brees blows into record book". espn.go.com. Retrieved May 11, 2012.