The Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday will announce their Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year awards. On the first, there can be no debate. There is room for argument with regard to the second.
There is something wrong with the process if anyone but running back Jamaal Charles is the Chiefs' MVP. He has been spectacular in previous seasons and in fact has been the Chiefs' MVP in three of the past four seasons.
But never have they relied on Charles as they did in 2013. He was, of course, their leader in rushing. But he also led the Chiefs in pass receptions for the first time. He had led the Chiefs in touchdowns twice before, but this time he led the league with 19. That's three more TDs than any other player in the NFL.
The rookie of the year question is more interesting. Should it go to tackle Eric Fisher, the first pick in the draft, or cornerback Marcus Cooper, who was claimed on waivers by the Chiefs from the San Francisco 49ers shortly before the start of the regular season?
Fisher started 13 games but didn't distinguish himself. He played so poorly early in the season there were times he deserved to be benched. Things got better for Fisher later in the season, but not to the point he delivered a solid performance every week. He also missed games, including the playoff loss to Indianapolis, because of three separate injuries.
Cooper played so well after joining the Chiefs that he quickly became their third cornerback. Things fell apart later in the season to the point the Chiefs benched him for a time, so his season was uneven.
But when he played well, Cooper was an asset to the Chiefs. His hustle on a special-teams play resulted in a touchdown in an early-season game against Tennessee. He intercepted three passes, including one that helped the Chiefs finish off the Raiders in Week 6.
Fisher never gave the Chiefs that kind of play for a long stretch. That's why Cooper is my choice for rookie of the year.