End of the year hardware

Joe Theismann makes his picks for the end of the year awards and the list is peppered with Saints.

Updated: January 3, 2007, 3:05 PM ET
By Joe Theismann | ESPN Insider
Well, it's that time of year where I have to start thinking about the award winners. It's never a fun time in terms of picking who should win because there are normally so many deserving candidates. This year isn't different. That's why I'm doing something slightly different and naming my winner as well as the runner-up, and I'm explaining how I made my selections. Enjoy the list and enjoy the New Year!

LaDainian Tomlinson
Byron Hetzler/US PRESSWIRELaDainian Tomlinson put together a historic season.
The San Diego Chargers star has had one of the greatest seasons we've ever seen from the running back position. What makes this season even more amazing is the fact that he's doing it on a team with a quarterback who is starting for the first time in the NFL. Tomlinson has seen eight and nine-man fronts all season and it hasn't disrupted what he's accomplished at all.

There's now talk of him as one of the all-time greats and he deserves those comparisons. It's easy to forget that while this season was his best ever that it really isn't that far off what he normally does during a season. He has an uncanny nose for scoring touchdowns either by catching passes, running the ball or throwing the ball. He's going to run into some great defenses in the playoffs, but I don't think any of them are equipped to handle what he brings to the game.

Joe Theismann

Football analyst
Former college and pro football star Joe Theismann has served as an analyst for ESPN's Sunday Night Football since 1988. He also is frequently heard on ESPN Radio, regularly contributes to ESPN.com and has contributed to the NFL Draft.