Roma: Mike Pouncey, C
If there’s one near-universal point of praise for Roma, it’s the direction of Alfonso Cuarón, who put together a masterwork in cinematography. It’s not a flashy film, but it goes about telling its story in such subtle ways that you have to appreciate all the hard work that went into it.
Mike Pouncey, as all centers typically are, is sometimes unnoticed directing from the middle of the line. Without direction, the offense falls apart. A running or passing game is only as strong as the line that allows it to flourish. As the sixth-best points per game offense in 2018, the Bolts were firing on all cylinders.
BlacKKKlansman: Michael Badgley, K
This has less to do about the film, and more about director Spike Lee. Despite numerous achievements in film, Lee has never been nominated for the Best Director category at the Oscars. From Do the Right Thing to Malcom X, many of his movies, though met with widespread critical acclaim, were always snubbed in favor of others.
Badgley, the unlikely hero of the Chargers 2018 season, is a part of the forgotten and unloved positional group that is kickers. They mostly go unnoticed, but are hated when they stink. Badgley has faced multiple snubs throughout his short career despite good showings, cut once in favor of Adam Vinatieri and another time from the Chargers in favor Caleb Sturgis. Still, he kept working and working, and finally got his chance to shine this past year. Badgley got his win; will Lee?
A Star is Born: Desmond King, CB
Maybe Desmond King can sing, but this one’s all about the title. In 2018, a star was born in the form of a second-year fifth round pick who was found by Telesco (I guess Telesco is Bradley Cooper) and given a chance.
Here’s how good No. 20 was this past season:
Desmond King II finished the season with the 2nd-highest CB grade (90.4) and the highest CB coverage grade (91.1) in the #NFL
King also earned the highest punt return grade (91.0).
— PFF LA Chargers (@PFF_Chargers) February 16, 2019
When you’re one of the highest rated players in the NFL at two positions, you’re a star. King would regularly impact important games, including a game-winning interception for a touchdown in Seattle and a rallying punt return for a touchdown in Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, much like A Star is Born *spoiler(?)*, the ending to his successful year was sad. Against the New England Patriots, King was roasted by receivers and even dropped a punt return that killed the team’s momentum. One could even say he should have defended the shallow crossing routes better…get it?
The Favourite: Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa, DE
At its core, The Favourite is a film about two crafty women using a variety of stunts and power moves to win favor from the Queen. Despite being there longer than Emma Stone’s character, Rachel Weisz is forced to pick up her game to remain the leading-lady in royalty.
Going by experience, Ingram is the veteran here, and Bosa the newcomer. No. 54 was given time to develop as a first round pick, but never really lived up to expectations; that is, until Bosa entered the picture, an addition that seems to have lit a fire under Ingram to perform better. He’s had more sacks in the last two years than in his first four years combined, a number that’s thanks in large part to No. 99. The two of them bring out the best in one another, and use their own stunts and moves en route to sacking the quarterback.