Handing out NFL Awards ¾ into the season
Updated: Jan 30, 2022
Patriots Rookie Quarterback Mac Jones
This NFL season has been a football fan’s dream with all the uncertainty and suspense that has occurred. The playoff picture seems to change every week, upsets seem to be happening more and more, and there is no clear-cut winner for most awards yet. Even though it is only week 13, I feel it is appropriate to give who I believe should win every award. This isn’t necessarily who will win but who deserves it.
MVP: Tom Brady
This has been the closest MVP race since Running Back Adrian Peterson narrowly beat out Quarterback Peyton Manning. While in 2012, it was Peterson and Manning dueling every week. This season, there are six legit contenders: Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Aaron Rodgers, Lamar Jackson, Matthew Stafford, and Tom Brady. While Mahomes, Allen, and Stafford are on this list, I believe that their mid-season struggles will be accounted for when this award is being decided. Each of them had too many poor performances this season. And Jackson and Rodgers, who both missed a game due to illnesses, will have that be held against them during the MVP voting. So that leaves us with one candidate: Tom Brady. Coming off a spectacular playoff run where he won a Super Bowl and Super Bowl MVP. I believe the GOAT adds an MVP to his trophy case this year.
DPOY: Myles Garrett
Defensive Player of the Year is one of the few awards already been decided. Myles Garrett has been nothing but spectacular all season long. He currently has 14.0 sacks, which is a career-high for him, and leads the NFL, 28 QB hits and 15 tackles for a loss. He has looked like Hall of Famer Michael Strahan in a Browns uniform all season and has an excellent chance to break Strahan’s 22.5 single-season sack record. While his team is on the outside looking in in playoffs right now, it shouldn’t affect him taking home this award.
OPOTY: Jonathan Taylor and Cooper Kupp
This is by far the most complex award to pick this season. Cooper Kupp and Jonathan Taylor have both been phenomenal. So I just had to make this a tie. Let’s start with Cooper Kupp, who has taken his game to the next level with the help of new teammate Matthew Stafford. His first four years in the NFL were good but nothing extraordinary. He eclipsed 1,000 yards twice and dealt with a significant ACL tear after a solid opening to his sophomore season. There is no shade to Ex-Rams quarterback Jared Goff, but his inconsistent play hurt Kupp’s numbers. However, when Stafford was brought in, he and Kupp developed a strong rapport right from the gecko, which has Kupp leading the NFL in receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, catches, yards after the catch, and yards per game. He has been indeed a gift to watch this season. However, with all of Kupp’s success, it has been hard not to recognize what Jonathan Taylor has accomplished this season. As a rookie, Taylor had his ups and downs, but he got better every game he played as the season progressed. He finished the season with a remarkable 253-yard game. He continued this success into his sophomore year and has helped the Colts offense in their quest to make the playoffs with new quarterback Carson Wentz. Like Kupp did with receiving, Taylor leads the NFL in virtually every rushing game; there are rushing yards, touchdowns, and yards from scrimmage. The two of them have traded great performances week in and week out, but at the end of the day, it should genuinely be a tie.
OROTY: Mac Jones
Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase had an electric start and looked like the runaway favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year. However, Quarterback Mac Jones helped the Patriots get past their early-season struggles and go on a six-game winning streak and take the lead in the AFC East. Jones has looked better and better every snap he plays and looks like the franchise quarterback the Patriots needed after Tom Brady left in free agency,
DROTY: Micah Parsons
From day one, Parsons has been unbelievable. He is also over the field, and it seems like he is involved in every play. With ten sacks and 16 tackles for losses, Parsons has become the clear favorite for Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Photo credit: Bleacher Report