NFL Awards Predictions through Week 8

Photo Credit: NFL Spin Zone (featured image), ESPN (team logos)

 

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER

i Tom Brady, Quarterback, New England Patriots (7-1)

  • Statistics: 98/134 (73.1% completion percentage), 1,319 passing yards, 12 passing touchdowns, 10 rush attempts, 44 rushing yards
  • Analysis: Assuming he has not yet cheated this season, Tom Brady has been dominant in his first four games back from his suspension to show that he is really back, and he is not rusty. Sure, he has only played in four games so far while many players have played in seven or eight, but if he puts up solid numbers all season long like he has done so far and gets this Patriots team yet another first round bye in the postseason, there is no doubt that he will be one of the league’s top players with a legitimate shot at winning the NFL MVP award yet again. The reason he is atop this list as the current frontrunner for the NFL MVP award is because he has shown that value already since returning from his suspension.
Rounding out the top 5:

2. i-27 Matt Ryan, Quarterback, Atlanta Falcons (5-3)

  • Statistics: 193/279 (69.2% completion percentage), 2,626 passing yards, 19 passing touchdowns, 4 interceptions, 21 rush attempts, 69 rushing yards

3. i-15 Derek Carr, Quarterback, Oakland Raiders (6-2)

  • Statistics: 214/323 (66.3% completion percentage), 2,321 passing yards, 17 passing touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 18 rush attempts, 61 rushing yards

4. i-26 Drew Brees, Quarterback, New Orleans Saints (3-4)

  • Statistics: 214/308 (69.5% completion percentage), 2,366 passing yards, 18 passing touchdowns, 5 interceptions, 9 rush attempts, 11 rushing yards

5. i-19 Ezekiel Elliott, Running Back, Dallas Cowboys (6-1)

  • Statistics: 159 rush attempts, 799 rushing yards, 5 rushing touchdowns, 15 receptions, 150 receiving yards

 

 

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

i-31 David Johnson, Running Back, Arizona Cardinals (3-4-1)

  • Statistics: 156 rush attempts, 705 rushing yards, 8 rushing touchdowns, 35 receptions, 407 receiving yards
  • Analysis: David Johnson is leading the NFL in yards from scrimmage so far this season with 1,112 yards, and he is doing so by quite a comfortable margin of over 150 yards to 2nd place. He has also scored 8 touchdowns, which is tied for 3rd in the NFL at the halfway mark of the season. His playmaking ability, versatility, statistics, and the fact that he is carrying the Cardinals on his back through a tough start to the season without slowing down make him the frontrunner to win the Offensive Player of the Year award.
Rounding out the top 5:

2. i-19 Ezekiel Elliott, Running Back, Dallas Cowboys (6-1)

  • Statistics: 159 rush attempts, 799 rushing yards, 5 rushing touchdowns, 15 receptions, 150 receiving yards

3. i-11 DeMarco Murray, Running Back, Tennessee Titans (4-4)

  • Statistics: 160 rush attempts, 756 rushing yards, 6 rushing touchdowns, 28 receptions, 197 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns

4. i-6 AJ Green, Wide Receiver, Cincinnati Bengals (3-4-1)

  • Statistics: 59 receptions, 896 receiving yards, 3 receiving touchdowns

5. i-27 Julio Jones, Wide Receiver, Atlanta Falcons (5-3)

  • Statistics: 43 receptions, 859 receiving yards, 4 receiving touchdowns

 

 

OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

i-19 Ezekiel Elliott, Running Back, Dallas Cowboys (6-1)

  • Statistics: 159 rush attempts, 799 rushing yards, 5 rushing touchdowns, 15 receptions, 150 receiving yards
  • Analysis: As a 21-year-old rookie, Ezekiel Elliott is the best running back in the NFL already. Not only that, but the Cowboys are actually winning games without their usual starting quarterback Tony Romo, and quarterback Dak Prescott has not put up superstar passing numbers. Ezekiel Elliott is carrying the load for this team, and he is doing so effectively, averaging 5.0 yards per carry. He has also emerged as a pretty decent pass-catching running back as well. Right now, he is the best offensive rookie in the NFL, and as such, he is the frontrunner to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
Rounding out the top 5:

2i-19 Dak Prescott, Quarterback, Dallas Cowboys (6-1)

  • Statistics: 144/221 (65.2% completion percentage), 1,773 passing yards, 9 passing touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 27 rush attempts, 105 rushing yards, 4 rushing touchdowns

3. i-23 Jordan Howard, Running Back, Chicago Bears (2-6)

  • Statistics: 99 rush attempts, 505 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdown, 18 receptions, 177 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown

4. i-17 Carson Wentz, Quarterback, Philadelphia Eagles (4-3)

  • Statistics: 150/228 (65.8% completion percentage), 1,526 passing yards, 9 passing touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 19 rush attempts, 40 rushing yards

5. i-26 Michael Thomas, Wide Receiver, New Orleans Saints (3-4)

  • Statistics: 42 receptions, 500 receiving yards, 3 receiving touchdowns

 

 

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

i-14 Von Miller, Linebacker, Denver Broncos (6-2)

  • Statistics: 33 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 2 passes defensed
  • Analysis: Von Miller’s influence on opposing offenses is among the greatest that the NFL has ever seen. He nearly singlehandedly brought the Broncos a Super Bowl championship just this past February with his superb play, and he earned the Super Bowl 50 MVP award in doing so. That outstanding play has carried over into this season so much so that Denver’s defense, despite losing some key players this past offseason, is still one of the NFL’s best. Miller is also currently 2nd in the NFL with 8.5 sacks. The impact Miller not only has on the Broncos’ defense but on the Broncos as a whole makes him the current frontrunner for the Defensive Player of the Year award.
Rounding out the top 5:

2. i-13 Marcus Peters, Cornerback, Kansas City Chiefs (5-2)

  • Statistics: 21 tackles, 1 fumble recovery, 5 interceptions, 11 passes defensed, 1 stuff

3. i-1 Lorenzo Alexander, Linebacker, Buffalo Bills (4-4)

  • Statistics: 36 tackles, 9 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 2 passes defensed, 4 stuffs

4. i-1 Zach Brown, Linebacker, Buffalo Bills (4-4)

  • Statistics: 87 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 7 stuffs

5. i-25 Luke Kuechly, Linebacker, Carolina Panthers (2-5)

  • Statistics: 74 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 interception, 4 passes defensed, 4 stuffs

 

 

DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

i-12 Joey Bosa, Defensive End, San Diego Chargers (3-5)

  • Statistics: 13 tackles, 4 sacks, 2 stuffs
  • Analysis: Joey Bosa is tied for the lead in sacks among rookies with 4, and he has played in only four games so far this season. As it turns out, he was well worth the wait for the Chargers, and he has really been one of the better defensive players in the entire NFL since he settled his contract dispute with the Chargers and recovered from his injury. Despite having missed four games, which is equal to a quarter of the season, Bosa is the best rookie defensive player in the NFL right now, making him the frontrunner for the Defensive Rookie of the Year award.
Rounding out the top 5:

2. i-12 Jatavis Brown, Linebacker, San Diego Chargers (3-5)

  • Statistics: 54 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, 5 passes defensed, 2 stuffs

3. i-27 Deion Jones, Linebacker, Atlanta Falcons (5-3)

  • Statistics: 47 tackles, 2 interceptions, 1 touchdown, 4 passes defensed, 3 stuffs

4. i-9 Yannick Ngakoue, Defensive End, Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5)

  • Statistics: 13 tackles, 4 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 1 interception, 1 pass defensed, 1 stuff

5. i-27 Keanu Neal, Safety, Atlanta Falcons (5-3)

  • Statistics: 49 tackles, 3 forced fumbles, 2 passes defensed, 2 stuffs

 

 

COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR

i-5 Terrelle Pryor Sr., Wide Receiver, Cleveland Browns (0-8)

  • Statistics: 41 receptions, 532 receiving yards, 3 receiving touchdowns, 8 rush attempts, 21 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown
  • Analysis: Terrelle Pryor was cut by the Cleveland Browns before the beginning of last season before resigning with the team later in the year and catching one pass. Now, he is the Browns’ leading wide receiver and is on pace to have a stat line in excess of 80 receptions, 1,000 receiving yards, and 8 total touchdowns. He is the one bright spot in an otherwise extremely weak Browns team, and although that may not seem like a huge deal seeing as how he is on the Browns, what he has been able to do statistically with the four different quarterbacks he has had throwing to him has been impressive. Add to that the fact that he is putting up these great numbers despite coming into the league as a quarterback and having to make the transition to wide receiver. Halfway through the season, there is no doubt that Pryor is the Comeback Player of the Year award frontrunner.
Rounding out the top 5:

2i-8 Andrew Luck, Quarterback, Indianapolis Colts (3-5)

  • Statistics: 198/311 (63.7% completion percentage), 2,284 passing yards, 16 passing touchdowns, 5 interceptions, 36 rush attempts, 209 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown

3. i-4 Le’Veon Bell, Running Back, Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3)

  • Statistics: 69 rush attempts, 344 rushing yards, 30 receptions, 245 receiving yards

4. i-21 Jordy Nelson, Wide Receiver, Green Bay Packers (4-3)

  • Statistics: 31 receptions, 415 receiving yards, 6 receiving touchdowns

5. i-25 Kelvin Benjamin, Wide Receiver, Carolina Panthers (2-5)

  • Statistics: 31 receptions, 467 receiving yards, 4 receiving touchdowns

 

 

COACH OF THE YEAR

i-15 Jack Del Rio, Head Coach, Oakland Raiders (6-2)

  • Analysis: Jack Del Rio has turned this Oakland Raiders team from one of the worst teams in the NFL to one of the serious contenders to win Super Bowl LI. The young offense that he has assembled is already one of the NFL’s finest, and it looks like it may stay that way for years to come. The Raiders’ defense is also a lot better talent-wise than it has been in recent years. Del Rio has always been a great NFL head coach, but he has never made this huge of a difference on a team, and he has been able to do it with a team that was in absolute shambles when he arrived. He is the top coach in the NFL right now, and he is the frontrunner for the Coach of the Year award because of it.
Rounding out the top 5:

2. i-19 Jason Garrett, Head Coach, Dallas Cowboys (6-1)

3. i Bill Belichick, Head Coach, New England Patriots (7-1)

4. i-20 Mike Zimmer, Head Coach, Minnesota Vikings (5-2)

5. i-27 Dan Quinn, Head Coach, Atlanta Falcons (5-3)

 

 

-Asher Fair