NFL Mid-Season Award Predictions

  • By Alex Bab
  • November 3, 2020
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Alex Bab

As we reach the midway point of what is arguably the strangest season in NFL history, it’s time to look ahead. Despite injuries, postponements and positive COVID tests, the NFL season continues to move forward. With that in mind, we now have enough information to prognosticate a bit…

At year’s end, some hardware will be handed out to NFL players and we’re going to try to guess them right ahead of time. So here’s our predictions for this years Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year, Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year, Coach of the Year and of course, MVP.

 

Offensive Rookie Of The Year: Chase Claypool – Wide Receiver, Pittsburgh Steelers

Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow were among many first-round draft picks that were vying for the Offensive Rookie of the Year award going into the season. Herbert and Burrow both have outstanding numbers this year, but they are not the Rookie of the Year so far in the NFL. That player wasn’t selected until the second round of this year’s NFL Draft.

The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Chase Claypool out of Notre Dame with the 17th overall pick in the second round. No one knew what to expect of him, besides, he was entering a room full of young talented receivers trying to make their mark. Well, that didn’t phase Claypool one bit.

He has emerged as the top threat for the Steelers so far this year, totaling 375 yards receiving and he has seven total touchdowns. Herbert has more impressive numbers and that cannot be denied, but Claypool has made an undeniable impact for the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers, even garnering the top corner from the opposing team some games. He may not be the best statistical rookie but he surely has the most impactful numbers on a winning team. – Mike Patton

Other Writers’ Selections:

Ab Stanley: Clyde Edwards-Helaire –  Running Back, Kansas City Chiefs

Allen Fields: Justin Herbert – Quarterback, Los Angeles Chargers

Carita Parks: Joe Burrow – Quarterback, Cincinnati Bengals

Courtlandt Griffin: Justin Jefferson – Wide Receiver, Minnesota Vikings

Danny Thompson: Justin Herbert – Quarterback, Los Angeles Chargers

Eric Urbanowicz: Joe Burrow – Quarterback, Cincinnati Bengals

 

Defensive Rookie Of The Year: Julian Blackmon – Safety, Indianapolis Colts

The Colts have been a very good defensive team thus far in the 2020 NFL season and for good reason. This defense is loaded with legitimate young star talent, one of those being Safety Julian Blackmon.

Blackmon has shown his promise alongside last year’s winner Darius Leonard. The third round pick has shown All-Pro level skill as evidenced by his top 10 rating out of all safeties this season. His six pass deflections and two interceptions may not sound like a lot, but he separates receivers from the ball more often than he gets his hands on the ball.

If Blackmon stays on his current pace he could end up with 14+ passes deflected and five interceptions and would be a lock to be Defensive Rookie of the Year. Even without the stats, he is the best defensive rookie this season without question. – Courtlandt Griffin

Other Writers’ Selections:

Ab Stanley: Patrick Queen – Linebacker, Baltimore Ravens

Allen Fields: Chase Young – Defensive End, Washington Football Team

Carita Parks: Chase Young – Defensive End, Washington Football Team

Danny Thompson: Antoine Winfield Jr. – Safety, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Eric Urbanowicz: Antoine Winfield Jr. – Safety, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Mike Patton: Patrick Queen – Linebacker, Baltimore Ravens

 

Comeback Player Of The Year: Ben Roethlisberger – Quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers

When we watched the Pittsburgh Steelers play in 2019, we saw a ravenous defense as usual. What we didn’t see was an offense that could move the ball. The absence of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was extremely evident when you looked at the box score and when looking at team victories.

The 2020 Steelers have the number five scoring offense to go along with that stellar defense. Roethlisberger is averaging 6.6 yards per completion, with 15 touchdowns and only four interceptions. The Steelers are 7-0 for the first time since Terry Bradshaw had hair and Roethlisberger’s return is one of the main factors why. – Ab Stanley 

 

Other Writers’ Selections:

Allen Fields: Alex Smith – Quarterback, Washington Football Team

Carita Parks: Alex Smith – Quarterback, Washington Football Team

Courtlandt Griffin: Ben Roethlisberger – Quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers

Danny Thompson: Cam Newton – Quarterback, New England Patriots

Eric Urbanowicz: Ben Roethlisberger – Quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers

Mike Patton: Ben Roethlisberger – Quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers

 

Offensive Player Of The Year: Derrick Henry – Running Back, Tennessee Titans

Derrick Henry continues to amaze. With the Titans, you know what’s coming and the game plan: a high dosage of Henry pounding the defense and play action. It’s no secret, yet teams have yet to figure it out or stop it. Defenses know to bring a hard hat when playing Tennessee. Opponents only hope is to stack the box and force Tennessee to pass because the other option is unstoppable.

Henry leads the NFL in rushing (775 yards) by over 100 yards and most of his contemporaries have played one more game. He’s averaging almost five yards per carry, unheard of for a man his size. Not only is Henry hard to tackle, he has quick/nimble feet and surprising breakaway speed. And if that’s not enough, he has established a signature move that is highlight worthy: his devastating stiff arm. – Allen Fields

Other Writers’ Selections:

Ab Stanley: Alvin Kamara – Running Back, New Orleans Saints

Carita Parks: Alvin Kamara – Running Back, New Orleans Saints

Courtlandt Griffin: Derrick Henry – Running Back, Tennessee Titans

Danny Thompson: Patrick Mahomes – Quarterback, Kansas City Chiefs

Eric Urbanowicz: Derrick Henry – Running Back, Tennessee Titans

Mike Patton: Derrick Henry – Running Back, Tennessee Titans

 

Defensive Player Of The Year: Myles Garrett – Defensive End, Cleveland Browns

Despite any controversy from last year, when he hit Pittsburgh Steelers’ back up quarterback Mason Rudolph over the head with his own helmet, Myles Garrett has been nothing short of phenomenal. Despite missing six games last year, and all the backlash that’s come from the incident, he’s been able to put it all aside and dominate.

So far through eight games, he’s amassed nine sacks (tied for league lead), four forced fumbles (also tied for league lead) and two fumble recoveries. He’s also tied for third in most pressures with 21, only behind T.J. Watt and Aaron Donald.

From nearly every angle, Garrett has looked like the defensive MVP of the league. He makes all the difference between Cleveland looking good and looking lost on the field. Tying for the league lead in sacks and forced fumbles in the league is great on it’s own. Add to it being third in defensive pressures and you a have a Defensive Player of the Year Candidate. – Eric Urbanowicz 

Other Writers’ Selections:

Ab Stanley: Blake Martinez – Linebacker, New York Giants

Allen Fields: Myles Garrett – Defensive End, Cleveland Browns

Carita Parks: Aaron Donald – Defensive Tackle, Los Angeles Rams

Courtlandt Griffin: Aaron Donald – Defensive Tackle, Los Angeles Rams

Danny Thompson: T.J. Watt – Linebacker, Pittsburgh Steelers

Mike Patton: Myles Garrett – Defensive End, Cleveland Browns

 

Coach Of The Year: Mike Tomlin – Pittsburgh Steelers

Yes, Tennessee’s Mike Vrabel’s team was undefeated, Pete Carroll’s Seahawks are leading the NFC West and Andy Reid’s Chiefs are in first place. But the best coaching job so far this season does not belong to any of them. It has been Mike Tomlin and his job with the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

In a division that has the Baltimore Ravens, it’s the undefeated Steelers that lead the division. Pittsburgh is fifth in the league in points scored and fourth in points allowed. His starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has started every game and only have four interceptions. On defense, they have a league leading 30 sacks a team and not only are they forcing turnovers but they are converting on them as well. 

After 14 years as the head man in the Steel City, this will be the one that will Tomlin to get his first NFL Coach Of The Year award. – Danny Thompson

Other Writers’ Selections:

Ab Stanley: Brian Flores – Miami Dolphins

Allen Fields: Matt Nagy – Chicago Bears

Carita Parks: Mike Vrabel, Tennessee Titans

Courtlandt Griffin: Mike Vrabel – Tennessee Titans

Eric Urbanowicz: Matt LaFleur – Green Bay Packers

Mike Patton: Kliff Kingsbury – Arizona Cardinals

 

Most Valuable Player: Russell Wilson – Quarterback, Seattle Seahawks

Russell Wilson is off to one of the best performances of his career. He has led the Seahawks to a 6-1 start, with the only loss coming in an overtime nail-biter. Wilson’s stats also support his MVP campaign.

Through seven games, he has amassed 2,151 yards, 26 touchdowns, and only six interceptions. It is also worth mentioning that Wilson broke the NFL record for touchdown passes through the first three games of the season, then tied the four-game touchdown record a week later against the Miami Dolphins.

Over his career, Wilson has been named to seven Pro Bowls and has started in two Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl XLVIII. He holds the record for most wins by an NFL quarterback through seven seasons (75) and is one of two quarterbacks in NFL history with a career passer rating over 100, behind Aaron Rodgers.

Despite these accolades, Wilson has never received a single MVP vote. Although Wilson has had strong starts in the past with a less talented roster, this year will be different for him with all the weapons he has around him on offense. Plus, it is clearer than ever that now is Russell Wilson’s time to shine.  – Carita Parks

Other Writers’ Selections:

Ab Stanley: Russell Wilson – Quarterback, Seattle Seahawks

Allen Fields: Russell Wilson – Quarterback, Seattle Seahawks

Courtlandt Griffin: Russell Wilson – Quarterback, Seattle Seahawks

Danny Thompson: Russell Wilson – Quarterback, Seattle Seahawks

Eric Urbanowicz: Russell Wilson – Quarterback, Seattle Seahawks

Mike Patton: Russell Wilson – Quarterback, Seattle Seahawks

 

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