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Some time ago, I wrote an article titled “Five Bold Predictions for the 2017 NFL Season”, where I made some predictions for the NFL. Well, most of those either haven’t been announced or they were flat-out wrong. One of my predictions that I made were my preseason picks for awards, such as MVP. Going into week 14 of the 2017 NFL Season, here is my updated predictions.
Most Valuable Player
Preseason Pick : Tom Brady, Quarterback, New England Patriots
Current Pick : Tom Brady, Quarterback, New England Patriots
It’s pretty simple. Brady is 40 years old, and is leading the NFL in passing yards, with 3,632, tied for second in passing touchdowns, with 26, and has only thrown 4 interceptions. With 4 games left in the season, he is currently on pace to throw 4,843 yards, and 35 touchdowns. No quarterback is playing better football than the ageless wonder Tom Brady. This award is his to lose.
Other Possible Candidates: Carson Wentz (QB, PHI), Russell Wilson (QB, SEA)
Offensive Player of the Year
Preseason Pick : Tom Brady
Current Pick : Tom Brady
See my previous point. Enough said.
Other Possible Candidates: Carson Wentz, Russell Wilson, Antonio Brown (WR, PIT)
Defensive Player of the Year
Preseason Pick : Landon Collins, Strong Safety, New York Giants
Current Pick : Demarcus Lawrence, Defensive End, Dallas Cowboys
Lawrence currently leads the NFL in sacks with 13.5. He has been an absolute force on the field and has been the brightest part of a lowly Dallas Cowboys season. While this race is closer than OPOY and MVP, I expect to see Lawrence win the award this year.
Other Possible Candidates: Calais Campbell (DE, JAX), Eric Weddle (SS, BAL), Chandler Jones (OLB, ARI)
Offensive Rookie of the Year
Preseason Pick: Deshaun Watson, Quarterback, Houston Texans
Current Pick: Alvin Kamara, Running Back, New Orleans Saints
This one hurts to write, because this award would have absolutely gone to Watson if he didn’t tear his ACL earlier in the season. But Kamara has been incredible this season, spearheading a Saints’ run game that has never looked this good alongside Mark Ingram II. Kamara has only ran for 606 yards, but that’s because he has split carries with Ingram. Some might argue that he shouldn’t because of him splitting carries, but the 7 touchdowns speak for themselves.
Other Possible Candidates: Leonard Fournette (RB, JAX), Kareem Hunt (RB, KC), Juju Smith-Schuster (WR, PIT)
Defensive Rookie of the Year
Preseason Pick : Myles Garrett, Defensive End, Cleveland Browns
Current Pick : Marshon Lattimore, Cornerback, New Orleans Saints
There have been a lot of injuries to what could have been a great defensive rookie class. Stars like Garrett and Malik Hooker have suffered injuries that have sidelined them or taken them out for the season. Amid this, Lattimore has stood out among the rest as a lockdown corner in a newly-revived Saints defense. Lattimore has been lockdown all season and I think he’s a safe bet for DROY.
Other Possible Candidates: Derek Barnett (DE, PHI), Myles Garrett, Deatrich Wise Jr. (DE, NE)
Comeback Player of the Year
Preseason Pick : JJ Watt, Defensive End, Houston Texans
Current Pick : Keenan Allen, Wide Receiver, Los Angeles Chargers
In a career riddled with injuries, Allen finally seems to be having a season where he has been healthy and is showing his true colors once again. He has caught 77 Passes for 1,032 and 5 touchdowns, and has once again returned to his dominant self.
Other Possble Candidates : Rob Gronkowski (TE, NE)
Coach of the Year
Preseason Pick : Bill Belichick, New England Patriots
Current Pick : Sean McVay, Los Angeles Rams
The Los Angeles Rams finished 4-12 under head coach Jeff Fisher in their first season back in Los Angeles, leading to his firing. In comes Sean McVay. McVay, the youngest head coach of all time, has turned the 4-12 Rams into the currently 9-3 team we see at the top of the NFC West, and fighting for the top seed in the NFC. The Rams are currently the fourth best overall offense in the NFL and the top scoring offense. There are plenty of coaches who have shown potential for this award, but I believe McVay is the best pick.
Other Potential Candidates: Bill Belichick, Doug Pederson (PHI), Doug Marrone (JAX), Sean Payton (NO), Mike Zimmer (MIN)
What are your predictions for the awards this season? Let me know on Twitter @IamMCusick.