The day before the Super Bowl, the NFL awards ceremony takes place where the winners of the MVP, Defensive Player of the Year and many more will be announced. So, I thought I’d throw my hat into the ring and say who I think should win each award.
MVP – Aaron Rodgers, Quarterback, Green Bay Packers
The MVP race between Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes came down to the final week, but in the end, the Packers signal caller takes the crown thanks to his consistency throughout the season. In his second year with head coach, Matt LeFluer, Rodgers looked back to his dazzling best. The 37-year-old lead the Packers to a 13-3 record, the number one seed in the NFC and an NFC Championship appearance. He finished the season with the best touchdown to interception ratio, putting up a league leading 48 touchdowns to only five interceptions.
Runner Up: Patrick Mahomes, Quarterback, Kansas City Chiefs
Offensive Player of the Year (Non QB) – Derrick Henry, Running Back, Tennessee Titans
It’s tough not to give this award to Travis Kelce after one of the greatest seasons by a tight end of all time. However, Derrick Henry made history this year by becoming only the eighth player in NFL history to surpass 2000 rushing yards in a single season. It becomes more impressive when you realise he did it with a sub-par offensive line. The former Heisman Trophy winner cemented his legendary status among Tennessee Titans fans this season.
Runner Up: Travis Kelce, Tight End, Kansas City Chiefs
Defensive Player of the Year- Aaron Donald, Defensive Tackle, Los Angeles Rams
What is there to say about Aaron Donald that hasn’t already been said? Donald is one of the greatest defensive tackles of all time and he proved it again in 2020. The 2014 first round pick was talisman of the best statistical defence in the league, clocking up the second most sacks in the NFL this year, something that is unheard of from a defensive tackle. Many other defensive players had outstanding seasons, but none of them match up to the future first ballot Hall of Famer.
Runner Up: Xavien Howard, Cornerback, Miami Dolphins
Coach of the Year – Kevin Stefanski, Cleveland Browns
For around two decades now, the Cleveland Browns were a revolving door of head coaches and quarterbacks, none of them able to rescue this team from the basement of the NFL. However, Kevin Stefanski changed that. In his first season, he did what many of us believed to be impossible, leading the Browns to their first playoff appearance since 2002, and their first playoff win since 1994. It’s staggering to think that only three years ago, this team became only the third team in the Superbowl era to have a winless season, and now they look like a playoff team who’s here to stay.
Runner Up: Matt LaFleur, Green Bay Packers
Offensive Rookie of the Year – Justin Jefferson, Wide Receiver, Minnesota Vikings
Four wide receivers went off the board before the Minnesota Vikings took Justin Jefferson with the 22nd pick. None of those receivers came close to playing the way Jefferson did. The LSU product put up over 100 yards in seven games this season while none of the receivers taken before him put up more than two. Only 16 games into his NFL career, Jefferson already looks like one of the most dangerous receivers in the league.
Runner Up: Justin Herbert, Quarterback, Los Angeles Chargers
Defensive Rookie of the Year – Chase Young, Edge Rusher, Washington Football Team
There’s not much debate here. Chase Young was billed as one of the best edge rushers to come out of the draft in a long time and he didn’t disappoint. The Ohio State product was the star player on defence, putting up 7.5 sacks and helping his side reach the playoffs for the first time since 2015. The future looks bright for Young, as he has the potential to be one of the best defensive players for the next 10 years
Runner Up: Jeremy Chinn, Safety, Carolina Panthers
Comeback Player of the Year – Alex Smith, Quarterback, Washington Football Team
In a year where there were a number of candidates that deserved this award, the story of Alex Smith is the most inspiring. Suffering a horrific knee injury in week 11 of the 2018, it looked like the end of his 14-year career. However, Smith fought through the tough rehab and managed to not only get back onto the field in week five, but also lead the Washington Football Team to the playoffs, a feat that looked nearly impossible midway through the season.
Runner Up: Jason Verrett, Cornerback, San Francisco 49ers
Subedited by George Overhill
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