NFL Honors Predictions and Titles Awards

NFL Honors Predictions and Titles Awards

Edward (Tommy) McMahon, Reporter

The NFL Honors quickly come around the corner as the NFL enters the unique 2020-20 Playoff Rounds come to a close, after going through one of the most bizarre seasons in NFL history. During this time many all-time records and milestones were accomplished earning players spots as the most elite players in history and 2020, possibly earning awards such as MVP, OPOTY, DPOTY, and the rookie awards. Some players dominated this year and these are the predictions for these prestigious awards.

 

Most Valuable Player (MVP)

Throughout the course of the steller 2020-2021 season players such as Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes both had MVP seasons breaking milestones and records along the way. Our first choice for the MVP award would be Aaron Rodgers, with an amazing season that is among the greats. Maintaining a 121.5 passer rating, almost breaking the record of 122.5 which is also held by Rodgers, passing for over 4299 yards, and throwing for 48 touchdowns with only 5 interceptions. Rodgers was an unstoppable force on the field leading his team to a 13-3 record, completing 70.7% of his passes, and also having an odd stat of scoring more touchdowns throughout the packers team than they punted and kicked field goals. If Rodgers is to win this award, he will be the sixth player in NFL history to win the award three times. Cementing himself not just one of the greats this year, but all time. 

 

Patrick Mahomes is most likely the runner up for the MVP award this season. The one in a million talent player did have an outstanding season, leading the chiefs to a 14-2 record, the highest in the 2020 season, and throwing for over 4,740 yards and 38 touchdowns with a passer rating of 108.2. Despite beating Rodgers in yards, he did not overcome Rodgers touchdowns and lack of interceptions having 6 interceptions total, damaging his player rating. If Rodgers were not to win the award for whatever reason you can expect Patrick Mahomes to earn his second league MVP of his career. Though there were stellar performances throughout the league, Aaron Rodgers seems like the stand out candidate for the 2020-2021 NFL MVP.

 

Offensive Player of the Year (OPOTY)

Similar to the MVP candidates these two players have outperformed their competition all year long, breaking what were once thought as unbreakable records, and simply dominating at their positions. Our first candidate is Derrick Henry, the Tennessee Titans star running back. The Alabama product rushed for over 2,,027 yards with a total 17 rushing touchdowns with only 5 fumbles on the season. An impressive stat was that he averaged 5.4 yards per carry after contact when the league average rush per attempt was just 5. He also outran 23 NFL teams in total rushing yards by himself, being only the sixth player in NFL history to rush for over 2,000 yards. An impressive 2020 campaign by Derrick Henry had some experts placing him in the NFL MVP race, however very unlikely he will win the award he still holds a very strong case for OPOTY.

 

Travis Kelce on the other hand also has a very high chance of winning the OPOTY, which would make Kelce the first tight end to ever win, and the first player since Jerry Rice for a non quarterback or running back to win the award. Kelce will most likely win the award if Derrick Henry falls short for non quarterback players. Being one of Kelce’s best seasons so far, 2020 saw him accumulate 1,416 receiving yards, breaking the all time receiving record for tight ends, catching 11 touchdowns, and not once fumbling or turning over the ball all season long. Not only did Kelce have an amazing year on the field, but he was also nominated for the 2020 Walter Payton Man of the Year off the field. The Kansas City Chiefs tight end was also named First Team All Pro capping off one of the most consistent, dominant, and powerful seasons a player has had at the tight end position ever in NFL history.

 

Defensive Player of the Year (DPOTY)

With such great offensive play around the league, you would think the defenses were just getting run over, but quite the contrary. The defenses around the league had score and turnover happy  seasons leading to roughly 30 plus defensive touchdowns and 600 plus takeaways throughout the regular season. The top defenses of the year being the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Los Angeles Rams led by the two top Defensive Player of the Year Candidates defensive tackle Aaron Donald, and outside linebacker TJ Watt. Both players having outstanding seasons Aaron Donald takes the top pick for DPOTY.

 

Aaron Donald, of the Los Angeles Rams, had an extreme impact on every play recording 13.5 sacks, 14 tackles for loss, and 26 qb hits. Though he did not lead the league in these categories this year, following closely behind TJ Watt, he continuously drew double and triple teams allowing his team to thrive and making the LA Rams the number one defensive line and defense in the NFL for 2020. With such dominance he grabs the attention of the entire offense trying to stop him from making a play. This allowed Leonard Floyd who previously only recorded 3 sacks with the Bears to sky rocket to 10.5 sacks on the season, and Morgan Fox went for merely 2 sacks to 6 sacks. Though Aaron Donald didn’t have one of his signature seasons always leading the league in sacks, tackles for loss, and forced fumbles. Due to his effectiveness with such attention going his way, being the only defensive player to draw multiple triple teams throughout every single game this season, from all offenses around the NFL. This earns him the number one pick for DPOTY. 

 

TJ Watt described by the Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin as, “visiting from another planet” barely describes the impact TJ Watt had on the Steelers defense. Watt would terrorize the backfeild recording 15.0 sacks and 23 tackles for loss, leading the NFL. TJ Watt also had 53 tackles on the season, and only one interception. These kinds of stats are indeed out of this world, however the only reason he is not the top choice is because of his impact on his defense. Though he did have a great season no other steeler had a major impact in the backfield, other than Cam Heyward. Whereas Aaron Donald, because of his presence allowed for other players on the defense to significantly improve their level of play while maintaining his own.

 

Offensive and Defensive Rookie Of the Year (OROTY/DROTY)

The 2020 rookie class was filled to the brim with talent ranging from all positions throughout the NFL. Many rookie players like James Robinson, the Jacksonville Jaguars running back, ran for over 1400 yards breaking the franchise record and falling just 100 yards short for the all-time rookie record. Browns rookie Offensive lineman Jedrick Wills, dominated at his position only allowing 1 sack all season, and helped pave the way for one of the best run games in the NFL. These are just a few examples of the talent in 2020 for rookies however the two OROTY candidates are Chargers QB Justin Herbert, and Vikings Wide Receiver Justin Jefferson. On the defensive side of the ball for rookies was quite lackluster, with the only standout player being Chase Young.

 

Offensive Rookie of the Year (OROTY)

Justin Herbert is the most likely candidate to win, because it is very hard to argue with quarterback statistical numbers. Tallying up a total of 4,336 yards, 66.6% completion rate, 31 TDs, 10 INTs (234 rushing yards, 5 TDs). Despite having a very inconsistent coaching staff, leading to the firing of head coach Anonthy Lynn, the rookie star set a total of 6 rookie records including passing touchdowns, total touchdowns, completions, multiple-passing-touchdown games, three touchdown  games and total 300 yard passing games. The young Chargers star gave hope to the organization, after many years of falling short of the playoffs and losing records.

 

Justin Jefferson is the only other candidate that comes close to win the award. The LSU product had a slow start in the first three games but then exploded on the scene setting his own mark for receiving yards in a rookie season with 1400 plus yards, shattering NFL legend Anquan Boldin’s record that was untouchable for 16 years. Jefferson also recorded 88 catches setting a new franchise team record for rookies, putting him ahead of Hall of Hamer Randy Moss. Jefferson finished the year with 7 touchdowns and seven 100-yard games and will be a major factor going forward for the Minnesota Vikings. 

 

Defensive Rookie of the Year (DROTY)

Defensively rookies did not have a major impact, though there were several that made big splash plays throughout the season, only one player consistently was making an impact. Chase Young, drafted by the Washington Football Team, acquired 44 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, and 1 defensive touchdown. The product out of Ohio State was dominant on the Defensive line constantly making it in the backield pressuring the quarterback, causing missed throws and plays. Leading rookies with 7.5 racks, Young also had 10 tackles for loss, 12 quarterback hits, and one forced fumble that he caused allowed him to score his first NFL touchdown. Though the Washington Defense is full of star talent, Chase Young continues to show why he was taken number 2 overall in the 2020 NFL draft.