This NFL year will go down in history as the Covid Season; delayed games, sidelined players, and non compliance fines will be what most people remember overshadowing some of the truly amazing football we have seen so far. The first half of year has had some amazing comebacks and historic individual performances that showcase why the NFL is the premear sport for the American athlete. Who knows what the rest of the season may bring but here are my predictions for who has won the big awards so far.
MVP – Russell Wilson
Entering his 8th Season Russell Wilson has yet to win the award for Most Valuable Player but what may shock you even more is that he has never even received one vote for MVP in the time either. Leading the league with 26 touchdowns Russ is on pace to throw 50 in one season, a feat that only three people have done in the past. All three (Tom Brady (2007) 50, Peyton Manning (2013) 55, and Patrick Mahomes (2018) 50) won the MVP the same year they reached the historic milestone. With 260 rushing yards currently Russ is on pace to run for over 500 yards as well making us overall offensive production massive. In Season’s past Pete Carroll’s Seattle Seahawks were built on running the football, strong defense, and a conservative playbook. That may have been because of roster construction or what Coach Carroll wanted the identity of the franchise to be but this season he has taken all of caution tape off the Seahawks’ offense. Him and Brian Schotenheimer have created an attack that few can slow down and no one has stopped. They finally are letting Russell show us all how great he can be by taking full command of this dynamic offense.
Defensive MVP Myles Garrett
Last season for Myles Garrett ended in one of the most negatively publicized plays in NFL history and after his return from the indefinite suspension received he is back to prove all of his haters wrong. Currently tied at #2 in sacks with past two time DMVP Aaron Donald, Garrett is with good company now with 9 total Quarterback sacks. The Cleveland Browns have allowed the 6th fewest Passing Yards so far to Offenses this year and Garrett is the corner stone of why it is so hard to pass on the Browns. He is currently creating nightmares for Offensive coordinators this year and he doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Not counting his sacks he has had 13 legal Quarterback hits so far this year meaning he is rushing plays a lot and destroying the pocket for oppenents. Cleveland’s dominant end has also forced four fumbles and recovered two of them, he leads the league in both of those statistics. Myles Garrett took last season personal and he intends to continue to impress this year proving why he deserved the number one overall pick in 2017.
Offensive Rookie of the Year – Justin Herbert
In the Draft last year most of the publicity went to Hiesman Winner and National Champion Joe Burrow deservedly so. Herbert the stoic Oregon Quarterback sat back and only took care of what he could control and after being the third quarterback on the board was ready to play the back up for Veteran Starter Tyrod Taylor. As fate would have it Herbert would be thrusted into the spotlight due to a doctors error and hasn’t looked back since. He has been truly sensational and has showed poise against some of the best competition the NFL has to offer. His highlight moments include almost beating Mahomes and the Chiefs and beating Drew Brees in the storied Super Dome down in New Orleans on Monday Night Football. Herbert has scored at least three TD’s in each of his last 4 games while also averaging 27 rushing yards on 5.25 attempts and it doesn’t seem like he is going to slow down anytime soon. He is currently edging the race for OROY but him and Burrow are going to be on a sprint to the finish line. After already having his bye week Herbert has favorable matchups through the air for the rest of the year (Las Vegas twice, NY Jets, Buffalo, New England, and Atlanta) giving him the edge for the rest of the year. If you are a Chargers fan you should be beyond excited for this young Quarterbacks potential because he truly is special.
Defensive Rookie of the Year – Jeremy Chinn
Last year during the draft process Southern Illinois Safety Jeremy Chinn flew under the radar being drafted after players like Kyle Duggar, Trevon Diggs, and Antoine Winfield Jr. Chinn Joined the Carolina Panthers draft class that was made up of all defensive players and Matt Rhule has made it no secret that he wants his team to play tough. The Panthers have been one of the surprise teams this year and much of that praise is due to the amazing play by the outstanding rookie at Safety in Chinn. His ability to play the run and the pass equally well has made him the Vegas favorite to win Defensive rookie of the year. So far Chin has 67 total tackles, 5 passes defended, and an interception. He also has a tackle for loss and two Quarterback hits meaning he has made his presence felt in all over the field being able to disrupt the game behind the line. Though Chinn has let up a few big plays there is a large learning curve in the NFL that he is adjusting to and I see him getting better and finishing strong. Matt Rhule has faith in his young Safety and it shows in the responsibility that he holds on every snap he plays.