Another year is almost in the books and this wouldn’t be much of anything without some hardware given out for a stellar season. Here are my predictions on who will take home some awards for the 2016 season.
1. Most Valuable Player– Matt Ryan: From the beginning of the season, Derek Carr was my front runner to win this award. Then, he, unfortunately, got injured and that opened the door for Matt Ryan and he was second on my list all year long. For years, people wondered if he’d be able to carry a team on his shoulders and this year, he’s shown that he can. The numbers speak for themselves, 38 touchdown passes and only seven interceptions thrown along with completing 69 percent of his passes. The Falcons won their division for the first time since 2012. He finished the season very well throwing 11 touchdown passes and zero interceptions. He hasn’t thrown an interception since December 4th.
2. Coach Of The Year– Jason Garrett: I’ve bounced back and forth and up and down on this subject all year. First, I claimed to give it to Belichick for his impressive work at the beginning of the year, then, Mike Zimmer for having the Vikings at 5-0 then they faltered, Jack Del Rio got some love from me for having the Raiders in a great position and then I gave Adam Gase some love for being a rookie coach and taking a team that started 1-4 to a playoff berth. All them have been good, but I like that coach in Dallas to win this award. What a turnaround for the Cowboys this year. a 4-12 record in 2015 to 13-3 and the top seed in the NFC without a rookie quarterback and rookie running back. It gets no more impressive than that.
3. Comeback Player Of The Year– Jordy Nelson: Without him, the Packers offense was stagnant and ranked at the bottom of the league. Jordy Nelson is your typical receiver that stretches the field from a vertical standpoint. He missed all of 2015 with a torn ACL. In 2016, he and Aaron Rodgers didn’t miss a beat and they showed why they are still one of the best tandems in the NFL today. He had a great bounce back season as he caught 97 passes, 1,257 yards receiving and 14 touchdowns and these numbers were similar to his 2014 year before the knee injury. What a year for one of the best in the business.
4. Offensive Player Of The Year– David Johnson: He put together one of the best seasons I’ve seen from a running back in quite some time. He became one of 11 players to have 2,100 scrimmage yards and 20 touchdowns in a single season which means he has tremendous versatility. With this season of tremendous stats, he joins another running back to record 1,200 yards rushing and 800 yards receiving and that’s Marshall Faulk, that guy was pretty good if you ask me.
5. Defensive MVP– Khalil Mack: I loved watching him at the college level and what he did in school has simply transferred over to a successful start to a great career ahead of him. I love the motor this kid plays with. He had a total of 77 tackles, 11 sacks, four passes defended and one interception. Khalil also had a streak of eight games where he recorded one sack. He became the first player since 2009 to record an interception, sack, forced fumble and touchdown in one game. We could be watching something really special with Khalil Mack. He’s already been named an all-pro player at two different positions.
6. Offensive Rookie Of The Year– Ezekiel Elliott: This could definitely be a two-man race between Zeke and his backfield buddy Dak. Both have put together phenomenal seasons in their first year. The Cowboys took a chance on Elliott out of Ohio State and he didn’t disappoint one bit. He won the rushing title and finished his rookie campaign with 1,631 yards rushing, 318 more yards than any other guy at the position and he didn’t even play in the last game. He was the best rookie in our game in 2016 and he shall be rewarded for it.
7. Defensive Rookie Of The Year– Joey Bosa: Things got off to a rocky start. Not many people were on board with how he handled his contract situation with the Chargers. When he finally signed, it was all football from that point on. He recorded 10.5 sacks, that’s quite the number for a rookie and he accomplished that in just ten games. He was the dominant defensive end that we all expected him to be.