Football is here! The defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots kick off the season against the Kansas City Chiefs today. It’s been a long offseason, but the NFL is finally back. You can read the NFC preview here, and the AFC preview here.
Today is all about awards and the Super Bowl. MVP, Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Rookies of the Year, all of that and more.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: There are a few good candidates for the award this year. Running backs Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffrey, and Dalvin Cook should all play huge roles in their respective teams offense this year. DeShone Kizer is starting at QB for the Browns, the only rookie QB starting the season.
Prediction: RB Dalvin Cook – Cook comes into a Vikings offense looking to replace one of the greatest running backs of all time, Adrian Peterson. That’s a tough task, but Cook should be getting a ton of carries this year. Plus, Cook is a good pass catcher, and Sam Bradford loves check down throws.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Myles Garrett was drafted first overall by the Browns and looked amazing in preseason play. However, Garrett is battling a high ankle sprain and is likely to miss the first two games of the season. So maybe there is an opportunity for someone else to snatch up this award. Besides Garret, I like Reuben Foster’s chances. He should get plenty of tackles in San Francisco, and people will take notice.
Prediction: DE Myles Garrett – Lets not overthink this. Garrett might miss the first couple of weeks, but Joey Bosa won this award last year after missing the first four games. When Garrett is on the field he is going to preform.
Comeback Player of the Year: This award is usually reserved for players returning from injury.
Prediction: DE J.J. Watt – I predicted Watt to lose out to Bosa for DPotY, but he gets his due here. Watt is an incredible player, and he has garnered a lot of good will for his amazing effort to raise money for Hurricane Harvey victims. Watt almost seems like a lock for this award.
Offensive Player of the Year: Offensive Player of the Year is a bit of a strange category. The vast majority of MVP’s are offensive players. In fact, in the history of the award only three MVP’s were not offensive players. Even weirder, MVP and Offensive Player of the Year are often different players. It’s a bit of a head scratcher. However, Matt Ryan and Cam Newton won both MVP and Offensive Player of the Year the past two years.
Prediction: QB Tom Brady – I predicted that Brady would lead the the Patriots to a league best 14-2 record this season. The Patriots offense is loaded with weapons: Gronk, Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan, and all four of the running backs the team will trot out weekly. Brady is going to put up huge numbers this year.
Defensive Player of the Year: J.J. Watt has won this award three times in the last four seasons, is he about to win his fourth? Watt is the favorite to win the award in Vegas, but he is coming off of a season where he played just three games after suffering a back injury. Can he get back to his old self and win the award?
Prediction: DE Joey Bosa – Bosa didn’t play until Week 5 last year due to a contract dispute, but still managed to win Defensive Rookie of the Year. Bosa was a force for the Chargers last season, and imagine what he can do with NFL experience and a full training camp under his belt. J.J. Watt might be the safe bet here, but Bosa is a beast and should tear it up this year.
Most Valuable Player: As discussed earlier, MVP and Offensive Player of the Year are sometimes the same, and sometimes different players. I picked Brady for Offensive Player of the Year, and I fully expect him to win MVP as well. Other possible candidates include Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers, and I like Kirk Cousins as a dark horse.
Prediction: QB Tom Brady – I think Brady has a season that rivals his best ever, and he’s had some pretty incredible seasons. He’s one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, and despite being 40 he’s shown little sign of slowing down.
Super Bowl Prediction: I picked the New England Patriots to face off against the Green Bay Packers in the Super Bowl this season. In the end, I expect the Patriots to repeat as Super Bowl champions, the third title for the team in four seasons and first repeat Super Bowl winner since the Patriots did it in 2004 and 2005.