Predictions: Who Will Win What Award?
As the NFL draws closer to the annual award ceremony, here is my take on who gets what.
We all know that he is getting this award. Peyton Manning led the Broncos record-breaking offense to an NFL record 601 points in a season. He threw for 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns, both NFL records. He was like another coach to the Denver Broncos. Aided by his receivers and backs, Denver terrorized their opponents in every game they played, earning a 13-3 record and the first seed in the NFL playoffs. They started off the season 8-0. Manning’s quick release helped him be the least sacked quarterback in the league this season. He stood tall in the pocket even when he was battered by defenders. He played through high-ankle sprains on both legs and still didn’t skip a beat. That is why I think Peyton Manning is going to be the NFL’s offensive player of the year.
Defensive Player of the Year: Earl Thomas, FS, Seattle Seahawks
No matter what it seems like, Earl Thomas is the heart of this Seattle Seahawks number 1 defense. If anybody tries to get past him, he’s going to teach them a thing or 2 about that. He’s been constantly messing up opponents’ plays and taking over at the line of scrimmage. And yes, he’s still great in coverage. Without Thomas, Seattle’s Legion of Boom secondary wouldn’t be where it is today. The team wouldn’t even be where it is today. That’s how vital this guy is to this organization. He should have this award in the bag.
I am so happy I got this one off my back. It took so much time and thinking to choose between Eddie Lacy and Keenan Allen. I just think that Lacy deserves this one more. Sure, Allen took over in the second game for the injured Malcolm Floyd and became Philip Rivers’ favorite target as the season went by, but Lacy did more. After Aaron Rodgers was injured, the very next game his backup was injured. Eddie Lacy had to play with 4 quarterbacks… 4! He didn’t skip a beat. He carried this Packers team on his back and led all rookies in rushing. He had over 20 touches in 10 different games and went over 1,000 yards for the year. Prior to this, the Packers couldn’t run the football at all. Now they have someone who can go consistently over 100 yards and take the pressure off of Aaron Rodgers. Without Lacy, Green Bay wouldn’t have come close to the playoffs. I’m sure the Bears wish that Green Bay didn’t draft him.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Kiko Alonso, LB, Buffalo Bills
Alonso really impressed me this season. He had 4 interceptions, 2 quarterback sacks, and 159 total tackles. 159! Alonso has made plays this year that you only see from Troy Polamalu. I mean jumping over lineman and making a tackle! He had 22 tackles against the Cincinnati Bengals. Alonso has blossomed into a star and could turn into one of the best middle linebackers in the league along with Luke Kuechly and the 49er duo of Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman. He’s just that good.
Coach of the Year: Andy Reid, HC, Kansas City Chiefs
When you can turn a 2-14 team into an 11-5 playoff squad, you have some skills. Once he took over the organization, he traded for Alex Smith, which was one of the smartest decisions he made that year. The year that Kansas City went 2-14, they had 6 pro bowlers. 6! And they still couldn’t win games. Andy Reid used that talent well and turned Kansas City’s defense into one of the most feared units in the NFL; he soon got the offense going as well. This one really shouldn’t require any debate. Andy Reid deserves to be Coach of the Year.
Comeback Player of the Year: Alex Smith, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
This was a really hard one to decide. It could’ve been LeSean McCoy, Fred Jackson, or even Brian Orakpo. I think Alex Smith deserves it the most. After suffering a concussion last year, Smith lost his starting job with San Francisco to his former backup Colin Kaepernick. In spite of this, Alex Smith was a winner. With a 19-5-1 record over 2 years, someone had to be interested in acquiring him. Guess what? Andy Reid did. He traded two draft picks for Smith. Smith then came in and helped in the Chiefs turnaround as he took them to an 11-5 record and into the playoffs.
NFL MVP: Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos
He’s earned this award also, and this will be his 5th MVP award, an NFL record. Peyton Manning rewrote the record books this year and almost set the record for most completions in a season. He threw an NFL record 7 touchdowns in a game back in week 1 against the Baltimore Ravens. A lot of people say that it’s just the receivers and the skill that he has on his team, but that’s not true. You need a great QB to make it all function. Just look at what happened to one of the best receivers in the league, Larry Fitzgerald, in 2012. He had a horrible season with just 4 TDs because the Cardinals couldn’t find a quarterback. Peyton’s just that kind of guy. He locked up this award before the season was over. You don’t get 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns and not get anything. This award is already on Peyton’s shelf.
I can’t wait to watch the NFL awards show.