Each year the NFL has their end of the season awards, and every year we have one surprise. Let’s also not forget that these awards help players make money through incentives in their contracts. They also helps improve the Hall of Fame resume, and gives fans the chance to have their opinions on their favorite players validated. This year we have some tough races, and others that aren’t even listed. This could be a pretty chalk award ceremony, but I think we hit on the guys that are +odds at the time of this writing.
Comeback Player of the Year: Joe Burrow QB (+110) Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Burrow sadly tore his ACL in week 5 of 2020. But the bonus of that injury was the fact that Cincinnati was able to grab a friend, and someone who played alongside Burrow during his time at LSU, Ja’Maar Chase. The combination of Chase with elevating the line in front of him, we are seeing a Bengals team win the AFC North in week 17, which we haven’t seen since 2015. That narrative should be what propels him to win this award. From the value that he brought to his team to the stats he piled up along the way. He has over four thousand yards, 34 touchdowns and just 14 interceptions. He has the highest completion percentage of any starting quarterback and only Aaron Rodgers has a higher QB rating. Sure, I understand he isn’t the outright favorite, and him missing this final week might hurt his chances some, but let’s not slight the injury he suffered, the stats he accrued, and what he means to his team.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Ja’Maar Chase WR (-250) Cincinnati Bengals
This is might be up there as one of the easiest awards to project. Especially after the 200+ yardage and 3 touchdown game he put up against what was a solid defense on a hot streak. Chase has put up stats that has him in the comparisons of Jerry Rice and Randy Moss in his rookie year. This man is 4th in yards this year with only 79 catches. Meanwhile, the other three above him are over 100 each. He has shown exceptional ball skills, great route running, and a future star in this league. Not to mention how much the Bengals improved with his presence.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Micah Parsons OLB Dallas Cowboys
This award is such a lock, you can’t even bet on it. He is not only having one of the best seasons for a rookie, but he is actually coming in at second best odds in DPOTY voting at +400. His innate ability to get to the QB has helped propel this Dallas defense into the top of many categories. His play alone is also why I like Burrow over Dak for CPOTY. Parsons has elevated that defense to new heights and I think could be equally as responsible for Dallas’ improvements as a team this year.
Coach of the Year: Mike Vrable HC Tennessee Titans (+350)
This is a line or bet you won’t find on every betting platform, so you may need to look past FanDuel or DraftKings for this. Yet, I really like the value you can get some places for Vrable. I know, Zac Taylor has helped the Bengals improve to the 3 seed and win the AFC North, but I think the Bengals struggle a bit with the Browns in week 18 and that will allow the Bills to surpass them and they fall to the 4th seed. Vrable and Titans on the other hand have a crucial game against Houston and with a win, will be crowned the best team in the AFC. This is without their star player Derrick Henry for half the year. This is also without guys like A.J. Brown, Julio Jones, and Bud Dupree for long stretches. No one really projected them to see any type of success once Henry went down, but Mike and the Titans really pulled things together and a crucial, with a win over KC in the early parts of the year which is proving to be the difference maker.
Offensive Player of the Year Award: Cooper Kupp WR L.A. Rams (-110)
This is arguably the toughest choice of them all. It’s been a two horse race since the latter half of the season of Kupp vs JTT. It’s such a close race that it’s looking like a pick ‘em between the two at -110 odds for each. I just think that Kupp will put on in this final week of the season. Johnathan Taylor has been lights out this year. He has carried the Colts to multiple wins himself, and has scored a TD in 11 straight games. Kupp on the other hand leads the league in every single receiving category. With a pretty big game against SF on Sunday, Kupp can actually pass the 2,000 yards receiving mark. He torched this SF team earlier in the year for 11 catches and 122 yards. His ability to always get open, paired with McVay wanting to get his guy this award, will net him a big enough performance to take this in the final week.
Defensive Player of the Year: T.J. Watt OLB Pittsburgh Steelers (-1400)
I mean this isn’t as much of a lay up as Parsons for Rookie of the Year, but TJ has this in the bag. He is extremely close to setting the sack record for the NFL and that’s despite the fact that he missed multiple games this year. He also has shown in moments how he can change the outcome of a game. The play against Seattle, the pressure against Lamar for the failed two points, and the constant problem against Cleveland in Ben’s final home game. Don’t try and be cute. Take TJ in a parlay and watch the money come in.
Most Valuable Player: Aaron Rodgers QB Green Bay Packers (-400)
When you look at all of the other contenders, it’s hard to not see Rodgers winning this award. Tom has a chance, but he also has some serious blemishes on his resume this year. That loss to NO was gross, the Jets holding him back last week, and a failing WFT held him to a serious check. Plus the Bucs are probably gonna finish 3rd or 2nd, to GB. JTT hasn’t showcased the stats that Henry did last year, and he didn’t win it. It’s hard for a WR to win MVP because they technically need a QB to be successful. Burrows isn’t better in Rodgers in a lot of stats and record wise either. Mahomes wasn’t up to his normal standards, so he is kind of in tough position. And lastly, Josh Allen has kind of underperformed to expectations. Despite the rumors of a HOF voter, Hub Arkush, saying he won’t vote for Aaron because he is a “bad guy,” but I think that’s a lot of bull. Aaron Rodgers also came out today and completely torched him in the most humblest of ways, calling him a bum, which I found to be hilarious. This isn’t an award like Walter Payton Man of the year. This is the most valuable player in the NFL. And any other team in this league would be better with Rodgers at the helm. Rodgers has been super efficient. He has also helped lead the Packers to the best record in the NFL. That’s a huge bonus for these end of season awards. Don’t be too cute with it, and maybe take advantage of the those comments coming out, with the line possibly moving even more in our favor because of them.