There are a plethora of viable candidates for the 2013 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Some of them are on good teams (like Green Bay Packers RB Eddie Lacy), and some of them are on really, really bad teams (like Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Mike Glennon). So who will win it?
Let’s breakdown some of the candidates:
Glennon will have as a good of a chance as anyone, not only because he plays the premier position in all of sports, but because his stats actually warrant consideration. In five games against some solid defenses, Glennon has thrown for 1,304 yards and nine TDs to go along with his four INTs. His teams’ paltry 1-8 record won’t ever look good though.
San Diego Chargers WR Keenan Allen has become Philip Rivers’ favorite receiver not named Antonio Gates. Through nine games, Allen is second on the team in receiving yards (568) and third in TD receptions (three) to go along with his 38 receptions. There’s a very real chance he could go over 1,000 yards receiving this year, which would be the first time a rookie Bolt did so since John Jefferson in 1978.
Another WR who could win it is the Dallas Cowboys’ Terrance Williams. So far, Williams has 29 receptions for 498 yards (an impressive 17.2 yard average) and five TDs. Considering how lackluster the ‘Boys running game is and how much they’ve been tossing the rock around, Williams should continue padding his already strong stats.
These three guys are very strong candidates, but I don’t think the award will go to either a QB or a WR. I think it’s going to go to one of three running back candidates: Lacy, Giovani Bernard (Cincinnati Bengals) or Zac Stacy (St. Louis Rams).
Lacy started out slow but has really come on strong of late. Through nine games, Lacy has run for 669 yards and four TDs, averaging 4.2 yards per carry, all behind a subpar offensive line. He’s been a throwback grinder, toting the rock more than 158 times (seventh most in the NFL), and has been averaging more than 23.8 carries per game the last six games. With QB Aaron Rodgers out for the next month or so, Lacy is really going to earn his money.
Bernard has also really come on strong after starting out slow. He’s been a threat both on the ground (419 rushing yards, 4.4 ypc and four TDs) as well as in the air (38 receptions, 304 receiving yards and three TDs). As the season goes on, expect him to continue taking carries and playing time away from starter BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
Stacy has been the biggest surprise so far, being an unheralded late fifth round draft pick (12 running backs were selected ahead of him). Through ten games, Stacy has given new light to a once stagnant ground game, pumping out 537 rushing yards (4.2 YPC) and three TDs. The only thing that could potentially slow him down moving forward is a lingering sprained ankle.
So these are the candidates, who should win, at least in my humble opinion. Lacy has the lead at this point, and has the best chance of improving his already strong standing with the aforementioned injury to Rodgers. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him average more than 27 carries a game the next few weeks. If that’s the case, he could churn out a 1,300-yard season.
Still, there’s a lot of season left to shake things up.