Predicting Every Major 2014 NFL Award
Every Major NFL Award Predicted Along With Runners-Up
Saturday night, prior to Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVIII, the NFL will announce its major awards for the 2013-2014 season. Reflecting on the year as a whole, we have seen some pretty incredible things take place.
Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos have dominated headlines, but are more than deserving of all the attention. Manning had the year of his career while he and the Broncos broke record after record, week after week. Is Manning the unanimous vote for this year’s MVP? I think so, but will he also take home Offensive Player of the Year?
2013 was a year that we saw many rookies find significant roles right away. One of them, Eddie Lacy, found himself in the Pro Bowl in his very first season after rushing for over 1,000 yards and putting up double-digit touchdowns. Does he have competition for the Offensive Rookie of the Year?
How about on defense? Who will take home Defensive Player of the Year? With so many deserving candidates, it will be interesting to see how the voting shakes out. There may even be two guys from the same team finishing in the top of the voting – that team, being the team representing the NFC in the big game.
Also to be announced Saturday night will be the Defensive Rookie of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year and Coach of the Year. Outside of anything Manning-related, there is an argument for why certain guys deserve each of those honors. Here are my predictions for each major award, including the top runners-up.
Comeback Player of the Year: Runner-Up
After coming off of a torn Achilles, Brent Grimes started every game for the Miami Dolphins this season. He finished with 60 total tackles, four picks and a defensive touchdown. More importantly, he was clearly a top-10 cornerback in his comeback year.
Comeback Player of the Year
Darrelle Revis began his new journey with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after tearing his ACL, and like Grimes, he played all 16 games this year. The lock-down corner may not have gotten much attention, considering he played for a poor team in 2013, but he continued to show he is one of the top cornerbacks in the game despite coming off a major injury.
Coach of the Year: Runner-Up
After the Carolina Panthers began the year 1-3, Ron Rivera and his club went on to finish the season 12-4 by way of an 8-game winning streak following their third loss of the year. This was supposed to be the year that Rivera and Cam Newton finally proved what they were capable of, and winning the NFC South in such fashion was more than enough to do so.
Coach of the Year
You all know the story by now. The Kansas City Chiefs were coming off of a 2-win season, and really didn’t change much coming into 2013. Andy Reid and his new quarterback Alex Smith proved to be the difference. Reid took the Chiefs to a record of 11-5 after winning their first nine of the year, while finishing with one of the better defenses in the AFC. 2013 was quite the showing for Reid, and he deserves this award 100 percent.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Runner-Up
Keenan Allen became Philip Rivers’ favorite target once injuries began to plague the offense, but clearly he was worthy of it. Allen put up 1,046 yards on 71 catches in his rookie season to go with eight touchdowns. He solidified himself as a reliable wideout and a legitimate threat to defenses.
Offensive Rookie of the Year
It is hard to argue with Lacy for this award. After the injury to Aaron Rodgers, Lacy’s value was shown more so than ever. He finished his rookie campaign with 1,178 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns, along with 257 receiving yards. The big-bodied back was crucial in the Green Bay Packers’ NFC North title, as he gained yard after yard late in the season. Lacy was as dependable a back the Packers have had in recent years, and will only get better.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Runner-Up
Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson helped the New York Jets maintain a league-leading 3.4 yards-per-carry average on opposing running backs. His presence on the line was the number one key in the Jets stopping the run all year long and also added 3.5 sacks.
Defensive Rookie of the Year
It is incredibly hard not to give this one to Buffalo Bills linebacker Kiko Alonso. Many consider him a snub from the Pro Bowl, and justifiably so. He led all rookies with 159 total tackles. Alonso also rounded out his rookie season with four interceptions, two sacks, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble. He was by far and away one of the premier linebackers in the league this year.
Offensive Player of the Year: Runner-Up
If it wasn’t for a certain quarterback breaking records this year, Jamaal Charles would have this award locked up. Charles ran for 1,287 yards and piled on 693 receiving yards. 19 total touchdowns, including a historic 5-touchdown performance in week 16, were a career-high for him.
Offensive Player of the Year
This season seems repetitive, with Manning dominating seemingly every football conversation all year long. But, the fact of the matter is, Manning was by far the best offensive player in the game in 2013. It’s tough to disagree – no, it’s impossible. He deserves every record and accolade he receives this season.
Defensive Player of the Year: Runner-Up
Robert Quinn led the NFC with 19.0 sacks on the year, good for second in the entire NFL. He also forced seven fumbles, recovered two and combined for 57 total tackles. I wouldn’t complain if Quinn took home the honors, but this next guy had just a tad better season.
Defensive Player of the Year
Robert Mathis had virtually zero help around him in terms of the pass rush, and wound up with a league-high 19.5 sacks. Mathis also forced eight fumbles and ended the year with 59 total tackles. This was by far the best year of his career, and Mathis certainly deserves the recognition.
Now, this really feels repetitive. But, it’s very difficult to see how the Chiefs would have scored any points this year without Charles. When it comes to pure value, and the team being completely different without his presence, Charles is high up there and should absolutely be one of the top contenders to take home MVP.
There is not much else to talk about. You’d swear they were making up certain records that Manning and his Broncos broke this year, but they were all legit. There is absolutely no question, Manning should be the unanimous NFL MVP.