The NFL season is at the mid-way point of the year and so far, the New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers lead their respective conferences. Many players young and old have been playing great this year and with another half of the year to go, it will be interesting to see who continues to be great.
It remains to be seen if the Patriots and 49ers will be kings after week 17, but with week 17 on the horizon, NFL awards begin to enter the minds of fans. Here are my NFL mid-season award predictions.
2019 NFL Award Predictions
Most Valuable Player – Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers
Rodgers has been on a tear through the first half of the NFL season. Rodgers has 2,324 passing yards and 16 touchdowns with only two interceptions. He is currently second in the NFL in passing yards and passing touchdowns. Rodgers is third among starting quarterbacks in interceptions behind only Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson. He is also top-five in QBR among quarterbacks with at least 200 passing attempts.
Aaron’s seemingly most impressive stat is that he has led the Packers to a 7-1 record, despite being without Davante Adams for the past several weeks. Rodgers is on pace for over 4,600 passing yards and 32 touchdowns, which will be hard to defeat as his team currently sits with one loss through week eight.
Defensive Player of the Year – Jamie Collins – New England Patriots
The Patriots defense has been incredible this season. They are averaging 7.6 points allowed per game, which is first in the NFL. Having to score an average of eight points to win a football game gives a team an incredible advantage. This is a major reason why New England sits at 8-0 through Week 8. The Patriots have the tools to remain undefeated this season and it starts with their defense. Collins is a significant player and leader of that defense.
Collins has 44 tackles, six sacks, three interceptions, and two forced fumbles through he first eight games of this season. While Collins is not leading in any of these categories, he has a significant amount of each and a diverse impact on the Patriots’ defense. Collins is a threat on every play and is a key veteran leader for the defense. His role will continue to grow with the Patriots and Collins has a solid shot of winning this award due to his impressive stat line and his team’s impressive record.
Offensive Player of the Year – Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers
McCaffrey has had an incredible start to his 2019-20 NFL season. He currently sits at 1,078 yards from scrimmage with 735 of them on the ground. McCaffrey also has a total of 10 touchdowns as well. These numbers put McCaffrey in line to have 2,000 yards from scrimmage and 20 total touchdowns when the season concludes. This would put him in the top-30 performances for yards from scrimmage in NFL history. Being the Panthers’ biggest threat in the rush and the pass while continuing to dominate without Cam Newton at quarterback, are all significant factors that add to the impressiveness of McCaffrey’s season.
Offensive Rookie of the Year – Josh Jacobs – Oakland Raiders
This award will be difficult to vote for if the current landscape for offensive rookies continues on its current path. Jacobs is not the only rookie on offense to impress this season. Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew has been impressive so far and has turned receiver DJ Chark into a serious threat. Also, first-round quarterbacks Kyler Murray and Daniel Jones are continuing to develop as the weeks move along.
Jacobs gets the nod here for his consistency throughout the season and his role not being in question. Jones and Minshew were second options for their respective franchises. Meanwhile, Murray has struggled in some of his games this season. This gives Jacobs the award at the mid-point of the season.
Defensive Rookie of the Year – Nick Bosa – San Francisco 49ers
Nick Bosa has been on a tear to start his NFL career. He is already looking as good as his brother Joey Bosa of the Los Angeles Chargers. Bosa is a key part of the 49ers’ top defense. He is currently tied for the lead in sacks among rookies with Jacksonville’s Josh Allen. Bosa gets the award over Allen due to his team’s success and his ability to affect the pass with his hands. He has two batted passes and an interception this season. Bosa is living up to his second overall pick status so far and if he continues to perform that way, he will be a lock for defensive rookie of the year.
Comeback Player of the Year – Cooper Kupp – Los Angeles Rams
Last season, Kupp suffered a torn ACL against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 10. He had been on pace for 1,000 yards and looked to be a promising receiver in Los Angeles. Kupp worked hard to recover from the serious injury and recovered in time for the start of the 2019 NFL season. Now, in 2019, Kupp has 792 yards and five touchdowns through eight games. This puts him on pace for 1,584 yards and 10 touchdowns. That is an amazing stat line for any receiver, but especially for a receiver coming off of a torn ACL on a crowded offense.
Sean McVay is clearly aware that Kupp has the skills to be a top threat in the NFL. He uses Kupp anywhere he can to help the Rams’ offense succeed. It has also become clear that Kupp is Jared Goff‘s favorite target. Kupp is less than 100 yards and one touchdown away from breaking his career-highs in yards and touchdowns with eight games left. It is safe to say he is going to have a career year and nobody has had a better comeback in 2019 than Kupp.
Coach of the Year – Kyle Shanahan – San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers have been the biggest surprise of the 2019 NFL season. They are currently undefeated and have with that the best record in the NFC. They are also tied with the Patriots for the best record in the NFL. This comes with being in one of the toughest divisions in football. The 49ers run game has been incredible with Matt Breida, Tevin Coleman, and even Raheem Mostert having significant seasons with the 49ers. Jimmy Garoppolo has been solid for the Niners this season and has a habit of winning football games. They also have one of the best tight ends in football with George Kittle.
The 49ers’ biggest contribution to their success is their outstanding defense. Rookie lineman Nick Bosa has been outstanding with seven sacks in seven games. Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman has become a leader for the Niners defense. Shanahan has a significant impact on all of these aspects coming together and putting together a perfect start to the NFL season.
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