2022 NFL Award Predictions

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2022 NFL Award Predictions
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 14: Micah Parsons #11 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates after sacking Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons during the second quarter at AT&T Stadium on November 14, 2021 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

At this moment in time, with the playoffs in full swing, not many people are paying attention to the end-of-season awards that will be revealed in just under a month. The voting has already been finalized, so here are my 2022 NFL award predictions for the winners and the runner-ups in all the categories.

There is only one rule: quarterbacks are not in the conversation for offensive player of the year to make it a bit more exciting and unique.

2022 NFL Award Predictions

Offensive Player of the Year (OPOY)

Winner: Cooper Kupp, Wide Receiver, Los Angeles Rams

Cooper Kupp was only 17 yards off the receiving yards record, albeit having one extra game than Calvin Johnson had in 2009. But, his 1,947 yards and his 145 receptions are both Rams records and his 145 receptions are only five fewer than the record, set by Michael Thomas in 2019.

Runner-Up: Jonathan Taylor, Running Back, Indianapolis Colts

Taylor has revolutionized this Colts team, turning them from a middling team to an (almost) playoff team. He had over 500 more yards than second-place and had 20 all-purpose touchdowns, netting 18 rushing and two receiving. He just didn’t have as much of a record-breaking season as Kupp had.

Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY)

Winner: TJ Watt, EDGE, Pittsburgh Steelers

With 22.5 sacks this season, TJ Watt has equalized the single-season sack record set by Michael Strahan and that alone makes him my DPOY. His four-sack performance in Week 17 against the Cleveland Browns was an unbelievable game and allowed him to tie the record in Week 18.

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Runner-Up: Aaron Donald, Interior Defensive Line, Los Angeles Rams

You can never keep Donald too far from this conversation. With 12.5 sacks, Aaron Donald has carried on his legacy as the best defensive player in the NFL right now. Donald gets double-teamed as much as any other defensive lineman and has still managed double-digits sacks, along with four forced fumbles and 19 tackles for loss.

Offensive Rookie of the Year (OROY)

Winner: Ja’Marr Chase, Wide Receiver, Cincinnati Bengals

Ranking fourth in receiving yards and ranking third in receiving touchdowns, Chase was the easy pick here. Chase had a red-hot start, but he slowed down from Week 8 to Week 15 having only 284 yards. Luckily, he recovered and had an otherworldly final two weeks of the season, having almost 400 yards and three touchdowns over only two weeks.

Runner-Up: Mac Jones, Quarterback, New England Patriots/Creed Humphrey, Center, Kansas City Chiefs

Mac Jones has easily been the best rookie quarterback, taking on a “game manager” role in New England, and he has excelled in that role and led the Patriots back to the postseason. But, his 13 interceptions and his inconsistent performances drop him down to joint runner-up.

If this award was truly not position-based, Humphrey would be the OROY. He has come into the league and bolstered a Chiefs offensive line that has been extremely solid this season. After slipping to the second round, he has proved his worth in giving up a pressure rate of only 1.3%. I have no idea how he did not make either an All-Pro team or a Pro Bowl roster spot.

Defensive Rookie of the Year (DROY)

Winner: Micah Parsons, Linebacker/EDGE, Dallas Cowboys

Hands down the easiest choice here. Parsons has had an all-time great rookie season for the Cowboys. He has recorded double-digit sacks and 20 tackles for loss and even had three pass breakups. He has played everywhere in this Cowboys defense and should be in the defensive player of the year conversation

Runner-Up: Patrick Surtain II, Cornerback, Denver Broncos

Surtain has had a very good season for a rookie cornerback, but will not get the credit he deserves due to Parsons’ dominance. He has had four interceptions and 14 pass breakups as part of a Broncos secondary that has been very strong. Surtain has shown all the evidence needed to be sure that he will be a good cornerback in the future.

Comeback Player of the Year (CPOY)

Winner: Joe Burrow, Quarterback, Cincinnati Bengals

In one of the most difficult choices, Burrow comes out on top. Burrow, on the back of an ACL/MCL tear in his rookie season, has thrown 36 touchdowns and thrown for over 4600 yards. He has also led the Bengals to the playoffs and secured them their first playoff victory since 1991. He has shown his worth over the past few weeks, with 13 touchdowns and no interceptions since Week 13.

Runner-Up: Nick Bosa, EDGE, San Francisco 49ers

An ACL tear in his sophomore season left Nick Bosa out for the whole season. Bosa has since recovered and put up an incredible season in the Bay Area, racking up 15.5 sacks and 21 tackles for loss, and has been the leader for a 49er defense that qualified for the playoffs.

Coach of the Year (COTY)

Winner: Zac Taylor, Cincinnati Bengals

After having a disastrous 2020 season going 4-11-1, Zac Taylor was firmly on the hot seat after accumulating a 6-25-1 record over his first two years. But in year three, Taylor took a huge step forward to a 10-7 record and an AFC North title. This can be accredited to the recovery of Burrow and the selection of Chase, but Taylor has been overseeing this transformation and completely deserves this honor.

Runner-Up: Matt LaFleur, Green Bay Packers/Mike Vrabel, Tennessee Titans

Matt LaFleur needs some credit for what he has done in Green Bay. Despite the talent of the team that he inherited, the Packers had had a 13-18-1 record over the two seasons before he was hired and LaFleur has led them to a 39-10 record over his first three years in Wisconsin. The reemergence of Aaron Rodgers as an MVP candidate and the rise of Davante Adams have been the highlights of his three-year span in Green Bay.

Mike Vrabel deserves a lot of praise for the Titans’ season. Following the injury to star running back Derrick Henry in Week 8, many people thought that the Titans would collapse and miss out on the playoffs, but Vrabel has led the team to a 6-3 record since the injury. In addition to this, the Titans got the number one seed despite the aforementioned injury.

Most Valuable Player (MVP)

Winner: Aaron Rodgers, Quarterback, Green Bay Packers

Is this surprising to anyone? At the age of 38, A-Rod has put up very good numbers with over 4,000 yards and over 35 touchdowns. But what is most surprising is his interception percentage, which is under 1%, having thrown only four interceptions all year, of which two came in the first game of the season. His 13-3 record will also bode well for him as MVP.

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Runner-Up: Tom Brady, Quarterback, Tampa Bay Buccanneers

Brady, at the old age of 44, has put up over 5,000 yards and over 40 touchdowns in Tampa Bay. That is ridiculous. Brady, who will probably go down as the undisputed GOAT when he retires, has been unbelievable for the last 20 years and he shows no sign of stopping. The reason why he is not my prediction for MVP is that his supporting cast is so strong and he also threw three times the number of interceptions that Rodgers threw.

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