By Jared Boelter
Aaron Rodgers is the only answer here. He has had one of the best seasons of his career, period. Ending the season with 4299 yards, 48 passing TDs to only 5 INTs, and a passer rating of 121.5. Rodgers now has the second highest quarterback rating for a season all time behind… Aaron Rodgers. He also scored three TDs on the ground. The MVP race was close for a while and Josh Allen made a late push but watching Aaron Rodgers this season was special. His quick release and ability to manipulate the pocket puts pressure on the defense like no one has this season.
Offensive Player of the Year
If you break 2000 rushing yards you are already high on the list of OPOY. Derrick Henry ended the regular season with 2027 rushing yards and 17 TDs, leading the league in both. The offensive line of the Titans mauled in run blocking and Derrick Henry took advantage of it. He is one of the most powerful runners in NFL history. If you get in Henry’s way, he will stiff arm the life out of you or run you over.
Defensive Player of the Year
DPOY is one of the more difficult awards this year. Aaron Donald, TJ Watt, and Xavien Howard all deserve consideration. There are many disruptive players on the defensive side of the ball but probably the most impactful was TJ Watt. He did have better players around him than most in the conversation, however the numbers speak for themselves. Watt has 15 sacks and 55 pressures. While Aaron Donald is very close with 13.5 sacks and 43 pressures from the DT position, Watt wins out this time.
Offensive Rookie of the Year
This is a two-horse race between Justin Jefferson and Justin Herbert. Herbert has the advantage of playing the more important position and breaking the TD record for a rookie quarterback. Justin Jefferson also broke the record for most receiving yards by a rookie receiver. Both have a very good claim to the award, and it is close, but Herbert edges out Jefferson from positional value alone.
Defensive Rookie of the Year
Chase Young gets the nod here. He is a game wrecker off the edge and already a leader of the Washington Football Team. Ending the year with 7.5 sacks and 23 pressures as well as four forced fumbles, he affects the game at every level and will be a top edge rusher in the league for years.
Coach of the Year
The race for coach of the year was close for a while but Kevin Stefanski pulls away with this one getting the Browns over .500 and into the playoffs. Stefanski has finally unlocked the Browns team that everyone was waiting for. Many believed when Odell went out for the year with injury the offense would take a dive, but the offensive line, Nick Chubb, and Kareem Hunt stepped up to run down opposing defenses throats.
Comeback Player of the Year
If anyone is answering this question with someone other than Alex Smith, they are wrong. If he would have only taken one snap this year, he would have won it, but leading a team to the playoffs exceeded expectations. Smith could have died from infection after his injury and is now playing in the NFL again.