Written by Carter Weissenfluh
As the first half of the NFL season has flown by, I think it is time to acknowledge those who have had a tremendous start to the season. I am going to list who I believe is deserving of the highest individual awards you get when competing in the NFL, including Defensive and Offensive Player of the Year, Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, and the NFL’s Most Valuable Player.
First, I would like to start off with Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are starting to click on all cylinders, and their young secondary has been a big part of that. Cornerback Antoine Winfield Jr., who was drafted in the 2nd round by the Buccaneers, has been the Swiss army knife for one of the top-rated defenses. He lines up at safety, cornerback, and linebacker and is incredibly versatile allowing the Buccaneers to adjust to any offense they see. For the offensive side of the ball, I would have to go with Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow, with Justin Herbert as a close second. During his time with the Bengals thus far, Burrow has helped the team reorganize and start to become competitive again. His contributions should be recognized as he continues to shape into a young leader for the team.
Now, I would like to address Defensive and Offensive Players of the Year. This time we’ll start on offense. Alvin Kamara of the New Orleans Saints is my pick for multiple reasons. The first being he is on pace as a running back to have 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving. If he does, he will only be the 4th player in NFL history to put up those kinds of numbers. Also, the Saints have had to rely on Alvin Kamara more with the injury of Michael Thomas and Drew Brees digressing as a quarterback. On the defensive side of the ball, I decided to pick Cleveland Browns’ stud pass rusher Myles Garrett, who is tied for first with Aarom Donald in sacks. I decided to pick Myles Garrett because it seems like every week he is sacking a quarterback and he has been taking the ball away with four forced fumbles. If he keeps on this pace, he is certainly deserving of the award.
The next awards I would like to touch on are Comeback Player of the Year and Coach of the Year. For Comeback Player of the Year I decided to pick Steelers Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. After missing the majority of the 2019 season, he has led the franchise to their first 7-0 start since 1978, where they ended up winning the Super Bowl. Roethlisberger hasn’t played as well as other top quarterbacks but is a part of the only undefeated team left this season. For Coach of the Year, I am going to stick with the Steelers’ franchise and give the award to Mike Tomlin. Coach Tomlin is very deserving of this award considering all he has done with the Steelers this season- leading them to be a Super Bowl contender. Additionally, he has never had a losing season as the head coach of the Steelers.
Lastly, the Most Valuable Player Award. They are two front runners for this award, and you couldn’t go wrong with either Patrick Mahomes or Russell Wilson. Based on the first half of the season, both quarterbacks led their team to a 7-1 record in their respective conferences. However, I am going to pick Wilson because he is currently on pace to throw for 60 touchdown passes, which has never been done before. He also has held the team at the number one seed in the NFC and put the Seahawks franchise on his back.