2015-16 NFL Awards Predictions
Greetings, SQ fans! The 2015 NFL season is upon us and a lot of you may be wondering what prestigious awards certain players are going to collect. Well, I am wondering too, and I have made a list of who I think the award winners will be. So, without further ado, let's get started!
MVP: Andrew Luck (QB, Indianapolis Colts)-Did you know that Andrew Luck has more passing yards in his first three years than any other quarterback in NFL history? The Stanford grad had extremely high expectations entering the league and he has not disappointed. He has taken the Colts to the playoffs in his first three years, advancing farther into the playoffs each year.
This year, he not only has his favorite receiver TY Hilton (who just signed a big contract) to throw to, but he also has veteran receiver Andre Johnson who spent the majority of his career with the Houston Texans. Together, this wide receiver duo could help Luck achieve his best statistical year ever. In addition, running back Frank Gore was added to the mix and should take pressure off of Luck's hands (Luck was 3rd in the NFL in pass attempts in 2014, likely a result of Indy's overall terrible running game, causing him to throw the ball a lot).
Offensive Player of the Year: Andrew Luck-As mentioned before, the wide receiver duo of TY Hilton and Andre Johnson could help Luck achieve his best statistical year. Although he is prone to turnovers, I believe Frank Gore will be able to prevent that. He is by far the best running back that Andrew Luck has had and he should be able to lessen the load on Luck's shoulders and help his turnover rate go down.
Defensive Player of the Year: Earl Thomas (FS, Seattle Seahawks)-This might be a bold prediction. Although widely considered to be the best safety in the NFL, Thomas is considerably underrated. He doesn't get a whole lot of attention from the media, particularly because he does his job on the field and keeps his mouth shut off of it. But make no mistake, Thomas is the glue that holds the infamous Legion of Boom secondary together. I predict that Thomas will become the first defensive back to win Defensive Player of the Year since Troy Polamalu five years ago.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Melvin Gordon (RB, San Diego Chargers)-The San Diego Chargers finished with the 30th ranked rushing attack in 2014. Melvin Gordon should change that immediately. The former Wisconsin Badgers running back was an absolute beast in college, setting records in carries taken to reach 2,000 rushing yards in a season (241) and career average rushing yards per carry (7.79). He was selected by the Chargers as the 15th pick in the 2015 NFL draft and I believe he is going to give Chargers fans a lot to be excited about.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Eric Kendricks (LB, Minnesota Vikings)-Kendricks was recognized as the best linebacker in college in 2014, winning the Butkus Award and Lott Trophy. The 2nd-round pick should impact a potentially loaded Vikings defensive squad right away especially with the help of head coach Mike Zimmer who has arguably the best defensive mind in the game. It is a bold prediction, however, as a player who was picked past the 1st round has not won this award since DeMeco Ryans, a 2nd-round pick, won it nine years ago.
Coach of the Year: Mike Zimmer (Minnesota Vikings)-I don't know about you guys, but Zimmer is the kind of coach that I would love to have. He is a no-nonsense guy who expects nothing but the best from his players. In his rookie season with the team in 2014, he guided them to a respectable 7-9 record with a rookie quarterback and without Adrian Peterson.
The defense improved tremendously under him, going from 31st in 2013 to 14th in 2014. With a full year under Zimmer's system, the defense should be even better in 2015 and be potentially top ten, maybe even top five. Also, AP is back and Bridgewater, who had a very solid rookie season, is poised to take his skills to a new level in his 2nd season. Don't sleep on the Vikings.
Comeback Player of the Year: Sam Bradford (QB, Philadelphia Eagles)-The last time Bradford played a full season was in 2012. He has since torn his ACL twice. He was recently traded from the Rams to the Eagles and is expected to be the starting quarterback for the Eagles. Why is Sam Bradford injury prone? My answer: because he played behind a terrible Rams o-line, that's why.
Philly's o-line is easily better and cold give Bradford the protection that he needs. It's important to note that in 2013, he was on pace to finish with his best season before tearing his ACL. In seven games, he finished with 1,687 passing yards, 14 touchdown passes, and four interceptions (projected to be 3,856 passing yards, 32 touchdown passes, and 9 interceptions in a full 16-game season). When healthy, he is a very solid quarterback.
What do you think of this list? Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comment section! And thanks for reading!