05 September 2012

2012 NFL Awards Predictions

Will Aaron Rodgers repeat as NFL MVP?
The 2012 NFL season kicks off tonight at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford. So I think it is a good time to give you some awards predictions, right?

2012 NFL Predictions

Most Valuable Player - Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Not a name you have seen a whole lot of in terms of awards prognostications this season, as far as I can tell. I really think Big Ben is going to have a very strong season, I think he will perform very well in Todd Haley's offense. Plus, I believe he has to have a strong season for Pittsburgh to be a Super Bowl contender; the running game could be inconsistent due to Rashard Mendenhall's injury troubles plus the defense, while still very good, is not as good as it has been in the past. Roethlisberger will take advantage of his really good receiving corps, led by Antonio Brown and Mike Wallace, to take MVP.

Offensive Player of the Year - Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals
I really think that Fitzgerald is going to put together a huge season in 2012. Believe me, I understand that John Skelton is not a great NFL quarterback. But he did such a better job getting the football to Fitzgerald last season than Kevin Kolb and now as the Cardinals finally have a legitimate threat opposite Fitz in rookie Michael Floyd, plus an inconsistent running game means that Fitzgerald will get a lot of opportunities down the field.

Defensive Player of the Year - Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, New York Giants
If you have got a talented pass rusher off the edge coming out of college, you want him to go to the Giants as they have shown great skill in developing athletic defensive ends. And Pierre-Paul is the best of a very good crop. We knew he had freakish talent coming out of USF and now he is putting it all together. He put up 16.5 sacks as a 22-year-old and with the line he is on, and given how opponents are likely to pass due to the Giants' mediocre secondary, 20 sacks are a legitimate possibility.

Offensive Rookie of the Year - Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins
I initially was going to go with Trent Richardson for this award but I do have concerns about his health but that said, I think Griffin III will a great job turning Washington into contenders in the NFC East. Griffin will be able to adapt well initially thanks to his intelligence and his incredible athleticism plus I think Mike Shanahan will take advantage of RGIII's big arm to stretch out defenses. Washington should be a lot better this year thanks to a presence of an NFL quarterback.

Defensive Rookie of the Year - Morris Claiborne, CB, Dallas Cowboys
As we have learned over the past several years, if not longer, cornerback is one of the toughest positions for rookies to adapt to the NFL. But I really think Claiborne is going to have a terrific season and that is because I think teams will want to test the LSU rookie and not go after his counterpart, Brandon Carr, and I think that he will get a lot of opportunities to get interceptions this year.

Coach of the Year - Lovie Smith, Chicago Bears
The expectations are higher for the Chicago Bears in 2012 after some very smart offseason moves like bringing in Brandon Marshall and Michael Bush but I think that the Bears will deliver. You will see a new swagger out of this Bears club and they will push the Packers in the NFC North and become a legitimate Super Bowl contender this season.

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