03 September 2013

2013 NFL Awards Predictions

For the first time since 2006, the Most Valuable Player of the National Football League was not a quarterback. On the basis of his incredible season in which he not only came very close to breaking the season record for rushing yards but also carried the Minnesota Vikings to the playoffs for the first time since 2009, Adrian Peterson was honored with the award. Can he repeat? Or will we revert back to the trend of quarterbacks winning MVP? And how about the other awards? Here are my predictions for 2013.

MVP - Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
With all the distractions surrounding the Aaron Hernandez fiasco and Rob Gronkowski's latest injury nonsense, and with the departure of Wes Welker among others, many folks are expecting a down season from Brady. Those folks are wrong because we have learned to never doubt Brady. He is going to have yet another big year, the team is going to be a Super Bowl contender yet again and Brady is going to bag himself another MVP.
Runner-Up - Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans

Offensive Player of the Year - Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
Words just may not be able to describe how key the return of Sean Payton will be for not just the Saints, but especially for Brees. And even without Payton's playcalling brilliance, Brees put up huge numbers last year, although with a nice helping of interceptions. But with Payton back in town, look for Brees to make a run at having one of the all-time great seasons by a quarterback, and I mean that.
Runner-Up - Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions

Defensive Player of the Year - Luke Kuechly, MLB, Carolina Panthers
There are a lot of strong candidates to win this award, but I think that Kuechly, who was sensational a year ago as a rookie, truly is a star in the making at linebacker and for an inconsistent Carolina defense. Now as he should actually have something not awful in front of him at defensive tackle, he will not have to shed blockers as much and have much more room to read and react. He'll have a brilliant campaign in 2013 and snag this award.
Runner-Up - J.J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans

Offensive Rookie of the Year - Tavon Austin, WR, St. Louis Rams
For me, this was a pretty tough decision between Austin and Gio Bernard but ultimately, I went with the former. There is a reason why Austin was one of the more sought after prospects in the draft and it was because he is sensational with the football in his hands. The Rams do not have a lot of proven targets at receiver plus do not have much at running back so they will be looking to get Austin the ball a variety of ways, and he will make the most of it.
Runner-Up - Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

Defensive Rookie of the Year - Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
Count me as one of the folks who simply could not understand why Jones fell so far in the draft, all the way down to the Steelers at 17. However, talk about a perfect fit, and therefore as the club all of a sudden had a need for pass rushers and they probably got the best one in the draft. I think a reasonable expectation for Jones is double-digit sacks and I think he will play a big role for Pittsburgh this year.
Runner-Up - Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU

Coach of the Year - Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints
This season, we are going to see the effect that Payton has on this club. The team was a mess last year, starting 0-4 en route to a 7-9 finish, with an interim coach (Joe Vitt) and an interim interim coach (Aaron Kromer). Payton is a tremendous playcaller and I think as a result, Drew Brees is going to have an awesome year as I stated earlier, and this will be a club that bounces back strongly with their coach back.
Runner-Up - Bill Belichick, New England Patriots

Comeback Player of the Year - Brian Cushing, ILB, Houston Texans
For me, I think that this award is going to a defensive player, both with ties to the great state of New Jersey, and that would be Cushing or Revis, but I think that Cushing has the edge. That is in part because I think that while Revis will be excellent, quarterbacks will test his fellow corner, rookie Jonathan Banks, and also because I think that Cushing, at a crucial spot in the Texans' 3-4, will have a big year coming back from his torn ACL.
Runner-Up - Darrelle Revis, CB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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