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My picks for the 2014 NFL awards.
Comeback Player of the Year.
For me, this one is easy.
Nobody has comeback to play at a high level like Patriots tight end, Rob Gronkowski.
After an injury-shortened 2013 where Gronk only caught 39 passes for 592 yards and 4 TDs, Gronkowski has explode in 2014.
His season did start slowly, he didn't even sniff 50 yards receiving as he recovered from his injury.
But then, in Week 6 against the Bengals, he had 6 catches for 100 yards and a score.
Since then, the Patriots have won 9 of 10 games, scoring an average of 28 points a game.
From 39 for 592 and 4 TDs to 76 for 1,093 and 11 TDs with two games remaining... It's not a stretch to say he came back.
The Patriots are a big Super Bowl favorite as the sun begins to set on this season, and a lot of the credit absolutely has to go to the best tight end in the game.
Defensive Rookie of the Year.
This was a tough choice.
Who do you give it to?
Inside linebacker C.J. Mosely? His numbers are decent but he's also surrounded by too much talent to be held solely responsible.
Cornerback Kyle Fuller? He's grabbed multiple interceptions and played pretty well this year, but he's also been burned multiple times and disappeared against good teams.
For me, it has to be Oakland's Khalil Mack.
Mack may only have a handful of sacks, but he also leads the NFL in tackles for a loss.
That's pretty incredible for a rookie playing with a defense hampered by injury and a lack of talent. I'd say that's pretty freaking amazing.
Offensive Rookie of the Year.
It's gotta be a receiver right?
I mean, no runningback has made a huge impact, and it's not like there are any truly special tight ends from this draft class.
And then we get to the QBs, and it's a hot mess.
Everyone has their favorite.
Personally I'm a Derek Carr guy. I think he's done the most with the least of any of the rookie QBs.
But mediocre numbers and a two win season aren't flattering companions for a QB.
Some people like Bridgewater's potential.
Some people think Bortles will turn it around.
Hell, some people still have faith in Johnny Clipboard.
I wish narrowing it down to receivers made it easier.
People were really high on Kelvin Benjamin early in the season as he caught everything Cam Newton was throwing.
A lot of people have fallen in love with Odell Beckham Junior and his crazy catches. His numbers aren't bad either.
But for me, I'm going with Tampa Bay's Mike Evans.
Why Mike Evans?
I mean, his numbers aren't as good as Beckham or Benjamin, and he doesn't have as many highlight catches.
Aye, I think it's pretty obvious that the media will give it to Benjamin.
Here's why I chose Evans.
He's the only receiver in the top 25 (yards) who has less than 60 catches.
That means he does more with less than any other receiver in the NFL.
His 11 touchdowns are tied for third in the NFL, and he's done it all with Josh McCown at QB.
He has three games with multiple receiving touchdowns, and with his rare combination of size and speed, I believe he has the most pure potential of rookie receivers.
Defensive Player of the Year.
I chose Elvis Dum- I'm just kidding.
Obviously it's JJ Watt.
I shouldn't even have to explain why.
Despite playing at 3-4 defensive end, Watt continues to dominate the NFL as one of the premiere pass rushers.
And he did it all without basically any help on the defensive front.
Not to mention, he's deflected 10 passes, forced 3 fumbles, returned 1 fumble for a touchdown, and caught three passes for touchdowns on offense.
Offensive Player of the Year.
"What?! Not Aaron Rodgers?!"
Not Aaron Rodgers.
Aaron Rodgers is terrible on the road.
I mean... Okay... Not terrible, but nowhere near the player he is at home.
While he's at home, Rodgers is undefeated and has passed for 23 TDs, 0 INTs, and 2,105 yards.
On the road?
He's won only three of seven games and has passed for 12 TDs, 5 INts, and 1,729 yards.
I want my offensive player of the year to be able to play anywhere.
I can pretty much cross the Packers of my list of contenders if they have to travel at all, especially if they have to travel to Seattle.
I picked Tom Brady because he only has Gronkowski on offense, and has played ridiculously good football. His numbers aren't as good as Peyton or Lucks, but he also has fewer interceptions and better efficiency stats (such as completion percentage and yards per completion).
Coach of the Year.
It's gotta be Bruce Arians.
Even though he's already won the award, there's no question that he deserves to win it.
Despite losing his starting and back-up quarterbacks and playing with questionable talent, Arians has taken the Cardinals from draft fodder to playoff team.
They probably won't win the division, and may not last very long in the post-season, but in a highly competitive AFC West, Arians got Drew Stanton to the post-season.
It came down to JJ Watt and Tom Brady and between the two, JJ Watt does something that you almost never see.
There are three or four guys in the NFL who d something like what Tom Brady does.
Rodgers, Manning, and Luck are all guys who lead their team to post-season success with statistical prowess.
But can anyone else do what Watt does?
Does anyone else come close?
The answer is no.
There isn't another pass-rusher in the league who was as absolutely dominant as Watt was this year.
In one game this year, Watt sacked the QB, forced a fumble, recovered the fumble, and then caught a touchdown pass later in the drive.
The fools in the media may give it to Rodgers, but absolutely nobody deserves it more than Watt.