The NFL Regular Season is over and it is time for a preview of who will take home the awards. Ten ISH writers voted on the awards and these are the results.
Offensive Rookie of the Year:
Odell Beckham JR. – New York Giants (7 votes)
Odell Beckham was absolutely stunning this year. After missing the first 4 games due to injury, Beckham tore up team after team. He caught 92 passes for 1305 yards and 12 touchdowns. Also, every week Beckham made at least one spectacular catch including a 55 yard one handed touchdown while being pulled down against Cowboys in Week 11. Odell Beckham will be making the highlight reel the rest of his career. In fact, he might even own the highlight reel.
Others receiving votes: Jeremy Hill (1), Zach Martin (2)
Defensive Rookie of the Year:
Aaron Donald – St Louis Rams (5 Votes)
Aaron Donald quietly put together a fantastic rookie season for the St. Louis Rams. He recorded 37 tackles and 9.0 sacks during the year. He also forced two fumbles and had 2 pass deflections. He helped the St Louis defensive stop huge teams such as the Seahawks and the 49ers.
Others receiving votes: Khalil Mack ( 3), CJ Mosley (2)
Breakout Player of the Year:
Le’veon Bell – Pittsburgh Steelers (8 Votes)
Le’veon Bell had a phenomenal sophomore season for the Steelers. He rushed for 1,361 yards and 8 touchdowns, and caught 83 passes for 853 yards and 3 touchdowns. Bell was a threat in the air and on the ground. He ran routes out of the backfield like a receiver and made men miss in the open field. His most important stat of the year though, 0 fumbles on the season.
Others receiving votes: Desmond Trufant (2)
Coach of the Year
Bruce Arians – Arizona Cardinals (7 votes)
The Arizona Cardinals held the best record in the NFL for most of the season. However, the injury plague hit them hard and they finished the year 11-5 with a first round exit in the playoffs. Although the Cardinals were playing with a 3rd string QB and multiple other backups, Arians kept the team competitive and focused. If this team stays healthy next year, anything is possible.
Others receiving votes: Mike McCarthy (2), Bill O’Brien (1)
Defensive Player of the Year
JJ Watt – Houston Texans (8 Votes)
Watt was so dominant this year that he won more than one award (see below). Plus, take a look at this (Song NSFW)
Others receiving votes: Earl Thomas (2)
Offensive Player of the Year
DeMarco Murray – Dallas Cowboys (7 Votes)
Demarco Murray was absolutely fantastic this year for the resurgent Dallas Cowboys. He rushed for over 1800 yards and scored 13 touchdowns. He also had over 500 receiving yards from Tony Romo. Murray could have had 2000 yards but played injured the last couple of weeks. Murray helped turn the Cowboys into a playoff team, and if he stays healthy, will be a strong candidate for this award next year again.
Others receiving votes: Aaron Rodgers (3 Votes)
Most Valuable Player
JJ Watt – Houston Texans (7 Votes)
JJ Watt should be the league MVP hands down. In week 11, I wrote an article stating his case, and he continued to impress after that as well. He recorded a stat in 12 major different categories (Tackle, TFL, FF, FR, Sack, INT, Offensive TD, Defensive TD, Reception, Pass Deflection, Safety, Blocked Kick). Most defensive players would be happy with a stat in 6 of those categories. Watt helped turn a 2-14 team into a 9-7 team that just missed out on the playoffs. Yes, Rodgers had a great year, but while other quarterbacks have put up his numbers, no defensive player has ever done what Watt did this year.
Others Receiving Votes: Aaron Rodgers (3)