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NFL: Predicting the Award Winners for the 2021 Season

Awards
Mark LoMoglio, The Associated Press Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (22) rushes for a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Tampa, Fla.

A Quick Introduction

The NFL has a few awards that they like to give out every year.  Football fans like to try and predict those awards.  We here at Championship Sports Media are no different.  So, when I thought about doing an article predicting them I was approached by some of my amazing colleagues who wanted in!

So I am joined in this article by Bryce Wolff, who got the idea for a compilation of opinions going, Shane Davis, Jordan Schultz, and Justin Magram!  Four amazing writers here at CSM.  So, we will be breaking down the awards and who we believe will be taking home those honors.  We have included our rationale for each pick we have made.  Who will end up being right? We can’t wait to see!

MVP Award

Bryce: Josh Allen- The Bills signed Allen to a massive 6 year contract  this offseason, proving he’s in their long term plans. They also added Emmanuel Sanders to an already stacked wide receiver room, giving Allen a lot of good targets to throw to. The stars seem to be aligned for Allen in year 4, making him my pick for MVP.

Shane: Russell Wilson- I think that he will have a full MVP caliber season and this will be the season he gets it done and wins the aaward. we wont see a drop in production after the second half of the season.

Steve: Tom Brady- Yup, I think this is the year TB12 tells Father Time that he is no mere mortal.  Surrounded by talent and showing no signs of slowing down Tom Brady is ready to end the GOAT discussion.  Look for him to flirt with the single season passing touchdown record this year.  Godwin, Evans, and Brown are all potential 1,000 yard receivers with Brady at the helm and I expect them to achieve that.

Jordan: Patrick Mahomes- Patrick Mahomes is one of the best players but there is also an argument that could be made about him being best player in the NFL. If he continues playing at the level he has the last several years, he will be an easy pick for MVP. Mahomes has shown the NFL that he’s one of the best QBs in the NFL, he will prove it again. Mahomes has had 3 seasons in a row where he has had 4,000 yards passing. It also is just Patrick Mahomes and will be as great as he always is.

Justin: Josh Allen- Josh Allen took a massive leap this past year and was an MVP contender. Aaron Rodgers fantastic season took that away from him, but it has shown Allen is the real deal. The Bills as a team kept in-tact almost the same team from last season plus the addition of Emmanuel Sanders. Another solid weapon for Josh Allen could lead to even better performance from him.

OPOY Award

Bryce: Alvin Kamara- Offensive Player of the Year is running back dominated  ,historically. Although it’s been pretty even in recent memory, there was a good stretch when it was an award for the backfield. With the evolution of the passing gameand the “running backs don’t matter”stigma, modern backs have had to evolve. This has led to the Kamara’s and McCaffrey’s of the world to make their mark on the NFL. This year, the Saints will be without franchise favorite Drew Brees for the first time in 15 years. This turnover, and the injury to Michael Thomas, will put the bulk of  the offense on Kamara’s shoulders.  Kamara has been crazy efficient since entering the league, and should be able to turn all the touches he’ll get into an eye opening statistical season.

Shane: Derrick Henry- just because i think people drool over his stiff arms and hard running ability. I think he will have a drop in production but still win based off popularity

Steve: Antonio Gibson- Bold? Maybe. Ridiculous? Absolutely not.  Gibson is primed for a “CMC role” in Ron Rivera’s offense and he can handle that role well.  The architect of CMC, Rivera knows what he’s doing.  Gibson is big, strong, fast, and frankly I love the player. So I am going to go ahead and give him his due props.

Jordan: Travis Kelce- Travis Kelce has been seen as one of the best tight ends in the NFL. He also is in the race for must receiving yards in the NFL. Kelce is going to have another great season and with Mahomes as his QB. He has had five seasons in a row with 1,000 or more receiving yards. During the 2020 season he had 1,413 receiving yards, which should just continue into this season.

Justin: Christian McCaffery- Returning from an injury-ridden season McCaffery is going to look to have a major bounce back season. The entire offense is going to run through him once again. He is probably the best receiver that Darnold has ever had funny enough. McCaffery will probably average at least 25 touches a game. So, if he stays healthy it will be his award to lose.

DPOY Award

Bryce: Myles Garrett- This is Myles Garrett’s year to cement himself as the best edge rusher in the NFL. One of the most physically gifted players ever. He has given QBs and OTs fits since he entered the league in 2017. But, between awful rosters, injuries, and suspensions, it’s been hard for Garrett to get enough traction to win the coveted DPOY. This year feels different for Garrett and the Cleveland Browns. They have one of the best rosters in the NFL and should have national attention throughout the season. Perfect time for Garrett to show the world he’s the best edge rusher in the NFL. With all the hype surrounding the Browns and Garrett, it’s hard to not take this guy for DPOY.

Shane:  Aaron Donald- again i think this will be based strictly off of popularity. he shouldn’t have even won it last year

Steve: Brian Burns- The Florida State Product showed what he was last year, a monster.  This year I am calling for him to lead the league in sacks, and even approach the 20 mark.  There might not be a better pass rusher in the game right now than Burns. A take I will own this take if it blows up in my face.  Big, long, fast, and strong, Burns has the tools needed to be a legendary force on the edge.

Jordan: Khalil Mack- Khalil Mack is going to have a comeback season and take the defensive player of the year award. H He has not won it since 2016 when he was on the Raiders. He now has been on the Chicago Bears for a couple years now and had consent seasons. He is going into his 4th seasons on the Bears which means that he has grown with the players on the Bears defense. Mack is hungry for a great season, and I see him having that season.

Justin: Aaron Donald- It seems like every year Donald is in the running for this award, but it just makes sense. He might have the biggest impact on any team’s defense that one player could have. Plus he is a stonewall run stopper and an aggressive pass-rusher. Donald is the perfect mold for a defensive lineman, and he should add another DPOY award to his trophy case.

OROY Award

Bryce: Javonte Williams- Javonte Williams is an uber-talented player with an amazing situation. Running backs reign supreme in the Offensive Rookie of the Year history. In the history of the award, they’ve won 34/54 times, and Javonte Williams has the best chance this year. The Broncos had a pretty good rushing attack last year from an underwhelming crop of backs. Williams will get early snaps and has a chance to carve out a huge role in an offense that could surprise some people next year. He already has a chance at starting running back and only improved his case throughout the preseason. With him already getting time with the 1’s expect him to start in a split with Gordon, but take over game by game.

Shane: Justin Fields-  I think he will be a starter by or before week 4 and will carry the bears to a good playoff appearance and maybe win a game

Steve: Zach Wilson- I would have said Justin Fields if Matt Nagy wasn’t the coach, but he is, so I won’t.  Wilson looks every bit an NFL QB and his arm strength is amazing.  Put that with a new coaching staff in NY and upgraded receivers and I think this could be a strong campaign from the rookie.  He is going to show those highlight throws and add a decent amount with his legs.  Look for him to be fantasy relevant as the year progresses. Also, expect the Jets to be competitive, not good, but better.

Jordan: Trevor Lawrence- Trevor Lawrence was ready for college when he was in high school, and he was ready for the NFL while in college. In college he was one of the best QBs in college and in his 3 season he only lost 2 games. While in college, Lawrence showed that he was ready for the next step in his freshman season. In preseason, he got to show that he is talented and a great pick for Jaguars. Now, Lawrence is going to be starting week one and will show off his skills and why he was the number 1 overall draft pick.

Justin: Najee Harris- This award is probably the hardest to predict. There are so many question marks surrounding all the rookies in this class. There is an insane amount of talent at all the skill positions, but I believe Najee will have an absolute stand-out season. Fields, Wilson, and Lawrence will all be in the running though. Quarterbacks starting in their first year just have more to learn in their first year compared to a running back. Pittsburgh is the perfect fit for Najee Harris too so I really think he will be a monster running the ball all season.

DROY Award

Bryce: Jaelen Phillips- Last year’s draft was one of the first drafts without a clear top Edge Rusher. There was a lot of discussion on who deserved to be taken first out of the group going into it. It ended up being Jaelen Phillips at 18 to the Dolphins. 18 is a pretty low draft spot for a premium position, and I do think Phillips deserved to be the first Edge taken. But, that does not mean he has the best chance at Defensive Rookie of the Year. Joe Tryon fell into a dream scenario. He got drafted by the reigning Super Bowl Champions, and would instantly have a role with them. He took a year off due to COVID, but ended his hiatus with a wowing preseason debut. Tryon has the talent and will get the snaps to win this award.

Shane: Micah Parsons- it wont be hard to be a stand out for the cowboys defense this season, which will help make him look a lot better than he will be, but he will be a solid player and deserve the award.

Steve: Patrick Surtain II- When you are a DB and you get compared to Champ Bailey you are doing something right.  Surtain has shown that he is a lockdown corner and has the upside of guys like Marlon Humphrey, Xavien Howard, and Jalen Ramsey.  A good tackler and lightning fast he is ready for the NFL. I just don’t know if the NFL is ready for him.

Jordan: Micah Parsons- It may be early to tell who will be great their rookie seasons, but Micah Parsons looks like a player that will produce right when they hit that field. When at Penn State, Parsons “led the team in tackles (109, 14 for loss, with five sacks, five pass breakups) and tied for fourth in the FBS with four forced fumbles as a sophomore” (per NFL.com). That just shows you how good a player Parsons is and how good he will be in the NFL. No one as a sophomore could match his skill and he is showing early that he can compete at the NFL level. The Dallas Cowboys have drafted a great player.

Justin: Patrick Surtain II- This one might be a biased pick, but Surtain II has looked fantastic in training camp and preseason. He is already getting noticed as a “reincarnation” of Champ Bailey. It is very hard for a DB to win DROY. But, if he puts together a 6 plus interception season along with a solid number of tackles and pass deflections, I can see him easily winning this award.

Comeback Player Award

Bryce: Dak Prescott- Dak Prescott is coming off an awful injury, but has the talent to be a fringe MVP award contender this year. The guy was on a historic pace last year, and has the same supporting crew to throw to this year. If he has even half the season he was on pace for last season, he should cruise to a CPOY.

Shane: Joe Burrow- I think Joe Burrow will have more of a positive impact on his team this season than Saquon. I could see an argument for Nick Bosa but I don’t think he can beat out a QB for this award

Steve: I have to side with Bryce here, Dak is the guy.  QB’s have an easier time winning awards and this one will be no different.  Add in the devastating image of his injury and the feel good story writes itself.  Prepare for the announce teams talking about it every chance they get and hand the guy the award now.

Jordan: Saquon Barkley- Saquon Barkley is going to be the comeback player of the year award winner. Barkley tore his ACL week 2 of the 2020 season. He will make a huge comeback. The hard work he has done this off season and the willingness to get better and comeback will show. Barkley will comeback better than ever and push past his ACL injury. He will show us all why he is one of the best running backs in the league right now. He will continue right where he left off at the end of 2019 and be even better than before.

Justin: Von Miller- Von Miller missed all last season with a torn ACL and has worked all offseason to come back stronger than ever. The Broncos’ defense is looking scary good this season and Von Miller can return to prime form. He has very few games playing opposite of Bradley Chubb. If they both can stay healthy this will open up many opportunities for him to have a great season.

Coach of the Year Award

Bryce: Ron Rivera- The Washington Football Team were the outcasts of the playoffs last year. They made it in only because their division was terrible, going 7-9 and still winning the NFC East. They were written off instantly, not one person or analyst picked them to beat the Buccaneers. Even with all the hate, they came out there and competed their tails off, and gave the eventual Super Bowl champs a run for their money. This is a huge testament to Ron Rivera, and the hold he has on these players. They will run through a wall for their coach and they proved it when the stakes were the highest. Now, they have a new and improved roster, with additions including Ryan Fitzpatrick, Curtis Samuel and Jamin Davis. Add this talent onto the young core, and this team can easily hit double digit wins. This should be fueling Rivera to a Coach of the Year award.

Steve: Brian Flores- Get ready because the Miami Dolphins are on the upswing.  Brian Flores is a no nonsense, hardnosed, defensive minded coach, and this team is ready for that leap.  His biggest obstacle is going to be Tua, because I just don’t trust that he is very good.  However, with a strong run game and very good receivers he is set up for success.  This team will finish with 10 or 11 wins this year and he will make the playoffs.  That seems like it should be enough for Flores to get his due award.

Jordan: Brandon Staley- Brandon Staley is the new head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers. This is his first head coaching job and he got a team that has great players. With Justin Herbert being only in his 2 season and already showing huge improvement already. Staley has come to a team that is going to have a good season and he will be able to make the team grow as while. Brandon Staley will be coach of the year, because the team he has is going to be much better.

Justin: Sean McDermott- I would say McDermott was in the same boat as his QB Josh Allen when it came to awards this past season. He was in the running, but someone just had a better season than he did and was a rookie coach (Kevin Stefanski). I think the Bills have a fantastic season this year and while there will be a close award race.

Until Next Time

Here at Championship Sports Media, we like to have fun, write from the heart, and give you the best that we have in terms of content and effort.  With that being said, we appreciate your time.  I truly appreciate your time, if you want more fantasy input or advice from me be sure to check out the site frequently.

My teammates here at CSM are amazing as well.  Look for their newest posts on various topics, give the site a follow as well: Twitter linked here, take a look at the shop which is linked here.  Be good, be good to each other, and hopefully our, or at least my, advice leads you to championship results!

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