Coach of the Year
Mike Vrabel | Titans, HC
The Titans sit atop the league through 10 weeks of football and have quality wins over the Rams, Bills, Chiefs and Saints. At 8-2 they are undefeated in the AFC South with 2 wins against the Colts and still have a pair of games against the Texans, as well as matchups against the Dolphins and Jaguars to cap off their season. It could be an overreaction to say the Titans are the best team in the NFL right now, but they have an easy enough schedule to finish off the season with the 1 seed and bye week…and could have a fresh Derrick Henry making a miraculous comeback in the playoffs.
Assistant of the Year
Kellen Moore | Cowboys, OC
The Cowboys had a rough go with injuries in 2020, but have bounced back on offense this season and currently average 434 YPG and 31.6 PPG, both league bests through week 10. The most outstanding part about that success is the phenomenal balance, as the Cowboys rank 4th in both rushing YPG and passing YPG. Moore is getting the most out of his superstars as Elliott (663 yds, 7 TDs), Dak (20 TDs) , CeeDee Lamb (726 yds, 6 TDs) and Amari Cooper (583 yds, 5 TDs), who all rank towards the top of the league in their respective positions.
Offensive Player of the Year
Cooper Kupp | Rams, WR
Derrick Henry still leads the league in rushing yards (937) and is second in TDs (10), despite missing the last two games due to an injured foot. Reports originally said he could be back as soon as week 16, but if the Titans have the one seed locked up they could hold him out until the playoffs. Henry was in the race for MVP until the injury occurred, but now at the very least, he needs to be considered for this reward regardless of missing half of the season…the pace he was on was historic. Jonathan Taylor had a slow start to the season through 3 weeks, but has bounced back and has averaged 109 yards and 1.3 TDs per game since. Despite these two AFC South RBs having remarkable starts, Cooper Kupp has been absolutely electric through the air and through 10 games has racked up 85 receptions for 1,141 yards and 10 TDs. Although it will be an uphill battle without teammate Robert Woods for the rest of the year, Kupp is still on pace for 1,939 yards, which would be him just 25 yards shy of the NFL season record.
Defensive Player of the Year
T.J. Watt | Pittsburgh, Edge
Shaq Thompson is a bit of a sleeper here and despite being the heart and soul of the number 2 defense in the league, I don’t think he has the star power to win this award. T.J. Watt has played just 8 games this season, but is a half sack back from the league lead with 12.5 and is one of the reasons why Pittsburgh may be able to make a postseason bid. To also go along with those sacks, Watt has 29 tackles, 4 pass deflections, 3 forced fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries. Another player that has gained a lot of ground among “fanalysts” has been Trevon Diggs, highly due to his 8 interceptions this season. While that is an incredible state, he has been one of the worst cover corners in the league this season (outside of the spark plays) and also is leading the entire NFL in penalties. I cannot justify putting a player the calibre of Trevon Diggs in the running, just because he benefitted from playing Mike Glennon, Taylor Heinicke and Sam Darnold. This award could be a two man race between AFC North Rivals Watt and Garrett, but I am going with Watt here.
Offensive Rookie of the Year
Ja’Marr Chase | Bengals, WR
No disrespect to Mac Jones (the media favorite/golden child), but Ja’Marr Chase might not only be the top rookie in the league, but he is also becoming a top 10 WR in the entire league. Burrow’s favorite target has hauled in 44 receptions for 835 yards and 7 TDs. Not to mention, he is on pace to break the rookie season yardage record, which has been unbreakable since 1960.
Defensive Rookie of the Year
Micah Parsons | Cowboys, DE
Parsons’ leads all rookies with 7 sacks through 9 games and has a quite impressive win rate of 24.8% while pass rushing. Analytically, Parsons has also been crushing it as he has clocked in a pass rush rating of 92.1, which trails only Maxx Crosby and Myles Garrett. Teams were hesitant to throw a top 10 pick on Parsons after he sat out a season and was a bit of a LB/DE tweener, but he is absolutely making the most of the opportunity the Cowboys have put him in. Not only should Parsons run away with this award, but he also could find himself in the Pro Bowl and All Pro running.
Comeback Player of the Year
Dak Prescott | Cowboys, QB
If you are one of the many fans who hates the Cowboys, then this is not your year for awards. Prescott went down with a nasty ankle injury last season against the Giants and was 100% healthy and good to go for the Week 1 matchup with the Buccaneers on Thursday Night Football. Dak has thrown for 2,300 yards and 20 TDs, all while completing a career high 70% of his passes. He has led the Cowboys to a 6-2 record while starting this season and has a stranglehold on the NFC East. Barring any setbacks in the division, Dak should run away with this award.
Most Valuable Player
Tom Brady | Bucs, QB
It’s miraculous that he is still putting up the numbers that he is, but it is not one bit surprising. Brady leads the NFL in TD passes (27) and is in third place for passing yards (2,870), which is even more impressive considering the Bucs have already had their bye week. Currently it is hard to imagine the Bucs winning the Super Bowl again, especially since they have been on a losing streak since October 24 (classic recency bias)…but if anyone can, it is Brady. Immaculately, Brady is off to the best start of his career…at age 44…and is on pace to break both the TD (57) and passing yards (6,098) in a season marks…oh and did I mention he also threw his nostalgic 600th (600th!!!) Touchdown this season? Go ahead and package this award up for Brady, because he will not be in attendance for the awards ceremony…whether he is competing for a Super Bowl or not.
NFL ALL Pro Team
QB: Tom Brady (TB)
RB: Jonathan Taylor (IND)
WR: Cooper Kupp (LAR)
WR: Tyreek Hill (KC)
TE: Travis Kelce (KC)
OL: Trent Williams (SF), Tyron Smith (DAL), Zach Martin (DAL), Wyatt Teller (CLE), Corey Linsley (LAC)
Utility: Cordarrelle Patterson (ATL)
LB: Shaq Thompson (CAR), Bobby Wagner (SEA), Eric Kendricks (MIN)
DE: Myles Garrett (CLE), TJ Watt (PIT), Haason Reddick (CAR)
DT: Aaron Donald (LAR), Cam Heyward (PIT)
CB: Jalen Ramsey (LAR), J.C. Jackson (NE)
S: Kevin Byard (TEN), Jordan Poyer (BUF)
K: Chris Boswell (PIT)
P: Michael Dickson (SEA)
PR: Devin Duvernay (BAL)
KR: DeAndre Carter (WAS)