The NFL regular season is over, and the fight for the Lombardi trophy begins this weekend. The NFL Awards are given out in February, but I can’t wait, so here are my 2021-2022 NFL Award winners!
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Rodgers won MVP last season, and his play hasn’t fallen off this year. He has led Green Bay to a third straight 13 win season and secured the top seed in the NFC and home-field advantage in the playoffs. He led the league in QB rating with 111.9 and ranked among the league leaders after completing 68.9% of his passes for 4,115 yards, 37 touchdowns, and only four interceptions. After throwing two picks in week one versus New Orleans, he threw two the rest of the season…it’s like he’s playing Madden on pro. Tom Brady finished a close second for me and may win the award himself after leading the league in passing yards and passing touchdowns and setting the NFL single-season completions record; Joe Burrow is in the conversation as well.
Kupp had a season for the ages, as he became the 4th player in NFL history to lead the league in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. He tied the record (along with Michael Irvin and Calvin Johnson) and led the league with 11 100 yard receiving games. He finished with 145 receptions, 1,947 yards, and 16 touchdowns. Jonathan Taylor (1,811 rushing yards and 18 rushing TD) and Tom Brady were also in consideration.
Watt got a four-year, $112 million extension before the season, making him the NFL’s highest-paid defensive player. It’s safe to say he earned it this season. Watt is the heart and soul of the Steelers defense and finished the regular season with 22.5 sacks, five forced fumbles, and 64 total tackles. Watt tied Michael Strahan’s single-season sack record in just 15 games (he missed two games due to injury).
Many people openly questioned the Bengals selecting Ja’Marr Chase over one of the top offensive tackles in the 2021 NFL Draft. Burrow came off a season-ending injury, and the offensive line was a considerable weakness. No one is questioning the pick now. Chase finished with one of the most prolific seasons by a rookie wide receiver in NFL history. He set the franchise single-season receiving yardage record held by Chad Johnson (1,440; 2007) and finished second all-time in receiving yards and touchdowns by a rookie. Chase and Burrow rekindled the magic they had together at LSU, and Chase finished with 81 receptions for 1,455 yards and 13 touchdowns.
This was the easiest award to predict. It’s Parsons, and that’s it. Although he was a top-five talent in the 2021 NFL Draft, he dropped out of the top 10 due to character concerns. Dallas pounced on Parsons at 12 overall and found themselves a potential superstar. He started slow, netting 2.5 sacks in the first eight weeks before turning it on and 10.5 in the second half of the year. Parsons was a huge reason Dallas’ defense took a big step forward this season, and he finished his rookie season with 84 total tackles, 13 sacks, 20 tackles for loss, and three forced fumbles.
I was this close to putting Joe Burrow as the Comeback Player Of the Year. Cincinnati winning the division wasn’t something many predicted before the season, and Burrow put up solid numbers. In my opinion, Dak’s story and season were just a little better. Burrow played in 10 games in 2020, but Prescott missed all but five games due to injury in 2020. Prescott missed a couple of weeks with injury this season, but he still completed 68.8% of his passes for 4,449 passing yards, 37 touchdowns, and ten interceptions. Dallas finished this season with 12 wins and the highest-scoring offense in the league.
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The Tennessee Titans have had to overcome a lot of adversity this season. Early in the year, the defense was atrocious every week, and they started October with an ugly loss on the road to the Jets. Then superstar running back Derrick Henry went down with a foot injury in week 8. Henry, the reigning 2020 Offensive Player Of the Year and defending back to back rushing champ (2k rushing yards last season), is the engine that makes this team run. Such a significant loss might cripple an offense built around a running back, especially when coupled with poor quarterback play and inconsistency/injuries to the top two receiving options – A.J. Brown and Julio Jones. Tennessee circled the wagons, however, and the defense has stepped up in the 2nd half of the season. D’Onta Foreman has also helped keep the ground game going, with three 100+ yard rushing games in the past five weeks. The Titans being the #1 seed in the AFC was unfathomable a couple of months ago when Henry went down. Vrabel has kept the ship afloat, and then some. Nick Sirianni (Eagles) and Zac Taylor (Bengals) were the other top options.