WITH the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots booking their places in Superbowl LI this weekend the NFL season is quickly winding down. The only thing left to do before we crown a new Superbowl champ is hand out the end of season hardware to some deserving winners.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: MATT RYAN, ATLANTA FALCONS
RECENTLY I wrote a piece on Matt Ryan’s MVP candidacy and I stick by my statement. As impressive as Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and the rookie duo in Dallas has been, Ryan’s numbers confirm his dominance. He finished 1st overall in QBR (quarterback rating) and countless other major statistical areas. Due to his play the explosive Falcons offense is poised to potentially win the franchises first Superbowl.
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OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: AARON RODGERS, GREEN BAY PACKERS
I hate this award with a passion. 99% of the time the player that wins the MVP award is from the offensive side of the ball so clearly, he is the OPOY, but I won’t dive anymore into it. David Johnson was a tempting pick, but it’s hard to avoid the way Aaron Rodgers ended the year. Over the Packers six game winning streak Rodgers was invincible, throwing 15 touchdowns to zero picks while throwing for over 1600 yards. Without him Green Bay wouldn’t have even been close enough to sniff the playoffs.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: VON MILLER, DENVER BRONCOS
2016 has been a great year for Von Miller. Coming off a SuperBowl MVP performance in February the dominant pass rusher picked up right where he left off, leading a star studded Denver defense, while helping himself to 13.5 sacks (2nd in the league). While Miller didn’t dominate down the stretch to help his award chances he did manage to put forth another great season. The likes of Khalil Mack, Vic Beasley and Landon Collins deserve honourable mentions, but Miller performed more consistently than the rest of the field.
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OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: EZEKIEL ELLIOTT, DALLAS COWBOYS
IT’S a tough task to split the two Dallas Cowboys rookies who drove the team to success all season. Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott had some of the best rookie season in recent memory and you can’t go wrong by selecting either one. However, Elliott managed to pace the league in rushing yards with 1631 despite missing the final game of the year. He was over 300 yards ahead of second place, becoming the best rookie in the league regardless of position.
DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: JOEY BOSA, SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
THIS award is probably the easiest to pick from with Joey Bosa of the San Diego Chargers claiming the DROY honours. He finished the season with 10.5 sacks and had he not missed the first four games of the season he could have racked up close to the league high 15.5. No defensive rookie has dominated a season like Bosa did, and he did it by only playing 12 games.
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COACH OF THE YEAR: JASON GARRETT, DALLAS COWBOYS
JASON Garrett managed to lead Dallas to a 13-3 record and the top seed in the NFC. He did so with Tony Romo suffering a gruesome injury in pre-season. When the injury occurred many expected the Cowboys to fall in a heap. They did the opposite however, with the defense improving their rush defense considerably and the two headed rookie monster leading Dallas into the playoffs. Garrett deserves more credit than he is getting from the media.
COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR: JORDY NELSON, GREEN BAY PACKERS
ANYTIME you miss an entire season from an ACL injury and return to post some of the best numbers in the NFL at your position, that pretty much sews up your award fate. Jordy Nelson led the league in receiving touchdown with 14 this season while chalking up the 6th highest amount of receiving yards. The connection between Nelson and Rodgers to end out the season was something to behold, with the pair helping the Packers book an improbable playoff spot.
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