ESNY

The 2015-16 NFL regular season has officially come to a close, which means it’s time to make our end of the year awards predictions.

By Jeff Jarboe

Last year, the NFL awards were pretty much decided by the time Week 17 rolled around–Aaron Rodgers had the MVP locked up, J.J. Watt was without question the Defensive Player of the Year, DeMarco Murray was pretty much guaranteed to win Offensive Player of the Year after winning the rushing title, and Odell Beckham Jr. was destined to win Offensive Rookie of the Year.

This year, however, there are still a few league awards that remain up in the air. The MVP is most likely going to go to the quarterback who led his team to the best record (he wears the number one and likes to dance). But, awards like Offensive Rookie of the Year (Gurley? Winston?), Comeback Player of the Year (Berry? Bowman? Palmer?) and Defensive Player of the Year (Watt? Jones? Mack?) are still up for debate.

And what about Coach of the Year and Executive of the Year? Head coaches Bruce Arians and Ron Rivera both had outstanding years in the competitive NFC. Thus, both are deserving of consideration. While New York Jets GM Mike Maccagnan and Washington GM Scot McCloughan are deserving of an EOTY for their respective roster overhauls.

But let’s start with an easy one–the league MVP. No other player in the league was more valuable to his team in 2015 than this man:

2 COMMENTS

  1. A lot of people are jumping on the Aaron Donald bandwagon
    mostly due to Pro Football Focus rating scores which has Donald as not only the
    most “productive” player in football but EVER (he scored a perfect
    99.9). I’m here to tell you that their evaluation of “production”
    shows disconnect and is subjective at best, and here’s why. Aaron Donald got a
    higher score on their scale because he produced on the stats that did not
    matter as much, such as pressures. To say a guy recorded more “pressures”
    is equivalent to saying he recorded more “punches thrown” in boxing.
    What really matters is the “punches” you connect on. In football those
    statistics for a defensive linemen are sacks, passes defensed, tackles for
    loss, and turnovers. These stats are definitive because once a player records
    these the play is officially over. In all these stats, except turnovers, Watt
    led the NFL. In addition he led the league with 8 passes defensed for a D
    linemen. Yet Donald came out with a perfect score of 99.9 and JJ came out with
    a score in the mid-90s (the drop-off isn’t much to brag about to begin with)
    There’s clearly an imbalance in the evaluation of what a particular statistic
    should be weighted at. You can say that you had a QB pressure but if the QB was
    rushed out of the pocket and made a play, how “productive” really was
    your rush? This past weekend was a great example as Donald tallied no sacks,
    only 2 tackles and 1 pass defensed, but was still given a score of +15 for the
    week. (Rams lost 16-19 to 49ers) Watt had 3 sacks, 3 tackles for loss, 2 passes
    defensed, and 2 turnovers. It’s not to say Donald’s stats don’t matter, but
    rather his stats don’t indicate “production” as much as Watt’s. Watt’s stats
    are more definitive and are more directly associated with his team winning 30-6
    against Jacksonville, and team winning its way to an AFC South title. Not to
    mention third down defense, in which JJ catapulted the Texans to be the highest
    rated in the NFL, and has them as the 3rd ranked defense overall to finish the
    season. This indicates, to me, that JJ Watt led the league and his team in the
    defensive categories that really mattered. Add to the fact the Texans are in
    the playoffs and Donald’s Rams are not, and the fact that he played in crucial
    games for his team with a broken hand, and there really isn’t any room for
    debate for Defensive player of the year. Josh Norman had a good year but
    struggled down the stretch against Beckham and Julio, and Norman plays
    primarily as a cover 3 corner, which means he’s getting a lot of help. The
    panthers are more talented than the Texan’s defense and have better playmakers.
    To me it comes down to this…If JJ Watt had not won 2 DPOY awards already this
    race would not be as close. JJ Watt should be Defensive Player of the Year. As
    John Gruden says “analytics can complicate football”

  2. There’s no way McCloughan shouldn’t win it. He was able to find hidden talent in a much worse situation, unlike the Jets GM who had the cap room to sign Marshall,Revis, and Cromartie.