2021 NFL Season Awards

2021 NFL Season Awards

2021 NFL Season Awards

Along with the Super Bowl, we are also waiting for the NFL to announce its signature awards for the 2021 regular season: MVP, Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year and Coach of the Year. We will take a look at some of the top contenders for each award and talk about which ones you should choose if you opt to make these wagers part of your NFL betting.

NFL News: 2021 Season Awards

MVP Contenders

Aaron Rodgers (QB, Green Bay Packers)
Tom Brady (QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Joe Burrow (QB, Cincinnati Bengals)
Cooper Kupp (WR, L.A. Rams)
Dak Prescott (QB, Dallas Cowboys)
Justin Herbert (QB, L.A. Chargers)
Josh Allen (QB, Buffalo Bills)
Matthew Stafford (QB, L.A. Rams)
Jonathan Taylor (RB, Indianapolis Colts)
T.J. Watt (EDGE, Arizona Cardinals)
Patrick Mahomes (QB, Kansas City Chiefs)

Remember, this is based on regular-season action, so the ugly loss in the divisional playoff to San Francisco shouldn’t dent Aaron Rodgers’ resume. After a dreadful Week 1, he played at an elite level all season long, taking the Packers to another NFC North title and the top seed in the NFC. Tom Brady is an interesting name, as he set a career high in passing yards for the season and led a team that had no depth at wide receiver and injured stars at tailback to an NFC South title. Joe Burrow didn’t really emerge until the last few weeks of the regular season, and Dak Prescott faded after the team’s win over New England. If you want a non-QB pick, Cooper Kupp put up unreal numbers in the Rams’ passing game, even before OBJ showed up to take off some of the coverage pressure.

Offensive Player of the Year

Cooper Kupp (WR, L.A. Rams)
Jonathan Taylor (RB, Indianapolis Colts)
Mark Andrews (TE, Baltimore Ravens)
Davante Adams (WR, Green Bay Packers)
Deebo Samuel (WR, San Francisco 49ers)

Really, Taylor looks like the pick, since he ran for over 500 yards more than anyone else in the NFL. He was getting lots of MVP talk when the Colts looked like they would steam into the playoffs. However, those choke jobs in Week 17 and Week 18, while they weren’t his fault, were the sort of eye tests that keep players out. Kupp almost set NFL records for receptions and yards in a single season, and despite that Week 18 loss to San Francisco, the Rams finished with much greater momentum than did the Colts.

Defensive Player of the Year

T.J. Watt (EDGE, Arizona Cardinals)
Micah Parsons (LB, Dallas Cowboys)
Aaron Donald (DT, L.A. Rams)
Myles Garrett (DE, Cleveland Browns)
Trevon Diggs (CB, Dallas Cowboys)

Parsons is much more likely to snag the Defensive Rookie of the Year, especially now that T.J. Watt ended up with the NFL’s season sack record. Donald had a terrific year but couldn’t approach Watt’s production; Garrett has a similar issue weighing on his candidacy.

Offensive Rookie of the Year

Ja’Marr Chase (WR, Cincinnati Bengals)
Mac Jones (QB, New England Patriots)
Kyle Pitts (TE, Atlanta Falcons)
Jaylen Waddle (WR, Miami Dolphins)

Jones was the leader at the turn, but Chase finished the season much more convincingly. He had 81 catches for 1,455 yards, and the only reason I would stay away from betting on him is the sheer lack of value.

Defensive Rookie of the Year

Micah Parsons (LB, Dallas Cowboys)
Patrick Surtain II (CB, Denver Broncos)
Odafe Oweh (LB, Baltimore Ravens)This is another shoo-in, with Micah Parsons running away with the race. He has revolutionized the linebacker/edge rusher position, wreaking havoc wherever the Cowboys had him on the field. Patrick Surtain II will be a terrific defensive back for years to come, but he is definitely the runner-up.

Comeback Player of the Year

Joe Burrow (QB, Cincinnati Bengals)
Dak Prescott (QB, Dallas Cowboys)
Nick Bosa (EDGE, San Francisco 49ers)
Jimmy Garoppolo (QB, San Francisco 49ers)
Tyron Smith (OL, Dallas Cowboys)
Courtland Sutton (WR, Denver Broncos)

Given that Burrow didn’t peak in time to get a Pro Bowl nod, and given that he blew his MCL and his ACL in Week 11 last year before coming back this season to lead Cincinnati to a division title. Dak Prescott also came back from a devastating injury, but after Week 7 he really petered out.

Coach of the Year

Mike Vrabel (Tennessee Titans)
Matt LaFleur (Green Bay Packers)
Zac Taylor (Cincinnati Bengals)
Bill Belichick (New England Patriots)
John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens)
Nick Sirianni (Philadelphia Eagles)
Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Rich Bisaccia (Las Vegas Raiders)

Wouldn’t it be a hoot if Bisaccia won the award despite the fact that he didn’t get the “interim” tag taken off his title? No other interim coach had ever led a team to the postseason before, but there are a lot of other deserving candidates. Vrabel guided his team to the top seed in the AFC, but there were also some puzzling losses, such as the home loss to Houston and the loss to the Jets. Zac Taylor finished well, while Bill Belichick seemed to sputter as the season wore on. I like Vrabel, but I also think LaFleur gets the nod simply because of how well-oiled a machine the Packers were.


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