NFL Awards 2022: Spotlight on MVP, Rookie of the Year and more

Well folks, we’re officially a quarter of the way through the NFL season. At least that’s what I think, 17 games makes the math weird, it would be like 4.25 games like in the first quarter of Sunday’s early games, but I digress.

We love giving awards here because we’re a giving community here at SB Nation. We’ve had some great games and great teams to start the season, and handing out these quarter-season awards won’t be easy. It will be fun to see how these change over time.

Now that we’ve got the basics down, we’ll be giving out awards for MVP, Coach of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year, and Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year. . Here’s who we got:

Most Valuable Player

Lamar Jackson, QB Ravens

Contract year Lamar is a different gender, male. Through the first five games of the season, Jackson has performed like one of the best QBs in the league and is doing so for a team that desperately needs offense with both his arm and legs.

Jackson is sixth in total EPA/game this season while rushing more yards than any other Ravens ball carrier – COMBINED. He’s always been a very good pocket passer, but now offensive coordinator Greg Roman has put Jackson under center and used more play-action while letting Lamar cook on early downs. He has been both the most exciting and the most valuable player this season.

Others in contention: QB Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs, QB Josh Allen, Bills, QB Jalen Hurts, Eagles

Coach of the year

Nick Sirianni, Eagles

To say the Eagles’ start has been impressive would be an understatement. Philly is undefeated and remains the only team in the top five in both offensive and defensive DVOA. On top of all that, they have found ways to win every game this season; The formula changes every week. They won a shootout against Detroit in Week 1, then a defensive scrimmage against Jacksonville in Week 4.

Of course, the talent pool has given Sirianni a greater margin for error, but what he’s done in his second year has been impressive both in developing Jalen Hurts and preparing the Eagles bye week.

Others in contention: Brian Daboll, Giants, Kevin O’Connell, Vikings, Mike McDaniel, Dolphins

Striker of the year

Nick Chubb, RB, Browns

If I told you before the season that through the first five weeks of the season, the Browns would be top 10 in offensive DVOA and third in EPA, would you believe me?

Yes, they’re ranked in five games, and that’s largely because of Chubb and the running game. He is first in DYAR over 20 yards and first in the NFL in rushing touchdowns. The effectiveness of the Browns running game is headlined by Chubb, and his ability to not only hit home runs, but consistently top six yards per carry is what keeps the Browns offense afloat and makes him the best running back in the league.

Others in contention: Cooper Kupp, WR, Rams, Tyreek Hill, WR, Dolphins, Stefon Diggs, WR, Bills

Defensive Player of the Year

Fred Warner, MLB, 49ers

Well, have fun for a second. It’s been nine years since the LB outside ball was named Defensive Player of the Year. In a league dominated by pass rushers and corner jump games, the MIKE backer’s consistent prowess has gone unnoticed.

Not anymore, I say! Fred Warner has been the best player in the best defensive unit in the league and his value goes far beyond the eye test. Warner has 34 total tackles and one sack, but if you watch what he does on the field, his value is far beyond that of many passers in the league. He’s tasked with covering the entire middle of the field, and he does it so well that teams simply don’t throw to that side.

You won’t find many defenders who can do what Warner does. It should be an easy task.

Others in contention: Micah Parsons, EDGE, Cowboys, Maxx Crosby, EDGE, Raiders, Aaron Donald, DT, Rams

Striker of the year

Garrett Wilson, WR, Jets

It’s tough because there haven’t been many standout rookies on the offensive side of the ball. However, Wilson provides the most punch for a Jets team that desperately needs him.

Wilson has the second-highest EPA/target on the Jets and leads in route running and yards per touchdown. His explosiveness gave offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur a chess piece that could give them some explosiveness on offense. Wilson is primed for a bigger role as the season progresses.

Others in contention: Chris Olave, WR, Saints, Breece Hall, RB, Jets, Tyler Smith, OT, Cowboys

Defensive Player of the Year

Devin Lloyd, LB, Jaguars

This award is extremely difficult to win, especially when the first overall pick plays the same defense. But Lloyd has been one of the biggest impact players in the entire league, not only making tackles, but getting breakout plays like INTs. Lloyd had 49 total tackles and 2 interceptions and was instrumental in the resurgence of the Jaguars defense. He’s lined up on the outside as a blitzer, as an off-ball defender and in coverage running with tight ends and backs.

Others in contention: Sous Gardner, CB, Jets, Travon Walker, EDGE, Jaguars, Jaylen Watson, CB, Chiefs

Comeback Player of the Year

Geno Smith, QB, Seahawks

Okay, I’m cheating a little here, but I don’t care. Geno Smith has been one of the best QBs in the league this year – no, I’m not kidding, I’m not on any drugs. Smith is third in the league in EPA per game and first in Over-Expectation Completion Percentage. Smith has been a revelation for a Seahawks offense that is one of the leagues best and better than the Broncos offense with Russell Wilson.

I’ve written before about why Smith’s second chance means so much to me, and how his development makes it even better.

Others in contention: Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants, JK Dobbins, RB, Ravens

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