NFL Awards Watch: Breaking Down the Top 3 Candidates for Each Award

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NFL Awards Watch: Breaking Down the Top 3 Candidates for Each Award
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Peyton Manning and Drew Brees have their eyes on a Lombardi trophy, but they both figure to be in the hunt for individual hardware as well.

Five weeks into the 2013 NFL season, there is still a lot of football to be played, but we have a good idea of the front-runners for each of the NFL awards. This is an overview of the top three candidates for each award, analyzing why the favorite is in the lead and what the other contenders need to do to come away with the hardware.

The statistical performance is the main criteria for the award voting, and so it is the main criteria here. But with each award comes its own set of "rules" that the voters have a tendency to follow.

For example, the Defensive Player of the Year is most probably going to be a player on a really good defense.

Jared Allen lost out to Terrell Suggs in 2011, despite coming up half a sack short of tying the single-season record. Suggs had a great year, but he won the award over Allen because the Minnesota Vikings defense was bad.

For some of the awards, the winner seems decided already—like Peyton Manning and the Offensive Player of the Year. There are others where the trophy is still up for grabs, and its anybody's guess who will win.

Without further ado, here are my top three nominees for each award.


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