Before the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos battle for the Super Bowl title, the top individual awards in the NFL will be handed out at the fifth annual NFL Honors.
While everyone enters the season looking for team success, it's also good to reward the players and coaches who have had outstanding years on their own. With an award show atmosphere full of celebrities and the league's biggest stars, as well as Conan O'Brien hosting, the night is fun for everyone involved.
There will certainly be plenty of debate over most of the awards, but here are some predictions for who will be the winners Saturday night.
NFL Honors Info
When: Saturday, Feb. 6
Time: 9 p.m. ET
Live Stream: CBS All-Access
|Most Valuable Player||Cam Newton||Carolina Panthers|
|Coach of the Year||Andy Reid||Kansas City Chiefs|
|Offensive Player of the Year||Antonio Brown||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Defensive Player of the Year||J.J. Watt||Houston Texans|
|Offensive Rookie of the Year||Todd Gurley||St. Louis Rams|
|Defensive Rookie of the Year||Marcus Peters||Kansas City Chiefs|
|Comeback Player of the Year||Eric Berry||Kansas City Chiefs|
Most Valuable Player
There was certainly a lot of discussion during the year over which player was the most valuable in football, but by now, it seems like an easy call.
Tom Brady did a great job holding the New England Patriots together while they dealt with various injuries. Russell Wilson put up outstanding numbers in the second half of the year to lead the Seattle Seahawks back from the dead. Carson Palmer might have been the best pure passer in the league this year to lead a dynamic Arizona Cardinals offense.
Peyton Manning on Cam Newton: There's no doubt in my mind he's going to be the MVP Saturday night.— SI NFL (@si_nfl) February 2, 2016
The Panthers had question marks about the offensive line and receivers coming into the year, but Newton still had no problem putting up huge numbers. He totaled 3,837 passing yards and 35 passing touchdowns, which doesn't blow you away on its own, but it's quite impressive when you add it to the 636 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. This helped lead the No. 1 scoring offense in football this year.
Most importantly, he was the key to the Panthers' 15-1 record this season and a major reason the squad is favored in Super Bowl 50. There are a lot of worthy candidates, but Newton is the clear winner.
Prediction: Cam Newton
Coach of the Year
This is an even tougher decision with multiple top choices.
Similar to Brady, Bill Belichick kept the Patriots afloat despite a disastrous year with injuries. The same can be said about Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ron Rivera will likely be a popular choice, as he's led the Panthers to the brink of a Super Bowl title.
However, the best option remains the coach who pulled off the most impressive feat in the NFL this season. Amy Trask of CBS Sports described the scenario:
Raise your hand if, when KC lost Charles & started season 1-5, you thought they would be in playoffs. Loudly admits her hand is not raised.— Amy Trask (@AmyTrask) January 16, 2016
Andy Reid was facing a long year where he seemed more likely to be contending for the No. 1 overall pick than the playoffs. At 1-5 without the team's best playmaker in Jamaal Charles, few gave the Kansas City Chiefs any chance of a turnaround.
Somehow, Reid kept the team together, and the squad went on a 10-game winning streak to reach the playoffs. While the run eventually ended in the AFC Divisional Round, this was still an incredible coaching job.
Rivera definitely has quite an argument, but Reid is the deserving winner.
Prediction: Andy Reid
Offensive Rookie of the Year
Marcus Peters is the favorite to win Defensive Rookie of the Year thanks to his playmaking ability, but the race for Offensive Rookie of the Year features more competition. Jameis Winston, Todd Gurley and Amari Cooper all have legitimate arguments as the best player in the 2015 class.
Winston looked as good as you could hope for a rookie quarterback, making mistakes but still showing potential. Cooper had much more excitement in his first year with over 1,000 receiving yards and five 100-yard games.
The difference with Gurley, however, is that he put himself on the list of the best in the league at his position. He finished the year third in the NFL with 1,106 rushing yards to go with 10 touchdowns, all while missing most of the first month of the season.
Bleacher Report's Matt Miller is ready to name him the best running back in football next year:
Best RB in the NFL next season will be?— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) January 25, 2016
I voted for Todd Gurley.
Gurley also had plenty of highlight-reel moments throughout the season, like this one:
When you can come off a torn ACL and instantly become one of the best in the NFL at your position, you deserve to be named Rookie of the Year.
Prediction: Todd Gurley
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