It is never too early to speculate who will win awards this NFL season. With only two weeks left in the season, the nominees for awards is narrowing down. The Rant makes his predictions (before the big boys do):
MVP: QB Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts
This could be one of the closest awards of the year but the award goes to Manning, who has continually brought his team back from deficits in the four quarter this season. Although Brees has some better numbers (as of Week 15), Manning continues to prove he is the best in the business.
If the Colts win the last two games and go undefeated, Manning wins this award hands down. Brett Favre has been great up all season looking like the first ballot Hall of Famer he will be unlike the last weeks with the Jets last season. Phillip Rivers continues to prove doubters wrong with his amazing performance in December. Chris Johnson gets votes here because he will rush for over 2000 yards.
Offensive Player of the Year: RB Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans
runners up: Drew Brees, Peyton Manning
Johnson gets this award just like when Jamal Lewis won this award in 2003 (Manning and McNair won MVP that season). The 24 year old speedster should surpass the 2000 yard mark in week 17 against the Seahawks.
Johnson has averaged 5.8 yards per carry and 10.3 yards per catch. Johnson has shown big play abilities on long runs of 91, 89 and 85. Drew Brees and his 109.4 Qb rating is off the charts as well as the soon MVP Manning but the award has to go to Johnson, who has been the most dangerous player in the NFL.
Defensive Player of the Year: CB Charles Woodson, Green Bay Packers
runners up: Darren Sharper, Elvis Dumervil
If this award was given in the first half of the season Sharper would have won it with Dumervil a close second but this is a full season award thus Woodson takes the cake. Woodson has dominated his opponents this season including stars such as Calvin Johnson and Jason Witten.
Woodson's numbers: 70 tackles, 8 interceptions, 4 forced fumbles, 2 sacks, and 2 interceptions in 15 games are outstanding. He has lined up all over the field this season and has rejuvenated the Packers defense. Sharper has been dominate in his own right; the 34-year-old safety has 8 interceptions and three touchdowns.
As for the 5-11 Dumervil had 8 sacks in his first four games, including four against Cleveland in week two. Dumervil hasnt been the player he was in the first few weeks but the former Louisville standout still leads the NFL in sacks.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: RB Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos
runners up: Percy Harvin, Hakeem Nicks, Jeremy Maclin, Michael Crabtree, Michael Oher
This class has had a lot of really good players including the three quarterbacks but no one has take the lead of this award. Moreno is nearing 1,000 yards rushing but has yet to have a 1,000 yard game. I think Harvin may have been the favorite for this award but too many receivers have nearly the same numbers. If Crabtree had played the whole season he may have won this award hands down (you hear that Oakland).
Defensive Rookie of the year: LB Clay Matthews, Green Bay Packers
runners up: Brian Orakpo, Brian Cushing, Jairus Byrd
Unlike the offensive rookie of the year award, so many players have played great this season especially linebackers. This award could go down to the last two weeks of the season. Orakpo has turned it on as of late and Matthews has found his home in Capers 3-4 defense. Cushing has played very well in Houston as well.
Comeback Player of the Year: QB Tom Brady, New England Patriots
runners up: Brett Favre, Vince Young
It's hard to believe that Tom Brady could be winning such an award but the owner of the playoffs has came back from a devastating injury last season. Although, at times, Brady hasnt looked like the Brady of past but he has been solid. Favre is up for this award after his fall out of last season and Vince Young for reviving the once 0-6 Tennessee Titans.
Coach of the Year: Jim Caldwell, Indianapolis Colts
runners up: Sean Payton, Marvin Lewis, Norv Turner, Brad Childress
This award has to go to the first year coach and his staff. Caldwell has a chance to go 16-0 in his rookie season. Granted he is taking over an intact Dungy staff that he was apart of but Caldwell has got this team ready to play and has kept Manning playing at such a high level.
Payton has to get credit for getting his team this far in such a dominate (for the most part) fashion. Marvin Lewis has the Bengals surprising teams same with Norv Turner. Childress is only in the running for this award for signing Bret Favre.