With the 2010 NFL regular season set to kick off in just a couple of days, it's time for predictions!
Even though it's too early to truly tell, I've decided to look into the crystal ball and analyze who I expect to win the yearly awards.
Will Peyton Manning go for a three-peat for the MVP Award? How About The Comeback Player? Or The Rookie Of The Year?
Let's find out!
A head coach is often the leader of the organization, and is responsible for the team's success.
The NFL Coach of the Year award is one that symbolizes a coach's ability to overcome adversity and overachieve with their current circumstances. Moreover, an interesting fact to know is that the past five winners have averaged six more wins than they did the previous season.
That being so, when I contemplated as to who I predicted to win this award, I thought of which team was most likely to have that type of improved season, which is why I chose Baltimore Ravens' John Harbaugh.
The Ravens have a stifling defense, and for the first time in years, they will pair that with a prolific offense.
I could realistically see them winning twelve or thirteen games, which would justify him worthy of the award.
Other Possible Candidates: Rex Ryan, Mike Tomlin, Mike Singletary
Every year, a select few rookies step up and make a fluid transition into the pro game. One of those end up winning the Rookie of the Year award.
While some may believe that the top selection should be the obvious pick, since he is presumably the top player in the draft class, that hasn't proved to be the case over over the past few years, and I don't expect that trend to change.
Instead, I predict San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Matthews to win it. Matthews is set to be the lead back in San Diego, and head coach Norv Turner has demonstrated his ability to utilize a running back's ability to his maximum potential.
Also note that 30 of the 43 ROY awards have been given to running backs, which should increase the odds for Matthews to take home the hardware.
Other Possible Candidates: C.J. Spiller, Dez Bryant, Jahvid Best
The Defensive Rooke of the Year award is given to the player who displays their ability to make plays and post big-time stats.
Even though sixteen of the past seventeen winners have come from the front seven, and the most recent seven have been linebackers, I predict that to change.
Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry is the most pro-ready prospect in this year's draft class, and he can make game-changing plays.
I could see him having a similar impact as Charles Woodson did in his rookie season when he won the award.
Plus, the Chiefs do look like they are headed in the right direction and could possibly surprise us by pulling together six or seven wins. In turn, that would highlight Berry's season, and thus increase his chances of winning the award.
Other Possible Candidates: Ndamukong Suh, Rolando McClain, Earl Thomas
By definition, the NFL Comebacker Player of the Year award should be given to the individual who shows perseverance in overcoming adversity.
While there are several candidates for the award this season, I will give the edge to New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker.
I believe that the Patriots are on a mission to prove to the league that they are still the real deal. As a result, Welker will continue to shred defenses.
Of course, if the league decides that Welker shouldn't be eligible for the award, I'd give it to safety Troy Polamalu.
Other Possible Candidates: Troy Polamalu, Terrell Owens, LaDanian Tomlinson, Brian Urlacher
Defense wins championships, and every great defense has a leader.
More often than not, the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award is given out to the best defensive player on one of the best defensive units. The past five winners were on teams that ranked no lower than fourth in overall yards allowed.
I expect the 49ers defense to make the jump into the league's elite units, and Patrick Willis should definitely be in the running.
Moreover, he's arguably the best defensive player in the league. During his three years in the league, Willis has averaged 155 tackles a season and has been elected to three Pro Bowls.
He also makes plays all over the field, racking up sacks, interceptions, and forced fumbles as well.
I project him to make the next big step and claim the award.
Other Possible Candidates: Darrelle Revis, DeMarcus Ware, Troy Polamalu
The NFL Offensive Player of the Year award is usually given to the athlete who demonstrates big-time playmaking ability and had the most overall outstanding season.
That said, Adrian Peterson, whom I predict to have his best season yet, will take home the award.
All throughout the offseason, it's been noted that Peterson has been working diligently at improving his craft and specifically on his fumbling issues.
Plus, with Brett Favre likely to take a dip in his production, and the uncertainty surrounding their top two receivers, the Vikings are much more likely to give Peterson a bigger role in the offense.
And, according to reports, we should expect to see him be a bigger factor in the passing game as well.
Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised to see him reclaim the rushing title and lead the Vikings to another double digit win season.
Other Possible Candidates: Drew Brees, Chris Johnson, Andre Johnson
The NFL Most Valuable Player of the Year award is the most prestigious individual award that any professional football player can receive. It signifies one's absolute domination that season, along with his significant contribution to his respective team as well as the league overall.
The award is frequently given to the best player on the team with the best record, and I could potentially see Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers fitting that scenario this year. They boast a stingy defense and an explosive offense, which are the ingredients of a premier team.
Rodgers has quickly emerged as an elite quarterback, and I expect this to be the year that he takes his game to the next level.
If they can secure the top spot in the NFC, I think this is a sure-fire lock for him.
Other Possible Candidates: Peyton Manning, Adrian Peterson, Drew Brees