2011 NFL Season: Award Predictions for the End of the Year
It doesn't hurt to get an early start on predicting who the best players will be at the end of the season. The earlier you get into predicting, the tougher your predictions are. That just makes it all the more fun in my opinion.
These are awards for every major category I could think of. I went the safe route on some picks and took a chance on some others. Let me know what you think and who you guys would put in place of my selections.
NFL Coach of the Year: Jim Schwartz, Detroit Lions
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This is probably a little bit of a reach, but why not? They've looked good—No, great—in the preseason so far and quarterback Matthew Stafford looks ready to go. I think the Lions have a shot at clinching a wild card berth this season, and if they do, Schwartz deserves this award.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Von Miller, LB, Denver Broncos
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Tenacious—that's the word that comes to mind when I watch Von Miller play linebacker. He's built to play the position. I wouldn't be surprised to see Miller finish second on the Broncos in tackles (behind fellow backer D.J. Williams) this season. Add eight or nine sacks, a handful of forced fumbles and a couple of interceptions and you have yourself the DROY.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints
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Ingram has already shown us what he's capable of this preseason. Sure, the Saints have Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles in their backfield, but Ingram will probably see the majority of the goal line carries and is a flat out bruiser.
Breakout Player of the Year: Plaxico Burress, WR, New York Jets
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This may be somewhat of a stretch to some people, but he is an obvious candidate for the award. The Jets lost Braylon Edwards during the offseason and I think Burress can fill that void a little better than veteran Derrick Mason. If Burress can stay healthy, he should have a great shot at winning this award.
Defensive Player of the Year: James Harrison, LB, Pittsburgh Steelers
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Yeah, it's a boring pick, but it's a safe pick too. He's a mean, lean, sacking machine and the catalyst of Pittsburgh's dynamic defense. He could get fined a couple times, but that won't stop him from continuing to harass opposing quarterbacks.
Offensive Player of the Year: Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
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I think Brees might be at the "under the radar" point of his career. He puts up MVP-worthy numbers every season and always has the Saints as Super Bowl contenders. The Saints are a pass happy offense with all the prolific weapons they have at disposal. Brees will be right up there in the conversation for OFFPOY at the end of the season.
NFL MVP: Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers
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Honestly, I can't believe I'm picking Philip Rivers to win the NFL MVP. I'm a Colts fan and Broncos fan- I hate Philip Rivers, but the guy is a good quarterback, however bratty he may be. He has pinpoint accuracy and a healthy and, for now, a non-problematic Vincent Jackson to throw to. Expect some outrageous numbers from the Chargers quarterback this season.