Like I do every year a few days before the regular season kicks off, I put together my predictions for all the major NFL awards, picked every single one of the 256 games on the schedule and all the playoff matchups leading up to Super Bowl LIV. There is nothing tougher to predict than NFL games and nothing represents that better than the fact that every year half the teams that made the postseason the prior season will miss out the following year. While there are obvious favorites for the a few of the awards which I could not ignore, I also went off the radar with some names and I have seven new teams making the playoffs compared to last year.
We have reached the halfway mark of the 2018 NFL season and we have seen a ton of different action. There have had positive surprises, such as the emergences of guys like James Conner and some of the game’s biggest stars returning from injury, disappointing teams like the Raiders and Giants as well as those up-and-down rides we have watched in Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Browns. With that being said, there have been some players, coaches and teams that have really stood out so far and it’s time to point out the most apparent ones, by telling you who I think should win the major NFL awards if the season ended today.
Like every year before the new season starts I give my predictions for all the major awards, playoff teams and Super Bowl match-up. You might want to check out the playoff standings in comparison to MVP and Coach of the Year candidates, since a team’s record is the major indicator for the impact those men have on their franchise’s success. If you’re interested in how I came up with the playoff teams, you can check out the full schedule for this upcoming season, in which I predicted every single game, considering the location of each contest, the time off for the opponent, specific match-ups and more. (Yes, I’m a freak.)
Once again it’s time to give credit where it’s due. The NFL Honors show will air Saturday 8:00 pm ET and players will receive awards for MVP, Defensive Player of the Year and many others. I didn’t try to predict the winners for these trophies, I simply put my top three candidates up and made my case for each of them.
We have pretty much reached the midseason point and it’s time to look at the prime candidates for all the major NFL awards. I didn’t crown an Offensive Player of the Year since I’m not a big fan of that award and since an offensive player takes home the MVP trophy every year anyway I only have players from that side of the ball up there.
Defenses run the table right now. Other than Pittsburgh’s and Atlanta’s high-powered offenses it’s the defensive units that have carried the premier teams over the first five weeks. Sure those team’s offenses make the critical plays and Tom Brady will be the main figure in New England from now on, but the top defenses have made the winningest teams go. The criteria for what makes those units elite has changed over the past decade or two, since the focus has shifted more to being able to lock down receivers and mix coverages well, but I feel like being able to make offenses one-dimensional by shutting down the run has a lot of value.
The first game of the 2016 season is only two days away and so I tried to predict everything coming up, starting with the top three candidates for each NFL award, the seedings for both the AFC and NFC, the Super Bowl matchup and a couple of other predictions.