An award ceremony three weeks in may not be smart, but it sure is fun
With week three in the NFL over, we are starting to get an idea of what teams are good, what teams are bad and who is worthy enough to bring home some of the NFL’s most desired awards. Even though we still have 15 more weeks of football to watch, it is never too early to make your “Way Too Early” award predictions. Let’s start with the most important award, the MVP.
Most Valuable Player — Matthew Stafford
This one shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. During Stafford’s time in Detroit, the former number one overall pick made the Pro Bowl just once, never came close to winning an MVP and only finished with a positive record four times in 12 years with the franchise. All of this led to him being traded to the Los Angeles Rams. In his first three starts with the Rams he has led them to a 3-0 record, has thrown for 942 yards and 9 touchdowns while only throwing one interception. If he keeps this up, he is on pace for a clear MVP season, which is why he is my “Way Too Early” MVP pick.
Offensive Player of the Year — Derrick Henry
Derrick Henry would be a familiar face. If Henry wins this award, then he will be the first to repeat the award since Marshall Faulk did it in 2000 and 2001. This year started off a little slow for the Titans star running back, only racking up 77 scrimmage yards in his first game this season. Henry followed that up with a total of 381 scrimmage yards and 3 touchdowns in his next two games, putting himself in a good position to vie for the award come season’s end.
Defensive Player of the Year — Myles Garrett
Myles Garrett is making his presence felt. Garrett and the Browns defense made Justin Fields’ first start a living nightmare. He has already racked up 5.5 sacks, 14 tackles, nine quarterback hits and five tackles for loss. He is on pace to destroy his numbers set from last year where he was in the Pro Bowl and was named First-Team All-Pro. So, if he can keep these numbers going up, I predict that Myles Garrett will be this year’s DPOY.
Offensive Rookie of the Year — Ja’Marr Chase
The last wide receiver to win this award was Odell Beckham Jr. in the 2014 season, where he finished with 1,305 receiving yards and 12 receiving touchdowns. Ja’Marr is on pace to finish with 1,232 receiving yards and 22 touchdowns with the help of his former college teammate, now NFL quarterback, Joe Burrow. Keeping on his current pace might be asking too much, but if he can be anywhere near his on-pace numbers then I don’t see this being a close race for winning this award, especially with the way the rookie quarterbacks have been playing to start this year.
Defensive Rookie of the Year — Asante Samuel Jr.
Asante Samuel Jr. has surprised me so far this year. I was expecting a first round rookie pass rusher like Kwity Paye or Gregory Rousseau to be in this position this season. Instead, I have a second-round defensive back winning this award. He has two interceptions, one coming off former MVP Patrick Mahomes, and the other coming off of a two-time Pro Bowler Dak Prescott. The Chargers rookie is also top-six in passes defended while getting 10 tackles in the process. Again, if this pace can hold up, I see him winning a close race for this award over Azeez Ojulari and Gregory Rousseau.