Now that the Superbowl is in the books we can start reflecting on the NFL season as a whole. The NFL honors ceremony was on Saturday, and today we take a quick look at who won.
MVP and Offensive Player of the Year: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs
The sophomore sensation started only one game last year. Then, after Alex Smith was traded, fans didn’t know quite what to think. He proved all doubters wrong, throwing for 50 touchdowns (and over 5000 yards) and lead Kansas City to their first AFC Championship appearance since the mid-’90s. It is clear that Mahomes is in Kansas City to stay, especially after this award.
Defensive Player of the Year: Aaron Donald, DT, Rams
This was one of the more hotly contested awards, with competition between Donald, Khalil Mack, and names like Fletcher Cox. Donald led the NFL in sacks, with 20.5. No interior lineman has ever had that many. He is also the first player to repeat as DPOY since Lawrence Taylor.
Coach of the Year: Matt Nagy, Bears
The Bears, even according to their fans, were a mess last year, finishing dead last in the NFC North. They flipped their record plus one, going 5-11 in 2017 and 12-4 this past season. Nagy brought a creative, hurry-up scheme learned under Chiefs’ coach Andy Reid. They were definitely contenders, losing in the first round of the playoffs to the Philadelphia Eagles on a missed field goal.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants
Barkley, a rookie out of Penn State, looked like an NFL veteran. He is the prototypical running back: fast, strong, flexible, and extremely athletic. Barkley was second among running backs in rushing yards during the year with 1307. He rushed for 11 touchdowns and averaged 5 yards per carry.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Darius Leonard
Leonard had 111 solo tackles on the year and had 7 sacks. He forced 4 fumbles and had 2 interceptions. He was a big part of the Colts’ defense that came alive in a huge way midway through the season.
These players have surely cemented their roles on their respective teams, and their performance will be taken into account next season when people bet.