- The NFL season is just under a month away and fans across the world could not be happier. Today I will be continuing our series where we will be predicting awards for each team per division. We will be predicting the AFC West which boasts reigning Super Bowl Champions Kansas City Chiefs, Money Mahomes, Joey Bosa, Von Miller and more.
*These predictions are based on how players looked last year along with a projection on how they’ll play this year. (No players will be listed twice for awards)
Kansas City Chiefs
MVP – Patrick Mahomes – QB
This is a no brainer. Mahomes is the best quarterback in the NFL currently and it may stay that way for years to come. Mahomes’s grit is unmatched and showed when trailing both the Texans and 49ers in the playoffs last season and also when returning from a knee injury in two weeks(when he was expected to miss 3-6 weeks). When he gets into his groove, he is unstoppable. Mahomes talent is unmatched: his no look throws, causal 50 yard bombs down the field and throwing with his left hand, just showcases Mahomes skillset. Also, there’s a reason he was signed to a 10 year 500 million dollar deal this offseason.
OPOY – Travis Kelce – TE
Travis Kelce is arguably the best tight end in football and is a nightmare for defenses to guard as he is a mismatch nightmare. He is a great route runner and a tough player to bring down. He led tight ends in yards with 1229 yards and was second in the league for yards per recpetion with 12.7(tight ends had to have 50+ targets). He is a very underrated blocker as well. I expect another big year especially after he signed his new contract.
DPOY – Chris Jones – DT
Chris Jones is a game wrecker. Although his sacks and tackles decreased in the 2019 season, he played a pivotal role in the Chiefs defense. In the Super Bowl, he pressured Garropolo into throwing a key interception late in the game along with batting down three passes. He does all the little things, that do not show up on the stat sheets, at an elite level. I expect a bounce back year this year.
CBPOY – Eric Fisher – OT
After missing 9 games in the 2019 season, Fisher is my choice for the Chiefs CBPOY. Although he hasn’t lived up to the hype since he was drafted, nor is he the best offensive lineman on the Chiefs, he plays a big part in keeping Mahomes up right. He only gave up one sack and 2 penalties when he was healthy last season, and his value showed as when he was injured, the Chiefs offensive line struggled.
ROY – Clyde Edwards-Helaire – RB
With Damien Williams sitting out, Helaire has the chance to be the NFL’s ROTY. He has similar metrics to Kareem Hunt and if used in that role, is in for a big year. In college he had 1414 rushing yards along with 16 rushing touchdowns to go with 453 receiving yards and 1 touchdown. Andy Reid loves to use one workhorse running back and CEH can give the Chiefs a dynamic and elusive back, that they lacked with Damien Williams.
Los Angeles Chargers
MVP – Joey Bosa – DE
Joey Bosa signed a massive 5 year 135 million dollar contract with the Chargers this offseason. Bosa led the chargers in sacks with 11.5 and tackles for loss with 20. He also ranked second among defensive ends in solo tackles while recording over 70 defensive pressures. This Chargers defense is going to be special in 2020 and Bosa is going to be at the forefront of its success.
OPOY – Keenan Allen – WR
Ever since Allen tore his ACL in 2016, he has bounced back with 3 straight 1000 yard seasons and shows no signs of slowing down. Allen has been the most consistent receiver on the Chargers for a while and that shouldn’t change with Tyrod or Justin Herbert. Regardless, Allen is one of the best route runners in the NFL and can stop and turn on a dime. He has quick feet and elite hands and rarely drops passes. He will be a safety blanket for Herbert and Tyrod.
DPOY – Casey Hayward – CB
Hayward is one of the most underrated cornerbacks in the league, and played at an elite level last season, considering all the injuries the Chargers seondary suffered. He lost Trevor Williams, Adrian Phillips and Derwin James for majority of the season, yet only let one receiver get over 75 yards. Facing receivers such as Tyreek Hill, Davante Adams, Stefon Diggs, Courtland Sutton, Kenny Golladay and Allen Robinson, this is a really impressive stat. Now with his secondary fully healthy and improved, he is in for another elite season.
CBPOY – Derwin James – SS
Although Derwin James missed a good chunk of the NFL season last year, he is one of the best young safeties in the league. One thing that stands out about Derwin James is his versatility. He is positionless, so OC’s will have a tough time to gameplan against him. He’s played snaps at linebacker, slot cornerback, outside cornerback and on the defensive line. The Chargers had tacklig problems in 2019 and getting Derwin James back, will certainly fix those issues.
ROY – Kenneth Murray – LB
Murray was a player the Chargers traded up for to improve thier linebacker core. The Chargers struggled with tackling last season and Murray should help improve that. He is a great run stopper and has elite speed (4.52 40 yard dash) which will allow him to make big plays and move sideline to sideline. This pick made the Chargers defense a whole lot scarier and he will play a big role in 2020.
MVP – Von Miller – OLB
This was very close between Miller and Simmons. However, I expect Miller to have a big bounce back year this season. He struggled last season in the sack column, but with the Broncos bringing in Jurrell Casey and with Chubb returning from injury, Miller will face less double teams and this will give him more opportunities to get to the quarterback. Miller is a leader on this defense and I believe he will be more motivated than ever after battling Covid-19.
OPOY – Drew Lock – QB
Drew Lock is pivotal to this teams success in 2020. As a starter, Lock went 4-1 but those results were against fairly weak teams. He still has a lot to prove. However, the potential is there. He has a big arm and is great at going through his progressions to find the right read. Now that the Broncos added Melvin Gordon, Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler, I expect Lock to take a big jump in his sophomore season and lead the Broncos to a 9-10 win season.
DPOY – Justin Simmons – FS
Justin Simmons is one of the most underrated safeties in the league and showed big improvement last season under Vic Fangio. Simmons is great against the run and the pass. He is a bit undersized for a safety but his atheltic ability and strength make up for this weakness. We could potentially see Simmons in the box more, which could lead to more tackles and sacks, but he impacts the games in so many different ways regardless of where he is placed. I expect another big year from Simmons with a healthy and upgraded defense.
CBPOY – Bradley Chubb – DE
Bradley Chubb had a great rookie season, but injuries in 2019 limited him to just 4 games. Chubb with Miller, posted a Broncos record for most sacks in a rookie season with 12. Now add Jurrell Casey into the mix, and we could see Chubb have a career year and win the NFL award for comeback player of the year.
ROY – Jerry Jeudy – WR
The Broncos defintely needed a wide receiver to compliment Sutton and they found the perfect target in Jerry Jeudy. Jeudy is a polished route runner with sticky hands, elite speed and agile in the open field. He will take a lot of stress of Sutton and he could turn the Broncos into of the more dangerous wide reicever cores in the league in years to come.
Las Vegas Raiders
MVP – Derek Carr – QB
It seems as if every offseason, Jon Gruden is reportedly looking to draft or sign a new quarterback. This is Derek Carr’s prove it year. He finally has some weapons to work with along with an upgraded offensive line. He had a great season last year with Tyrell Williams as his top receiver but with the additions of Bryan Edwards, Henry Ruggs and Lynn Bowden to Darren Waller, Josh Jacobs and Hunter Renfrow, this Raiders offense upgraded tremendously in the offseason. If the Raiders want to have any chance at making the playoffs, Carr has to throw it back to his 2016 season, when he was a MVP candidate.
OPOY – Josh Jacobs – RB
Josh Jacobs should’ve won offensive rookie of the year last season as he rushed for 1150 yards and 7 touchdowns behind the 18th best run blocking O-Line (PFF). However, he would’ve also had a chance to lead the league in rushing if he hadn’t been injured: he only played 13 games. PFF graded Jacobs to be the most elusive rusher in the NFL along with being top 5 in yards after contact. Jacobs is in for another big year and with defense having to stack the box against the run, look for big plays from Henry Ruggs and Darren Waller.
DPOY – Cory Littleton – LB
The Raiders signed Littleton in the offseason to upgrade their dreadful linebacker core. Littleton is atheltic, playmaking linebacker who is great in both the run and pass game. He has an eye for the ball and is a tackling machine. The linebacker core was a big reason why the Raiders defense was how bad it was last season, but Littleton will lead this defense to a much better 2020 season.
CBPOY – Jonathan Abram – S
After getting injured in his first game as a rookie, Abram looks to retain the starting safety spot on this team. He plays with speed and aggression and he is a very atheltic safety. He has great short area bursts which allow him to make plays on the ball and deliver big hits to unexpecting receivers. Theres nowhere to go but up fo Abram in 2020.
ROY – Henry Ruggs III – WR
The first receiver selected off the board in the 2020 draft. Ruggs poses elite speed to take the tops of defenses who makes big plays happen with the ball in his hand. He is a great route runner who is tough to bring down in the open field. With defenses having to respect his speed, it will give Jacobs one less player in the box and will give Carr easier passing lanes to make throws. Ruggs is this teams WR1 and he will be a big part of the Raiders offensive success in 2020.