The tenth annual NFL Honors award ceremony will be held on February 6th. The event takes place the night prior to the Super Bowl each year to recognize players for various awards. This year’s ceremony will be aired on CBS.
MVP- Aaron Rodgers
Rodgers threw a league leading 48 touchdowns to just 5 interceptions and completed 70.7% of his passes this this season while leading his team to a 13-3 record, and the #1 seed in the NFC. Rodgers also posted the second highest passer rating in a season in NFL history with a rating of 121.5, which is just shy of his own 2011 record of 122.5. Rodgers is the clear favorite for the 2020 MVP, as he looks to earn the 3rd MVP award of his career (2011 and 2014).
Coach of the Year– Kevin Stefanski
Stefanski led the Cleveland Browns to their best regular season record since 1994, and more importantly their first playoff berth in nearly two decades, breaking the longest active playoff drought in the NFL. Stefanski was able to reach these accomplishments in his first year as a head coach, with a remote off season. Despite injuries to Nick Chubb, Odell Beckham, Denzel Ward, and Wyatt Teller, Stefanski was still able to lead the Browns to an 11-5 record.
Defensive Player of the Year- TJ Watt
Watt led the NFL in sacks (15), quarterback hits (41), and tackles for a loss (23) in 2020. Watt’s 15 sacks was one short of the team’s single season record. Despite season ending injuries to linebackers Devin Bush and Bud Dupree, Watt and the Steelers ranked first in sacks, and third in points and yards allowed. Watt will look to join his brother JJ in adding a Defensive Player of the Year Award to his resume.
Offensive Player of the Year– Derrick Henry
Only 8 players in NFL history have eclipsed 2,000 rushing yards in a single season. Those players are O.J. Simpson (1973), Eric Dickerson (1984), Barry Sanders (1997), Terrell Davis (1998), Jamal Lewis (2003), Chris Johnson (2009), and Adrian Peterson (2012). Henry finished the 2020 campaign with 2,027 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns adding his name to the elite 2,000 yard club. Out of the 8 players on the list, all but Dickerson won the offensive player of the year award in their 2,000 yard season. With that said, I like Henry’s odds.
Defensive Rookie of the Year- Chase Young
In 15 games this season, Young finished with 7.5 sacks, 10 tackles for a loss, 12 quarterback hits, 4 forced fumbles, and 3 fumble recoveries, one of in which he returned for a touchdown in week 14. Young finished the season leading rookies in sacks, tackles for loss, and QB hits. Young was a key piece in a defense that played a pivotal role in getting the Washington Football Team back in the playoffs for the first time since the 2015 season.
Offensive Rookie of the Year- Justin Herbert
After taking over for the injured Tyrod Taylor in week 2, Herbert broke records as a rookie. Herbert broke the rookie records for passing touchdowns (31), completions (396), games with 2 or more passing touchdowns (10), and games with 300 passing yards. Herbert finished the season with 36 total touchdowns and 4,336 passing yards and just 10 interceptions. In a race that will probably be tight with Vikings rookie Justin Jefferson, I think Herbert takes the cake.
Comeback Player of the Year- Alex Smith
Alex Smith did not even have to step on the field to win the Comeback Player of the Year Award. Smith went through 17 surgeries, a life threatening infection, and the fear of having to have his leg amputated following his injury on November 18th, 2018. Smith was told there was a chance he would never walk again, let alone play football. Smith took the field on October 11th with his family in attendance following an injury to starter Kyle Allen. Smith finished the season 5-3 as a starter and helped the Washington Football Team win the NFC East and get back into the playoffs.