The 2018 EH Sports NFL awards


Carolyn Kaster/AP

The NFL playoffs are well underway already and things have been wild to say the least. To take a bit of a break from the action before Sunday's games, a couple of our writers wrote up their picks for the NFL awards for 2018. This is how it played out.


Coach of the Year


Brandon Neild


Matt Nagy, Chicago Bears


Hardest pick I had to make. Andy Reid made a strong case as the Chiefs lost their elite starting RB, had one of the worst defenses in the game, and had a brand new Quarterback take the reins this season and still produced a 12-4 season. However Matt Nagy could not be outdone here. No one picked the Bears to win the division that holds both the Packers and Vikings. 5-1 in the division. The defence was absurd with production and the driving force to their NFC North division take over. He utilized his running back tandems to showcase their strengths and helped Trubisky take a huge progressive step forward as the main play caller. He turned a 5-11 team the season prior to a 12-4 season himself and a perennial playoff contender.


Runner Up: Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs


Brant Dubeau


Sean McVay, LA Rams


I know the Rams made some big pickups in the offseason, but there’s no way they could be where they are right now without Sean McVay. His ability to coach the team to wins despite having Jared Goff forget how to play football from time to time was incredible. He single handedly made a pro bowler out of Goff, and helped turn the Rams into a serious Superbowl threat.


Runner Up: Matt Nagy, Chicago Bears


Comeback Player of the Year


Brandon


Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts


There was certainly no luck with my pick here, or I guess there was….. Either way Andrew Luck is more than deserving of this award. After missing the entire 2017 season, Luck threw for 39 touchdowns (only one less then his career high of 40) as well as lead the Colts to a wild card spot after starting the season 1-5 (finished with a 10-6 record). Not to mention his completion percentage was 67.3% and was top three in the league for completions and attempts. Runner up JJ Watt produced an average of a sack per game as well as forcing 7 fumbles himself.


Runner Up: JJ Watt, Houston Texans


Brant


Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts


This is an absolute no-brainer. If anyone says anybody else for this award then they’re wrong. Luck missed the entire 2017 campaign due to injury and the Colts looked like a high school team. He came back this season to throw for over 4500 yards, a career high 67.3% completion percentage, and a near career high 39 TDs. To top things off, he carried the Colts to a spot in the playoffs, solidifying himself as the most valuable player on that team.


Runner Up: Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans


Defensive Rookie of the Year


Brandon


Leighton Vander Esch, Dallas Cowboys


Anyone remember Sean Lee? I’m sure Dallas fans don’t. Leighton Vander Esch snatched the starting job from long time faithful Lee and never looked to give it back. Sure, Leonard stats may be better than Vander Esch, but Leonard started 4 more games than Vander Esch. Leighton finished his rookie campaign with 140 total tackles (102 solo and 38 assisted) as well as an additional 2 interceptions. Not bad for the 21 year old OLB in his first season… not bad at all.


Runner Up: Darius Leonard, Indianapolis Colts


Brant


Darius Leonard, Indianapolis Colts


I’ll be the first to admit that I know very little about defence in the NFL. Ever since I was a kid I basically ignored the fact that there was defence in football and I just ran my routes. With that being said, take my pick with a grain of salt because I could probably be wrong. Leonard, however, lead all rookies in forced fumbles and tackles, was second in sacks, and lead all rookie linebackers in interceptions. I may not know much about defence, but it doesn’t take Bill Belichick to know that those numbers are insane.


Runner up: Bradley Chubb, Denver Broncos


Offensive Rookie of the Year


Brandon


Saquon Barkley, New York Giants


I still believe Barkley should’ve gone first overall in the draft (over Brant’s boyfriend Baker) and for so many obvious reasons. His ability on the ground was unparalleled as he constantly made the first tackler miss. I swear it was every time the first man got to him, they could not take him down. He finished second in the league with 1307 rushing yards and had 2028 total yards. Oh , and he did not fumble the ball once all season. My runner up may shock most as its not Baker Mayfield. But Phillip Lindsay deserved a nod somewhere. He is the first NFL player in history to be undrafted and be selected to the Pro Bowl. And not by fluke as he had 1037 rushing yards, good enough for top ten in the league.


Runner Up: Philip Lindsay, Denver Broncos


Brant


Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns


Brandon has never been so wrong in his life. Not only did Baker turn around the worst franchise in the league, carrying them to a seven win season, but he put up ridiculous numbers as a rookie quarterback. He broke the rookie record held by Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson for passing touchdowns with 27 TD passes this year, threw for over 3700 yards, and finished with a 63.8% completion percentage… all while not being the starter for the first three games of the season. Sure, his antics aren’t for the old school football guys, but you can’t deny that when he “woke up feeling dangerous”, the kid was absolutely lethal.


Runner Up: Saquon Barkley, New York Giants


Defensive Player of the Year


Brandon


Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams


No reason for debate. No reason to write a lot. 20.5 sacks. 4 forced fumbles. 59 tackles with 25 for losses. Easily the best and most feared defender in the game.


Runner Up: Darius Leonard, Indianapolis Colts


Brant


Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams


Brandon said it all… the man is a beast. Next.


Runner Up: Darius Leonard, Indianapolis Colts


Offensive Player of the Year


Brandon


Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs


Patrick Mahomes. Oh “Mahomie” how spectacular his first full season was to watch. He dazzled the league with 50 touchdowns, 11 more than the next closest Quarterback. He found over 5000 yards through the air. He entertained the league with his ambidextrous throws. His football IQ is on a whole other level and it’s only his second year as a professional. The scariest thought is that he will improve upon this season.


Runner Up: Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers


Brant


Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs


If you listen to the podcast I’m pretty sure I said that Mahomes is gonna end up being a bust… I’m an idiot. This kid started the season on an absolute tear and never slowed down from there. He threw for just over 5000 yards, had 50 TDs and completed 66% of his passes in his first season as a starter. Yes, he had a ton of weapons around him, but watching him throw side arm passes like it was nothing, and deciding every now and then that he’d throw left handed, pretty much solidified him as the best offensive player in the game for me.


Runner Up: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints


MVP


Brandon


Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints


Mahomes would've definitely had my vote if I based MVP off of touchdowns and total yards. But Brees was the complete Quarterback this season. He only was picked off 5 times all year, and had he not sat out the final week there's no doubt he would have been over 4000 yards (finished with 3992) on the season. His completion rate was 74.4% almost 10% better than Mahomes (66%). Accumulated 32 touchdowns over 15 games. He also now holds sole possession for most throwing yards by an NFL Quarterback, surpassing Peyton Manning. His playcalling, his accuracy and his decision making sometimes makes Brees look as though he’s in a league of his own. He was more than deserving this season of MVP.


Runner Up: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs


Brant


Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints


The award that might as well be renamed the league’s best quarterback award, Drew Brees was far and away the most valuable player to his team. On an offence that doesn’t have the weapons that Kansas City has, Brees threw for nearly 4000 yards, had 32 TDs, and was only picked off five times all year long. To top things off, Brees finished the year with a 115.7 QBR, nearly two points higher than Mahomes’ 113.8. Mahomes is flashier, but I think Drew Brees got it done this year and deserves some credit.


Runner Up: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

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