2019 NFL Season MVP, ROY, COY, DPOY Awards ‘Tournament’ (AFC Finals)
To name our award winners in the four main categories (MVP, Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year), we are going to go through an entire division to launch one candidate in each category to a final 8 tournament…battling head to head with candidates, advancing a winner each round until we have one man left standing.
We’re going division by division to find our final eight candidates and then we’ll play it from there to find a winner.
Today – the AFC Finals. *See our division-by-division nominees and commentary on the FFM home page.
AFC East: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, MIA
AFC West: QB Patrick Mahomes, KC
AFC North: QB Lamar Jackson, BAL
AFC South: QB Deshaun Watson, HOU
AFC WINNER = If you took the playoffs into consideration, we’d all might vote for Mahomes here but in the regular season, Lamar Jackson was the talk of the NFL. I don’t know how anyone can get a vote over Lamar this season, but we’ll see who he faces from the NFC for our final vote. One of the best seasons in a long time, for the AFC winner Lamar Jackson. Order: Jackson-Mahomes-Watson-Fitz.
Rookie of the Year:
AFC East: RB Devin Singletary, BUF
AFC West: DE Maxx Crosby, OAK
AFC North: LB Mack Wilson, CLE
AFC South: QB Gardner Minshew, JAX
AFC WINNER = I think Devin Singletary could’ve been the ROY, had the Bills just pushed him right from the jump and used him like a workhorse -- Instead they danced around with him and didn’t use him in the passing game as a weapon enough. Minshew Mania deserves a lot of credit for what he was able to accomplish but the Jags were a sad team in the 2nd-half. I’m going with Maxx Crosby. I feel like he was the one rookie on this list that totally changed things for his whole unit. 10.0 sacks, 16.0 TFLs, 4 forced fumbles – he made the Raiders pass rush plausible for the first time in the Gruden era. Order: Crosby-Minshew-Sngletary-Wilson.
Coach of the Year:
AFC East: HC Sean McDermott, BUF
AFC West: HC Jon Gruden, OAK
AFC North: HC John Harbaugh, BAL
AFC South: HC Bill O’Brien, HOU
WINNER = This comes down to the stunning job Sean McDermott did getting Buffalo to somewhere no one thought they could get to with their roster vs. the stellar season of the Baltimore Ravens and HC John Harbaugh. The question is – was the Ravens’ success due to Harbaugh as the lead, or did he ‘get lucky’ in a sense and rode Lamar to a fantastic regular season?
I think Sean McDermott is the better coach, in general, especially because of his involvement on the personnel side of things but the Ravens were the best team I’ve seen in the NFL in the past 5-10 years…the most dominant. You have to honor Harbaugh for the Lamar transition, but also the defensive adjustments midseason to help take this team to the next level. It’s close, but I have to give it to John Harbaugh over McDermott. Order: Harbaugh-McDermott-O’Brien-Gruden.
Defensive Player of the Year:
AFC East: CB Tre’Davious White, BUF
AFC West: CB Chris Harris, DEN
AFC North: LB T.J. Watt, PIT
AFC South: CB Logan Ryan, TEN
WINNER = Logan Ryan had a great statistical year at corner, but he’s not the game changer/shutdown guy Tre’Davious White or Chris Harris are/were. Harris v. White – the Denver pass defense was good, but the Bills’ pass defense was near-great and that gives the edge to White to consider vs. T.J. Watt for the AFC award nod.
Watt’s play and numbers are too freakish to ignore – 55 tackles, 14.5 sacks, 36 QB hits, 8 PDs, 8 forced fumbles, 2 interceptions. It was another fantastic year for my winner and advancing to the finals, T.J. Watt. Order: Watt-White-Harris-Ryan.
Tomorrow we look at the NFC finals…
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