2019 NFL Season MVP, ROY, COY, DPOY Awards ‘Tournament’ (AFC South)
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’s division – the AFC North
HOU = QB Deshaun Watson
There was, what…? 3-4-5 times this season where Houston was on the brink of losing and Watson came up with a miracle escape of the pocket and made a play to win or ice the game? Watson is the Houston Texans and the Texans won their division with a lot of injuries and issues because of him.
TEN = QB Ryan Tannehill
Maybe the most stunning individual performance of 2019…the resurrection of Ryan Tannehill. Derrick Henry was great, but it wasn’t until Tannehill began starting that the team starting winning and becoming a force. Henry is the elite talent, but it never mattered for wins-losses until Tannehill came in and everything changed. We have to honor that. The first 10 games or so of the season, Henry hit 100 yards rushing one time. It was Tannehill that lit the fuse here, I think.
IND = QB Jacoby Brissett
When Brissett was rolling, so was Indy early on this season. When Brissett stumbled/fell back to normal…the Colts fell down. Everything was riding on Brissett.
JAC = RB Leonard Fournette
Never got hurt this year. Took a ton of touches. Defenses dared the Jags to beat them throwing the ball by stacking against Fournette. Everything centered around Fournette.
WINNER = Deshaun Watson over Ryan Tannehill. When Tennessee had their shot to overtake Houston…they didn’t, and Watson was the main reason why.
Rookie of the Year:
HOU = OL Max Scharping
Started every game since Week 3…a weaker ‘name’ rookie class for Houston.
TEN = WR A.J. Brown
Stellar second half of the season, but when the Titans faced tougher defenses later in the season and against Buffalo in the playoffs…Brown was taken out. He was good-not-great this season.
IND = CB Rock Ya-Sin
Had to start 14 games for the Colts, and he wasn’t great…but he was more used by the Colts than any of their other 2019 rookies.
JAC = QB Gardner Minshew
For a few weeks, it looked like Minshew was going to take the Jags to the playoffs…and he was the talk of the NFL world, and NFL analysts were consumed with his mustache (NFL analysts and their affinity for facial hair is inexplicable).
WINNER = Gardner Minshew. Why? How come not A.J. Brown? Brown played well, but Minshew came out of nowhere to put a team on his back and carry it for a bit – and he has forced himself into the discussion of whether he is the face of the franchise now. The NFL’s most important position, and Minshew played so well and captured all of football’s attention – that’s a helluva a rookie season from a guy people weren’t sure would even make the team out of training camp.
Coach of the Year:
HOU = HC Bill O’Brien
Two division titles in a row. And this one with no GM, and him kinda taking over the GM role and making moves to solidify this season (even if at the expense of the future). A ton of credit for O’Brien for this season.
TEN = HC Mike Vrabel
He made the Tannehill over Mariota move and then they went on their run. I cannot believe a Tannehill-led Titans team got to the playoffs, but they did.
IND = HC Frank Reich
I’m putting him here to write this – the worst head coaching job of 2019 was Frank Reich. His sticking by Adam Vinatieri cost him 2-3 wins. His, and the organization’s, insistence that Jacoby Brissett was a franchise QB cost them the 2nd-half of the season and probably issues into the next few seasons. I like Reich as a coach but two major blunders here has the Colts falling back towards worst in this division not ‘team of the future’.
JAC = O-C John DeFilippo
The other worst coach of the year was Doug Marrone, FYI. But credit to John DeFilippo – he lost his starting QB the 1st-quarter of the first game and set up Gardner Minshew to succeed for a stretch and kept the Jags in the playoff hunt before they totally died late. Credit some to DeFilippo for getting a rookie 6th-round pick playing like a veteran almost right away.
WINNER = Bill O’Brien for sure. Made the move for Laremy Tunsil. Made the move for Duke Johnson and Carlos Hyde. As a ‘GM’ he actually DID something instead of sitting in a corner with a thumb up his arse doing nothing afraid of being criticized if a bad trade happened – like most all NFL GMs.
Defensive Player of the Year:
HOU = CB Bradley Roby
The Texans were 7-3 when Roby was playing/starting and he always caught my eye as the best/most important guy in the secondary this season.
TEN = CB Logan Ryan
113 tackles, 18 PDs, 4 picks, 4 TFLs, 4 forced fumbles…it’s one of the best statistical seasons I’ve seen from a cornerback. He was the #1 PPG DB in fantasy (FantasyPros scoring Weeks 1-16).
IND = LB Darius Leonard
Logan Ryan was terrific, but Darius Leonard came right back and was the top PPG IDP in all of fantasy. He did miss 3 games, however.
JAX = CB Jalen Ramsey
How important was he? The whole season went into the tank when he was traded. He was the Jacksonville defense. He was the MVP…and they found that out when they moved him.
WINNER = The Colts went 2-1 while Leonard was out. He had another great season but I have to honor Logan Ryan for the amazing season he put up, especially considering the other starting CBs got hurt 2nd-half of the season and more burden fell on Ryan, but that’s when the Titans made their run as well.
Tomorrow we look at the NFC East...
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