2019 NFL Season MVP, ROY, COY, DPOY Awards ‘Tournament’ (NFC 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 NFC South
NO = WR Michael Thomas
A record setting season…he was great with Brees and without Brees/with Teddy. He almost never has a bad output week. Everyone knows he’s the guy and they can’t stop it.
TB = WR Mike Evans
Evans was on his way to another 80+ catch, 1,500+ yard season and might have had 10+ TDs to go with it, but his season got cut short by three games with injury. Evans changes the game and opens up things for Chris Godwin to operate. Evans is starting to amass stellar numbers year-after-year making him one of the 3-5 best WRs in the game currently. Evans has had 1,000+ yards in every one of his six NFL seasons so far.
ATL = WR Julio Jones
The great WR play continues. Might the NFC South have the #1-2-3 best/most productive WRs in the NFL? Another big season, but a little short on the TDs again (6 this season).
CAR = RB Christian McCaffrey
What else can you say about McCaffrey? The Panthers get him the ball every play they can, he racks huge numbers, and he never gets hurt. He’s amazing.
WINNER = So many stunning performances and high-end talent coming out of this division, but none of them can touch what Christian McCaffrey did this season – 2,392 scrimmage yards and 19 TDs.
Rookie of the Year:
NO = OC Erik McCoy
Started 16 games for the Saints this year, one of the better O-Lines in the league. Great draft pick, productive player right off the jump.
TB = LB Devin White
Had a solid season. The Bucs run defense was #1 in the league, but White was a part in that not the main reason by any stretch.
ATL = OT Kaleb McGary
16 game starter and this Falcons O-Line improved as we went along this season…McGary a lot to do with that.
CAR = DE Brian Burns
7.5 sacks, 16 QB hits in his debut season. Wasn’t a great all-around player…just a very nice pass rush specialist.
WINNER = Erik McCoy gets my nod over Devin White. The Saints were one of the least sacked teams this season and McCoy also dealt with working with two QBs this season as the starting center…sometimes a 3rd QB with Taysom Hill.
Coach of the Year:
NO = HC Sean Payton
13-3 season and went 5-0 during the Drew Brees injury stretch…undefeated with Teddy Bridgewater is quite an accomplishment of coaching on the fly.
TB = HC Bruce Arians
Got this team to 7-9 and some level of respectability and hope for 2020…not an easy feat. A 2-6 start and then a 5-3 finish with a rag tag group and several injuries. A nice job in 2019.
ATL = HC Dan Quinn
All but dead/likely fired after a 1-7 start – and then the team finished 6-2 in the 2nd-half and Quinn saved his job, and rightfully so.
CAR = O-C Norv Turner
I just wanted to note him here -- that Norv deserves an award for the guy who is in the DNA of teams that fail and get entire coaching staffs fired like none other in the NFL the past decade or so. He is like the Grim Reaper…you hire Turner, and bad things will happen within 2-3 seasons. Mike Zimmer punting him midseason a few years ago saved Zim’s job.
WINNER = Dan Quinn…this was the best team in the NFC South the 2nd-half of the season. In their final 8 games, they split with the Saints and they went to San Francisco and beat them – the last team to have beaten the 49ers.
Defensive Player of the Year:
NO = CB Marshon Lattimore
When Lattimore was playing…this defense was formidable, and Lattimore would squash most opposing #1 WRs. When Lattimore was out, things fell apart. He’s one of the best, most impactful players in the league.
TB = LB Shaq Barrett
19.5 sacks and 37 QB hits from the free agent Denver didn’t want, or ever used properly his entire career there.
ATL = LB Deion Jones
De’Vondre Campbell had better stats, but I felt like Jones is always the difference maker for the Falcons defense.
CAR = LB Luke Kuechly
Not his best year, but just giving the nod for his entire career of work. The best linebacker of the 2010-2019 decade. Congrats to him for a great career and leaving on top.
WINNER = Marcus Lattimore is the one guy on this list who changes the game, changes offensive plans and halts opposing top WR weapons. You have to honor that.
Tomorrow we look at the AFC Final Four divisional winners to find the AFC representative to go on to face the NFC top representative in each category.
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