2019 NFL Season MVP, ROY, COY, DPOY Awards ‘Tournament’ (NFC West)
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 West
SF = TE George Kittle
The heart and soul of the 49ers. He is the team MVP if not for anything other than the play he made vs. New Orleans to set up the win changed the entire season, potentially.
SEA = QB Russell Wilson
The heart and soul of the Seahawks, and then some. Strong start to 2019, a moderate finish…but nearly toppled the 49ers for the #1 seed…so close.
LAR = WR Cooper Kupp
In games Kupp had 60+ yards in the game, the Rams were 5-2. Less than 60 yards…4-5 record. In games he had less than 45 yards, the Rams were 0-5. Kupp was a ghost a lot later in the season. As went Kupp, so went the Rams it seemed…to a degree. Todd Gurley was a big disappointment, no vote from me.
ARI = QB Kyler Murray
He was everything for the Cardinals. The center of the universe. Everything runs through him. And a helluva rookie season considering how bad this team and offense was. With a little better coaching and/or defense…they might have hit .500+.
WINNER = It wouldn’t be easy/fun, but the Rams and 49ers could live on fine without Kittle-Kupp. The Seahawks or Cardinals without Wilson-Kyler would be a disaster. Wilson was a bigger winner, so Russell Wilson is our NFC West MVP rep.
Rookie of the Year:
SF = DE Nick Bosa
Nice rookie season…9.0 sacks, 16 TFLs, 25 QB hits. He was a menace, as advertised. Like his brother, he’s streaky in production…7.0 sacks the first 7 games of his season and then just 2.0 sacks the rest of the campaign. As Bosa slowed, the 49ers defense got beat up 2nd-half of the season.
SEA = WR D.K. Metcalf
Way better year than I expected. Seattle used him about as well as a team should – used him for what he’s good at – stretching the field. And don’t try to make him DeAndre Hopkins. Seattle was very smart with DKM, and Metcalf didn’t have too many drops or flops like he did in college.
LAR = LB/SAG Taylor Rapp
99 tackles, 8 PDs, 2 picks in 2019. Started the last 9 games. In a season with a lot of injuries on defense, Rapp stepped in and produced/held his own.
ARI = QB Kyler Murray
I’ve never seen a rookie QB look this good…in a non-favorable environment. I thought the Air Raid was perfect for him, but I think he’d be great in any system. He’s a rare talent and had a fine season for a rookie QB starting wire-to-wire.
WINNER = Kyler Murray…everyone else getting consideration here was a strong piece for their unit, but Kyler was the team, was ‘the guy’…and was pretty great for a rookie.
Coach of the Year:
SF = HC Kyle Shanahan
Brilliant job in 2019. He started out with a dominant defense leading the way, and then when the defense started to fall apart some (some due to injury) – the offense took off and was one of the best in the game. The 49ers do not have a real ‘star’ on offense outside of George Kittle, and yet they dominated offensively with lesser names and spreading it around. Tremendous job in 2019.
SEA = HC Pete Carroll
You have to take your hat off to Pete Carroll…or I have to. I always hate his game plans and his recent drafts, and then he’s always getting the team to the playoffs and almost got them to a #1 seed. I know I want to laud Russell Wilson for everything, but Carroll has to get a lot of credit every year.
LAR = HC Sean McVay
I nominated him so I could say…I thought McVay did a terrible job in 2019. I don’t understand much of anything he was doing with his offense, the offseason moves, and now his coaching changes. I’ve gone from McVay is a genius to McVay is just like the rest…better than the pack, but not by much. I thought McVay coached this team down and showed he might not have what it takes compared to Shanahan or Carroll – McVay has gone from 2nd-best coach in the NFL, future #1…to the third best coach in his division. Wow.
ARI = HC Kliff Kingsbury
I can’t nominate the D-C, and Kliff is the O-C…so, I guess we nominate Kingsbury. He did get this offense from preseason ‘F’ to in-season B-C grade and doing it with a rookie QB and everyone mocking his system going into the season (for good reason how it looked in the preseason).
WINNER = Kyle Shanahan wins it. He dealt with his fair share+ of injuries this season and still got a #1 seed and a likely Super Bowl trip ahead (as of this writing before the playoffs). And he’ll be a favorite to repeat in 2020 as NFC kings. All hail Shanahan…take away all the McVay accolades and put them on Shanahan.
Defensive Player of the Year:
SF = CB Richard Sherman
The heart and soul of that defense…really the soul of it. The leader. And he had a really nice year. I thought he was in decline a few years ago, but he’s proved the doubters wrong. He’s still playing at a high level.
SEA = LB Bobby Wagner
Probably is the DPOY for Seattle every year. Although, I started to go with Shaquill Griffin because he was very good this year, but I took the easy path with Wagner.
LAR = DT Aaron Donald
Not as great a season as prior years. You just didn’t hear his name as much in 2019. However, he still had a nice season statistically – and he’s the guy offenses are trying to double, so for sure he’s the Rams DPOY.
ARI = SAF Budda Baker
I’m shocked at how good-great a player Budda Baker has become. There were times this season he looked like the best safety in the league, maybe the best defender. He can cover like a corner and he can hit like a mother. Jordan Hicks was great here too, but in all the Arizona games I watched intently this season (16 of them) – Baker is the one that is stuck in my mind.
WINNER = At their best, the 49ers defense is the best unit in the NFL. The key ingredient, the team leader, and a guy who had a hell of a coverage year from the metrics – Richard Sherman.
Tomorrow we look at the NFC North.
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