2019 NFL Season MVP, ROY, COY, DPOY Awards ‘Tournament’ (The 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 Finals. *See our division-by-division nominees on the FFM home page.
NFC = RB Christian McCaffrey, CAR
AFC = QB Lamar Jackson, BAL
WINNER = I respect the volume of work and the subsequent numbers McCaffrey put up this season. It’s commendable, almost inexplicable in this era of RB rotations, specialists, and risk of injury at the position – but what Lamar Jackson did in 2019 is going to change football for the foreseeable future. Everyone will be looking for ‘their Lamar Jackson’. No teams are starting out their planning sessions with ‘we need to find our McCaffrey’. The best team in the NFL regular season spawns the 2019 MVP, Lamar Jackson. I never thought I’d type those words.
Remember when Todd Gurley won the MVP and was hailed as the best player in football, hand’s down and was revered?
2,093 total yards, 1,305 rush yards, 4.7 ypc, 64 catches, 19 TDs = Gurley 2017
2,492 total yards, 1.387 rush yards, 4.8 ypc, 116 catches, 19 TDs = McCaffrey 2019
Why does it feel like McCaffrey is getting a polite pat on the head from the media/fans at large for a great stat season but is not seen as the model every team should be chasing after? Everyone wants their version of Derrick Henry or Alvin Kamara…but little talk of teams wanting their McCaffrey or finding the next one. It’s odd.
Rookie of the Year:
NFC = QB Kyler Murray, ARI
AFC = DE Maxx Crosby, OAK
WINNER = I love the impact Maxx Crosby had on the Raiders’ defensive front…he changed a defense on his own talent/merits. Sensational season for the 4th-round draft pick. However, Kyler Murray took a dead team and breathed life into as a rookie QB, a rookie QB who never showed much fear or struggles to transition to the pro game at all.
Up to Week 4 of 2019 season, the Cardinals were 3-16-1 in their prior 20 games. After Week 4 in 2019, Arizona finished 5-7 their final 12 games of the season. They started to become a formidable opponent, mostly due to Kyler Murray being able to carry/push the offense…as a rookie. Much tougher to quarterback a team to respectability as a rookie than being a sweet pass rusher off the edge. My winner is Kyler Murray.
Coach of the Year:
NFC = HC Dan Quinn, ATL
AFC = HC John Harbaugh, BAL
WINNER = It’s going to be a similar argument here as my Lamar Jackson for MVP – how can you not honor something from a team that I thought was the best regular season team I’d seen in the last 5-10+ years? A team not just winning, but blowing everyone out? How does the head coach not win an award for that? My winner is John Harbaugh, a long overdue acknowledgement of his talents by me.
Defensive Player of the Year:
NFC = CB Richard Sherman, SF
AFC = LB T.J. Watt, PIT
WINNER = Who would have guessed this finale in the preseason? T.J. Watt, maybe…but not Richard Sherman, he’s supposed to be washed up! Sherman had great cover numbers in 2019, but he also mainly stayed to his one side of the field – which is a knock, but also he basically shuts off a-third of the field when he walks out to his one side. There’s a value in that. Where Sherman earns more points with me is being the true leader of that defense, as a quasi-coach/emotional leader on the field. The inspirational leader and the smartest, most experienced guy to lead the way. He missed one game this season, Week 15…and the 49ers lost to the Falcons, at SF…their last loss of the season heading into the Super Bowl.
On the other hand, T.J. Watt had a phenomenal individual/statistical performance…and the Steelers defense was top 5 in most categories in a season where they had no offense and needed the defense to save the day.
My first instinct was to honor the big stats from Watt. But, I’m going to give Richard Sherman my win…in part for an emotional reason – the 49ers had a better defense overall, Sherman was its spiritual, vocal, savvy leader…AND consider Sherman has been ‘the guy’ for two of the better defenses of the last 5-10 years – the Seattle defenses and this 49ers defense (the SF team when at full defensive strength). I’ve not given Sherman the career respect he deserves, so I’ll do it now by naming him the FFM DPOY!
That’s it for 2019!
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