By Spencer Ripchik
The NFL season is coming to a close with just the Super Bowl left, and that means the NFL award season is upon us.
This season has been filled with younger talent showing out with some of the greats like Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers slowly passing the torch to the newcomers.
There are some debates for some awards, but a lot of them have clear winners this year.
Here are my NFL awards for the 2022 season.
MVP: Patrick Mahomes, quarterback, Kansas City Chiefs
At the start of the season, fans and analysts questioned how well the Kansas City Chiefs would do after trading away one of their best offensive weapons, Tyreek Hill, in the offseason.
The Chiefs did pretty well without Hill, getting the No. 1 seed in the AFC and are now Super Bowl bound. A large part of that was because of their quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
A lot of people have Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts penciled in for the MVP, but he missed the last couple of games with an injury, so it’s hard to pick him over Mahomes.
Mahomes, without Hill, led the NFL in passing yards and passing touchdowns this regular season, making him have some of the best stats as a quarterback.
— NFL (@NFL) December 11, 2022
The MVP, like the Heisman, has turned into a quarterback award and Mahomes was one of the best quarterbacks through all 17 games this season, so he fits the bill for MVP.
Mahomes did throw 11 interceptions this season, but he also threw the ball the third most in the NFL, so the interceptions, in a pass-heavy offense, were bound to come.
The sixth-year player has highlight after highlight and has the stats, too, making him the league’s Most Valuable Player this year.
Comeback Player of the Year: Christian McCaffrey, running back, San Francisco 49ers
The Comeback Player of the Year is probably one of the most controversial awards every year because nobody really knows what the metrics are. Is it the most improved player over the year or a player who came back from injury and played really well?
Like last year, the Comeback Player of the Year is going to go to a player who was injured and came back, and that’s why the award will go to San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey.
There is an argument that if it goes to an injured player it should go to New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, but Barkley only has the rushing stats, not total touchdowns and yards.
McCaffrey was ahead of Barkley in touchdowns and all-purpose yards.
CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY ANGRY RUN
— PFF (@PFF) January 29, 2023
The midseason acquisition McCaffrey fitted in well with the 49ers’ heavy rushing offense.
Fresh off the injury, McCaffrey is back to being one of the best all-around running backs in the NFL.
Offensive Player of the Year: Justin Jefferson, wide receiver, Minnesota Vikings
In his third year in the NFL, Justin Jefferson was one of the best players in the NFL and if the MVP award wasn’t heavily given to a quarterback, Jefferson would have a real shot at that award, too.
Jefferson had the most receiving yards in the NFL and 100 more receiving yards than Tyeek Hill, who had the second-most.
He made some big-time plays all season and had one of the best catches in the overtime thriller against the Buffalo Bills in Week 10.
JUSTIN JEFFERSON ASDGJSKDNFGKSDF;K
— NFL (@NFL) November 13, 2022
Jefferson broke Randy Moss’ Vikings receiving yard record in just his third season, too.
The only offensive players better than Jefferson was the quarterbacks, so this award goes to him.
Defensive Player of the Year: Nick Bosa, defensive end, San Fransico 49ers
This award is one of the more difficult ones to give out because it’s a close race between San Fransico 49ers’ defensive end Nick Bosa and Dallas Cowboys’ linebacker Micah Parsons.
Parsons was the clear frontrunner at the start of the season, but Bosa was the main piece of one of the best defenses in the league.
Bosa was one of the best at finding the quarterback in 2022 and led the league with a career-high 18.5 sacks, which was 2.5 more than anybody else.
— NFL (@NFL) December 19, 2021
The fourth-year player out of Ohio State continues to get better and better and this year, now that he was fully healthy, he was able to show out.
With the number of sacks he racked up, Bosa claimed this year’s Defensive Player of the Year Award.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Brock Purdy, quarterback, San Fransico 49ers
The Offensive Rookie of the Year is a tough one because there wasn’t really a player that stood out all year, but in the last seven games of the regular season Mr. Irrelevant Brock Purdy emerged.
The last pick in the draft, Purdy started the last six games of the regular season and didn’t lose a single one.
He came in as the third-string quarterback and did his job. He didn’t have to do too much because of how good the team around him was, but he rarely made mistakes.
Purdy threw for 13 touchdowns in the last six games and threw for 1,308 yards. He only threw three interceptions in those last six games, too.
— NFL (@NFL) December 4, 2022
With no rookie truly standing out on the offensive end, Purdy’s late-season surge was enough to make him win Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Sauce Gardner, cornerback, New York Jets
There were a couple of solid defensive rookies this season, especially at the corner position.
One of those rookie corners was New York Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner, who has transitioned to the NFL extremely well and is already one of the best corners in the league.
A smooth transition like that is not an easy thing to do, but Gardner looks like he was ready for the NFL right out of college.
Sauce Gardner’s first career interception! @iamSauceGardner
— NFL (@NFL) October 9, 2022
Gardner had two interceptions and led the league in pass breakups as a rookie. He also only allowed one touchdown in Week 12 against the Cleveland Browns in 17 games.
The sheer dominance at one of the toughest positions in the league makes Gardner this year’s Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Coach of the Year: Brian Daboll, New York Giants
The New York Giants finished the 2021 season 4-13 with the worst record in the NFC East.
In the offseason, the Giants signed just two free agents and one of them was a backup quarterback. Their highest-paid offensive player only had six catches for 81 yards in the regular season.
Yet, first-year head coach Brian Daboll managed to turn that 4-13 New York team that made almost no offseason moves into a playoff team. A playoff team that won a playoff game, too.
Jacksonville Jaguars coach Doug Pederson did turn the worst team in the NFL into a playoff-winning team, but the Jaguars were much more aggressive in free agency and had more talent than the Giants.
Daboll changed things around with the offense and made quarterback Daniel Jones look like a potential franchise quarterback.
Jones, after the Giants drafted him with the sixth-overall pick in 2019, looked like he was going to be on his way out after this year.
However, Jones had a career year in just one year under Daboll, which completely shifted the narrative in New York.
Daboll turned a 4-13 team that was pretty much the same roster into a playoff team, making him the Coach of the Year.
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