With 16 games remaining on the 2020 NFL schedule, the MVP race is down to the two players quarterbacking the respective conference leaders. With that in mind, let’s break down the home-stretch battles for all of the primary regular-season awards.
MVP: Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes vs. Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
I think this is pretty much settled. That is unless Rodgers completely bombs in a bye-clinching game against the division-rival Chicago Bears Sunday. Even then, Mahomes has a sub-90 passer rating over the last four weeks and won’t likely have a chance to do enough to leapfrog Rodgers in a meaningless Week 17 game. As long as the league’s highest-rated passer doesn’t crap the bed in Week 17, he’ll become the sixth three-time MVP in NFL history.
Offensive Player of the Year: Rodgers vs. Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry
Henry might have an outside shot if he rushes for 223 yards to hit the 2,000-yard mark Sunday against the Houston Texans, but Rodgers’ numbers are so much better than every other quarterback that this is also likely his to lose.
Defensive Player of the Year: Los Angeles Rams DL Aaron Donald vs. Pittsburgh Steelers edge T.J. Watt
Watt’s actually pulling away. He now leads the league with 15 sacks and 41 quarterback hits, but he also has seven passes defensed and two forced fumbles. Donald has him beat in only one of those metrics.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Los Angeles Chargers QB Justin Herbert vs. Minnesota Vikings WR Justin Jefferson
Herbert has been the league’s top rookie passer with a 28-to-10 touchdown-to-interception ratio, but Jefferson now has six 100-yard games and is a top-10 receiver for the Vikings. The former arguably has less support in a bigger role than the latter, so it’s a toss-up. For now, we’ll side with Jefferson, who ranks fourth in the NFL in yards per target. But this is totally up for grabs in Week 17.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Washington Football Team edge Chase Young vs. Indianapolis Colts S Julian Blackmon
No defensive rookies have made much of a difference in 202, but both Young and Blackmon have shined more than their numbers indicate. The No. 2 overall pick has a massive edge over everyone, though, thanks to 6.5 sacks and four forced fumbles. He’s one of only seven players who can say they’ve hit those marks in 2020.
Coach of the Year: Brian Flores (Miami Dolphins) vs. Ron Rivera (Washington Football Team)
Flores has orchestrated an unreal turnaround in Miami. The Dolphins are improved, but they’re not that talented yet, and he has them in the playoff picture after a big Week 16 win. Meanwhile, Rivera has overcome cancer while dealing with the standard B.S. (injuries, quarterback volatility, a lack of consistency, and talent) surrounding the WFT. That said, that was a rough loss to his former team in Week 16. Whoever makes the playoffs gets the edge, and Miami has a better chance right now.
Comeback Player of the Year: Washington Football Team QB Alex Smith vs. Nobody
This is a no-brainer considering that the dude came back from 17 freakin’ surgeries. Nobody else deserves a mention.