Patrick Mahomes Clear MVP Favorite & Saquon Barkley for COPY & Dark Horse for OPOY
Offensive Rookie of the Year (OROY): Damien Pierce, RB, Houston Texans
The 2022 NFL draft class for running backs was highlighted by Breece Hall (Jets, 36th), Kenneth Walker (Seahawks, 41st), James Cook (Bills, 63rd) & Brian Robinson (Commanders, 98th) selected in the first three rounds. But the guy that leads them all through 10 weeks of the NFL season is Damien Pierce of the Houston Texans.
Drafted in the fourth round, 107th overall, Pierce had some major hype around his name when he led all back in rushing when the preseason concluded. With that early success Pierce was the first RB of his draft class to be named a starter.
Pierce’s case for OROY was boosted when Breece Hall (681 TOT Yards & 5 TD) tore his ACL in week against the Broncos and since then the Texans now star RB has exploded.
Pierce is a HUGE part of the Texans playbook, accumulating over a THIRD of all yards gained by the Texans this season (33.12%).
In nine games this season Pierce has 165 attempts (3rd), 772 rushing yards (5th) & 4 total TD (22nd). He’s been a top 5 rusher for the Texans while the team has been one of the worse teams moving the ball this season (301.2, 4th worse).
If Pierce continues this trend for the second half of the season, he will finish the season with 1,458 yards rushing, 238 yards receiving & 8 touchdowns, good enough to be crowed “Offensive Rookie of the Year”.
But watch out for Kenneth Walker out in Seattle who is slowly climbing the ranks for OPOY.
2nd Place: Kenneth Walker III, RB, Seattle Seahawks
3rd Place: Chris Olave, WR, New Orleans Saints
Comeback Player of the Year (CPOY): Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants
2018 & 2019 seem like a long time ago for New York Giants fans, both seasons Saquon Barkley rushed for a thousand yards consecutively (1,307 & 1,003). The next two years that followed were plagued by injuries, tearing his ACL in 2020 and suffering a high-ankle sprain in 2021.
Now fully healthy again the REAL Saquon is back. With little to no passing game the Giants have leaned heavily on Saquon and it has paid off in a big way leading to a 7-2 record for the New York Football Giants.
Through nine games the Giants have the THIRD best rushing attack in all of the NFL. By himself, Saquon Barkley is 2nd in the NFL with 198 rushing attempts leading to his league leading 931 rushing yards. With those carries, Saquon has turned all those carries into 4.7 yards a carry while averaging 103.4 rushing yards per game, which is also 1st.
Saquon has regained his explosiveness in his knee 100% as he sits inside the top three for most 20+ yard rushing plays with seven, tied with Derrick Henry & just behind Nick Chubb who has 10.
Saquon Barkley is on pace to rush for 1,757 yards, 12 touchdowns & 372 receiving yards. Those numbers would put you in conversation for the MVP let alone “Comeback Player of the Year”.
This award is Saquon Barkley’s to lose.
2nd Place: Za’Darius Smith, EDGE, Minnesota Vikings
3rd Place: Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans
Coach of the Year: Brian Daboll, New York Giants
This will be short and simple. If either Brian Daboll of the Giants or Robert Salah isn’t your coach of the year pick through the first half of the season, seek help.
Now that we got out of the way, it’s a close race between Daboll and Salah for having two teams in a position no one saw them even being close to. BUT the biggest difference between the two is that Daboll is with a very below average roster, doing so with zero cap space available this season.
Now the New York FOOTBALL Giants are 7-2 and are one game out of the division lead & #1 seed in the NFC. It has not been pretty by any means only averaging around 325 yards a game while only scoring 20.8 points per game, which is 22nd in the league. But defensively the Giants are only allowing 19.2 points per game, making the Big Blue a top 10 scoring defense.
On the offensive side of the ball, Daboll has turned Daniel Jones from a turnover machine into one of the best game managing QB’s in the game. In his first three season Jones turned the ball over, interceptions & fumbles lost, 35 times. This season he has just two interceptions to his name with ZERO fumbles. Jones is also a top 10 QB this year with a Quarter Back Rating of 60.1 (8th).
But even with Jones being more efficient this season Daboll is forcing Jones to throw the ball 30 times a game, especially with the receiving core at his disposal. Leading the team in receiving is Darius Slayton who has just 327 yards and two touchdowns.
Instead, the Giants have leaned on one of the best running backs in the NFL named Saquon Barkley who regained his rookie year form, leading the Giants to the third best rushing attack this season with 164.8 yards rushing per game.
Heading into the second half of the season the Giants have one of the hardest remaining schedules left having to play the Cowboys (road), Commanders twice, Eagles twice, & Vikings (road).
If the Giants can overcome that schedule and at the least split their last eight games, they will finish with a record of 11-6 and most likely make the playoffs. With the Giants making the playoffs, that should all but make Brian Daboll the runaway favorite to win NFL “Coach of the Year” by seasons end.
2nd Place: Robert Salah, New York Jets
3rd Place: Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks
Offensive Player of the Year (OPOY): Tyreek Hill, WR, Miami Dolphins
Tyreek Hill is on course to achieve something that has never been done before, eclipsing 2,000 receiving yards in one season. As Cooper Kupp did last year with the Matthew Stafford & the Rams, Tyreek Hill is doing with Tua Tagovailoa & the Fins in 2022.
Through 10 games Tyreek Hill leads the NFL in targets (106), receptions (81), receiving yards (1,148), yards per game (114.8) and receptions 20+ yards (20). Where Hill really separates, though, is efficiency. Halfway through the year, he is commanding the league’s fourth-highest target share (29.8%).
Hill’s only knock on his resume this season is that he has only found the endzone only three times in 2022 after 24 the past two seasons. But if Hill continues the pace he is on, he will find the endzone more often than not.
With that being said, even though Hill isn’t finding the endzone he is still the “Cheetah”. Hill hasn’t lost any of his big game potential with the change from Mahomes to Tua at QB. Hill leads the league with four 150-plus yardage games this season, one behind the NFL record of five.
If Tyreek Hill stays healthy the rest of the season Tyreek Hill has the potential to finish 2022 with a truly record-breaking season through the air and would be crowned “Offensive Player of the Year”.
2nd Place: Justin Jefferson, WR, Minnesota Vikings
3rd Place: Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants
Most Valuable Player (MVP): Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
Let’s just lay it out on the table for you, “who’s been the best QB in the NFL through the first half of the NFL season”? If your answer wasn’t Patrick Mahomes then you need to go outside, take a walk, and rethink your NFL fandom.
Through 10 weeks this season here are Mahomes stats:
- 2,936 Yards (1st)
- 2 Yards per game (1st)
- 25 TD (1st)
- 78.6 QBR (2nd)
Patrick Mahomes is still Patrick Mahomes it seems. He leads the NFL in almost every important QB stat and is doing it without his #1 WR from years past after Tyreek Hill was traded to the Miami Dolphins this past summer.
The leading receiver for the Chiefs this season is Travis Kelce with 740 yards as a TE. This season Mahomes has been spreading the ball around with wide receivers like Juju Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling & Mecole Hardman rounding out the main cogs in the Kansas City offense.
With no true elite WR other than Kelce from the TE position, Mahomes is on pace for a ridiculous 5,545 yards and 48 touchdowns. If Mahomes continues that pace he will set the single season record for passing yards set by Peyton Manning in 2013 with the Denver Broncos (5,477).
To go along with the stats for Mahomes, he has led the Chiefs to a 7-2 record, good for the #1 seed in the AFC. With all that said Patrick Mahomes is the MVP if the season ended right now.
2nd Place: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Miami Dolphins
3rd Place: Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills
Defensive Player Award Predictions
- Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY): Matthew Judon, EDGE, New England Patriots
- 2nd Place: Micah Parsons, LB, Dallas Cowboys
- 3rd Place: Nick Bosa, EDGE, San Francisco 49ers
- Defensive Rookie of the Year (DROY): Ahmed “Sauce” Gardner, CB, New York Jets
- 2nd Place: Tariq Woolen, CB, Seattle Seahawks
- 3rd Place: Aiden Hutchinson, EDGE, Detroit Lions