Despite several Covid-19 related hiccups, the NFL and all 32 franchises have successfully completed the first month of football.
With a quarter of the season now in the books, there is no better time to take a look at who the front runners are for the end of season awards in the NFL.
Most Valuable Player: Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
Despite coming into the 2020 season looking for his first MVP vote, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson may finish the season with his first MVP trophy. Wilson has led Seattle to a 4-0 record throughout the first month of football, completing 75.2% of his passes and tying Peyton Manning with 16 touchdowns (and only two interceptions) through the first four games of the season, the most in NFL history. With a great offensive line giving him protection in the pocket, Russ will certainly collect his first MVP votes at the end of the season, and will be tough to beat if he can keep up this level of play.
In the mix: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
Defensive Player of the Year: Aaron Donald, DT, Los Angeles Rams
Already a two-time winner of this prestigious award, Donald has played a huge role in leading the Los Angeles Rams to a 3-1 record throughout the first month of football. Donald has accumulated 3.5 sacks, 10 knockdowns and a forced fumble so far this season, all while facing 73 double-teams, 16 more than any other player through the first four games. Donald is on a mission to become only the third player to receive this award on three occasions, and although voter fatigue may impact the final result, there is no doubt that Donald is undervalued at +700.
In the mix: Myles Garrett, DE, Cleveland Browns
Offensive Player of the Year: Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints
With 2019 OPOY and teammate Michael Thomas sidelined, Alvin Kamara has taken the responsibility of almost the entirety of the Saints offense in 2020. Kamara has already accumulated 557 scrimmage yards (Rushing: 236, Receiving: 321) and seven touchdowns. Ranking inside the top 20 for both receiving (11th) yards and rushing (20th) yards respectively. Kamara’s four rushing touchdowns is the equal 2nd most in the league and the 25-year-old is yet to register a fumble from his 50 carrying attempts. The dual threat running back has been a monster in the first month of football, and is certainly the most productive non-quarterback in the league so far.
In the mix: Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings
Comeback Player of the Year: Cam Newton, QB, New England Patriots
The 2015 regular season MVP is on the road to redemption and has certainly established himself as QB1 in New England. In three starts, Cam has led the Pats to a 2-1 record averaging 238 yards per game to go along with 2 touchdown passes, as well as almost 50 rushing yards per game with four rushing TD’s. Newton’s athleticism at quarterback has rejuvenated the Patriots offense in their first season without Tom Brady in 20 years. Cam missed New England’s week 4 matchup against Kansas City due to a positive Covid-19 test, however with a bye in week 6, the Patriots new quarterback should return in week 7 as he continues to push his case as the Comeback Player of the Year.
In the mix: Ben Roethlisberger’s, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Joe Burrow, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Burrow’s bright first month in the NFL has left him in a great position to take out Offensive Rookie of the Year honours at the end of the season. While leading the Bengals to their first win in Week 4, Burrow became the first rookie quarterback in NFL history to throw three consecutive 300+ yard games. The number one overall pick now has the 10th most passing yards in the league and has noticeably turned the 2-14 Bengals of 2019 into a much more competitive team. So far, Burrow has lived up to the hype and will be a shoe in to take out the OROY award if he can continue to perform at this level.
In the mix: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Chase Young, DE, Washington Football Team
With only two full games under his belt so far, Chase Young’s health is an early concern for his rookie of the year candidacy. After an impressive first two weeks in the NFL, Young suffered a groin injury in Week 3 which left him sidelined for Week 4. With already 2.5 sacks, a forced fumble and eight tackles to his name, Young has shown in just two full games that he can be a difference-maker in the NFL. However, 2020’s second overall pick will have to find continuity in his body for the remainder of the season if he is to be named the best defensive rookie in his draft class.
In the mix: Antoine Winfield, S, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Coach of the Year: Matt LaFleur, Green Bay Packers
After leading the Packers to a 13-3 record last season, LaFleur was arguably snubbed of Coach of the Year honours in 2019. However, following a 4-0 start to the 2020 season, the second-year head coach is an early front runner to take out this year’s Coach of the Year award. LaFleur now has a 17-3 win-loss record in the NFL, the second best in league history after 20 games. In the first month of the 2020 season, the Packers have scored 30 points or more in each of the first four games for the first time in franchise history. Making them one of the most dangerous teams in the league and making LaFleur a deserved early favourite for COY honours after a quarter of the season.
In the mix: Sean McDermott, Buffalo Bills
These players and coaches have all had bright starts to the year. But remember, there is still plenty of football to be played in 2020!
*Odds correct at time of publication.
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