Predicting NFL award winners for the 2021 season

Feb 3, 2020; Miami, Florida, USA; Commissioner of the National Football League Roger Goodell presents Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes Super Bowl MVP trophy at Hilton Miami. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL season is right around the corner. The preseason is in full effect, and fans everywhere are beginning to plan their first-round pick in fantasy. We’ve got many players returning from injury, some hungry rookies, and players looking to take that next step in their game.

In addition, it’s also the first season with 17 games on the schedule and with fans back in the stands. So, with that all in mind, we will be predicting the NFL award winners for the upcoming season.

The NFL has so much talent on both sides of the ball. There are numerous players to choose from in regards to the NFL award winners. With that in mind, let’s look at players who could take home some of these awards after the 2021 season.

Let’s start with those coming back from injury this season. Comeback Player of the Year will be one of the first NFL award Winners, we will predict.

Comeback Player of the Year

BEREA, OH - AUGUST 19: Saquon Barkley #26 of the New York Giants looks on during a joint practice with the Cleveland Browns on August 19, 2021 in Berea, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)
Nick Cammett/Getty Images

2020 was a season that saw a lot of injuries. Players like Nick Bosa, Saquon Barkley, Odell Beckham, and Dak Prescott had their seasons cut short. As a result, there will be many candidates for Comeback Player of the Year.

I think Barkley is going to have the most deserving season. The running back position is brutal in general, and it�s no easy task coming off of a torn ACL. However, I think Barkley will have a solid year, and the Giants will get back in the playoffs. 

It�s also an important season for Barkley. If he has a good comeback season, it�s more likely the Giants will sign him to a long-term deal. So I think Barkley will have a big season and win Comeback Player of the Year with that in mind. 

Prescott is another player I see making a case. He had a gruesome ankle injury and was on pace for a record-breaking season. However, I believe Dallas will go back to running the football, so Prescott won’t have to do as much.

Coach of the Year

Aug 12, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick watches a game against the Washington Football Team during the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

This will be of the more interesting NFL award winners. The Chiefs want a perfect season, so Andy Reid would for sure get the award if that happens. However, I don’t see that happening. I believe a familiar face will win the award in 2021.

It’s no secret the Patriots had a down year in 2020. However, the team improved a lot this offseason and will be right back in the mix in the AFC. As a result, I see the award going to Bill Belichick.

Belichick is going to make sure the Patriots won’t miss the playoffs two years in a row. The defense is getting some key players back, plus some free agent signings. In addition, Cam Newton has a full offseason with the team.

Offensive Rookie of the Year

Aug 14, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) celebrates their 20-13 win over the Miami Dolphins at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports
Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

The Offensive Rookie of the Year award usually always goes to a quarterback. I don�t see that changing this year. However, there�s a ton of offensive talent that could make a case for winning the award. 

Kyle Pitts, Ja�Marr Chase, Najee Harris, and Jaylen Waddle are to name a few. However, it�s most likely the award will still go to somebody under center. Therefore, I feel the award will go to Justin Fields. 

He�s not going to start right away, but he should get his opportunity early in the season. Once he gets the chance, there�s no turning back. In addition, he�s already on a team looking to compete for a playoff spot.

There will be many rookies making an impact on their teams and establishing themselves in this league. However, the award is usually given to a quarterback.

For example, Elijah Moore is turning a lot of heads in New York. AJ Brown even says he�ll bet his game checks on Moore winning the award. However, if Moore plays well, they�re most likely giving the award to his quarterback, Zach Wilson, instead.

Defensive Rookie of the Year

Nov 2, 2019; Stillwater, OK, USA; TCU Horned Frogs safety Trevon Moehrig (7) turns to run after an interception during the fourth quarter of the game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium. Oklahoma State defeated TCU 34-27. Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports
Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

There is a lot of defensive talent entering the league, especially defensive backs. Cornerbacks such as Jaycee Horn and Patrick Surtain ii are names to look out for. However, a safety in Las Vegas is who I have winning Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Trevon Moehrig is going to transform that Raiders’ defense in year one. He is regarded as one of the best safeties in the class. In addition, he will bring a new element to the position that the Raiders have not had since Charles Woodson.

Moehrig is impressing players and coaches so far at training camp. I see him having a big season and being a staple of that defense for years to come.

Defensive Player of the Year

Aug 5, 2021; Canton, Ohio, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt (90) warms up before a game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Players usually save their best play when a contract extension is on the line. That is why I have players such as Jamal Adams and TJ Watt as my candidates for defensive player of the year. However, I’m giving the upper hand to Watt because the Steelers defense is a better unit as a whole.

Adams just received a brand new $70 million extension from the Seahawks. Now, it’s Watt’s time to perform and earn that lucrative contract extension from Pittsburgh.

Watt has increased his sack total every year he’s been in the league. In addition, he’s been over double digits the last three seasons.

It seems every year this award is Aaron Donald’s to lose. He’s won the award three times in the last four seasons. However, I feel this year it’s going to the brother of another player who’s won it three times.

JJ Watt had a stretch where he won the award three times in the span of four years. However, now it’s his younger brother’s turn.

Adams will have a great year, especially now since he is the highest-paid safety in the league. However, I think Watt gets the upper hand in 2021.

Offensive Player of the Year

Aug 9, 2021; St. Joseph, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) runs the ball during training camp at Missouri Western State University. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

This award is challenging to predict. There’s so much offensive talent in the league and so many players capable of putting together legendary seasons. For example, the last two winners nearly broke multiple records en route to becoming Offensive Player of the Year.

Michael Thomas won the award in 2019 after he broke the record for most catches in a season. In addition, Derrick Henry won the award last season after he rushed for more than 2,000 yards.

I’m stuck between three players for this award. Those players are Nick Chubb, Tyreek Hill, and Christian McCaffrey. However, I’m going to give Hill the upper hand.

Hill is still the fastest receiver in the league and can take the top off of any defense. I also believe the Chiefs will find even more ways to get the ball into his hands.

Most Valuable Player

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) walks off the field after a Bills win of an NFL preseason football game between the Detroit Lions and the Buffalo Bills in Detroit, Michigan USA, on Friday, August 13, 2021. (Photo by Amy Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Amy Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

We�ve seen Josh Allen take some incredible strides in his first three years. Now I feel he�s ready to take that next step and raise his game to an MVP level. He showed he was more than capable with his play last season.

Allen and the Bills went 13-3 and won the AFC East in 2020. Allen threw for over 4,500 yards and 37 touchdowns. However, Allen lost the award to Aaron Rodgers.

This year I believe it�s Allen�s to lose. He�s going into his fourth season, he has more weapons around him, and he�s a whole lot richer. In addition, Allen signed a new six-year extension this offseason. This is Allen�s chance to establish himself as one of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL.

Other players will be in MVP talks. Obviously, players such as Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Russell Wilson will receive votes. In addition, Kyler Murray, Matthew Stafford, and Derrick Henry are players I expect to see in the mix as well.

It’s not far-fetched to label Allen as an MVP. He rounds out the NFL award winners for 2021. In Addition, I believe Allen and the Bills will represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.

Leave a Comment