Thursday, January 31, 2013

NFL Award Predictions: Offensive Player of the Year

     Finally, we are down to the three biggest awards to be handed out by the National Football League; Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and the grandaddy of them all, Most Valuable Player. Due to the large number of possible contenders, we will analyze the four best nominees for Offensive Player of the Year. Those nominees are Adrian Peterson, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, and Calvin Johnson.

Adrian Peterson
WR Calvin Johnson: After a relatively slow start, Calvin Johnson managed to finish the season strong, even though "strong" is a slight understatement. In the final nine games of the season, Johnson's stat line was absolutely incredible, and thanks to a 225 yard performance in a Week 16 game, Calvin Johnson was able to snap Jerry Rice's receiving yard record. If Johnson successfully eclipsed the 2,000 yard receiving record, he would be a more legitimate candidate for Offensive Player of the Year. However, because Calvin Johnson did not eclipse the 2,000 yard mark, he is not the favorite to win this award.

QB Aaron Rodgers: Even though Aaron Rodgers' stats saw a drop off from his stats in the 2011 season, a league leading 108.0 passer rating and 39 touchdowns keeps him in the competition for the Offensive Player of the Year Award. The Green Bay Packers, along with Aaron Rodgers, got off to a slow start in 2012, but the team as a whole built momentum towards the end of the season. Rodgers was sacked a mind boggling 45 times in 2012, but unfortunately, his fellow competition is too strong for him to win back to back offensive awards.

QB Peyton Manning: We believe Peyton Manning will take home Comeback Player of the Year Award, but the odds are not in his favor for Offensive Player of the Year. Manning's statistics were extremely consistent in 2012, where it appeared that after he adjusted to his new team, Manning became close to unstoppable. Manning not only recovered from a neck injury, but he resurrected a franchise in need of an elite quarterback. Manning makes a strong case for Offensive Player of the Year, but the case in favor of Adrian Peterson is even stronger.

RB Adrian Peterson: After Peterson suffered an ACL tear, many believed this talented running back would never be quite the same rusher as we saw earlier in his career. However, Peterson successfully proved history wrong, rushing for 2,097 yards, 12 touchdowns, and an incredible 6.0 rushing yards per carry. Offensive Player of the Year normally goes to the player with the best statistics, and Adrian Peterson's stat line is the best in the league.

Offensive Player of the Year Prediction: RB Adrian Peterson

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