Before the 2019 NFL season began, I outlined my predictions for many awards this season.

With the benefit of seeing half the games being played (and hindsight), here's an updated status of where I think the awards will go:


NFL MVP

So Far: Russell Wilson

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The NFL MVP award (aka the QB award) comes down to two main points: stats and leadership. Wilson has both.

Wilson is tops in the league in passing touchdowns and passer rating, and top ten in passing yards.

He's also thrown just one interception so far this year. Just one. Pat Mahomes is the only other quarterback who has started a significant amount of games to have only thrown one pick.

Wilson has also done this with not much help from the offensive line, having been sacked the tenth most times in the league. That makes all the other stats jump out all the more.

The Seahawks are also undefeated on the road in large part to Wilson. This was supposed to be a down year for the Seahawks. Instead, Wilson is simply putting the entire team on his back yet again.

Year-End Prediction: Aaron Rodgers

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The Packers, and Rodgers specifically, are really starting to heat up. That was expected with a new coach and system in place, but now we are starting to hit a point in the year where Rodgers is catching fire.

I'm going to hold true on Rodgers being the preseason pick for NFL MVP. Rodgers is going to torch the NFL in the second half.

Dark Horse: Lamar Jackson

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The Ravens are the single most difficult team in the NFL to gameplan for, and Lamar Jackson is the reason.

He won't wow you with passing stats, but his dual-threat ability is unlike anyone else in the National Football League.

If he can finish top ten in the league in rushing, have decent passing stats, and if the Ravens go on a run and get, say the one or two seed in the AFC, he could get a decent-sized chunk of the MVP votes.

Current Ranking:

  1. Russell Wilson
  2. Deshaun Watson
  3. Aaron Rodgers
  4. Christian McCaffrey
  5. Lamar Jackson
  6. Patrick Mahomes
  7. Dalvin Cook
  8. Michael Thomas
  9. Tom Brady
  10. Cooper Kupp

Offensive Player of the Year

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - OCTOBER 06: Dalvin Cook #33 of the Minnesota Vikings runs the ball against the New York Giants during the first half in the game at MetLife Stadium on October 06, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

So Far: Dalvin Cook

Thus far in the NFL season there are no NFL quarterbacks that really have any absurd stats that puts them on pace for a historic year, Pat Mahomes' 2018 for example.

Because of that. I'll go with Dalvin Cook. The third-year player leads the league in all-purpose yards, rushing yards, and touchdowns. His production has remained consistently excellent whether Kirk Cousins and the passing game was firing, or if they were in a rut.

The Vikings have 2019's best running back on the roster, no question.

Year-End Prediction: Michael Thomas

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With the Vikings, the passing game tends to shrink in tough matchups, which Minnesota has plenty of the rest of the year, meaning more emphasis will be on stopping Cook.

I still think Cook will finish with awesome stats, but I think he will be overtaken by Michael Thomas.

Thomas leads the league in receiving yards, both overall and per game, and he did all that with two separate quarterbacks. Not only that, but most of the time he was getting service from Teddy Bridgewater, who was not throwing the ball down the field much at all.

Now that Brees is back and firing on all cylinders, Thomas's production will take an upturn, which is impressive because he is already on pace to have more than 1,700 receiving yards.

Dark Horse: Cooper Kupp

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I went over Kupp's excellence in this article, but I will reiterate: Kupp is the most important player on the Rams offense.

Constantly overshadowed in the public eye by Todd Gurley and Jared Goff, Kupp is right on Michael Thomas' tail in terms of production, and if he stays healthy, will give Thomas a run for his money.

Many people will still look to Gurley and Goff, but Kupp is the man in Los Angeles.

Current Ranking:

  1. Christian McCaffery
  2. Aaron Rodgers
  3. Dalvin Cook
  4. Michael Thomas
  5. Cooper Kupp
  6. Russell Wilson
  7. Lamar Jackson
  8. Cooper Kupp
  9. Deshaun Watson
  10. Nick Chubb
  11. Julio Jones

Defensive Player of the Year

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So Far: Shaquil Barrett

Barrett got off to a real hot start, notching nine sacks in the first four weeks of the season. He's currently joint tops in the league Myles Garrett in sacks.

That's part of the problem: He's slowed down.

He was nearly unstoppable in the first half, so I'll give him the midseason award, but after only having one sack after week four, he would really need to recapture some of the early season fire.

Year-End Prediction: Jamie Collins

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Quite simply put, Collins has been the top player on the top defense in the league, that has gotten off to a historic start.

So far he leads the team in tackles (44), sacks (6), and forced fumbles (2). He's also chipped in three picks, one of which going for six, and defended four passes, the same number as defensive back Jason McCourty.

Dark Horse: Nick Bosa

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Nick Bosa is a little low down on my current rankings for this category, but he's been catching fire in previous weeks.

He's toward the top of the league in sacks and leads the NFL in pass rushing productivity and pressure rate, per Pro Football Focus.

He's been an animal, and he looks to get even better.

Current Ranking:

  1. Shaquil Barrett
  2. Jamie Collins
  3. Myles Garrett
  4. Stephon Gilmore
  5. Za'Darious Smith
  6. Joey Bosa
  7. Devin McCourty
  8. Preston Smith
  9. Nick Bosa
  10. Janoris Jenkins

Offensive Rookie of the Year

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So Far: Gardner Minshew

I think Kyler Murray has more upside for the rest of the year, but Minshew has been the most consistent offensive rookie thus far.

Minshew is top-half of the league in yards, touchdowns, and passer rating. All of that is with sub-par wide receivers.

Year-End Prediction: Kyler Murray

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Kyler Murray has been making solid week-over-week improvement. He's right there with Minshew in terms of passing yards, plus you have his mobility to deal with.

I'm liking Murray to find his feet even more as the season wears on.

Dark Horse: Josh Jacobs

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Jacobs has been a real solid addition to the Raiders offense. The silver and black have been lacking a real backfield threat for a few years now, and yes, even with a past-his-prime Marshawn Lynch.

He's sixth in the league in rushing yards, joint second in runs of 20+ yards, and hasn't fumbled the ball once. Dude's a great back.

Current Ranking:

  1. Gardner Minshew
  2. Kyler Murray
  3. Josh Jacobs
  4. Terry McLaurin
  5. David Montgomery
  6. Marquise Brown
  7. DK Metcalf
  8. Elgton Jenkins
  9. Eric McCoy

Defensive Rookie of the Year

So Far and Year End Prediction: Nick Bosa

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For the reasons mentioned above, Nick Bosa has been the best rook on defense. He's so good already on a fantastic defense, and is only getting better.

Dark Horse: Devin Bush

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Devin Bush is what's been missing for Pittsburgh linebacking corps ever since Ryan Shazier's injury.

So far he has 59 tackles, has defended three passes, and recovered four fumbles, one going for a touchdown.

He's a do-it-all guy who will be a Steeler for years to come.

Current Ranking:

  1. Nick Bosa
  2. Devin Bush
  3. Brian Burns
  4. Josh Allen
  5. Darnell Savage
  6. Chase Winovich
  7. Oshane Ximines

Comeback Player of the Year: Cooper Kupp

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I've mentioned it a million times before, but I'm a big  Cooper Kupp guy. That offense just wasn't the same when he tore his ACL last year.

Now he's back to bossing the field as the most important player on that offense, and he has the stats to back it up.


Bust of the Year: The Cleveland Browns

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After lots of offseason moves for the Browns, this was always going to be a boom or bust year. It's the latter so far.

Baker Mayfield is not progressing, and thus big-name new acquisition Odell Beckham Jr. and fellow LSU Tiger Jarvis Landry are not getting their catches.

Freddie Kitchens is also way over his head. The offensive line is in shambles.

I do like the defense though, and Nick Chubb is one of the top backs in the league, but there's just too much noise on this team.


Performance of the Year: Aaron Rodgers' Perfect Rating vs. Oakland

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Perfect quarterback rating. Just six incompletions. 429 passing yards. Five passing touchdowns. One rushing touchdown.

This will likely go down as Aaron Rodgers' best performance ever.


Updated NFL Playoff Predictions

AFC

  1. Patriots
  2. Chiefs
  3. Ravens
  4. Texans
  5. Bills
  6. Colts

NFC

  1. 49ers
  2. Saints
  3. Packers
  4. Cowboys
  5. Seahawks
  6. Panthers

AFC Championship Game: Patriots over Bills

NFC Championship Game: Saints over 49ers

Super Bowl: Patriots over Saints