Season Predictions

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'NFL Honors' predictions: Seven awards, 29 voters, only one unanimous selection

This Thursday, Feb. 10, Keegan-Michael Key will host the 11th edition of NFL Honors, which will air live nationally on ABC at 9 p.m. ET from YouTube Theater in Los Angeles. The annual event features the announcement of The Associated Press awards and the newest class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Before the official hardware is handed out, our analysts provide their picks for the major individual awards:

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER

Rank
1
Aaron Rodgers
Green Bay Packers · QB

(18 votes: Baldinger, Battista, Blair, Carr, Chadiha, Frelund, Goodbread, Grant, Mariucci, Parr, Patra, Reuter, Sessler, Shook, Smith, Thomas, Warner, Zierlein)


2. Tom Brady | 8 votes: Bergman, Bhanpuri, Cersosimo, Hall, Hanzus, Jones-Drew, Rank, Ross

3. Cooper Kupp2 votes: Filice, McGinest 

4. Matthew Stafford | 1 vote: Brandt


Why Joe Thomas chose Aaron Rodgers: Rodgers led the NFL in passer rating (111.9) and finished the regular season with 37 touchdown passes to only four interceptions. He's a magnificent player on the most consistent and best team of the regular season. He is a shoo-in to win this award.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Rank
1
Cooper Kupp
Los Angeles Rams · WR

(25 votes: Baldinger, Battista, Bergman, Bhanpuri, Blair, Brandt, Carr, Cersosimo, Chadiha, Frelund, Goodbread, Grant, Hall, Hanzus, Jones-Drew, Mariucci, Parr, Patra, Rank, Reuter, Ross, Sessler, Shook, Smith, Warner)


2. Jonathan Taylor | 2 votes: Thomas, Zierlein

T-3. Deebo Samuel | 1 vote: Filice

T-3. Tom Brady  | 1 vote: McGinest


Why DeAngelo Hall chose Cooper Kupp: Kupp has the ability to always find a way to get open when everyone knows he's getting the ball -- even when he's double- or triple-teamed. His craftiness allows him to find the weakness in the defense and take advantage, which is a big reason why he racked up a league-high 1,947 receiving yards. When you build a wide receiver, no matter the size dimensions, you want them to play the game the way Kupp does.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Rank
1
T.J. Watt
Pittsburgh Steelers · Edge

(20 votes: Baldinger, Battista, Bergman, Bhanpuri, Blair, Cersosimo, Chadiha, Goodbread, Grant, Hall, Hanzus, Jones-Drew, Mariucci, McGinest, Parr, Ross, Sessler, Shook, Thomas, Warner)


2. Aaron Donald | 7 votes: Carr, Frelund, Patra, Rank, Reuter, Smith, Zierlein

T-3. Nick Bosa | 1 vote: Brandt

T-3. Micah Parsons | 1 vote: Filice


Why Jeffri Chadiha chose T.J. Watt: Watt tied Michael Strahan's NFL single-season record for sacks with 22.5, and he actually missed two games. No defender was as disruptive this season as Watt.

OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Rank
1
Ja'Marr Chase
Cincinnati Bengals · WR

(28 votes: Baldinger, Battista, Bergman, Bhanpuri, Blair, Carr, Cersosimo, Chadiha, Filice, Frelund, Goodbread, Grant, Hall, Hanzus, Jones-Drew, Mariucci, McGinest, Parr, Patra, Rank, Reuter, Ross, Sessler, Shook, Smith, Thomas, Warner, Zierlein)


2. Jaylen Waddle | 1 vote: Brandt


Why Adam Rank chose Ja'Marr Chase: Chase is the no-brainer pick here. Pretty amazing, considering ...


A) A whole bunch of people thought the Bengals were stupid for drafting a wide receiver -- as opposed to an offensive tackle -- in the first place.

B) Everybody thought the guy forgot how to play football after a few drops in August.


Then, when the season actually kicked off, he proceeded to have one of the most astounding rookie seasons -- at any position -- EVER.

DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Rank
1
Micah Parsons
Dallas Cowboys · LB

UNANIMOUS SELECTION


Why Gil Brandt chose Micah Parsons: To be a great linebacker in the NFL, you need size, speed, competitiveness and great ball-reaction skills, and Parsons ranks very highly in all these traits -- he might be the best since Lawrence Taylor entered the league in 1981. One need look only to this year's Pro Bowl, a game in which most players, understandably, do not always go all out, for evidence of Parsons' will to succeed; there he was, at the end of the first half, chasing Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes across the field to record a strip-sack. The only first-year pro to top 80 tackles and 10 sacks in the last quarter century, per NFL Research, Parsons is, quite simply, one of the best I've ever seen as a rookie at his position, making him an easy choice for this award. 

COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Rank
1
Joe Burrow
Cincinnati Bengals · QB

(23 votes: Baldinger, Battista, Bergman, Bhanpuri, Carr, Cersosimo, Chadiha, Filice, Frelund, Goodbread, Grant, Jones-Drew, Mariucci, McGinest, Parr, Patra, Rank, Reuter, Ross, Sessler, Thomas, Warner, Zierlein)


2. Dak Prescott | 6 votes: Blair, Brandt, Hall, Hanzus, Shook, Smith


Why Judy Battista chose Joe Burrow: Burrow's breakout season was made all the more remarkable by what preceded it: a severe knee injury suffered late last November. Burrow returned bigger and stronger and with his old mobility by midseason -- allowing him to extend plays -- to take the Bengals to the Super Bowl.

COACH OF THE YEAR

Rank
1
Vrabel put in a nice freshmen year as Titans head coach, getting them <i>thisclose</i> to the postseason. Having to start Blaine Gabbert the final week of the season didn't help, but the main reason for Tennessee's failure to make the playoffs was a tougher-than-expected AFC South. No one thought J.J. Watt would return to his all-world self, ensuring the Texans were more than viable. No one saw the Colts coming. The Jags, while coming in last place, lost several close games and still own the core of a playoff-ready team. Vrabel's squad displayed its coach's head-strong resilience, often seen during his days with the Patriots. Take, for example, the win over the Eagles in Week 4, when the offense converted three fourth downs on the final drive to win the game in overtime. Vrabel will move up this list if he can coax more from Marcus Mariota, and move this team into double-digit-win territory.
Mike Vrabel
Tennessee Titans

(14 votes: Battista, Bhanpuri, Carr, Chadiha, Frelund, Hall, Hanzus, McGinest, Patra, Rank, Reuter, Ross, Thomas, Warner)


2. Zac Taylor | 13 votes: Baldinger, Blair, Brandt, Cersosimo, Filice, Goodbread, Grant, Jones-Drew, Mariucci, Parr, Sessler, Shook, Smith

3. Matt LaFleur | 2 votes: Bergman, Zierlein


Why Steve Mariucci chose Zac Taylor: The third-year head coach took the Bengals from worst to first in a division that had the other three teams in the postseason a year ago. I'm not sure anyone saw a turnaround of this magnitude coming, besides the players in the locker room and the people in the building.

EACH ANALYST'S BALLOT

Table inside Article
AnalystMVPOPOYDPOYOROYDROYComebackCoach
Brian BaldingerAaron RodgersCooper KuppT.J. WattJa'Marr ChaseMicah ParsonsJoe BurrowZac Taylor
Judy BattistaAaron RodgersCooper KuppT.J. WattJa'Marr ChaseMicah ParsonsJoe BurrowMike Vrabel
Jeremy BergmanTom BradyCooper KuppT.J. WattJa'Marr ChaseMicah ParsonsJoe BurrowMatt LaFleur
Ali BhanpuriTom BradyCooper KuppT.J. WattJa'Marr ChaseMicah ParsonsJoe BurrowMike Vrabel
Tom BlairAaron RodgersCooper KuppT.J. WattJa'Marr ChaseMicah ParsonsDak PrescottZac Taylor
Gil BrandtMatthew StaffordCooper KuppT.J. WattJaylen WaddleMicah ParsonsDak PrescottZac Taylor
David CarrAaron RodgersCooper KuppAaron DonaldJa'Marr ChaseMicah ParsonsJoe BurrowMike Vrabel
Brooke CersosimoTom BradyCooper KuppT.J. WattJa'Marr ChaseMicah ParsonsJoe BurrowZac Taylor
Jeffri ChadihaAaron RodgersCooper KuppT.J. WattJa'Marr ChaseMicah ParsonsJoe BurrowMike Vrabel
Gennaro FiliceCooper KuppDeebo SamuelMicah ParsonsJa'Marr ChaseMicah ParsonsJoe BurrowZac Taylor
Cynthia FrelundAaron RodgersCooper KuppAaron DonaldJa'Marr ChaseMicah ParsonsJoe BurrowMike Vrabel
Chase GoodbreadAaron RodgersCooper KuppT.J. WattJa'Marr ChaseMicah ParsonsJoe BurrowZac Taylor
Marcas GrantAaron RodgersCooper KuppT.J. WattJa'Marr ChaseMicah ParsonsJoe BurrowZac Taylor
DeAngelo HallTom BradyCooper KuppT.J. WattJa'Marr ChaseMicah ParsonsDak PrescottMike Vrabel
Dan HanzusTom BradyCooper KuppT.J. WattJa'Marr ChaseMicah ParsonsDak PrescottMike Vrabel
Maurice Jones-DrewTom BradyCooper KuppT.J. WattJa'Marr ChaseMicah ParsonsJoe BurrowZac Taylor
Steve MariucciAaron RodgersCooper KuppT.J. WattJa'Marr ChaseMicah ParsonsJoe BurrowZac Taylor
Willie McGinestCooper KuppTom BradyT.J. WattJa'Marr ChaseMicah ParsonsJoe BurrowMike Vrabel
Dan ParrAaron RodgersCooper KuppT.J. WattJa'Marr ChaseMicah ParsonsJoe BurrowZac Taylor
Kevin PatraAaron RodgersCooper KuppAaron DonaldJa'Marr ChaseMicah ParsonsJoe BurrowMike Vrabel
Adam RankTom BradyCooper KuppAaron DonaldJa'Marr ChaseMicah ParsonsJoe BurrowMike Vrabel
Chad ReuterAaron RodgersCooper KuppAaron DonaldJa'Marr ChaseMicah ParsonsJoe BurrowMike Vrabel
Marc RossTom BradyCooper KuppT.J. WattJa'Marr ChaseMicah ParsonsJoe BurrowMike Vrabel
Marc SesslerAaron RodgersCooper KuppT.J. WattJa'Marr ChaseMicah ParsonsJoe BurrowZac Taylor
Nick ShookAaron RodgersCooper KuppT.J. WattJa'Marr ChaseMicah ParsonsDak PrescottZac Taylor
Matt SmithAaron RodgersCooper KuppAaron DonaldJa'Marr ChaseMicah ParsonsDak PrescottZac Taylor
Joe ThomasAaron RodgersJonathan TaylorT.J. WattJa'Marr ChaseMicah ParsonsJoe BurrowMike Vrabel
Kurt WarnerAaron RodgersCooper KuppT.J. WattJa'Marr ChaseMicah ParsonsJoe BurrowMike Vrabel
Lance ZierleinAaron RodgersJonathan TaylorT.J. WattJa'Marr ChaseMicah ParsonsJoe BurrowMatt LaFleur

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