The Torch predicts the NFL Honors Awards winners

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The Torch predicts that San Diego Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert will edge out Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson for the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award.

With the conclusion of the 2020 NFL regular season and Super Bowl weekend upon us, all fans know there are awards to be given to the best performers. On February 6, the NFL Honors presentation will take place. From the MVP to the Coach of the Year award, many awards are to be given. Here are The Torch’s predictions for the 2021 NFL Honors Awards Show to be broadcast Saturday at 9:00 p.m. on CBS. 

Most Valuable Player: Aaron Rodgers (Quarterback, Green Bay Packers): The Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) has been highly debated this year. The award usually is given to the best performing quarterback from the season. Although Titans running back Derrick Henry has had one of the best seasons of all time from a running back, amassing over 2,000 rushing yards, scoring 17 touchdowns, and being the Titans’ most productive player, this award should go to a quarterback in 2020.

The two top candidates are Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers, both of which have already won the award in the past. Rodgers is simply going to take the cake this year. Mahomes has been very, very good; however, without Rodgers leading the Packers, they would not be nearly as high performing as they have been. With a quarterback rating of 121.5 and an NFL leading 48 passing touchdowns with only 5 interceptions, Rodgers should and will edge out Mahomes.  

Offensive Player of the Year: Derrick Henry (Running Back, Tennessee Titans): The Offensive Player of the Year Award (OPOY) often goes to the runner-up of the MVP award. Derrick Henry is going to win OPOY this year. He has simply been unstoppable this season. In a year where the league’s top quarterbacks weren’t unbelievable, he would most likely win the MVP. Without him, the Tennessee Titans’ offense would be very weak; with him, they were one of the top offenses and teams. With this, Henry will add an OPOY to his impressive career resume.    

Defensive Player of the Year: T.J. Watt (Linebacker, Pittsburgh Steelers): It’s hard to believe that J.J. Watt may not even be the best defensive player in his own family. Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt has been the best defensive player this year, and this will result in his winning DPOY. He has been the leader of the league’s best defensive core and has been very responsible for the 12-4 record that the Steelers had in this year’s regular season. T.J. led the league in sacks with 15, had 53 total tackles, and contributed to three takeaways. Aaron Donald and Myles Garrett will compete with T.J. for the award, but we believe that this is T.J.’s year to win. 

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Justin Herbert (Quarterback, Los Angeles Chargers): The Offensive Rookie of the Year Award often has a clear favorite. This year, though, is one of the most competitive seasons among offensive rookies. From James Robinson practically being the entire Jaguars’ offense to wide receivers, such as Tee Higgins and Chase Claypool, taking the league by the storm, the NFL has seen one of its best rookie classes this season. The overall accepted debate over who should be named the NFL’s top offensive rookie is between Justin Jefferson and Justin Herbert.             

Jefferson, on one hand, has developed to the point where many consider him one of the top wide receivers in the entire league. Vikings fans should consider themselves lucky that he fell to their pick in the NFL draft. He was fourth in the league in receiving yards (1,400) and scored seven touchdowns. 

Although Jefferson has been extremely impressive, Herbert has been a fantastic quarterback for the Chargers, which will result in him winning this year’s award. He has been a record setting quarterback in 2020, having the most passing touchdowns by a rookie ever with 31, having the most total touchdowns by a rookie with 36, and falling only 39 yards short of having the most passing yards by a rookie in NFL history. Both players are well deserving and have bright futures in the league, but Herbert is this year’s top offensive rookie. 

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Chase Young (Defensive End, Washington Football Team): The Washington Football Team used their 2020 first round pick very wisely. Defensive end Chase Young has been a nightmare for opponents this year. Young made 44 tackles this past season, along with 7.5 sacks and four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. Patrick Queen and Jeremy Chinn have been great additions to their teams, but Young has been a major contributor to the Football Team’s strong defense that brought them to the playoffs. All three of these players have an exciting future with crazy high potentials, so the league should be excited, except for those on offense having to face them.     

Comeback Player of the Year: Alex Smith (Quarterback, Washington Football Team): The Comeback Player of the Year Award (CPOY) should be unanimous in favor of Washington quarterback Alex Smith. In the 2018 season, Smith broke his tibia and fibula in his right leg. He has endured 17 surgeries, and he almost lost his leg and his life. Being able to walk after such an injury is impressive in itself, but being a playoff quarterback is simply amazing. His stats have not been insane; however, he has led the team to an NFC East title and a playoff berth. It’s the consensus around the league that Smith will come out on top, and we believe the same thing. 

Coach of the Year: Brian Flores (Miami Dolphins): Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores is well deserving of this year’s Coach of the Year Award. After being one of the NFL’s worst teams in 2019 to nearly reaching the playoffs with a 10-6 record, Flores has made great improvements to the Dolphins this year. His game management with having to make the correct decision for who to start at quarterback has been a very tough task for him, but he has handled this with ease, both developing rookie Tua Tagovailoa and properly playing Ryan Fitzpatrick at the right times in order to win very competitive games. The Dolphins roster is by no means stacked or full of superstars, but Flores has led them to a fantastic 10-6 record, making us believe that he will be this year’s Coach of the Year. 

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