With the NFL set to hand out its yearly awards at the NFL Honors event, Pro Football Network’s analysts voted for who they felt should take home each award. Let’s take a look at who takes home each of the seven main awards for on-field performance for the 2021-22 season.
Pro Football Network’s NFL season awards
Which players and coaches will take home Pro Football Network’s awards? Starting with Comeback Player of the Year and finishing with the 2021-22 NFL MVP, let’s go through our award winners.
Comeback Player of the Year: Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Burrow’s performance in 2021 has been emblematic of the Bengals fairytale. Entering the season, there were huge concerns over how Burrow would perform. Reports out of camp had Burrow running for his life, and the team was criticized for not selecting Penei Sewell in the draft. Nevertheless, Burrow has performed incredibly coming off his serious knee injury. He led the Bengals to the AFC North title, leading the league in completion percentage and PFN’s Offensive Value Metric.
Others receiving votes: Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Micah Parsons, Dallas Cowboys
If this is not unanimous all over the NFL, it would be a huge shock. Micah Parsons was so dominant as a rookie that there is barely even another defensive player in the picture. In fact, he was so good that if there were a singular Rookie of the Year award, a number of people would make the case Parsons should win it over the rookies on the offense. That speaks volumes in an offense-dominated NFL landscape.
Parsons’ season was so impressive that he came within 1.5 sacks of breaking the rookie sack record, despite being used as a versatile piece on the defense. He forced 3 fumbles, had 20 tackles for loss, and posted 30 QB hits. He also registered an impressive 84 combined tackled and defended 3 passes.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals
The second Bengals player to take home an award is Ja’Marr Chase. If this award is replicated by the AP award, Chase will be the first wide receiver to win since 2014 and the second in over a decade. Chase finished the season with 1,455 yards and 13 touchdowns on 81 receptions. He scored a touchdown on over 10% of his targets and on 16% of his receptions.
Others receiving votes: Creed Humphrey, Kansas City Chiefs; Mac Jones, New England Patriots
Coach of the Year: Zac Taylor, Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals pick up their third shiny PFN award as Zac Taylor is rewarded for their miraculous turnaround with the Coach of the Year award. The Bengals managed to finish with 3.5 wins more than their projected win total. That could have been even higher had they not rested their starters in Week 18. No team outperformed their projected line by more than Taylor’s Bengals.
Others receiving votes: Mike Vrabel, Tennessee Titans; Matt LaFleur, Green Bay Packers; Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers
Defensive Player of the Year: T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh Steelers
There are some intriguing options for the Defensive Player of the Year award when it comes to this year’s NFL Honors. However, it is hard to overlook the player who matched the all-time sack record with 22.5. That was 4 sacks clear of anyone else in the 2021-22 season and came despite T.J. Watt missing two games. Watt also forced 5 fumbles, defended 7 passes, and had 39 QB hits.
Others receiving votes: Maxx Crosby, Las Vegas Raiders
Offensive Player of the Year: Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams
If you looked at the odds for the NFL Honors at the end of the season, no award was tighter than this between Cooper Kupp and Jonathan Taylor. However, here at PFN, we have given the nod to Kupp. The Rams receiver finished with 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns on 145 receptions. His season was so impressive that he actually led the entire league when it came to PPR fantasy points scoring, beating second-place Josh Allen by 37 points.
Others receiving votes: Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts
NFL MVP: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
It has been a somewhat odd season for the MVP award when it comes to this year’s NFL Honors. A lot of players performed well, without any of them really standing out as the clear MVP. However, Aaron Rodgers’ consistency gave him the nod with the PFN voting committee. He led the league in interception rate (0.8%), touchdown rate (7%), passer rating (111.9), and QB rating. That combination is extremely hard to pass over.
Others receiving votes: Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals