In a year where there were so many great candidates, there are really no right or wrong choices, but I have based my choices on my own criteria not anyone’s else, so without further ado.
MVP- Peyton Manning
If you think Adrian Peterson is the MVP there is nothing wrong with that, but the more I thought about, the clearer the decision was for me.
Coming back from an ACL injury and running for over 2000 yards will be talked about for DECADES, but when I see Jamaal Charles had over 1500 yards on a worst team and it let’s me know that modern medicine allows players to come back faster and in some cases better after their ACL injury.
With Peyton Manning I don’t know of any quarterback in the history of the NFL who had four neck surgeries (maybe more), missed an entire year of football where he couldn’t do much of anything with his arm, come back in his 15th year with a new team, new coach, new personnel, different system and have a better year than his previous six years.
That just doesn’t happen and it he did it in such away people sort of dismiss it, but I do not. Beyond the stats, he led his team to the #1 seed in the AFC.
This season from Peyton won’t be truly appreciate until years later.
Runner Up: Adrian Peterson
Defensive MVP: JJ Watt
Watt all defensive players in sacks and tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Also, he was the only defensive lineman in the top 78 of the league in pass deflections with 16 (the next highest DL was 7). That is being dominant against the run and pass. Watt is the definition of a complete defensive player.
Runner Up: Von Miller
Rookie of the Year: Robert Griffin III
RG3 had more passing and running yards than Russell Wilson and less turnovers than Andrew Luck, but beyond that there is something else to say about RG3’s season.
While Andrew Luck was the #1 pick, considering the plight of the Colts much wasn’t expected of him. Russell Wilson was a 3rd round pick and honestly casual fans didn’t even start paying attention to him until the last half of the season.
From day one, there was pressure on RG3 to perform and be great, not good but great immediately. Consistency is important in a quarterback and RG3 was great in Week 1 and even though he was gimpy in Week 17 he did what he had to do to lead his team to a division title.
He had to deal with outside distractions from people calling for Kirk Cousins to start to ESPN calling him a cornball brother for dating a white woman. Through it all he was professional, a leader and more importantly a winner.
Runner Up: Russell Wilson
Coach of the Year: Chuck Pagano & Bruce Arians
No one expected the Colts to win 11 games this year. If they won six games that would have been considered a success. It would have been hard enough the traditional way, but Pagano’s cancer made it that much difficult. Pagano and Arians navigated it beautifully and will be leading the Colts to playoffs. Great job by both of those men. #CHUCKSTRONG
Runner Up: Leslie Frazier