By Andrew De Fazio for TonySoftli.com
As the NFL season is quickly approaching, fans are finally excited to see some of their favorite players perform each week. While some players tend to simply go through the motions, others tend to stick out from the rest by continuously making plays on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. At the same time, these players do not make these plays if not for the coaches that put them in these positions to be successful. With that said, here are my award winners for this upcoming season.
David Johnson- NFL MVP and Offensive Player of the year
In my previous article, I had the Arizona Cardinals going 11-5 and making the post season. Also in that article, one of the things I stated was that the Cardinals would need to become more dependent on David Johnson. This season I believe that they follow up on that theory and use David Johnson in all situations of the game. This in my opinion will make the Cardinals more successful instead of relying on Carson Palmer’s arm in late game situations. David Johnson is capable of carrying this kind of load and I expect to see an escalation in his statistics after coming off of a miraculous 2016 season.
Joey Bosa- NFL Defensive Player of the year
Not too long ago around this time, many began to write off Bosa as he had a month long hold out. Once he began to play, people quickly realized how talented he was and that he was worth being picked 3rd overall by the Los Angeles Chargers. After coming off of a 10.5 sack season and 17 tackles for loss (tied for first) in just 12 games, I expect those numbers to only improve heading into 2017. With the Chargers hiring Gus Bradley as their defensive coordinator, Bosa can now play his natural 4-3 defensive end position and has the ability to play all over their four-man front. On top of that, all of the focus cannot simply be on him, as offenses have to accommodate for the speed and quickness of Melvin Ingram. All of this is pointing towards Bosa having an elite 2017 season.
Deshaun Watson- Offensive Rookie of the year
Although he is not slated as the week 1 starter for the Houston Texans, I expect him to make his debut by week 4 the latest. As a result of this the Texans will wish they had started him week 1. The duel threat QB from Clemson has all the intangibles to make plays and lead this team to victories. With help of DeAndre Hopkins, the mid season return of Will Fuller, and a solid run game lead by Lamar Miller, all the pieces are in place for Deshaun Watson exciting and successful season.
Myles Garrett- Defensive Rookie of the year
The freak out of Texas A&M is destined for an impactful rookie season. With the Browns hiring Greg Williams, this can be helpful for this rookie as he runs an aggressive and creative scheme. Ultimately, this allows Myles to get lined up all over the defensive line, standing up in creative blitz packages thereby causing miss matches for opposing offenses.
Earl Thomas- Comeback player of the year
Once the Seahawks lost Earl Thomas for the season, you began to see them struggle against high-powered offences that they would normally neutralize. They include the Packers and Cardinals in December and against the Falcons in the divisional round. Not only did they lose the best player on their defense, they lost their communicator and their last line of defense. This year Earl Thomas will once again prove to the NFL just how valuable he is to the Seattle Defense and to fans across the NFL.
Bill Belichick – Coach of the year
The greatest coach in professional football leads the Patriots to the best record in professional football (14-2 record see my last article), dominates almost every team that goes against his, and further proves his genius as an NFL coach.
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