Now that the regular season is over, it is time to hand out the awards to the best players during the 2013 NFL season. The NFL will officially announce the winner of these awards on Saturday, February 1st at 8 p.m. on FOX, the day before the Super Bowl.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Eddie Lacy
The running back out of Alabama rushed for over 1100 yards and 11 touchdowns in his first season in Green Bay. He helped carry the Packers offense in the absence of Aaron Rodgers as the Packers won the NFC North. My runner-up would be San Diego Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen, who had a 1000 yard season along with eight touchdowns and helped the Chargers secure a playoff spot.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Kiko Alonso
The Buffalo Bills linebacker had 159 tackles and four interceptions, both far more than any other rookie in the league. He also significantly improved a Bills defense that had been dreadful over the last couple of years.
Offensive Player of the Year: LeSean McCoy
Nick Foles got a lot of attention when he burst onto the scene in Philadelphia, but it was the Eagles running back who led in the NFL in rushing and combined for over 2100 yards of total offense and 11 touchdowns, while only fumbling one time all season. McCoy was a key component in Chip Kelly’s high-powered offense, and a main reason that Philadelphia was able to win the NFC East crown this year.
Defensive Player of the Year: Robert Mathis
The Indianapolis Colts linebacker posted 59 tackles, forced eight fumbles, and led the league with 19.5 sacks on the season. Mathis has anchored the Colts defense with a consistent pass rush all year and helped Indy to win the AFC South division.
Comeback Player of the Year: Philip Rivers
In 2012, Philip Rivers threw for 3606 yards (3rd worst of 8 year starting career), 26 touchdowns (3rd worst), and 15 interceptions (2nd worst). In addition, he fumbled 15 times and lost 7 of them as San Diego finished with a losing record and missed the playoffs for the third straight year. This year, Rivers was able to bounce back and throw for 4478 yards, 32 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions while under a new head coach and general manager. He upset the Broncos in Denver, led the game winning drive against Kansas City to get the Chargers into the playoffs, and then upset the Cincinnati Bengals in Cincinnati during wild card weekend.
Coach of the Year: Bill Belichick
Belichick will most likely not win the award because the award goes to a coach whose team had a bad season the previous year and then turned it around (Chip Kelly, Andy Reid). However, what the Patriots coach has been able to do this season is remarkable. Without Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski, Wes Welker, Vince Wilfork, and Jerod Mayo, Belichick has the Patriots in the exact same position as they were last year: 13-4 and playing for the AFC Championship. It is almost taken for granted that the Patriots will contend every year, but I doubt many coaches could get this roster into the playoffs or even have a winning record. This is a team that has Julian Edelman and Shane Vereen as their best offensive players, and rookies Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins as 3rd and 4th options. They have also had to lean on rookies such as Logan Ryan and Jamie Collins on the defensive end as well. They even beat the Denver Broncos after being heavily outmanned on the offensive side. There is a reason Peyton Manning said that Belichick is the greatest of all time
Most Valuable Player: Jamaal Charles
There is no doubt that Peyton Manning will win this award, because it has become who has the best statistics rather than who is most valuable to their team. The Broncos still win the AFC West and make the playoffs with a different quarterback, but I’m not so sure the Chiefs have a nine win turnaround without Jamaal Charles. The running back was third in the league in rushing with 1287 yards, led the NFL with 12 rushing touchdowns, caught 70 passes for 693 yards, and caught seven touchdowns. The Chiefs started the season 9-0 and finished at 11-5 with a wild card berth.
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