12th Annual NFL HONORS Awards Predictions


Feb 9, 2023

On Thursday night, the 12th Annual NFL HONORS award show will be presented by the league and hosted by Kelly Clarkson, the first-ever woman host. The primetime special will recognize the NFL’s best players, the top plays, and performances from the 2022 season.

Here are my predictions for the seven major individual player and head coach awards that will be given out on Thursday night:

AP Most Valuable Player: Joe Burrow, Jalen Hurts, and Josh Allen are all worthy candidates, but it would be a stunner if Patrick Mahomes isn’t the MVP. With the loss of Tyreek Hill and others, many expected KC to take a step back, yet here we are with the Chiefs in the Super Bowl once again.

Prediction: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

AP Offensive Player of the Year: Speaking of Tyreek Hill, with career highs in receptions (119) and receiving yards (1,710), he’s a leading candidate, along with Mahomes. The man to beat, however, is Justin Jefferson, who led the NFL in both categories with 1,809 receiving yards on 128 catches.

Prediction: Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings

AP Defensive Player of the Year: For much of the season, this appeared to be Micah Parsons’s award to lose. I wouldn’t say Parsons lost it, but that Nick Bosa won it, as the San Francisco edge rusher led the NFL with 18.5 sacks as the face of the league’s No. 1 total and scoring defense.

Prediction: Nick Bosa, San Francisco 49ers

AP Comeback Player of the Year: This is a three-horse race between Geno SmithChristian McCaffrey, and Saquon Barkley. I wouldn’t be surprised if any of the three win it, although I believe it will come down to Smith or McCaffrey, with Seattle’s postseason berth giving Geno the edge.

Prediction: Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks

AP Offensive Rookie of the Year: There are several worthy candidates, including Brock Purdy, who ultimately will be too little too late. Expect a photo finish between Seattle running back Kenneth Walker and New York Jets wideout Garrett Wilson. I’m leaning toward Wilson in this tight race.

Prediction: Garrett Wilson, New York Jets

AP Defensive Rookie of the Year: This competition isn’t quite as close, as New York’s Ahmad Gardner came out the gates at full speed and never slowed down. That must be what makes the top-five pick an elite cover corner, as he goes wire-to-wire. Gardner is a rare rookie first-team All-Pro.

Prediction: Ahmad Gardner, New York Jets

AP Coach of the Year: If this were election night, I’d say too close to call. Nick Sirianni, Brian Daboll, and Kyle Shanahan all coached the heck out of their teams. On the field, Sirianni gets a slight edge over Daboll, but can they hold off the emotion quotient that Sean McDermott brings as a candidate?

Prediction: Nick Siriani, Philadelphia Eagles

Thumbnail photo via Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

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