NFL 2015 Awards Favorites

If you’re anything like us, you sit around and debate the NFL awards favorites with more interest than the presidential debates. Here are our top picks for MVP and offensive and defensive rookies of the year.



Tom Brady – Tell me if you’ve heard this before, Tom Brady lead the Patriots to an undefeated season through week 11. The New England superstar has already amassed over 3,000 yards and 24 touchdowns. Losing a key weapon in Julian Edelman may hinder Brady’s stats in the upcoming weeks, but it won’t be enough to slow him down completely. Brady looks rejuvenated this season with his passion on the field, and if he leads the Patriots to yet another undefeated regular season it’d be hard to choose anybody else for MVP.


Cam Newton – Take everything said above about Brady and it can apply to Cam Newton. The young Carolina Panther has taken his play to a whole new level this year despite a depleted receiving group. Following a 5 touchdown performance and a 11-0 record, Newton is virtually locked with Brady for first place in the MVP race with everyone else a distant second. It may come down to which team loses first. Should both teams end up with a perfect season, Newton may get his first MVP award if he can pass Brady in total touchdowns.


Carson Palmer – Give props to Palmer for completely reinvigorating his career in Arizona. Coupled with Bruce Arians’ downfield passing attack, Palmer has been lighting up the stat sheet and the win column this season. Palmer’s stats are very close to both Brady and Newton in terms of passing touchdowns (27) and passing yards (3,066). His MVP chances will most likely be dependent on how he finishes out the year and what Arizona’s final record looks like. Fair or not, quarterbacks are often judged based on their team’s record.


Tony Romo – I know he’s only played 3 games at this point and the MVP is usually earned based on stats or team record, neither of which Romo has going for him at this point. However, if we’re talking about the Most Valuable Player it’s hard to argue against Romo. He’s led his team to all 3 of their victories this season while his backups went a combined 0-7. If, and this is a BIG IF, Romo can lead Dallas to the playoffs by going perfect down the stretch it’s hard to imagine some voters wouldn’t at least consider him for this award.


Offensive Rookie of the Year:

Todd Gurley – Gurley missed some games early on in the season and has slowed up a bit in recent weeks, but the St. Louis running back has been everything people thought he would be coming into the draft, a consensus top back in this league. Gurley’s big play capability and nose for the endzone has helped power the St. Louis offense and provided the Rams with their best back since the days of Steven Jackson.


Jameis Winston – Winston will have a better shot at this award if he can finish out the season as strongly as he’s been playing the past few weeks. After a shaky beginning to the season, Winston has the Bucs on a four game win streak and just capped off a 5 touchdown performance against his childhood favorite team Philadelphia. His Buccaneers probably won’t overtake Carolina for the division, but if Winston can lead them to a playoff spot, he’ll be a shoe-in for this end of year award.


Defensive Rookie of the Year:

Leonard Williams – The big man has anchored the Jets defensive line this season and has been everything New York thought he’d be when they drafted him. As a run stuffer in the Jets lineup, his numbers aren’t going to jump off of a page and shock you, but watching him on tape shows how dominant he can be.


Kwon Alexander – Alexander’s chance at winning this award will largely depend on if he is able to successfully appeal his recent PED suspension. The rookie linebacker has been all over the field for Tampa’s defense, racking up tackles as well as timely interceptions. Defensive minded coach Lovie Smith has helped Alexander maximize his potential in his Tampa 2 scheme leaving many to draw comparisons to legendary Buc Derrick Brooks.


If any of these guys win their respective awards, they’ll be one step further to legend status in their careers. One thing’s for sure: We know that the NFL is getting better and better with these stars lining up for awards this year.

–Mark Rubino