Football is finally back, so to celebrate it’s glorious return (and my one year-anniversary of my first post at Armchair All-Americans), I rallied up 13 Armchair staffers to make their predictions on major awards, the Super Bowl and other distinctions for the 2018-2019 NFL season. Keep reading to see who our experts pegged as the top candidates to take home the hardware, or a feeling of despair and disappointment. For a little more in-depth reasoning behind my own picks (which are italicized), stay tuned for my first ‘Deep Route Football Notebook’ of the season next week.
Winner: Aaron Rodgers (6 votes)
No major surprises here, as Rodgers’ talent transcends his recent injury history and team woes. Also, the last non-quarterback to win MVP was Adrian Peterson in 2012, so the award will likely be a quarterback again. Some might be shocked to see Goff get more votes than a future Hall of Famer, but as I’ll explain next week, I wouldn’t be shocked at all.
Offensive Player of the Year
I am a firm believer that the MVP should also win their respective position’s award, which is usually an offensive player. Still, lots of young, intriguing names here. As for the ‘winners’, I can see any player but Brown getting it as the last wide receiver to win it was the great Jerry Rice in 1993.
Defensive Player of the Year
Winner: Joey Bosa (4 votes)
Finally, more people side with me on a prediction! This award is on a streak of non-defensive backs, so sorry Jalen Ramsey but you’ll have to chastise a few more people to earn serious consideration. As for Bosa, this pick falls in line with the some of the voters’ other predictions, which forecasts a happy Chargers-fandom.
Offensive Rookie of the Year
Winner: Saquon Barkley (9 votes)
This was the closest we got to a universal nomination out of all the awards. Not much to say about a generational talent taken second overall in the draft. I was wondering which rookie quarterbacks would get some love, though it all depends on who actually starts. As of this writing, only Darnold has been proclaimed the starter.
Defensive Rookie of the Year
Another vote, another all-over-the-place outcome. Interestingly, all of these players were first-round picks except for Landry, who slipped until the second round. I say ‘slipped’ because clearly there are a couple believers in his talent (myself included). Despite no defensive back earning this award between 1997 and 2014, two have won it since then. Perhaps the tide is shifting in favor of the talented defensive backs nominated here?
Coach of the Year
Winner: Kyle Shanahan (4 votes)
Others receiving votes: Bill O’Brien (3 votes); Anthony Lynn, Doug Pederson (2 votes); Pat Shurmur, Mike Zimmer (1 vote)
No real surprise here, as I could see each of these coaches’ teams outperforming records from last season. Initially, I was a bit confused as to why incumbent COY Sean McVay earned no votes despite a much improved roster. Unfortunately for him (and fortunately for the voters, I guess) the last back-to-back winner for this award was way back in 1983 when Joe Gibbs won it.
Winner: Los Angeles Chargers (3 votes)
Alright, let’s chill out for a second. My definition of a sleeper team is a team who people are either looking down on or are ignoring altogether, yet that team could very well surpass those lowly expectations. Clearly, people have much different opinions of teams as eleven teams earned votes among the thirteen voters. Sheesh.
Winner: Jacksonville Jaguars (3 votes)
This one is a little less hectic, but still has a lot to digest. There are six playoff teams from last year nominated here, including the reigning Super Bowl champs. Kudos to the Cowboys for being the only team to be labeled a ‘sleeper’ and a ‘bust.’
Winner: Buffalo Bills (7 votes)
Others receiving votes: Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3 votes)
Well, well, there’s some agreement with this pick! While I should be mad that my Dolphins are on here (who were my sleeper team), these three teams may all have serious questions to answer. If they can’t fix their issues, then they could easily be picking first next April.
First-Place Votes: Los Angeles Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints, Minnesota Vikings (2); Jacksonville Jaguars, Green Bay Packers, Carolina Panthers, New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers (1)
Second-Place Votes: New England Patriots, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers (3); Los Angeles Chargers, Atlanta Falcons, Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings (1)
Overall Votes: New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers (4); Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota Vikings (3); Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints (2); Atlanta Falcons, Jacksonville Jaguars, Green Bay Packers, Carolina Panthers (1)
I really didn’t know any other way to do this, as 13 different teams were picked between the twelve voters. On top of that, no one made the same exact Super Bowl pick. No one even had the same two teams playing each other! So I counted which team got the most first-place votes and the most second-place votes, yet that still didn’t clarify a universal matchup. There you have it everyone, by this completely illogical calculation, Armchair predicts a… Patriots-Steelers Super Bowl? Kidding. Seriously, though, I just added each writer’s prediction below. That way we can all be specific with who we’re laughing at in February.
Voters, their Super Bowl picks, and their Five-Word Bold Predictions
Zach Cohen (NFL): Saints def. Steelers; AFC South becomes best division
Rob Paul (NFL Draft): Vikings def. Chargers; Five players 2000 total yards
Chris Wise (BIG12): Eagles def Patriots; Jason Garrett fired mid-season
Noah McKay (Titans): Vikings def. Steelers; Andrew Luck falls flat again
Matt Martellucci (Department Head/Eagles): Eagles def Steelers; Detroit ends the playoff drought
Alex Reynolds (Editor in Chief): Panthers def. Patriots; 49ers win the NFC West
Andrew Cabatingan (Patriots): Chargers def. Rams; Bears win the NFC North
Have your own prediction? Drop them in the comments below or tweet at us @ArmchairNFL
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