NFL awards 2022: MVP, rookies of the year, more

NFL awards 2022: MVP, rookies of the year, more

The regular season is now officially behind us, but before we jump right into the playoffs, let’s take another look at the last 18 weeks to hand out some awards.

The MMQB’s eight-member panel has voted on our picks to win the NFL’s top gear. As we’ve done for the past few years now, we asked our writers and editors to submit a fivefold ballot for each award, resulting in five points for a first-place vote, four points for a second-place vote, etc. . The AP has long had writers submit just one name for each award, but has made changes to use a similar system this year (though fewer names in most awards).

As longtime supporters of the love of downvoting, we support the initiative to spotlight more players we think deserve recognition for their 2022 seasons.

Our Voters:

Albert Breer, senior NFL reporter
Conor Orr, Senior Writer
Greg Bishop, Senior Writer
Michael Rosenberg, Senior Writer
Andrew Brandt, business of football columnist
John Pluym, managing editor
Gary Gramling, Senior Editor
Mitch Goldich, editor


1. Patrick Mahomes: 39 points (first 7, 1 second)
2. Josh Allen: 25 points (2 seconds, 5 thirds, 1 quarter)
3. Joe Burrow: 23 points (2 seconds, 3 thirds, 3 quarters)
4. Jalen Hurts: 19 points (1 first, 2 seconds, 2 fourths, 2 fifths)
5. Justin Jefferson: 9 points (1 second, 1 fourth, 3 fifths)
6. Nick Bosa: 4 points (1 fourth, 2 fifths)
7. Justin Herbert: 1 point (1 fifth)

Patrick Mahomes made a compelling case for himself to be the category MVP, finishing the year with a league-leading 5,250 yards and a league-high 41 passing yards as the Chiefs took home the AFC lead. He earned first-place votes on seven of our eight ballots for his efforts. Four players received second-place votes, with Justin Jefferson the only non-quarterback among them. Overall, he and Nick Bosa were the only non-QBs to receive any votes, which is typical for this award.

Mahomes is also the only player on this list to have won the award before, having already taken home the honors in 2018. Josh Allen also came in second in real life at ’20, as he does in our poll this year.

Offensive Player of the Year

1. Justin Jefferson: 38 points (6 first, 2 seconds)
2. Tyreek Hill: 26 points (1 first, 2 seconds, 3 thirds, 2 fourths)
3. Patrick Mahomes: 18 points (1 first, 2 seconds, 1 third, 1 fourth)
T-4. Travis Kelce: 8 points (2 thirds, 1 fourth)
T-4. Christian McCaffrey: 8 points (1 second, 1 fourth, 2 fifths)
T-6. Jalen Hurts: 7 points (1 second, 1 third)
T-6. Josh Jacobs: 7 points (1 third, 1 fourth, 2 fifths)
8. Davante Adams: 4 points (2 quarters)
9. Josh Allen: 2 points (2 fifths)
T-10. Saquon Barkley: 1 point (1 fifth)
T-10. Joe Burrow: 1 point (1 fifth)

This is always one of the two weirdest awards to vote for (the other being Comeback Player of the Year), as different voters have different definitions of what the award means. Is this meant for the best skill position player? Should a quarterback having an MVP-worthy season even get votes here? Is it a non-QB price?

However, our voters gave the award to Justin Jefferson, who led the NFL with 128 catches and 1,809 yards, flirted with the all-time rushing record for most of the season and was a major reason the Vikings won so many games. Tyreek Hill and Patrick Mahomes also received first-place votes. Travis Kelce and Christian McCaffrey were the top vote-getters at their respective positions.

Defensive Player of the Year

1. Micah Parsons: 35 points (3 first, 5 seconds)
2. Nick Bosa: 33 points (5 first, 2 seconds)
3. Chris Jones: 20 points (6 thirds, 1 fourth)
T-4. Myles Garrett: 6 points (2 quarters, 2 fifths)
T-4. Matthew Judon: 6 points (2 quarters, 2 fifths)
6. Maxx Crosby: 5 points (1 third, 1 fourth)
T-7. Kevin Byard: 4 points (1 second)
T-7. Quinnen Williams: 4 points (2 quarters)
9. Sauce Gardner: 3 points (1 third)
10. Jeffery Simmons: 2 points (2 fifths)
T-11. Brandon Graham: 1 point (1 of 5)
T-11. Haason Reddick: 1 point (1 fifth)

In one of our closest votes, Micah Parsons was selected as our Defensive Player of the Year despite Nick Bosa’s name leading more ballots. Bosa earned five first-place votes, but one voter left him off the ballot entirely, clearing the way for Parsons and his three first-place votes to overtake him.

The list is mostly populated by a who’s who of the league’s sack leaders, with Chris Jones, Myles Garrett, Matthew Judon and Maxx Crosby following on the list. The Jets and Eagles both had two players hiding in the end.

Offensive Rookie of the Year

1. Garrett Wilson: 32 points (3 firsts, 3 seconds, 1 third, 1 fourth)
2. Brock Purdy: 25 points (3 first, 1 second, 1 third, 1 fourth, 1 fifth)
3. Kenneth Walker III: 24 points (1 first, 3 seconds, 3 fourths, 1 fifth)
4. Chris Olave: 22 points (1 first, 1 second, 4 third, 1 fifth)
5. Christian Watson: 7 points (2 thirds, 1 fifth)
6. Kenny Pickett: 4 points (1 fourth, 2 fifths)
T-7. Charles Cross: 2 points (1 quarter)
T-7. Alec Pierce: 2 points (1st quarter)
T-9. Tyler Allgeier: 1 point (1 fifth)
T-9. Tyler Linderbaum: 1 point (1 fifth)

Garrett Wilson led a talented class of rookie receivers with 83 catches and 1,103 receiving yards to break out of the pack with our award. He wasn’t the only Ohio State rookie receiver to reach 1,000 yards and receive a first-place vote, however, as Chris Olave joined him.

Brock Purdy earned three first-place votes for his perfect record in five starts and one game that came in relief, helping the 49ers end the season with a 10-game hitting streak. And Kenneth Walker III got better as the season went on, finishing with three straight 100-yard games to pass the 1,000-yard mark on the year and earn a first-place vote.

Some voters recognized the attackers, which never happens in real life, but is an aspect we like about a longer ballot.

Gardner dominated our voting for his play as a rookie with the Jets

Defensive Rookie of the Year

1. Sauce Gardner: 37 points (6 first, 1 second, 1 third)
2. Aidan Hutchinson: 31 points (1 first, 5 seconds, 2 third)
3. Kayvon Thibodeaux: 19 points (1 first, 1 second, 2 thirds, 2 fourths)
4. Tariq Woolen: 17 points (1 second, 2 thirds, 3 fourths, 1 fifth)
5. Kyle Hamilton: 7 points (1 third, 1 fourth, 2 fifth)
6. Jack Jones: 5 points (2 quarters, 1 fifth)
7. Jaquan Brisker: 2 points (2 fifths)
T-8. James Houston: 1 point (1 fifth)
T-8. Kerby Joseph: 1 point (1 fifth)

The top of the draft doesn’t always pay immediate dividends, but our DROY scores start with three players who were all selected in the spring’s top five. Sauce Gardner earned six first-place votes for his year as a Pro Bowl cornerback, while Aidan Hutchinson was a popular second-place pick. Overall, defensive backs fared well in the voting, while the DPOY results were flooded with the most pass rushers.

This also sets up a sweep of the Jets, along with Wilson winning the OROY. This has happened only twice in league history, with teammates winning the awards in the 1967 Lions (Mel Farr, Lem Barney) and 2017 Saints (Alvin Kamara, Marshon Lattimore).

Comeback Player of the Year

1. Geno Smith: 34 points (5 first, 1 second, 1 third, 1 fourth)
2. Saquon Barkley: 29 points (5 seconds, 3 thirds)
3. Christian McCaffrey: 22 points (1 first, 1 second, 3 thirds, 1 fourth, 2 fifths)
4. Jared Goff: 17 points (1 first, 1 second, 3 fourths, 2 fifths)
5. Derrick Henry: 6 points (2 quarters, 2 fifths)
6. Damar Hamlin: 5 points (1st)
7. Daniel Jones: 4 points (1 third, 1 fifth)
8. Brandon Graham: 2 points (1 fourth)
9. Tom Brady: 1 point (1 fifth)

Brian Robinson Jr. is ineligible for this award despite being back on the field after being shot in a carjacking during the preseason (and playing well!) because he’s a rookie. He would have been a strong candidate, but we left him out since he doesn’t qualify. One voter still decided to recognize Damar Hamlin with a first-place vote for the remarkable progress he’s made since going into cardiac arrest on the field in Week 17.

This is always a tricky award to vote on, as it’s a mix of some players coming back from injury and others coming back from … just not having great seasons. Geno Smith is a fitting winner to have the season he did, returning to a starting role after years on the bench and playing well enough to lead the Seahawks to the playoffs.

And Tom Brady received a fifth-place vote for coming out of retirement to set a record for most completions in a season.

Coach of the Year

1. Nick Sirianni: 30 points (3 first, 1 second, 3 third, 1 fourth)
2. Brian Daboll: 28 points (1 first, 4 seconds, 2 thirds)
3. Kyle Shanahan: 24 points (3 firsts, 2 seconds, 1 fifth)
4. Doug Pederson: 12 points (1 first, 3 fourth, 1 fifth)
T-5. Dan Campbell: 7 points (1 second, 1 fourth, 1 fifth)
T-5. Pete Carroll: 7 points (1 third, 1 fourth, 2 fifths)
T-5. Mike Tomlin: 7 points (1 third, 1 fourth, 2 fifths)
8. Kevin O’Connell: 3 points (1 third)
9. Sean McDermott: 2 points (1 quarter)

This was one of the closest votes we had, with four different coaches earning first place votes. Nick Sirianni was the pick, for overseeing a third-down jump from Jalen Hurts and leading the Eagles to a franchise record 14 wins and the No. 1 seed. 1 in NFC. Kyle Shanahan, who won the NFC West with his third-string quarterback, also received three first-place votes, though he finished behind the Giants’ Brian Daboll.

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