Welcome back to the best football opinion column on JBU campus. We haven’t visited the National Football League for a few weeks, and Week Eight has come and gone. Midway through the season, there’ve been a few players who have separated themselves from the pack when it comes to performance. Here are the players who, if the season ended today, would take home the hardware.
For MVP, there are two players who are realistically in the discussion for most valuable player—three if you count Todd Gurley, but because the Rams have such a stacked roster, I wouldn’t give him the MVP. However, I would give him offensive player of the year. On to the legitimate contenders. First up is Drew Brees. Brees is in his 17th season, which is an impressive feat on its own—not to mention that he’s put up 21 touchdowns, only one interception, and 2600 yards. For a 25-year-old, those are great numbers; for a 39-year-old, they are unreal. Second—and my vote for MVP—is 23 year old Patrick Mahomes. The quarterback for the Chiefs has already broken the Chiefs’ franchise record for touchdowns in a year, and it’s only Week 10. He’s thrown for 31 touchdowns and over 3100 yards. He’s also led the Chiefs to a record of 9-1. Not bad for a player in his second year.
Defensive player of the year is a tough one. There have been several players who have been terrorizing QB’s, receivers and offensive lines. However, two players have really stood out from the rest. Danielle Hunter for the Minnesota Vikings has taken on a bigger role for the Vikings since Everson Griffen, the team’s sack leader in 2017, was sidelined for personal reasons. Griffen is back with the team, but in the time he’s been away, Hunter has managed to rack up 11.5 sacks in 10 weeks. Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams is clearly in the lead for DPOY with 12.5 sacks and a forced fumble.
For rookies of the year, the leaders are a bit more clear cut. For offensive rookie of the year, there really isn’t much of a debate. Going into the draft, Saquon Barkley had the entire league on watch. Halfway through the season, he hasn’t disappointed. He has five rushing touchdowns, over 500 rushing yards, 500 receiving yards and two touchdowns. He is attempting to carry a struggling Giants offense at 1-7. For the defensive rookie of the year, Darius Leonard of the Indianapolis Colts is in the lead for the award. He’s leading the league in tackles, along with four sacks, three forced fumbles and two pass break ups.
The NFL has been exciting this year, with more offense this year than any year in the league’s history. Will the trend continue? Will the candidates finish the season strong?