In part one of the NFL series predictions we looked at the writers and contributors picks for each division, the wildcards, each conference, and even the Super Bowl champion. The crack staff at Sports Unbiased and its contributors are at it once again but this time it is all about the hardware. It is time to look at the NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award. There are some logical candidates for the award and some others that just might sneak in. Who will be this year’s bridesmaid?
Ned – Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings
After being sidelined with domestic issues last season, I expect Adrian Peterson go out and prove that he is still the best running back in the game. Sitting out most of last season because of legal troubles made him very unpopular in Minnesota. Many fans (and some still) want him off the team.
Now that he is back with the Vikings (and personal problems behind him), I believe Adrian Peterson will run with attitude and a huge chip on his shoulder. He remains the number one offensive weapon on the team. The last time he came back from not playing due to injury resulted with a record breaking season.
With that said, Adrian Peterson’s play this upcoming 2015 – 2016 year will show doubting fans, and the NFL, that he still deserves the title of NFL’s best Offensive Player.
Ben – Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
Usually, if the MVP is an Offensive player, this award goes up to the runner up, in this case that would be Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers will be running Green Bay’s high paced offense this coming season. He’ll have weapons everywhere in that offense, Green Bay recently brought back two free agents in Bryan Bulaga and Randall Cobb. Cobb will go along with WRs Jordy Nelson, DeVante Adams, and rookie Ty Montgomery.
Green Bay’s offense is so special because of two other aspects apart from the WRs and Rodgers, those aspects would be the OL and RB core. The Packers have a great offensive line and it helps them tremendously in both the run game, and the passing game. They’ve got Josh Sitton, David Baktiari, TJ Lang, Ryan Lindsley, and Bryan Bulaga on the OL (no order) which looks to be an elite group in 2015. That group will help Aaron a ton buy giving him tons of time in the pocket and giving him options.
Adam – Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
He is on my short list of possible MVP winners but that will be derailed by the two game suspension. However, he should still run up enough to take the bridesmaid award. He will be entering his third NFL season and has made great strides in his first two years in Pittsburgh. In 2013, he rushed for 860 yards in 244 attempts but in 2014 he rushed for 1,361 yards in only 43 more attempts. The math equates to an increase of 1.2 yards per carry.
He is the true idea of a multipurpose running back. In 2014, he also hauled in 83 receptions for 854 yards. Many NFL teams would be happy with those numbers from a wide receiver let alone their running back. With that he also scored 11 times, which was an increase of three touchdowns from his rookie campaign.
Bell has become the key in the Steelers offensive schemes and that is the correct approach. As he continues to grow in year three and Ben Roethlisberger looks to avoid an early grave, Bell could be positioned to challenge some all-time single season total yardage records even missing two games.
JR – DeMarco Murray, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
If health prevails, DeMarco Murray will be the offensive player of the year, as he joins a Philadelphia Eagles squad that ranked No.7 in team rushing yard attempts per game. Murray is in a perfect situation to excel in Philadelphia, and I think he has a chip on his shoulder — meaning he will make Dallas pay for letting him go.