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2022 NFL award races: Lamar Jackson for MVP? Micah Parsons for DPOY?

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The 2022 NFL season is officially 4 weeks in, meaning roughly 1 / 4 of the regular season slate is complete. Where has the time gone?

With a month of football within the books, some contenders are starting to separate from the pretenders. The Philadelphia Eagles appear like the actual deal at 4-0, while the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams have began slow out of the gate. 

There’s still a ton of football to be played. Nevertheless it’s not too early to have a look at the NFL’s annual award races, either. NBC Sports Washington’s Ethan Cadeaux, Matt Weyrich and Mike DePrisco make their predictions for every of the NFL’s annual awards.

Without further ado…

2022 NFL season award predictions

All odds via Caesars Sportsbook

Most Invaluable Player

Cadeaux: Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens (+550)

Notes: Lamar Jackson’s revenge tour is off to an incredible start. Sure, the Ravens are 2-2, however it’s hardly QB1’s fault. Jackson is tied for the NFL lead with 11 passing touchdowns and has already rushed for 316 yards in 4 games this season. The Ravens’ offense is a one-man show and it’s No. 8. 

(Preseason pick: Tom Brady +850)

Weyrich: Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens (+550)

Notes: Sticking with my preseason pick of Lamar Jackson, who has gotten off to an excellent start even after an uneven performance against the Bills in Week 4. The Ravens’ quarterback has accounted for 13 touchdowns thus far, which is greater than 27 other teams. That’s MVP-type stuff.

 

(Preseason pick: Lamar Jackson +1500)

DePrisco: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs (+500)

Notes: Mahomes has one way or the other exceeded expectations in 2022 after losing Tyreek Hill to Miami within the offseason. He’s tied with Jackson for the league lead in touchdown passes with 11, and posts an NFL-best 82.3 QBR despite throwing to a brand recent receiving core headlined by Juju Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Granted Travis Kelce remains to be in KC, but when Mahomes keeps up this production without Hill it’ll be hard to not award him his second MVP trophy.    

(Preseason pick: Justin Herbert, QB, Los Angeles Chargers)

Offensive Player of the 12 months

Cadeaux: Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams (+600 on DraftKings)

Notes: Any considered Cooper Kupp regressing after his historic 2021 season might be thrown out the window. Kupp is on pace for 170-plus receptions and over 1,700 yards, despite the Rams’ offense looking sluggish overall. This award is his to lose if he continues on this epic pace.

(Preseason pick: Christian McCaffrey +2500)

Weyrich: Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams (+600)

Notes: The last time a player won back-to-back Offensive Player of the 12 months awards was Marshall Faulk, who did it three straight seasons from 1999-2001. Cooper Kupp, who’s on pace to shatter Michael Thomas’s single-season catch record, may be next. As disappointing because the Rams’ offense has been through 4 weeks, Kupp has shown no signs of regression.

(Preseason pick: Travis Kelce +5000)

DePrisco: Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens (+600)

Notes: I even have Mahomes as my MVP, so this makes Jackson the straightforward alternative for Offensive Player of the 12 months. He’s the backbone of Baltimore’s offense and has amassed 13 touchdowns through 4 games. Jackson is a legitimate MVP candidate but when he doesn’t win the massive award, do not be surprised if he’s a frontrunner for this one. 

(Preseason pick: Justin Jefferson +1200)

Defensive Player of the 12 months

Cadeaux: Nick Bosa, DE, San Francisco 49ers (+700)

Notes: With T.J. Watt, my preseason pick for this award, sidelined for a minimum of a couple of more weeks, I’m going to pivot here to Nick Bosa, who’s been as dominant as any defensive player through the primary 4 weeks of the season. Bosa currently leads the NFL in sacks with six, a number that is definitely only going to climb. Micah Parsons (+180) is the overwhelming favorite for this award, but Bosa’s campaign has been pretty much as good as any.

(Preseason pick: T.J. Watt +800)

Weyrich: Nick Bosa, DE, San Francisco 49ers (+700)

Notes: Up to now, so good on my Bosa pick. The 49ers’ star edge rusher has an NFL-leading six sacks and he ranks third with six tackles for a loss. Helping matters is the proven fact that San Francisco has allowed just 11.5 points per game, the fewest within the league. This pick felt like a lock from the beginning and it’s going to take loads to alter my mind.

 

(Preseason pick: Nick Bosa +1200)

DePrisco: Nick Bosa, DE, San Francisco 49ers (+700)

Notes: Micah Parsons may be the heavy favorite for this award but I’m unsure how considering Bosa’s been an unstoppable force through the primary 4 weeks of the season. Six sacks in 4 games? Bosa is putting up video game numbers on a team that lost its starting quarterback in Week 1 and might want to lean on its defense to make one other Super Bowl run. Bosa at +700 appears like incredible value at once. 

(Preseason pick: Myles Garrett +700)

Offensive Rookie of the 12 months

Cadeaux: Drake London, WR, Atlanta Falcons (+600)

Notes: Jahan Dotson was my preseason pick for this award, which looks loads higher after he’s scored 4 touchdowns through the primary quarter of the season. The problem with picking Dotson again, though, is nearly all of his production has come on touchdowns; otherwise, he’s been a third- or fourth option on this offense. Couple that with that he’s prone to miss per week or two with a hamstring injury and I need to go otherwise. That brings me to Drake London, who’s off to a powerful start down in Atlanta. Without delay, it is a two-man race between London and Saints’ wideout Chris Olave. 

(Preseason pick: Jahan Dotson +2000)

Weyrich: Chris Olave, WR, Recent Orleans Saints (+500)

Notes: All due respect to Dameon Pierce here, but Chris Olave remains to be my early favorite to win Offensive Rookie of the 12 months. Olave’s 292 air yards this season (receiving yards not including yards after the catch) rank third within the NFL behind only Tyreek Hill and Stefon Diggs. That’s some elite company to be in and he’s just getting began.

(Preseason pick: Chris Olave +1000)

DePrisco: Chris Olave, WR Recent Orleans Saints (+500)

Notes: I’m sticking with Olave as well. He’s seeing a ton of targets — nine per game — and his reference to Jameis Winston was going along as advertised before the QB suffered a back injury. If Olave can avoid fiddling with Andy Dalton for too long he should have the ability to place up the stats to win this award.

(Preseason pick: Chris Olave +1000)

Defensive Rookie of the 12 months

Cadeaux: Sauce Gardner, CB, Recent York Jets (+2200)

Notes: Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner was my preseason pick and thru 4 weeks, I see no reason to alter it. Yes, Devin Lloyd and Travon Walker are each off to strong starts in Jacksonville, together with Aidan Hutchinson in Detroit. Still, though, I’ll persist with Sauce, who’s been really solid for the Jets’ defense through 4 weeks of the 12 months.

(Preseason pick: Sauce Gardner +1000)

Weyrich: Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Detroit Lions (+600)

Notes: Aidan Hutchinson is holding onto the highest spot for now, but he’s going to have to point out he can do greater than just dominate the Commanders. He racked up three sacks and two tackles for loss against Washington and has zero in each categories in his other three games. His strong effort against the Seahawks (five tackles, two QB hits) on Sunday kept him here for now.

 

(Preseason pick: Aidan Hutchinson +350)

DePrisco: Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Detroit Lions (+600)

Notes: That is one among the hardest awards to select when you ask me since there hasn’t been a rookie to actually break away from the sector yet. Hutchinson plays on a Lions defense that hasn’t been in a position to stop a nosebleed thus far this season, but as this young Detroit team improves over the course of the 12 months, Hutchinson will as well. Defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn has already shown he is not afraid to maneuver Hutchinson everywhere in the line of defense and put him in situations that might free him up as a pass-rusher. His sack numbers might are available bunches all 12 months as they’ve through the primary 4 weeks. 

(Preseason pick: Kyle Hamilton +1200)

Comeback Player of the 12 months

Cadeaux: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers (+500 on PointsBet)

Notes: I picked McCaffrey to win this award preseason and the running back’s strong begin to 2022 has given me no reason to decide on another person 4 weeks later. I’m rolling with CMC here, who’s played in only 10 games over the past two years.

(Preseason pick: Christian McCaffrey +900)

Weyrich: Saquon Barkley, RB, Recent York Giants (+175)

Notes: Just after we thought the Saquon Barkley of old may need been lost perpetually, he comes out of the gate hot to begin 2022. Barkley leads the league in rushing attempts (84) and rushing yards (463) while carrying an otherwise pedestrian Giants offense.

(Preseason pick: Travis Etienne +3000)

DePrisco: Brian Robinson Jr., RB, Washington Commanders (+600)

Notes: Robinson Jr. appears close to creating his NFL debut after he was shot within the leg during an attempted carjacking just before the regular season began. The proven fact that he’s even in a position to play so soon after the incident is miraculous in itself, but there is a probability he could win some hardware as well. The Commanders need to ascertain the run to assist an injured and struggling offensive line and Robinson Jr. was looking like Washington’s best running back during preseason play.

(Preseason pick: Christian McCaffrey +900) 

Coach of the 12 months

Cadeaux: Nick Sirianni, Philadelphia Eagles (+175)

Notes: The Philadelphia Eagles are 4-0, which makes Nick Sirianni a simple alternative for this award. But I’m not picking him simply because the Eagles are undefeated; Philadelphia looks dominant, too, which is a testament to its second-year coach.

(Preseason pick: Kevin O’Connell +1400)

Weyrich: Mike McDaniel, Miami Dolphins (+750)

Notes: The job Mike McDaniel has done in Miami over these first 4 weeks has been nothing wanting spectacular. Losing Tua Tagovailoa for per week or two will definitely present a stiff test for the first-year head coach, but he already has wins over Bill Belichick and John Harbaugh under his belt while getting his team out to a powerful 3-1 start.

 

(Preseason pick: Kevin O’Connell +1400)

DePrisco: Nick Sirianni, Philadelphia Eagles (+175)

Notes: The Eagles’ improved roster and soft schedule made Sirianni a lovely Coach of the 12 months pick before the season and there is not any reason to lose faith now after Philly jumped out to a 4-0 start. 

(Preseason pick: Nick Sirianni, Philadelphia Eagles +1400)

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