Sport360's Jay Asser picks his Super Bowl winner and hands out individual awards for the coming season.
One of the best parts of the NFL season is how unpredictable it is.
Aside from the New England Patriots, who you can pretty much pencil in for the second weekend of the playoffs, the rest of the field in both conferences can go in various directions.
Similarly with the individual awards, the competition to be one of the standout players will be stiff, especially if most of the big names can stay healthy.
We won’t know how any of this plays out until months from now, but in the meantime, let’s gaze into our crystal ball and relay what we see.
New England Patriots
New Orleans Saints
The NFC will be a bloodbath in the playoffs and a number of teams could come out of the conference, but the Saints are arguably the most balanced and well-rounded team in the league.
SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS
New Orleans Saints
Their improved defence will be just good enough to hold off Brady while the offence has its way in a shootout.
If he stays on the field, he’s a lock to put up gaudy numbers in terms of both volume and efficiency.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
As of writing, Bell has yet to report to the Steelers, but it’s hard to imagine him missing out on game cheques. And when he does get on the field, the Steelers will feed him early and often with a massive workload in his final year with the team.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Somewhat surprisingly, the Broncos edge rusher has never picked up the award, despite having multiple stellar seasons. That will change this year as there will be fewer double teams to deal with now that Bradley Chubb is part of the defence.
OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
He was drafted second overall for a reason as the Giants plan to use him extensively as a runner and receiver to help take the pressure off Eli Manning.
DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
A playmaker in the Chargers secondary, James will be vital to the success of San Diego’s defence as someone who can wreak havoc and create turnovers.
COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR
He looked like himself in his final preseason outing and with the talent he possesses, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Luck push the Colts into the playoff picture.
COACH OF THE YEAR
With the Chargers winning the AFC West and earning a bye one year after missing the playoffs, Lynn will be rightfully rewarded.