NFL Honors will air on NBC (streaming on Peacock) and NFL Network on Thursday at 9 p.m. ET, and it will reveal all of the award winners from the 2022 NFL season. There will be over a dozen awards given out, including MVP, Coach of the Year, Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year, and Comeback Player of the Year.
The Associated Press will use a new voting system this year, so things will be a little different. According to NFL.com, a nationwide panel of 50 NFL-covering sports journalists has ranked their top-five picks for MVP and top-three picks for the other awards.
How to watch
Date: Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023 | Time: 9 p.m. ET
Location: Symphony Hall (Phoenix)
TV: NBC/NFL Network | Stream: fuboTV (try for free)
Follow: CBS Sports App
Below, we will attempt to predict the award winners for seven of the biggest awards at NFL Honors. Let’s start with the “most valuable” of them all: MVP.
Most Valuable Player: Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes
Mahomes will almost certainly win his second MVP award and could also win his second Super Bowl this weekend. This season, he led all quarterbacks in passing touchdowns with 41 and had the highest passer rating when targeting running backs and tight ends (125.1). I guess losing Tyreek Hill wasn’t so bad. Mahomes threw for a career-high 5,250 yards and completed a career-high 67.1 percent of his passes during the regular season. During the regular season, he averaged 308.8 passing yards per game. No other quarterback averaged more than 280 yards per game.
While it is irrelevant to his MVP case, Mahomes now has the most playoff wins before turning 28 years old with 10, as well as the best passer rating in playoff history (106.1). He’d become the tenth player in history to win MVP multiple times. Every player who has done so and retired has been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Mahomes is the best quarterback in the NFL and should be named MVP for his efforts this season.
Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers was named Coach of the Year
When an NFL team loses its starting quarterback, the season is usually over. Sure, the 49ers were fortunate to have Jimmy Garoppolo as a backup, but he, too, was injured! Brock Purdy, the 49ers’ final pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, stepped into the picture. The Iowa State product went 5-0 down the stretch for San Francisco, completing 67.1 percent of his passes for 1,374 yards, 13 touchdowns, and only four interceptions as the 49ers advanced to the NFC Championship game for the second year in a row.
While Purdy deserves credit for his performance, Kyle Shanahan’s offensive scheme and use of playmakers is most likely the reason the 49ers didn’t miss a beat on offence despite having a third-string rookie quarterback. Add in the fact that San Francisco had the NFL’s best defence this season, led by likely Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa, and Shanahan should be named Coach of the Year.
Comeback Player of the Year: Seahawks QB Geno Smith
There are several prominent candidates for Comeback Player of the Year, including Saquon Barkley and Christian McCaffrey, but quarterback is the most important position in football, which should help Smith’s case. The previous four winners of this award were all quarterbacks.
After being promoted following Russell Wilson’s departure, the former backup had a career year in 2022. Smith went 9-8 as a starter, completing 69.8 percent of his passes for 4,282 yards, 30 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions while leading Seattle to an unexpected playoff berth. Smith, 32, was named to his first career Pro Bowl and is expected to sign a long-term contract extension this offseason.
Offensive Player of the Year: Vikings WR Justin Jefferson
Jefferson is the NFL’s most talented wide receiver. His goal going into 2022 was to prove this, and he was successful. The former LSU star is the only non-quarterback to be named an MVP finalist. While he’s a long shot for MVP, he could win Offensive Player of the Year.
This season, Jefferson led the NFL in catches (128), receiving yards (1,809), and receiving touchdowns (tied for 11th) (8). Those yards are the sixth-most recorded by a receiver in a single season. Jefferson set franchise records for receptions and receiving yards while being named to his third straight Pro Bowl and an All-Pro selection.
The 4,825 receiving yards Jefferson has recorded in his career are the most receiving yards recorded in a player’s first three seasons in NFL history. Not only that, but he has the most receiving yards since entering the NFL in 2020!
Defensive Player of the Year: 49ers DE Nick Bosa
Bosa has been a total beast. He led the NFL with 18.5 quarterback takedowns this season after recording 15.5 sacks in 2021. In four seasons, the former No. 2 overall pick has won NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, All-Pro honours, three Pro Bowl bids, and is now expected to win Defensive Player of the Year. Bosa led the league in QB hits with 48 and was tied for second in tackles for loss with 19. On the line, he’s a handful to contain, and he proved this past season that he’s a legitimate playmaker.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Jets WR Garrett Wilson
Wilson led all rookies in receptions (83), receiving yards (1,103), and touchdown receptions (four). Wilson stood out because he was able to accomplish all of this despite inconsistency at the helm. In 2022, Wilson had three 100-yard receiving games. Each team had a different quarterback. If Wilson wins Offensive Rookie of the Year, he will be the first Jet to do so.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Jets CB Sauce Gardner
Sauce came into the association radiating with certainty. He said he felt like he was the “picked one,” and that there was “absolutely not a chance” he could be a failure. Gardner was right in surveying himself, as he piled up 75 consolidated handles, two captures and an association driving 20 passes protected. Sauce got Every Master honor, making him the very first newbie cornerback to do as such.
Assuming that Gardner wins Cautious Thelatest phenom, the Planes would move past the Bosses and 49ers for most Protective Thenew hotness champs all time. The last Stream to win was Sheldon Richardson in 2013.
On the off chance that Wilson AND Gardner win Hostile and Cautious Thelatest phenom, they would turn into the third couple from a similar group to win both. The last time it happened was in 2018, when Alvin Kamara and Marshon Lattimore of the New Orleans Holy people achieved the accomplishment.