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TOPIC: </em>New England (-5) vs. Minnesota

</em>New England (-5) vs. Minnesota 3 weeks ago #35486

  • elaine95
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By the time every NFL team has played eight games Jawaan Taylor Jersey , there are some heavily established favorites for The Associated Press NFL awards that are handed out on Super Bowl eve.Not this year.MVP? Lots of candidates — and not just quarterbacks.Coach of the Year? Nearly every division has a contender.Comeback Player? Some likely Hall of Famers are in the mix there.So the AP polled a few of the 50 voters for the awards, including genuine Hall of Famer James Lofton. The theme was clear: There isn’t much clarity as we head into the final eight weeks of the schedule.MVPThis honor has gone to a quarterback the past five seasons and 10 of 11. Two running backs, Adrian Peterson in 2012 and LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006, broke through the QB domination in the past dozen years.Lofton and some others select Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.“So good you just can’t take your eyes off of him,” the CBS analyst says.“Maybe this opinion changes next week, given the stellar competition that includes (Todd) Gurley and (Drew) Brees,” adds USA Today’s Jarrett Bell. “Maybe not, as the kid keeps showing up. A first-year starter as quarterback? Hey, Mahomes is like the new Kurt Warner.”Paul Domowitch of the Philadelphia Daily News opts for Brees. Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk prefers Gurley.Don’t forget about Tom Brady, Adam Thielen or Philip Rivers, and perhaps even a defensive force such as J.J. Watt.COACHAnother wide-open field headed by, according to Jenny Vrentas of Monday Morning Quarterback, Kansas City‘s Andy Reid.“I selected Andy Reid … for his ability to seamlessly transition from Alex Smith to Mahomes,” Vrentas explains. “He’s been so invested in Mahomes’ development that he sits with him on the bench in between offensive series, going over what they see and how they’ll attack the opponent next. Reid has demonstrated an ability to keep his offense fresh and tailored to his players, updating his West Coast system with spread concepts pulled from the college ranks.”Bob Glauber of Newsday points to last year’s winner Josh Oliver Jersey , Sean McVay of the Rams.“He’s one of the brightest minds in the game, and at 32, is proving not only to be a brilliant play caller, but an exceptional leader as well,” Glauber says.Not far behind in our little poll: the Saints‘ Sean Payton, the Texans‘ Bill O’Brien, the Bears‘ Matt Nagy, and the Chargers‘ Anthony Lynn, whose team “plays a road game every week,” Lofton notes.COMEBACK PLAYERRarely has there been such an impressive group vying for an award no one really wants to win considering the implications of a comeback.From Watt to Peterson to Aaron Rodgers, from Andrew Luck to Carson Wentz to Deshaun Watson, from Odell Beckham Jr. to Richard Sherman — WOW!“It’s either Andrew Luck or Watt,” says Williams, “but Watt has returned to being one of the best at his position. He is playing at an All-Pro and Pro Bowl level. Luck is not one of the top-five quarterbacks in the NFL and maybe not in the top 10.”Eric Adelson of Yahoo Sports goes for the Colts quarterback.“Can’t imagine the frustration he’s faced,” Adelson says. “A pro’s pro.”Vrentas picks Watt.“The surgery Watt had last October to put his leg back together after a tibial plateau fracture was so complicated that the surgeons couldn’t even be certain that it would work, and that his leg would be able to bear the full weight of his body while running full speed Deandre Baker Jersey ,” she explains. “Watt, who has nine sacks in nine games, was undeterred. He wasn’t back to full strength in the season opener but has steadily gotten better each week, a scary thought for opponents.”OFFENSIVE PLAYERAnother free-for-all, with Gurley, Mahomes, Thielen, Brees, Michael Thomas and James Conner getting consideration.“Before it’s done, he could wind up as MVP,” Bell says of Gurley, his choice in this category. “Ditto for Brees. Running backs don’t get the same love as quarterbacks in the pass-centric environment of the NFL. But if Gurley breaks LaDainian Tomlinson’s single-season TD record and the Rams keep winning big, people will have to take notice. Then again, Brees has a few records and has never been MVP.”Domowitch, a Brees supporter for MVP, puts Mahomes here. So does Williams.DEFENSIVE PLAYERThis category could be a two-horse race between a pair of thoroughbreds previously honored with the award: Aaron Donald and Watt.“Now that’s a man who don’t need no stinking training camp http://www.newyorkgiantsteamonline.com/oshane-ximines-jersey ,” Bell says of Donald.Eric Adelson of Yahoo Sports prefers Donald, as well.“A game wrecker on every down,” Adelson says.Adds Glauber: “Donald is a disruptive force in the middle and already has 10 sacks. The only problem for him — and the Rams — is that teams will often go to great lengths to shut him down. Thus, the constant double teams he has to fight through.”Lofton likes what Khalil Mack has done in Chicago: “Mack turned the Bears from pretenders to contenders.” But this train could be a runaway for Donald and Mack.OFFENSIVE ROOKIENo contest.“He’s the only good thing going for an awful Giants team,” Glauber says of Giants RB Saquon Barkley. “Until the Giants figure out their quarterback situation, he’ll be wasted in this offense.”But not lost in the awards prognostications.“On pace for more than 2,000 total yards — on a bad team,” Adelson notes.DEFENSIVE ROOKIEChargers safety Derwin James has gotten lots of love, but there’s no runaway leader.“Darius Leonard and Denzel Ward make this an interesting race for the award down the stretch,” Williams says.Glauber leans to Leonard: “Halfway through the season, he not only led all NFL rookies with 88 tackles, he led all NFL players in that category. He also has four sacks and three forced fumbles and has already won defensive rookie of the week honors twice.” Last week: 6-6Weeks 1 through 12: 79-81-5Home team shown in bold. Odds taken from Odds Shark.Green Bay (-13.5) vs. ArizonaThe Packers might be a long shot to make the playoffs, but they are still really good at home.<em>Pick: Green Bay (-13.5)</em>Atlanta (-2.5) vs. BaltimoreLike the Packers, the Falcons are a lot better at home. Lamar Jackson vs. Matt Ryan has potential to be a lot of fun, but I think the vet takes it over the rook.<em>Pick: Atlanta (-2.5)</em>Miami (-3.5) vs. BuffaloJosh Allen played well last week against a scuffling Jaguars team, but can he put it together for two games in a row? I have my doubts. I’ll take Miami.<em>Pick: Miami (-3.5)</em>Carolina (-3) vs. Tampa BayDivisional games are normally tight Julian Love Jersey , but the Panthers <em>need</em> this win. They can’t afford to lose their fourth in a row, and I don’t think they will.<em>Pick: Carolina (-3)</em>Chicago (-3.5) vs. New York Giants It’s Chase Daniel again this week for the Bears. If he plays well again, which team is going to give him a multi-year deal this offseason? Some GM out there just might.<em>Pick: Chicago (-3.5)</em>Houston (-5.5) vs. ClevelandFresh off the Hue Jackson revenge game, the Browns (especially Baker Mayfield) have had plenty to say this week. They’ll want to back it up with another solid performance, so this one stays close. Plus, the Texans are due for a clunker.<em>Pick: Cleveland (+5.5)</em>Denver (-5) vs. Cincinnati Jeff Driskel will get a start in place of Andy Dalton for the Bengals this week, and if he plays well things might start to get a little interesting in Cincinnati. However, the Broncos are quietly playing some good ball. I’ll take them.<em>Pick: Denver (-5)</em>Indianapolis (-4) vs. Jacksonville The Jaguars are a mess.<em>Pick: Indianapolis (-4)</em>Los Angeles Rams (-10) vs. DetroitThe Rams are coming off a bye after that thrilling Monday Night Football victory a few weeks back. The Lions are also coming off a mini-bye of sorts after losing to Chase Daniel on Thanksgiving. Give me the Rams.<em>Pick: Los Angeles Rams (-10)</em>Kansas City (-14) vs. Oakland The Raiders are a mess.<em>Pick: Kansas City (-14)</em>Tennessee (-9.5) vs. New York JetsI know the Jets aren’t good by any means, but 9.5 is a lot here. I think this game gets mucked up and ends up closer than people think.<em>Pick: New York Jets (+9.5)</em>New England (-5) vs. MinnesotaA matchup of two teams that haven’t really been as good as we thought they would be this year. Prediction: Kirk Cousins and Tom Brady both put up some big numbers.<em>Pick: New England (-5)</em>Seattle (-10) vs. San FranciscoThe Seahawks just keep on winning games. It may stop sometime, but not against the 49ers.<em>Pick: Seattle (-10)</em>Pittsburgh (-3) vs. Los Angeles ChargersThe Bolts are still looking for that signature win. There’s no better time to get it than in Pittsburgh on Sunday Night Football.<em>Pick: Los Angeles Chargers (+3)</em>Philadelphia (-6) vs. WashingtonIf the Eagles can’t get on track at home against a Colt McCoy-led Redskins team, they aren’t going to get back on track.<em>Pick: Philadelphia (-6)</em>
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