The NFL regular season is now half way done and many players have already made a name for themselves in 2022. While awards aren’t given away at mid-season, these are the guys who could be receiving hardware by season’s end.
MVP: Patrick Mahomes
The 2018 MVP has been nothing short of excellent to start the season. Mahomes has led the Chiefs to a 6-2 record and a one game lead in the AFC West. Through eight games Mahomes leads the league in touchdowns at 21. He sits fourth in the league in QBR at 103.6 and fifth in yards per attempt.
Mahomes is always a part of the MVP conversation and this year has been no different. He has been a prime reason the Chiefs record looks as good as it does. For example, Mahomes’ performance against Tennessee, particularly his scrambling ability, kept the Chiefs in a hard fought game. He would lead them to another victory in primetime and once again showed the world why he should be in the 2022 MVP race.
OPOTY: Tyreek Hill
The NFL’s leading receiver thus far has produced exactly like the Dolphins hoped when trading for him. Tyreek Hill has accounted for 1,100 yards receiving through 9 games. He’s only had less than five catches once and he has surpassed 150 receiving yards in a game four times. Hill has helped lead the Dolphins to a 6-3 record and has elevated the play of young quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Tagovailoa is having the best season of his career and has one of the highest QBR’s in the league right now at 115.9. Overall, Tyreek Hill has elevated this entire team and he deserves to be recognized for that.
DPOTY: Micah Parsons
Last season’s rookie of the year has gotten off to another hot start in 2022. Parsons has been the Cowboys’ biggest defensive threat and they have utilized him well. Parsons has had multiple sacks in four different games, giving him eight total on the year. He may not be leading in sacks but most teams refuse to throw it deep with him in the game. This means his presence is always felt. Parsons also has 2 fumble recoveries this season. He’s on pace to have better numbers than last season’s stellar rookie year and I expect that he will win Defensive Player Of The Year by season’s end.
OROTY: Kenneth Walker
Kenneth Walker started the season behind Rashaad Penny on the depth chart but after a season-ending injury Walker found himself atop the depth chart. He’s made the most of the opportunity as he has had at least 1 touchdown in every game since. He has two multi-touchdown games and has eclipsed 100 yards rushing twice in his four games as a starter. It’s also important to note, Seattle hasn’t lost a game since Walker entered the lineup. With Breece Hall done for the year, it looks like Kenneth Walker could run away with the Rookie of the Year award if he continues his solid play.
DROTY: Sauce Gardner
One of the most dynamic rookies this season has been New York Jets corner Sauce Gardner. Gardner 2 interceptions to go along with 44 total tackles this year. Gardner is still getting acclimated with the speed of NFL ball, yet he already has the highest Pro Football Focus cover grade at 90.4. He’s given up just 20 catches for 189 yards this season while going against some of the best receivers in the league. Gardner has faced the likes of Tyreek Hill, Ja’Marr Chase, Amari Cooper and even fellow rookie George Pickens. The Jets sit at 6-3 with a chance for a playoff spot and a lot of that is thanks to their elite rookie defender.
CPOTY: Saquon Barkley
The Giants star running back has returned with a vengeance in 2022. Barkley has accounted for 779 yards on the ground this season and has scored in all but 3 games so far this season. He’s eclipsed 100 yards three times through week 9. The Giants have missed that sort of production and with Barkley back in the lineup, the New York Giants are 6-2. That success is a direct result of having an elite running back like Barkley. Saquon Barkley has helped turn this team into a competitor for the first time since the Eli Manning days and that shouldn’t go unnoticed.
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