NFL

2022 NFL midseason award predictions: Josh Allen leads Jalen Hurts and Patrick Mahomes in MVP race

With the 2022 NFL season at its midpoint, NFL.com’s analysts update their predictions on who they think will win some of the league’s most prestigious individual awards at NFL Honors, including:

  • MVP
  • Offensive Player of the Year
  • Defensive Player of the Year
  • Offensive Rookie of the Year
  • Defensive Rookie of the Year
  • Comeback Player of the Year
  • Coach of the Year

Participating analysts: Michael Baca, Brian Baldinger, Judy Battista, Jeremy Bergman, Ali Bhanpuri, Tom Blair, David Carr, Brooke Cersosimo, Jeffri Chadiha, Eric Edholm, Gennaro Filice, Christian Gonzales, Grant Gordon, Marcas Grant, DeAngelo Hall, Bobby Kownack, Dan Parr, Kevin Patra, Adam Rank, Chad Reuter, Marc Ross, Marc Sessler, Nick Shook, Lance Zierlein.

NOTE: All betting lines — listed alongside each player’s name — are courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook and are current as of 1:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

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MOST VALUABLE PLAYER

(10 votes: Battista, Blair, Chadiha, Edholm, Filice, Grant, Parr, Patra, Reuter, Zierlein)

T-2) Jalen Hurts (+250) | 6 votes: Baldinger, Cersosimo, Gonzales, Kownack, Ross, Shook

T-2) Patrick Mahomes (+200) | 6 votes: Baca, Bhanpuri, Carr, Gordon, Rank, Sessler

T-4) Joe Burrow (+2000) | 1 vote: Bergman

T-4) Lamar Jackson (+900) | 1 vote: Hall

Why Judy Battista chose Josh Allen: Allen is the best player on the league’s most complete team/Super Bowl favorite, a physical marvel who continues to astound with his arm and legs. Less than halfway through the season, he has 2,403 passing yards and nearly 400 rushing yards, and he has already led victories over three likely AFC playoff teams (the Titans, Ravens and Chiefs). His elbow injury could change the trajectory of the season, but assuming Allen doesn’t miss much time, if any, he’s a prime candidate to nab the MVP trophy and hoist the Lombardi Trophy in Arizona this February.

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OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

(13 votes: Baca, Baldinger, Battista, Bergman, Carr, Chadiha, Filice, Gonzales, Patra, Rank, Reuter, Ross, Sessler)

2) Derrick Henry | 5 votes: Bhanpuri, Blair, Cersosimo, Gordon, Kownack

3) Jalen Hurts | 3 votes: Edholm, Parr, Zierlein

4) Josh Allen | 2 votes: Grant, Shook

5) Patrick Mahomes1 vote: Hall

Why Jeffri Chadiha chose Tyreek Hill: The blockbuster trade acquisition has been everything the Dolphins needed. Hill’s on pace for nearly 2,100 receiving yards — which would be a new league record — and he has helped Tua Tagovailoa take a huge step forward.

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DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

(23 votes: Baca, Battista, Bergman, Bhanpuri, Blair, Carr, Cersosimo, Chadiha, Edholm, Filice, Gonzales, Gordon, Grant, Hall, Kownack, Parr, Patra, Rank, Reuter, Ross, Sessler, Shook, Zierlein)

2) Matthew Judon (+2000) | 1 vote: Baldinger

Why Adam Rank chose Micah Parsons: Dallas thrived in the first half of the 1990s not solely because of the Big Three — who were obviously great — but also because of a devastating defense. These Cowboys feel like those teams from the franchise’s glory days because of their defense, which currently ranks third in points allowed. And Micah Parsons is the tip of the spear. In fact, I’d say he’s passed Aaron Donald as the best defensive player in the league.

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OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

(12 votes: Baca, Baldinger, Battista, Carr, Edholm, Filice, Gordon, Kownack, Parr, Rank, Ross, Sessler)

2) Dameon Pierce (+160) | 10 votes: Bhanpuri, Blair, Cersosimo, Chadiha, Gonzales, Grant, Hall, Patra, Shook, Zierlein

3) Chris Olave (+900) | 2 votes: Bergman, Reuter

Why Eric Edholm chose Kenneth Walker III: Admittedly, prior to Breece Hall’s ACL tear in Week 7, my vote was leaning toward the Jets’ rookie rusher. But Walker has been fantastic over his past five games, rushing for 512 yards and seven TDs in that span — and helping the Seahawks jump out to a shocking 6-3 start. His vision, creativity, anticipation and tackle-breaking ability are all top notch, setting him up to be the next great Seahawks runner.

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DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

(19 votes: Baca, Baldinger, Battista, Bergman, Bhanpuri, Carr, Filice, Gonzales, Gordon, Grant, Hall, Kownack, Parr, Patra, Reuter, Ross, Sessler, Shook, Zierlein)

2) Tariq Woolen (+300) | 4 votes: Blair, Cersosimo, Chadiha, Edholm

3) Jaquan Brisker (+3000) | 1 vote: Rank

Why Marc Ross chose Sauce Gardner: I felt Gardner was the best overall player in the 2022 NFL Draft, regardless of position — and so far, he has exceeded my expectations. With his special combination of length, athletic ability and undeniable swag, Sauce’s production as a lockdown corner has helped rejuvenate the Jets’ defense. He not only is the clear-cut DROY, but he’s already in the conversation for best corner in the NFL. 

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COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR

(10 votes: Bergman, Blair, Carr, Cersosimo, Chadiha, Gordon, Rank, Ross, Sessler, Shook)

2) Saquon Barkley (+150) | 7 votes: Battista, Bhanpuri, Edholm, Hall, Parr, Patra, Zierlein

3) Christian McCaffrey (+1500) | 5 votes: Filice, Gonzales, Grant, Kownack, Reuter

4) Derrick Henry (+1600) | 2 votes: Baca, Baldinger

Why David Carr chose Geno Smith: Geno leading the Seahawks to the top of the NFC West at the midpoint is one of the biggest surprises of the season. Though surrounded by a talented group of playmakers, Smith has more than pulled his weight by protecting the ball, executing critical drives and elevating the play of everyone on the league’s fourth-ranked scoring offense. There’s still room on the bandwagon if you’re interested, but it’s filling up fast! 

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COACH OF THE YEAR

(10 votes: Baca, Cersosimo, Edholm, Filice, Gonzales, Gordon, Grant, Hall, Rank, Sessler)

2) Brian Daboll (+800) | 7 votes: Baldinger, Battista, Chadiha, Parr, Reuter, Ross, Zierlein

T-3) Pete Carroll (+600) | 2 votes: Blair, Shook

T-3) Robert Saleh (+900) | 2 votes: Bergman, Bhanpuri

T-5) Mike McDaniel (+1500) | 1 vote: Carr

T-5) Sean McDermott (+4000) | 1 vote: Patra

T-5) Kevin O’Connell (+800) | 1 vote: Kownack

Why Marcas Grant chose Nick Sirianni: Even in the wildest expectations of Eagles fans, no one anticipated this team being undefeated after nine weeks. Sirianni boasts a roster that is playing at an elite level in all three phases and looks to be the class of the NFC.

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EACH ANALYST’S BALLOT

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