Ten weeks into the NFL season, we have a pretty good idea of what players and teams will continue to be big-time as we head toward winter. Though football is the ultimate team sport, we should still evaluate the individuals that put forth their individual efforts toward helping their unit win games. The league’s top contenders are gearing toward a playoff run, but let’s take a break to recognize which stars are playing at the highest level. All statistics are retroactive to Nov. 12, 2019.
NFL Most Valuable Player: Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks)
Russell Wilson is the sure-fire MVP of the league thus far. His Seattle Seahawks are 8-2 on the season, and Russ has been the main reason for their success. Contrary to recent history, the Seattle Seahawks no longer lean on their “Legion of Boom” defense and have handed the keys to the franchise over to their quarterback Russell Wilson. Through ten games, Wilson leads the league in touchdown passes with 23, has thrown for over 2,700 yards, and has thrown just two interceptions all year. Most impressive of all, he has led five game-winning drives in what is supposed to be a rebuilding year for Seattle.
AFC Offensive Player of the Year: Lamar Jackson (Baltimore Ravens)
Perhaps the most electric player in the NFL, Lamar Jackson has proven to be a true dual-threat quarterback with a style of running we haven’t seen from that position since Michael Vick. Jackson continues to prove doubters wrong with his spectacular play each week, and the Ravens’ 7-2 record. Many say he cannot make NFL throws, but his 2,036 yards and 15 touchdowns to 5 interceptions speaks otherwise. We will see how Jackson does when defenses catch on to his playstyle, but for now, we must give credit where credit is due.
NFC Offensive Player of the Year: Christian McCaffrey (Carolina Panthers)
A candidate for league MVP, Christian McCaffrey is doing things that we have never seen before from a white running back. His 989 rushing yards are just two shy of Dalvin Cook for the league lead, and his 11 rushing touchdowns are tied with Aaron Jones for the most in the NFL. In addition, CMC has caught 48 passes for about 400 yards and three touchdowns. His all-around play and capacity for a high usage rate adds a unique dynamic to the Panthers offense.
NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year: Minkah Fitzpatrick (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Minkah Fitzpatrick has completely turned things around for the Pittsburgh Steelers since they acquired him on Sept. 16th. Fitzpatrick is a turnover machine, hoisting the league honors for most interceptions with five. Minkah has also recorded 45 tackles, forced two fumbles, recovered two fumbles, and scored two defensive touchdowns. After starting off 1-4, The Pittsburgh Steelers defense led by Minkah Fitzpatrick has elevated them to a 4 game winning streak and a positive record. The trade was well worth it, and the immediate impact Fitzpatrick has made solidifies him as my DPOY.
NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year: Josh Jacobs (Oakland Raiders)
The Oakland Raiders knocked it out of the park with this draft pick Josh Jacobs leads all rookies in rushing yards with 811, which is nearly 400 yards more than the next best rookie tailback. The Raiders are surprising many with their 5-4 record, and their top-notch offense. Jacobs adds balance to Jon Gruden’s unit that has been searching for a rushing attack to take the pressure off of quarterback Derek Carr. Jacobs’ value is tremendous, and he will certainly add to the 7 rushing touchdowns he has already recorded.
NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year: Nick Bosa (San Francisco 49ers)
Nick Bosa is essentially a lock for Defensive Rookie of the Year, and a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year with his stellar first-year play. Selected second overall in April’s draft, Bosa has proven to be the missing piece for the 49ers who know have arguably the best defense in the NFL. Bosa has recorded 29 tackles, seven sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and interception. The 49ers have an 8-1 record, their pass rush led by Bosa is a big part in what they do.