NFL awards: Matt Ryan, Adam Gase clean up

Andrew Hammond has decided to give away some awards for the 2016 NFL Season. Some legit, some not so legit. All are very entertaining, however.

The end of the season has come and now it’s playoff time but instead of talking about who’s going to the Super Bowl, I want to hand out some hardware. Let’s start with the biggest one of all, the NFL MVP.

NFL MVP: Matt Ryan

While the easy choice would be Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady, Matt Ryan deserves the MVP award. The Falcons have been the surprise team of the NFL nobody is talking about this season. Additionally, Ryan deserves much more credit than he’s getting. Has Rodgers played better as of late? Sure. However when you look at the entire body of work, Ryan’s 2016 is worthy of winning the honor. Ryan achieved career highs in touchdowns, passing yards, completions and completion percentage. Matty Ice is your MVP.

NFL Coach of the Year: Adam Gase

Sitting at 1-4, most people including myself gave up on the Miami Dolphins. By midseason, the Dolphins improved and had won six games in a row. By the end of the season, the Dolphins reached the playoffs despite encountering some struggled along the way.

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill is lost for an extended period of time and now Miami has to depend on Matt Moore to survive their Wild Card game in Pittsburgh. Good luck, Gase, maybe you can work some of your magic in the postseason. 

Nov 3, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Vic Beasley (44) reacts to a recovered fumble during the first quarter of a football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 3, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Vic Beasley (44) reacts to a recovered fumble during the first quarter of a football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Defensive Player of the Year: Vic Beasley

It appeared that Von Miller would be winning this award in my eyes but it’s the consistency of Beasley that gives him the edge here. In 2016, Beasley led the league in sacks with 15.5 and was one of the more consistent pass-rushers in the NFL.

Beasley’s six forced fumbles was tied for the league lead, one thing may hurt Beasley and that’s his 39 tackles on the season. Miller along with the Raiders Kahlil Mack have more but none of them effected the game like Beasley did and for that, Beasley is your winner for 2016.

NFL Rookie of the Year: Ezekiel Elliott

I think Elliott will finish in the top five of the NFL MVP and possibly even higher, though he’ll split votes with Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. However, when it comes to the NFL’s Rookie of the Year, there is no contest. It’s Elliott.

With over 1,600 yards on the ground and 15 touchdowns. Zeke’s rookie season was truly one for the books. Although you may get a few challengers like Prescott, San Diego’s Joey Bosa and others you won’t see any of them taking Zeke’s trophy.

Nov 13, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) scores the game-winning touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second half of their game at Heinz Field. The Cowboys won the game, 35-30. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 13, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) scores the game-winning touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second half of their game at Heinz Field. The Cowboys won the game, 35-30. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Game of the Year: Dallas at Pittsburgh

By in large, most of the NFL games this season were trash. Amid that trash, we got one that is worthy of being shown for years to come. When you put together the league’s two best teams in the late afternoon then you have the makings of an explosive matchup. Dallas traveled to Pittsburgh while the league was in the midst of “Cowboy-mania.”

Pittsburgh and Dallas lit up the scoreboard in the fourth quarter as both teams reached the end zone twice in the final stanza. The last score by Dallas was a beautiful run by Ezekiel Elliott to seal the Cowboys victory. It’s highly possible we may see these two go at it one more time in Houston, count me in.

Biggest Disappointment: Carolina and Arizona

OK, close your eyes. Think about how good Arizona and Carolina were a year ago. Now, think about how bad they were this season. Yeah, I know. Pretty trash right? In all seriousness, the Cardinals and Panthers crashing back to earth in 2016 was one of the most surprising things I’ve seen in a long time. Arizona did see some good with the rise of David Johnson at running back.

As for Carolina, Cam Newton’s outfits got worse with every loss. Going from Darkwing Duck to one of the Golden Girls, Newton’s 2016 was one to forget.

Comeback Player of the Year: Jordy Nelson

Aaron Rodgers could’ve won the 2016 “in-season” comeback player of the year. One reason why? He had his favorite target back after missing the 2015 season. Nelson’s impact on the Packers offense was felt right away, over 1,200 yards and reaching his highest touchdown total since 2011 with 14, he may be one of the reasons why the Packers go back to the Super Bowl this season.

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