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February 02, 2019

Handing out awards for the 2018 Philadelphia Eagles

Eagles NFL
020219MalcolmJenkins Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins.

Tonight at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta in its "NFL Honors" show, the NFL will hand out awards to its players, including the 2018 MVP. Here we'll take a look at who should win each of those awards tonight, and who should win each of those awards if we're limiting them to the Eagles' roster.

MVP

Who should win it tonight? Patrick Mahomes. He threw for 50 TDs and over 5000 yards. The only other player within striking distance is Drew Brees, who might get some votes because he's old and has never won an MVP award, but Mahomes is clearly the more deserving player based on the 2018 season.

Who would win it on the Eagles? Malcolm Jenkins. While his stat line (97 tackles, a sack, 3 FF, and a pick) isn't eye-popping by any stretch, Jenkins held together a secondary that was missing the following players for extended periods of time:

• Rodney McLeod: 15 games.

• Jalen Mills: 10 games.

• Ronald Darby: 9 games.

• Sidney Jones: 9 games.

• Avonte Maddox: 3 games.

• Corey Graham: 3 games.

Jenkins was the lone constant, and without his leadership, the entire defense might have completely folded.

Offensive Player of the Year

Who should win it tonight? Uh, Brees? This is such a stupid award. It's basically, "Who's the next best player on offense after the MVP?" If we're going with a skill position player, Todd Gurley, maybe? He had 1831 yards from scrimmage and 21 TDs.

Who would win it on the Eagles? Zach Ertz. He set an NFL record by tight ends with 116 catches on the season. He ended with 116 catches for 1163 yards and 8 TDs.

Defensive Player of the Year

Who should win it tonight? Aaron Donald. He had freaking 20.5 sacks from his DT position. He should receive every vote.

Who would win it on the Eagles? Fletcher Cox. He had the best season of his career, collecting 46 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 34 QB hits, and a forced fumble while being the primary focus of opposing offensive game plans. There's a good argument for Cox as the Eagles' MVP this season as well. If you prefer him over Jenkins, I wouldn't put up much of a fight.

Offensive Rookie of the Year

Who should win it tonight? It should be Saquon Barkley, who had 2028 yards from scrimmage as a rookie, including a 5.0 yards per carry average, and 15 TDs. Baker Mayfield had a great rookie season as well, and it's laughable that he didn't start from Week 1.

Who would win it on the Eagles? Dallas Goedert. His numbers (33-334-4) weren't great because he didn't play as much as he should have, but Goedert proved in his rookie season that he can get open, catch the football, run after the catch, and block. He is already a complete TE, and in my view, somewhere close to being one of the 10 best tight ends in the NFL. He needs to see the field far more in 2019.

Defensive Rookie of the Year

Who should win it tonight? Darius Leonard. He was awesome as a rookie, leading the NFL in tackles with 163 (19 more than the next closest player), 7 sacks, 4 FF, 2 INT, and 8 pass breakups. Derwin James would be good candidate any other year.

Who would win it on the Eagles? Avonte Maddox. He played slot corner, safety, and outside corner for the Eagles as a rookie in 2018, and did so impressively and confidently. He looks like he may have been a steal in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft, and could compete for a starting job at any number of positions. His versatility will enable the Eagles to have all different kinds of options in the secondary, which makes him a potentially very valuable piece for the foreseeable future.

Comeback Player of the Year

Who should win it tonight? Andrew Luck. He led the Colts back to the playoffs after some wondered if his career was in danger of being over.

Who would win it on the Eagles? Isaac Seumalo. There aren't a lot of great options here. Carson Wentz could get consideration, coming back from his ACL/LCL tears, and playing great football for a stretch this season, but I think he is held to a higher standard because of his immense talent. We'll go with Seumalo, I guess, who was a rare disappointment on a team of overachievers in 2017, but played his way into a starting role at LG in 2018.

Coach of the Year

Who should win it tonight? Andy Reid. To be clear, Reid won't win. This award always goes to a coach of a team that saw a drastic increase in win totals from the previous year to the current one. I think that's lazy and stupid. Reid coached his ass off this season, helping turn Mahomes into a superstar quarterback. If we're giving this award to the "bigtime turnaround" team, Frank Reich is the far better choice over Matt Nagy. After a 1-5 start, Reich's Colts won 10 of their next 11 games, including a road playoff win over the Texans. Nagy's Bears went from 5-11 to 12-4, but it was largely on the strength of Vic Fangio's defense.

Who would win it on the Eagles? To note, we're considering every coach on staff here. Doug Pederson. The job Pederson did of keeping his players playing hard this season when they could have just bailed a half-dozen or so times is a tribute to the respect his players have for him.


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