TGS 2014 NFL awards

The 2014 NFL regular season has come to an end, which is unbelievable because it truly does feel as though we were watching the opener between the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers just yesterday. We’ve been tracking the MVP race all year, but let’s broaden things with our final take on that by throwing in our votes for offensive and defensive players of the year as well as offensive and defensive rookies of the year, coach of the year and comeback player of the year.


Who will win: Aaron Rodgers, Packers

Who should win: Tony Romo, Cowboys

It’s hard to say anyone “should” win because it certainly feels as though Rodgers, Romo and J.J. Watt all deserve it. Watt put together the most impressive defensive season in NFL history, but his team didn’t make the playoffs and a defender hasn’t won this thing in nearly 30 years. Romo put up better numbers than Rodgers, and both had some phenomenal efforts despite injuries. Both of their teams won 12 games. It’s almost a toss-up, but Romo was better in December and in clutch situations. He won’t win, though, because the media loves Rodgers.

Offensive player of the year

Who will win: Aaron Rodgers, Packers

Who should win: Tony Romo, Cowboys

Honestly, is there a difference between these first two awards nowadays? Three of the last four have won both.

Defensive player of the year

Who will win: J.J. Watt

Who should win: J.J. Watt

Poor Justin Houston puts up 22 sacks in a year in which Watt (20.5 sacks, 61 stops, 106.0 PFF grade, five total touchdowns) had this award wrapped up by Halloween.

Offensive rookie of the year

Who will win: Odell Beckham Jr., Giants

Who should win: Odell Beckham Jr., Giants

Mike Evans, Jeremy Hill and Zack Martin deserve a lot of love, but Beckham might have been one of the best two or three receivers in all of football this year despite missing the first month of the season. The guy had 91 catches, 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns, setting an NFL record for most receptions and receiving yards in a player’s first 12 games in the league.

Defensive rookie of the year

Who will win: Aaron Donald, Rams

Who should win: Khalil Mack, Raiders

Raiders don’t win awards, but Mack deserves this one. The man was simply a monster in run defense all season long while also putting together four sacks and 53 pressures. That was enough to earn him the highest Pro Football Focus grade among all NFL 4-3 outside linebackers, including Von Miller. Donald plays a sexier position and had more sacks, so he might win. But Mack was the better defender in 2014.

Coach of the year

Who will win: Bruce Arians, Cardinals

Who should win: Bruce Arians, Cardinals

The man kept winning games despite so many injuries. Top two quarterbacks, top running back, even some time missed for Larry Fitzgerald. The defense took several big hits, including the loss of Daryl Washington, Darnell Dockett and John Abraham. And yet they nearly won the division and managed to win 11 games.

Comeback player of the year

Who will win: Rob Gronkowski, Patriots

Who should win: Rob Gronkowski, Patriots

Jeremy Maclin battled back from a torn ACL to put together a career year in Philadelphia, but that’s not too unusual, especially in an offense as friendly as Chip Kelly’s. But it wasn’t that long ago that people were wondering if Gronk would ever be the same. Then he went out and had 82 catches, 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns in an All-Pro-caliber campaign. And he did all that despite playing only 73 percent of New England’s offensive snaps.

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at (covering Super Bowls XLIV, XLV and XLVI), a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at Deadspin,, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Bloguin, but his day gig has him covering all things NFC East for Bleacher Report.