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2022 NFL awards finalists: Who are the biggest favorites, surprises and snubs?


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The NFL on Wednesday released the finalists for eight of the Associated Press’ awards that will have winners announced at the 12th annual NFL Honors ceremony on Feb. 9. Here’s what you need to know:

Full list of NFL awards finalists:

AP MVP:

  • Josh Allen, Bills QB
  • Joe Burrow, Bengals QB
  • Jalen Hurts, Eagles QB
  • Justin Jefferson, Vikings WR
  • Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs QB

AP DPOY:

  • Nick Bosa, 49ers DE
  • Chris Jones, Chiefs DT
  • Micah Parsons, Cowboys LB

AP OPOY:

  • Tyreek HillDolphins WR
  • Jalen Hurts, Eagles QB
  • Justin Jefferson, Vikings WR
  • Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs QB

AP OROY:

AP DROY:

AP Comeback Player of the Year:

AP COY:

  • Brian Daboll, Giants
  • Sean McDermott, Bills
  • Doug Pederson, Jaguars
  • Kyle Shanahan, 49ers
  • Nick Sirianni, Eagles

AP Assistant COY:

  • Ben Johnson, Lions OC
  • DeMeco Ryans, 49ers DC
  • Shane Steichen, Eagles OC

The Athletic’s instant analysis:

Deserved recognition for Jefferson

Let’s face it, it’s a quarterbacks league and quarterbacks award, and Mahomes, Allen, Burrow and Hurts certainly are MVP-worthy, and one of those four will win the award (my money is on Mahomes). But it’s also good to see a non-quarterback (Minnesota’s Jefferson) drawing some recognition for his dynamic season.

Jefferson is a receiver, but the third-year pro certainly made QB Kirk Cousins better and racked up a league-leading 128 catches and 1,809 receiving yards. He most likely will not win, but getting a nod is significant. — Jones

Tough call for OPOY

Okay, so as stated, fully expect a quarterback (Mahomes) to win MVP, though Burrow, Hurts and Allen are all worthy. But what about Offensive Player of the Year? Will the quarterback that lost out win this, or will another position player take home these honors?

Since the quarterbacks generally take home MVP, let’s go with someone like Jefferson or Hill (who also transformed his team’s offense with 1,700-plus yards) for Offensive Player of the Year. Jefferson topped Hill by 99 yards and a touchdown. Give him the award. — Jones

Ultimate dark horse for ROY

Entering the season, the quarterback projected to contend for Rookie of the Year honors was Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett. But Purdy came out of nowhere to stand out as the quarterback to challenge Walker and Wilson for this award by winning five straight games and helping steer the 49ers to the NFC West title. Yes, he only has a portion of a season to show for. But the importance of his contributions to his team’s success makes him a no-brainer. — Jones

Crowded COY race

The argument could be made for any of the five finalists (Shanahan, Pederson, McDermott, Daboll or Sirianni) to win Coach of the Year. Lions fans and Dolphins fans can take issue with the snubs of their head coaches Dan Campbell and Mike McDaniel. McDaniel squeaked into the playoffs and Campbell’s squad fell short. They did eliminate the Packers from postseason consideration, so that should count for something. Right?

In the end, the other four coaches all got their team into the postseason, so that gives them the edge. Shanahan doing so with his third-string quarterback makes him the no-brainer. — Jones

How were the finalists selected?

The AP announced in November it was updating its voting system for the awards. The 50 nationwide sports journalists on the voting panel ranked their top five picks for MVP and top three picks for other awards. They will also rank their choices for first- and second-team All-Pro players at each position.

“There he goes. One of God's own prototypes.

A high-powered mutant of some kind, never even considered for mass production.

Too weird to live, and too rare to die.”

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