It is Week 17, and speculation abounds on which players will end up winning coveted awards when it is all said and done. We detailed the MVP debate between Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes in an earlier article. Here, we will take a look at two candidates for Offensive Player of the Year:
Davante Adams- Green Bay Packers WR
To say that Davante Adams is having a good season would be a gross understatement. Under the radar of the national media, Adams is putting together the greatest season for a wide receiver in Packers history. For a franchise that is over 100 years old, this is no small feat.
Entering Week 17, Davante Adams has 109 receptions for 1,328 yards and 17 touchdowns. His receptions rank third in the NFL; his yards rank fourth, and his touchdowns receptions lead the league. What is astounding about these numbers is that he has achieved them all while missing two whole games early in the season. It might as well be three games as he left the Packers’ Week Two game early with a hamstring injury.
In terms of Packers history, Adams needs two touchdowns to break the franchise record for receiving touchdowns in a season. He needs just four receptions to break the franchise’s single-season receptions record as well. Within reach, also, is the single-season franchise record in receiving yards. He needs 192 yards against the Bears to break that record. While it is unlikely to occur, he does have a game this season in which he recorded 196 receiving yards (Week Seven against the Texans).
Again, Adams is within reach of all of these records while missing two whole games. Sterling Sharpe and Jordy Nelson, the record holders, set their records while playing 16 games in their respective seasons. What Adams is doing this year is special!
Travis Kelce- Kansas City Chiefs TE
Speaking of special, the NFL has never seen a pass-catching tight end like Travis Kelce, who may well be revolutionizing the position. This season, Kelce has 105 receptions, 1,416 yards, and 11 touchdowns. He became the first tight end to record multiple 100-reception seasons and has five straight seasons with 1,000 or more yards.
Kelce is also within reach of another NFL first. His 1,416 yards currently rank second in the NFL. He trails only Stefon Diggs, who has 1,459. If Kelce can overtake Diggs in Week 17 (and no one else passes him), Kelce will become the first tight end ever to lead the league in receiving yards.
One thing Kelce may have going against him in Week 17 is that MVP candidate Patrick Mahomes will not be playing. Instead, backup Chad Henne will be under center for the Chiefs. On the other hand, Henne will look for Kelce as a reliable target, and he may see more looks than the other Chiefs’ weapons.
Both players have excellent cases for Offensive Player of the Year, however, both have a history going against them. Only two wide receivers have ever won Offensive Player of the Year: Jerry Rice and Michael Thomas. No tight end has ever won the award. Both players also play with quarterbacks who may also win the award if they do not win the MVP Award. In fact, Patrick Mahomes already won the award in 2018.
Derrick Henry, who is within reach of a 2,000-yard season, may also be a candidate who could sneak in and win the award. After quarterbacks, running back is the position most honored with the award. Should it come down to Adams and Kelce, though, their Week 17 production could be the deciding factor. We will have to see how the games play out!