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NFL Preview: Awards Predictions

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The 2016 NFL Season is quickly upon us and fans of all 32 NFL teams believe that their teams and their favorite players will do special things. Here are our predictions.

Most Valuable Player
Ben Roethlisberger QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Roethlisberger has been one of the most underappreciated quarterbacks of his generation despite being a two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback. Roethlisberger will have his best combination of offensive linemen, receivers and running game that he has had in his career and his numbers will reflect that. This year Roethlisberger will get the recognition he deserves.

Runner Up: Russell Wilson QB, Seattle Seahawks

Defensive Players of the Year
Khalil Mack DE, Oakland Raiders
With Texans' end J.J. Watt banged up to start the season, look for Mack to garner more early-season attention. Mack, in his sophomore NFL campaign, finished second in the league in sacks behind Watt with 15 and will have an improved supporting cast in the front seven with former Seahawks pass-rusher Bruce Irvin and rookies Jihid Ward and Shilique Calhoun to go along veterans Dan Williams and Justin Ellis. Threatening Micheal Strahan’s season sack record of 22½ isn't out of the question.

Runner Up: Marcus Peters CB, Kansas City Chiefs

Offensive Rookie of the Year
Ezekiel Elliott RB, Dallas Cowboys
In the former Ohio State standout, the Cowboys will get a better version of Demarco Murray, who departed after the 2014 season. Elliott is a game breaking back with the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. With the eventual return of Tony Romo, receiving threats Dez Bryant and Jason Witten and running behind the best offensive line in football, Elliott will be the NFC's version of Le'Veon Bell.

Runner Up: Micheal Thomas WR, New Orleans Saints

Defensive Rookie of the Year
Jalen Ramsey DB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Ramsey is perhaps the best athlete to come out of the 2016 NFL draft and he will be a part of a defense that will be vastly improved. With the addition of defensive lineman Malik Jackson, formerly of the Denver Broncos, Donte Fowler coming of a torn ACL, and follow rookie Miles Jack at linebacker, Ramsay will get plenty of opportunity to make game changing plays from multiple secondary positions. Ramsay can also play slot corner and has the size and ability to play safety as needed.

Runner Up: Myles Jack LB, Jaguars

AFC Championship Game
Steelers over Raiders
This will be a classic throwback to the 1970’s when the Raiders travel to Heinz Field. In a different storyline, however, expect this one to be a shootout. Steelers 35, Raiders 31.

NFC Championship Game
Seahawks over Panthers
In Seattle, the rubber match of this playoff trilogy will unfold as the Seahawks and Panthers will engage in a defensive slugfest to make old school football aficionados proud. Seahawks 19, Panthers 16.

Super Bowl LI in Houston
Steelers over Seahawks
The rematch is 11 years in the making but the result will be the same. Roethlisberger will make the biggest plays in the most critical moments and the Pittsburgh Steelers will lift the Lombardi trophy for the seventh time with a 28-24 victory over the Seahawks.

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