Is Doug Pederson an early NFL Coach of the year candidate?

Rounding out our series of NFL Honor previews are two accolades that are arguably the most likely for an Eagles player (or staff member) to come away with at the end of the season. But which two are in question?

Comeback Player of the Year

This might be the easiest award for an Eagles player to win, granted there is still some stiff competition. With Cam Newton’s arrival in New England and Ben Roethlisberger’s return, this could be yet another quarterback award.

*Note: If Alex Smith can win the Washington job after what he went through, then he wins hands down.

DeSean Jackson

After being limited to three, well really one, games last season due to injuries, Jackson looks to rebound in 2020 and prove his health. With his surrounding cast vastly improved, he could see a lot more one-on-one coverage. We’ve seen how deadly that can be for opposing defenses.

Why he can win

Jackson was one of two players all season to have two 50 yard TD catches in one game, tied with Stefon Diggs. His two 50 yard TD catches were just two behind A.J. Brown’s league-leading four all season.

When Keenan Allen came back from his torn ACL to post 102 catches for 1,393 yards and six TDs, the award was a no brainer for him. If DeSean can come back from his torn abdominal to post a 70+ catch, 1000+ yard season in 16 games then he can make some serious noise for the award.

Granted, he has only caught more than 70 passes once. In 2013 he caught 82 passes for 1,332 yards and nine TDs. Before last season he was averaging 53.5 receptions for 932.8 yards. Even a stat line of 60+ catches and 950+ yards can help him get consideration if the other comeback players falter.

Why he can’t win

Jackson has not played a full 16 game season since that spectacular 2013 season. Coming back from a torn abdominal won’t be the easiest, although he’s definitely trying his best to prove his speed is still top-notch with all of his workout videos.

In an offense that suddenly has a plethora of options, it’s hard to see Jackson getting the type of production that would warrant any sort of consideration for the award.

With Newton, Roethlisberger, Smith, and even Gronk in the fold, Jackson would need a career year to get this award.

Coach of the Year

Is this FINALLY the year Dougie P gets his recognition?

Why he can win

He should’ve won in 2017, and quite frankly he should’ve won last season. But despite three straight playoff appearances with an injury plagued roster, with a Super Bowl win, Pederson has yet to be taken seriously for the award.

He’s in a division with three “new” head coaches, albeit two of them were long time head coaches beforehand. With new systems being implemented in a time where face to face meetings are few and far between, Doug certainly has the leg up for the divisional title. A fourth straight playoff appearance and the first back to back NFC East champion since the early 2000s Eagles team should be enough to land him this award. Doing so while facing the likes of the Ravens, 49ers, Seahawks, Packers, and Saints would make it highway robbery if he doesn’t win the award.

He’s also one of four coaches with a three year streak of playoff appearances (Belichick, Reid, Payton).

Why he can’t win

The voters hate Doug, for whatever reason. The oddsmakers do too, having him at 28-1 to win the award. That’s behind Brian Flores, Mike McCarthy, Kevin Stefanski, Kliff Kingsbury, and Zak Taylor, to name a few.

If Doug can’t win it after going 13-3 in 2017, then I don’t think there is anything he can do to win this award.

Underdogs.

Interesting facts to consider when worrying about award winners: they don’t correlate with Super Bowl wins

Last time Super Bowl winner had:

  • MVP – 2001
  • OPOY – 2001
  • DPOY – 2008
  • OROY – 1977
  • DROY – 1974
  • Comeback Player of the Year – 2014
  • Coach of the Year – 2003

So maybe let’s keep the individual awards away from the Eagles and let them dominate as a team.

Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

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