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NFL Awards odds: Several Detroit Lions have chance at postseason honors

Checking in on which Detroit Lions could be in line for post-season recognitions.

NFL: Denver Broncos at Detroit Lions Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday night, the Detroit Lions rookie class put up a masterclass performance. Running back Jahmyr Gibbs and tight end Sam LaPorta combined for five touchdowns, leading coach Dan Campbell to needle some of the draft experts for criticizing their draft class back in April. Brian Branch made a few big plays on defense, and linebacker Jack Campbell continues to get better.

That big performance made me wonder: Is there any chance one of the Lions’ rookies—or any other Lions player—could earn some postseason awards at the 2024 NFL Honors?

It turns out there is a chance—albeit a long shot for some—to see a few Lions players get some hardware at the end of the season. Let’s take a look at those odds, courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook:

Most Valuable Player

  1. Brock Purdy (-190)
  2. Dak Prescott (+450)
  3. Lamar Jackson (+500)
  4. Jalen Hurts (+1000)
  5. Christian McCaffrey (+1200)
  6. Josh Allen (+1600)
  7. Patrick Mahomes (+2200)
  8. Tyreek Hill (+2500)
  9. Tua Tagovailoa (+2500)
  10. Jared Goff (+10000)

Jared Goff was in the early conversation for MVP (in November, his MVP odds were +3500), but that talk has completely disappeared after his midseason struggles. Because the Lions are one of the best teams in the NFL right now, he’s still getting inflated odds, but it’s also worth noting Goff ranks third in passing yards, third in touchdowns, sixth in passer rating, and 10th in PFF grade. He has a case to be made.

Offensive Rookie of the Year

  1. CJ Stroud (-10000)
  2. Jahmyr Gibbs (+2000)
  3. Puka Nacua (+2000)
  4. Bijan Robinson (+3500)
  5. Jordan Addison (+5000)
  6. Sam LaPorta (+7500)

While it appears Stroud has essentially already won this award, it should certainly be celebrated that the Lions have two offensive skill position players in the top six here. Jahmyr Gibbs is just one of three rookie players with 1,000 yards from scrimmage right now (Nacua, Robinson). Meanwhile, LaPorta is fourth among ALL tight ends in receptions (71) and receiving yards (758), and only three players in the entire NFL have more receiving touchdowns (Tyreek Hill, Mike Evans, Courtland Sutton).

It’s highly unlikely either player cuts into Stroud’s odds, though, as the Houston Texans are closing in on an unlikely playoff berth behind the rookie quarterback, even though he is currently in concussion protocol.

Defensive Rookie of the Year

  1. Jalen Carter (-1600)
  2. Devon Witherspoon (+1200)
  3. Will Anderson (+1500)
  4. Ivan Pace (+5000)
  5. Brian Branch (+7500)
  6. Jack Campbell (+10000)
  7. Deonte Banks (+10000)
  8. Tyrique Stevenson (+10000)
  9. Lukas Van Ness (+10000)
  10. Keion White (+10000)
  11. Joey Porter Jr. (+10000)

Again, both Lions candidates here remain relative long-shots behind... yes, Jalen Carter, a player the Lions had a shot at in the 2023 NFL Draft. If you want to argue about that draft pick, go ahead. But remember his drafting would have come at the expense of both Gibbs and LaPorta.

Moving on, Branch and Campbell both cracked the top six after strong rookie seasons thus far. Branch got off to a hot start with a pick-six in the season opener, and while he has certainly cooled off since, he’s still one of the better Lions defenders on the field. Branch currently ranks fifth among rookies with eight passes defended and seventh in PFF grade (71.7) among all rookie defenders with at least 400 snaps.

Campbell has had an up-and-down rookie season, but he is certainly starting to turn a corner. With more opportunities as the team’s primary MIKE linebacker, Campbell has earned a 69.3 PFF over the past four games, much higher than his season total of 53.8.

Coach of the Year

  1. Dan Campbell (+200)
  2. Shane Steichen (+350)
  3. Demeco Ryans (+350)
  4. Mike McDaniel (+600)
  5. Kyle Shanahan (+600)
  6. John Harbaugh (+1200)
  7. Zac Taylor (+1500)
  8. Kevin Stefanski (+1500)
  9. Sean Payton (+3000)
  10. Sean McVay (+3000)

Campbell remains the favorite for Coach of the Year, as he’s been all season. But it’s a pretty tight field, and you can make a decent argument for several people here. Obviously, Campbell deserves a ton of credit not just for this year, but for the three-year journey he’s responsible for—going from a bottom dweller to a legitimate, potentially long-term contender. The Lions are now on the verge of winning their first divisional title in 30 years. That deserves high honors.

But it’s worth noting that was the expectation for the Lions this year. Meanwhile, Colts coach Shane Steichen and Texans coach Demeco Ryans came into the season with far lower expectations in their first year, yet both have their teams in unlikely positions to make the playoffs. In fact, both teams are currently tied with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the division lead. The Vegas win total over/under was set at 6.5 wins for both the Texans and Colts, and each team already has crossed over eight wins.

Of course, coaches from the best-perceived team always get consideration, hence 49ers’ Kyle Shanahan, Dolphins’ Mike McDaniel, and Ravens’ John Harbaugh all have reasonable odds to win the award.

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