At the end of each season — usually right before the Super Bowl — fans, media, and players alike wait with bated breath for the annual NFL awards to be handed out.
There are five awards that garner the most attention — MVP, Offensive/Defensive Player of the Year, and Offensive/Defensive Rookie of the Year — and for good reason. The recipients are world-class athletes who succeeded in an ultra-competitive sport; they are, simply put, the best of the best and should be recognized as such.
To me, however, the most fascinating award is Comeback Player of the Year, given to the player that has bounced back from a season ruined by injury or other extenuating circumstance. This player — San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers won it last year — exceeds expectations after they, for one reason or another, plummeted drastically.
Unlike, say, MVP, which is decidedly based on statistical output and performance, CPOY takes into account the intangibles of a player’s downfall (poor scheme fit, lack of surrounding talent, being Wally Pipped by a backup, etc.). The ambiguity and overall subjectiveness of the award adds to its intrigue, making it an excellent topic for discussion.
In 2014, there are an overwhelming number of NFLers that I expect to be in the running for Comeback Player of the Year. Though, for the sake of conciseness, I’ve trimmed the potential list of candidates down to just five.
Punch those arrows to find out if your favorite player made the cut.