Ja'Marr Chase or Mac Jones: Who Should Win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year?

Bengals receiver Ja'Marr Chase appeared to run away with the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award, but Patriots QB Mac Jones is making a late run.
Bengals receiver Ja'Marr Chase appeared to run away with the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award, but Patriots QB Mac Jones is making a late run. / Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

The Ja'Marr Chase runaway train for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year has another cable car picking up steam.

Right now at WynnBET (Michigan), Chase remains the favorite at -104 to take home the hardware. However, Jones is hot on his tail following a 3-touchdown performance at home against the Browns. He now has 13 TDs to just 7 INTs through 10 weeks of the season and has established himself as the most reliable rookie quarterback amongst the class that includes Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Zach Wilson and Trey Lance.

New England has now won four in a row, and are tied with the Bills in the win column in the AFC East, but has Jones' recent play been enough to truly put him in the same breath as Chase for the top offensive rookie in football?

Our team here at BetSided presented their arguments for whether Chase or Jones is most deserving just past the halfway point of the season.

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Who Should Win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year? Ja'Marr Chase or Mac Jones?

NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year: Ja'Marr Chase

Apparently, all it takes is one bye week for NFL talking heads to completely forget about Ja'Marr Chase's existence. But sure enough, the Bengals' Week 10 bye has shifted the narrative back to the quarterback.

Jones has been exactly what New England has needed a year after Cam Newton's interim season with the Patriots. He's been efficient, hasn't turned the ball over, and making positive strides throughout the season. He will be a key reason why the Patriots return to the playoffs, but then again, so will Chase.

The biggest difference is how Chase compares to the rest of the field vs. Jones. Granted, quarterback is a more difficult position, but Jones through 10 games (no bye week for New England) only ranks 17th in touchdown passes, 14th in passing yards, and is averaging a pedestrian 7.2 yards per completion.

Chase on the other hand in only nine games, has the No.1 yards/reception in the league by a mile, and is tied with Deebo Samuel in yards/target. Chase, despite only 44 receptions, is fifth in the NFL in receiving yards, making his accomplishments even more impressive considering how much he's doing after the catch.

Last year, Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson set the all-time rookie record with 1,400 receiving yards in 2020. Chase is on pace to sprint right past it.

Don't overthink this just because Jones has "QB" next to him. -- Ben Heisler

Mac Jones has easily looked like the best rookie quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft Class, but I still can’t take him over Ja’Marr Chase for the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. 

Unlike the MVP, which team success certainly factors in, I don’t think Jones should win the Rookie of the Year simply because the Patriots have a better record. Chase has had the far more impressive season statistically, racking up 835 receiving yards and seven scores through the first nine games of the season. Jones has been fine, tossing 13 touchdowns to seven interceptions, but I can’t get behind him for Rookie of the Year if Chase continues to put up these numbers.

As impressive as Justin Jefferson’s season was in 2020, Chase has been even better this year, and he’s primed to be the first wideout since Odell Beckham Jr. to win the award.-- Peter Dewey

Hand up, I was one of the morons who stood on my soap box and said that the Bengals made the wrong choice drafting Ja'Marr Chase with the fifth overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. He's already on pace to smash the numbers that OBJ put up in his rookie of the year campaign in 2014.

I think there's no doubt that he's rookie of the year. I'm also not a fan of these awards automatically going to quarterbacks year after year.

Give it to Chase! -- Iain MacMillan

I for one am tired of quarterbacks getting awards simply because they are quarterbacks. Mac Jones has been the perfect quarterback for the New England Patriots, but he hasn’t been the best rookie this season. That would be Ja’Marr Chase. 

Chase has been electrifying, productive and incredibly efficient. With only 44 catches on the season, Chase is still top 5 in the NFL in receiving yards and touchdowns. He’s had three 100-yard games and even a 200-yard game. Chase has allowed Joe Burrow and the Bengals offense to have big-play ability and has made them as dynamic as ever.

Chase could break the single-season rookie record for receiving yards and that means way more to me than Mac Jones checking the ball down in between his handoffs. -- Donnavan Smoot

NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year: Mac Jones

While Chase is putting up a historic season, I'm going to side with Jones for one real reason: narrative.

This is a quarterbacks league. They win the awards, they sign the monster contracts, and I think Chase is going to be a victim of circumstances. If Jones leads the Patriots to the postseason, I believe that he is going to be looked at as the catalyst for the Patriots quick turnaround from the Tom Brady era and bolster his case even further.

While Chase may have the stats to back it up, Jones will have the impact on his team's success to propel him to the award. -- Reed Wallach