Six Chiefs Hopeful They Can Win Awards In 2022

Which Chiefs have a good chance to win league awards in 2022? Taking a deeper look at each award and who has the best shot to win.

With the 2022 regular season quickly approaching it’s time to start placing bets on who will win end-of-season awards. While some awards are won by exactly who you would expect would win, others won’t have a frontrunner emerge until mid to late season. So, which Chiefs stars are poised to bring home some hardware next season?

Most Valuable Player: Chiefs’ QB, Patrick Mahomes II

Is there any doubt with this one? If anyone on the team is going to win MVP it’s going to be Patrick Mahomes. The MVP award has become a “best QB” award at this point, so when you have the best player at the QB position it’s a pretty safe bet.

There will be stiff competition this year. The Chiefs also have one of the toughest schedules, not just this season, but in NFL history. The MVP award isn’t just a stats-based award, but it is also dependent on team success. If Mahomes can lead the team to a first seed with this schedule then the award should be his. We’ll also have to see how Mahomes can adjust without Tyreek Hill, but the team did a great job to fill the void he left.

To see our full thoughts on Mahomes winning the MVP in 2022 click here.

Offensive Player Of The Year: Chiefs’ TE, Travis Kelce

While MVP has become a QB award, offensive player of the year has shifted to “Who is the best non-QB” on offense. For the Chiefs that will almost certainly be Travis Kelce. Kelce arguably should have won the award in 2020 when he broke the receiving record for TE, and finished second overall in yards. Oh and let’s not forget he did that while sitting out the final game of the season as the team had already secured the number one seed.

The Chiefs will be forced to change their offensive game plan this season, but one thing will stay the same. Kelce will have a massive role until he can longer perform at an elite level. Despite Tyreek Hill’s departure, this could be the year we begin to see Kelce decline. However, he is still the only established game-changer left on offense. If we’re placing bets, my money is on Kelce.

Defensive Player Of The Year: Chiefs’ DT, Chris Jones

This is the last no-brainer pick on the list. Similar to Kelce on offense, Chris Jones is the only proven game-changer the Chiefs have on the defensive side of the ball. He is a top three player at his position, and one of the best interior pass rushers in the league. Jones has had some struggles recently, but was also playing through injury in 2021. If Jones gets some help and isn’t fighting double-teams as much he may get to add to his stat tally, and potentially demand an even bigger contract next off-season.

The problem with Jones taking home hardware isn’t due to a lack of talent from him but the team. The Chiefs’ defensive line has a lot to prove this season, and Jones may be facing constant double-teams. While you don’t need the best stats to win Defensive Player of the Year, you do need a base level of stats. Jones will be disruptive either way, but the voters will lean towards statistics if close.

Perhaps the biggest issue in winning the award is Aaron Donald. As long as Donald is in the league he will be the favorite to win the award. Jones will need a monster season in order to top Donald, and in doing so can secure himself another raise.

Comeback Player Of The Year: Chiefs’ WR, Juju Smith-Schuster

Comeback player of the year is typically given to a player returning from injury. The favorites will be Derrick Henry, Jameis Winston, Michael Thomas, and Christian McCaffrey. Outside of Winston, the other favorites have all been elite-level players. However, they are all likely past their primes.

So who is a player who is coming back from injury, has had an elite-level season, is still in his prime, and is getting a significant upgrade at QB? None other than Juju Smith-Schuster. Another key point is that Juju has yet to break the bank in a contract. After his rookie contract he is now on his second one year prove-it deal.

Juju has a lot on the line this season but is in a prime position to capitalize on it. The departure of Tyreek Hill only strengthens Juju’s chances of having a breakout year as the Chiefs may have to rely on him in crucial situations. Juju will never be Tyreek, but that doesn’t mean he can’t re-emerge as one of the best young wide receivers in the league.

To see our full thoughts on Juju’s Comeback Player of the Year odds click here.

Offensive Rookie Of The Year: Chiefs’ WR, Skyy Moore

Of all the awards listed, this may be the least likely to happen. Not because I think Skyy Moore is a bad player or a bad fit for the Chiefs. In fact, I think Moore will have a great career in Kansas City. However, he will be a rookie fighting for snaps and is likely entering the year as the fifth or even sixth receiving option on the team.

Moore doesn’t need to be a year one sensation. He will have time to learn the system and continue to develop his skills. If a Chief does win offensive rookie of the year it will be Moore. Justyn Ross is an exciting thought, but he may not make the team. Darian Kinnard may be the most impactful Chiefs rookie, but as we learned last year with Creed Humphrey, offensive linemen don’t get the respect of award voters.

Defensive Rookie Of The Year: Chiefs’ EDGE, George Karlaftis

Karlaftis was not just the second player drafted by the Chiefs this year, he was the second defensive player they drafted after trading up for Trent McDuffie. McDuffie may be the best rookie on the team this year, but it’s unlikely he wins defensive rookie of the year because once again it’s a stats game. Voters will get more mesmerized by sack numbers than pass deflections or PFF grades.

Most draft boards had both McDuffie and Karlaftis going in the top 15, so the fact the Chiefs managed to land both in the second half of the first round is an incredible value. Karlaftis will be an instant starter and upgrade to the position from last season. Karlaftis will also benefit from playing directly next to Chris Jones as he will likely get many one-on-one matchups.

Karlaftis is in a much better situation than most of the rookies drafted ahead of him on defense. Leo Chenal will be an interesting watch on the Chiefs as well. Chenal has immense athletic upside, and the kind of mentality you need to be an elite linebacker. If an injury happens, the Chiefs may rely on Chenal similarly to Bolton last season.

Which Chiefs do you think have a good chance to win awards in 2022? Leave a comment down below to join the discussion.

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