Your Minnesota Vikings are officially rolling into their bye week at 5-1 and with a two-game lead atop the NFC North (essentially three games, given their tiebreaker advantage over every other divisional foe thus far). With that being the case, a couple of individuals from the team are among the front-runners for some individual awards this season.
The first one that will come to mind for most folks is wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Jefferson had his fourth 100-yard receiving performance of the season in the victory over the Dolphins on Sunday and is currently third in the NFL with 654 receiving yards on the season. He’s slightly off of the pace for the 2,000-yard season he set as a goal for himself in the offseason, but not by much.
According to our friends at the DraftKings Sportsbook, that’s good enough to give him the second-best odds of winning the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year Award. Jefferson currently sits at +600 in that category, trailing only Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback Jalen Hurts (+500). Given that Hurts is the leader of the NFL’s only undefeated team (and the only team that’s beaten the Vikings thus far), that makes sense.
The other person with a decent shot at winning an award at this point in the season is head coach Kevin O’Connell. After guiding his charges to five wins in his first six games, he’s now firmly among the front-runners for NFL Coach of the Year. The DraftKings Sportsbook gives O’Connell the third-best odds of winning the award as things stand right now at +1200, but he’s a significant distance behind the two men in front of him. They are Eagles’ head coach Nick Sirianni (+150) and New York Giants' head coach Brian Daboll (+450).
Again, that makes sense as Sirianni’s Eagles are still undefeated and pretty much nobody had the Giants down for being 5-1 after their first six games. I mean, not many people had the Vikings at 5-1 at this point, but nobody had the Giants down for having that good a record. If there was someone, they didn’t make themselves readily known.
It’s still relatively early on in the season, but as things stand right now the purple have a couple of guys that could potentially be recognized with significant awards by the time the season is over. Hopefully everything will fall into place for at least one of them to bring an award home.