AFC West: 2023 Season Awards Tournament: MVP


DEN: WR Courtland Sutton

KC: QB Patrick Mahomes

LAC: QB Justin Herbert

LV: RB Josh Jacobs


Courtland Sutton was the offense for Denver most weeks...a career high 10 TDs in 2023. However, wasn’t ‘that’ kind of WR for Denver...he was just their best of a bad bunch. He gets tossed out of the running quickly.

When LV made their coaching change and went run-heavy...Josh Jacobs started really carrying the team again and making a difference. However, there really is no RB worthy of winning an MVP in the modern, JJ is out.

You knew it would come down to the two QBs, and while both are super played all year and won the division. The other had another losing record and then their season cut short with injury. Easy winner here.


AFC West Winner = QB Patrick Mahomes, KC




AFC West: 2023 Season Awards Tournament: Rookie of the Year


DEN: RB Jaleel McLaughlin

KC: WR Rashee Rice

LAC: EDGE Tuli Tuipulotu

LV: QB Aidan O'Connell


Jaleel McLaughlin is out first...a UDFA rookie who had a moment or two, but nothing ROY worthy.

Tuli Tuipulotu had a solid showing, but he didn’t have anywhere near the impact Rice or O’Connell did.

Rashee Rice had a surprising (to me) productive season, but Aidan O’Connell taking over as a rookie QB and almost getting the Raiders to the playoffs at a much more difficult position to play at as a rookie...the nod goes to AOC.


AFC West Winner = QB Aidan O’Connell, LV




AFC West: 2023 Season Awards Tournament: Defensive Player of the Year


DEN: LB Nik Bonitto (not Patrick Surtain)

KC: CB L’Jarius Sneed

LAC: DE Khalil Mack

LV: DE Maxx Crosby


Three pass rushers and a top corner vying for the title...

Nik Bonitto had a surprisingly good season as a part-time defender for DEN in his 2nd-season, but he’s not in the class of K. Mack-Crosby. And then comparing Mack v. gotta give it to Crosby as the way more effective all-around player.

Crosby, a top DE...perhaps, the best in the league versus one of the top 2-3 shutdown corners of 2023, in Sneed. Both had great seasons, so I will default to my usual tiebreaker in DPOY – shutdown corners are WAY more important than pass rushers, so I go with the shutdown corner...


AFC West Winner = CB L’Jarius Sneed, KC




AFC West: 2023 Season Awards Tournament: Coach of the Year


DEN: HC Sean Payton

KC: D-C Steve Spagnuolo

LAC: none...this team’s staff was an abomination.

LV: iHC Antonio Pierce


I admire all three candidate’s efforts in the 2023 the different ways they got here. Going to be hard to choose between them. I’ll toss Spagnuolo out first because while KC was pretty good on defense all season, which helped cover over their failing offense in the 2nd-half of 2023 season, they weren’t ‘great’ on defense, just really good/solid. Not enough to get an award for ‘Spags’.

Who pulled off more of a miracle...Sean Payton rallying this team after the Miami 70-20 loss disaster or Antonio Pierce picking up the pieces of Vegas and making them a real team that almost snuck into the playoffs with a rookie 3rd-string QB.

I’ll determine it this way: I don’t think the Broncos players would piss on Payton if he were on fire, but the Raiders’ key players will return to the team just to play again with Pierce...and their backing got Pierce the job he was a long shot for when he took over. So, credit to Pierce for a real coaching job turned in – thriving as a leader and got the team on track and winning again.


AFC West Winner =  iHC Antonio Pierce, LV


The winners in each category move on to the conference finals to determine which of them goes onto the AFC v. NFC finals in each award category for the FFM named winners for 2023 season.