Cincinnati Bengals could realistically garner 4 big awards in 2021

Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Comeback Player of the Year

Comeback Player of the Year is something of an ignominious award to win. It implies that either you were injured, or really sucked the previous year. No need to rehash Joe Burrow’s gruesome knee injury, but suffice to say he didn’t suck.

Burrow played well, even brilliantly at times last year before going out. However in 2021, after getting his legs under him, pun intended, Burrow has grown in confidence and performance on a weekly basis, culminating with the systematic dissection of the previous top team in the division in the Baltimore Ravens.

While what Burrow has accomplished thus far on an individual basis, being the top-rated passer in the AFC is amazing, what he has done for the franchise as a whole is even more impressive. His play and attitude have served to galvanize the locker room into a cohesive group that will literally go to the mat for one another. He has even made C.J. Uzomah a top-five NFL tight end.

Pretty heady stuff for a second-year signal-caller that many thought wouldn’t even be ready to play yet after the knee.

Barring another injury, the feeling is Burrow will smash the Comeback award, however, there are still a couple of sneaky candidates to consider.

1. Joe Mixon (N/A)

Fellow Bengal Mixon missed much of last year with a mysterious foot ailment, but this season he currently is third in the league in rushing with 539 yards. Mixon has played through some minor ailments and has been instrumental in taking some of the heat off Burrow.

2. Dak Prescott (-350 – Betting Favorite)

Cowboys quarterback Prescott has bounced back strong from the season-ending ankle he sustained last year, and Dallas is a playoff contender as a result. He’s the betting favorite for a reason.

3. Deebo Samuel (N/A)

San Francisco receiver Deebo Samuel has exploded in 2021 for 38 catches for 648 and four touchdowns after playing only seven games in 2020. However, considering the state of the 49ers’ season, it’s hard to imagine the award going to a player from a losing team unless it were a quarterback who did outrageous things.

Joe Burrow’s Comeback Player of the Year odds are currently set at +700, trailing just Prescott.