When your NFL team is 5-1, including a victory of the defending Super Bowl Champions, people from around the league start to take notice. If the San Diego Chargers can keep up this pace, and win the AFC West division crown, they'll likely rack up a whole bunch of consideration for major awards along the way. Here are some guys that should be considered candidates unless the team starts losing:
NFL Most Valuable Player: Philip Rivers
This one is obvious. Rivers is playing the best football of his life, and outplaying every other QB in the league right now. He's doing it without much of a running game and behind a nearly-disastrous offensive line. With any other QB, the team is not 5-1.
I hate that QBs win this award most of the time, but in this instance, nobody has been more valuable to their team than Philip Rivers.
Coach of the Year - Mike McCoy
Does this one require explanation? If the team manages to go 13-3 this season, McCoy will have a total record of 23-11 as an NFL head coach. The team turned around immediately the day that he was hired and they've changed their perception from a talented group that underperforms to one of the league's elite teams. McCoy deserves most of the credit for that.
NFL Offensive Player of the Year: Philip Rivers
See MVP Award above.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Jason Verrett
This obviously isn't set in stone yet, but Verrett has been nothing but impressive when on the field. He is getting starting snaps, and already has one game-winning play on his resume. This award is definitely up for grabs this year, which means Verrett is one guy that needs to be considered.
Comeback Player of the Year: Malcom Floyd
Malcom Floyd left a Week 2 game against the Eagles last year with a neck injury that kept him out for the entire season. His final stats for the year? 6 catches, 149 rec yds, zero touchdowns.
Floyd has, so far, played in every single game for the 2014 Chargers. He has already eclipsed his stats from last year by a lot. He has 17 catches, 362 rec yds, and 3 touchdowns with more than half of the season remaining. His best games have been the most recent. If he can finish the season with more than 700 rec yds and more than 5 touchdowns, I'm not sure how anyone can steal this away from him (except for maybe Brian Hoyer).
NFL Executive of the Year: Tom Telesco
Telesco deserves about as much credit as McCoy does for turning this franchise around. If McCoy wins COY, Telesco gets credit for hiring him. If Verrett wins DROY, Telesco gets credit for drafting him and also for a near-miss OROY last year with Keenan Allen. The more this team succeeds, the more the "new" GM and head coach will get the praise and attention that they deserve for the fantastic job that they have done.