We asked our panel of experts and insiders to select their choices for various awards for the 2018 season. We will reveal their answers over the coming days.
First up, a look at who is the 2018 Chargers MVP:
Ricky Henne – Philip Rivers
We're dishing out a total of seven awards this year, and I expected this one would be a clean sweep until I saw Daniel Jeremiah's pick. But for me, it has to be Philip Rivers, who guided the Bolts to a 12-4 record while encapsulating everything it means to be a Charger. I can rattle off countless facts and stats that'll boggle your mind, but there really is no need. Heck, Rivers made a strong run at NFL MVP this season with numerous pundits down the stretch saying it'll come down to him, Patrick Mahomes or Drew Brees. It truly is an honor and privilege to watch number 17 every time he is under center, and that most certainly was the case in 2018.
Hayley Elwood – Philip Rivers
I mean, it's hard to give it to someone other than Philip Rivers! We knew number 17 was still playing at a high level after 2017, but 2018 further justified that. As the heart and soul of the Bolts, Rivers finished the regular season completing 347 of 508 passes (68.3 percent) for 4,308 yards and 32 touchdowns. He joined Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Tom Brady as the only quarterbacks in NFL history with 10 seasons of at least 4,000 passing yards. Additionally, his 105.5 passer rating tied his personal best.
Chris Hayre – Philip Rivers
At age 36 (now 37), Rivers put together perhaps the most complete season of his 15-year career. He threw multiple touchdown passes in each of the team's first 12 games; he orchestrated December comebacks at Heinz Field and Arrowhead Stadium; and most importantly, he led the Chargers to their best season in nearly a decade. Rivers was in discussion for league MVP during much of 2018 – it should come as no surprise that he was this season's most valuable Charger.
Daniel Jeremiah – Derwin James
James produced one of the best rookie performances I've ever seen. He was a dominating player and his versatility was a tremendous asset to the defense.
Matt "Money" Smith – Philip Rivers
Rivers put together one of the best campaigns of his career. Through the first 12 games he was the MVP of the league. It can't be overstated how important it is to have a star at quarterback and what that does for the psyche of a team. The numbers were there, the wins were there, and without Rivers it's hard to imagine any of that success being possible.