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HomeSports NewsSaquon Barkley, Geno Smith candidates for NFL Comeback Participant

Saquon Barkley, Geno Smith candidates for NFL Comeback Participant


Geno Smith

Geno Smith
Picture: Getty Photographs

The NFL’s Comeback Participant of the 12 months Award is without doubt one of the most head-scratching awards in all {of professional} sports activities. No person actually is aware of what it entails. Simply take a look at the most up-to-date award winners. All of them had wildly totally different paths to the consideration.

In 2021, it went to Joe Burrow, who helped lead his workforce to the Tremendous Bowl after struggling an ACL harm the 12 months prior. In 2020, it was Alex Smith, who didn’t play notably nicely, however received due to his capability to return to the sphere after struggling one of the vital devastating, grotesque accidents in NFL historical past. In 2019, it was Ryan Tannehill, who wasn’t harm the prior 12 months, however resurrected his profession because the starter for the Tennessee Titans that season, and that was the idea for his “comeback.” In 2018, it was Andrew Luck, and now we’re again on the harm bug, type of mirroring what Burrow completed final 12 months.

Based on every of those notions, this 12 months’s winner could possibly be Saquon Barkley, who has led the New York Giants to an impressive document (7-2) on the midway level of the season after lacking important time with a collection of accidents in 2021. It could possibly be Christian McCaffrey, who’d been struggling these accidents for years and is now balling out with the San Francisco 49ers. It could possibly be Derrick Henry for related causes to Barkley. If we have been going to “get better from essentially the most devastating harm” route, then maybe the Commanders’ Brian Robinson could possibly be thought-about for getting again on the sphere simply 4 weeks after getting shot. If we have been going the profession resurrection route, then Seattle’s Geno Smith could be the frontrunner! All of it relies on what the award actually stands for and this 12 months could possibly be very telling for a way the award is checked out sooner or later.

By no means earlier than have there been so many authentic candidates for an end-of-season award, and as a substitute of making an attempt to say one choice is healthier than one other, I’m going to attempt to diagnose the award through what I consider voters truly take a look at. And what’s that? The story.

From what I can choose up, the participant with essentially the most attractive comeback story is the one who walks away with the {hardware}. Final 12 months, Joe Burrow was throughout everybody’s social media feeds within the postseason. You couldn’t stroll two paces on NFL Twitter with out seeing some iteration of Joe Sheisty or Joe Brrr. It actually helped that he was balling out together with his LSU teammate Ja’Marr Chase and the duo have been breaking all types of data simply two years after having the No. 1 general draft choose.

In 2020, Alex Smith had documentaries made in regards to the harm he survived. It was the 17 surgical procedures, the an infection, the close to amputation, and Smith’s resilience mixed together with his need to get again on the sphere, simply to point out his youngsters that they may accomplish something they set their minds to. Regardless of all that hardship, Smith went 5-1 as a starter and led his workforce to a postseason berth (albeit with a complete workforce document underneath .500). That’s exhausting to cross up.

With Tannehill, no person anticipated the Titans to compete for a playoff spot after beginning the season 2-4 and benching their starter, Marcus Mariota. The Titans turned to 31-year-old Tannehill, and he blew everybody out of the water together with his play. He virtually turned Derrick Henry’s profession trajectory round, went 7-3, and earned a playoff spot. What did he do after that? He proceeded to beat Tom Brady in Foxborough, beat the top-seeded Ravens, and reached the AFC Championship earlier than falling to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs. That’s a very good story, and it was seen all over the place that season.

With that in thoughts, whose story are we seeing most frequently within the NFL these days? It’s Geno Smith.

I’d like so as to add that the Seahawks’ lack of expectations coming into 2022 additionally performs an element. Nobody, and I imply nobody, anticipated the Seahawks to be this good. Everybody believed that the NFC West was a three-horse race between the 49ers, Rams, and Cardinals — all of whom made the playoffs final season. The Seahawks have been the forgotten step-child, the ugly duckling of the division, and now, 10 weeks into the season, they’re nonetheless the division leaders. Geno Smith has been arguably the second or third-best quarterback in the whole convention. He went from battling for Seattle’s beginning position with Drew Lock to a shoo-in for the Professional Bowl. Whether or not or not it’s his viral “They tried to put in writing me off. I ain’t write again although” assertion after beating Russell Wilson in Week 1, or battling powerful with Tom Brady within the NFL’s first-ever sport based mostly in Germany, Smith has confirmed to be a ticket-seller. He’s confirmed to be a fan-favorite. He’s confirmed that he belongs within the league for years to return.

That is no slight at what the likes of McCaffrey, Henry, Robinson, or Barkley needed to undergo, however moderately a prediction. Based mostly on how the previous votes have gone, Smith must be the recipient. Is that the best way it must be? Perhaps not, however you may’t deny that just about something that man does these days will get talked about throughout NFL social media, and that form of publicity is prime Comeback Participant of the 12 months materials.

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