As the NFL advances through the playoffs, it’s almost time for the league to hand out awards. The most discussed award is always MVP, the Most Valuable Player award. All season, fans and media members went back and forth about who should win the award. By the end of the regular season, everyone was confident that Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson will win MVP.
While that seems to be the case, Jackson isn’t the only player with an MVP worthy season. There are a few other players that have a case for the award and several others that proved to be incredibly valuable to their respective team. That’s why the ballot has spots for more than just first place.
ESPN’s Seth Walder recently took things to another level, publishing what a 100-player ballot would look like for him. Walder essentially ranked the 100 most valuable players from the 2023 season. Among the 100 players, the Indianapolis Colts had two representatives. Walder ranked defensive tackle DeForest Buckner at No. 53 and listed wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. at No. 100.
DeForest Buckner and Michael Pittman Jr. named MVPs of Colts by ESPN
With several Colts players deserving different team awards, Buckner and Pittman essentially being considered the team’s MVPs make sense. Both are coming off quality seasons and played huge roles in Indy’s success during the 2023 season.
DeForest Buckner, who is one of the most consistent players in the league, is coming off another dominant season. The veteran defensive tackle just finished his eighth season in the league and his fourth with the Colts. He played in all 17 games, which he tends to do, and recorded 45 tackles, 11 for a loss, eight sacks, two forced fumbles and a scoop and score.
On the other side of the ball, Michael Pittman Jr. had the best season of his career, further cementing himself as Indy’s No. 1 receiver. Pittman caught 109 receptions for 1,152 yards, both career highs, and four touchdowns. The career year came at the perfect time, as Pittman is set to enter free agency. Obviously, the Colts will try to re-sign him.
With established veterans like Michael Pittman Jr. and DeForest Buckner, as well as the promising young players on the roster, the Colts are set up to be a factor next season. They may even have an actual MVP candidate.