Offensive player of the year: Michael Thomas

Getty Images

Michael Thomas did something no other player ever has done. He caught 149 passes.

That broke Marvin Harrison’s 17-year-old record by six catches.

Thomas’ 1,725 receiving yards was the seventh-most in NFL history, 239 yards behind Harrison’s mark in 2012.

If not for Lamar Jackson‘s special season, Thomas would have a chance to become the first receiver to win MVP honors. As it is, Thomas is PFT’s choice for offensive player of the year.

He beat out Jackson and Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, who became only the third player in NFL history with 1,000 receiving yards and 1,000 rushing yards. McCaffrey led the league with 2,392 yards from scrimmage and led all non-kickers in scoring with 116 points.

But Thomas made NFL history, setting a record that could stand a long time.

Then again, Thomas has improved his catches every season from 92 as a rookie to 104 in 2017 to 129 in 2018 to 149 this season. So maybe it won’t stand long.

And he did it for a team that was without its starting quarterback for five games and still managed to go 13-3.

A receiver has not won the Associated Press’ offensive player of the year award since 1993 when Jerry Rice won his second. The Hall of Famer also won the award in 1987. That’s the only seasons in history a receiver has claimed offensive player of the year.

The AP offensive player of the year award will be announced during the NFL Honors Show the night before the Super Bowl.

35 responses to “Offensive player of the year: Michael Thomas

  1. Jackson gets snubbed again. Really? A receiver over a QB? Thomas only has one thing to do. QBs command an entire offense. Thomas is indeed an incredible athlete, but we’ve seen this act before. Lamar had one jaw dropping performance after another, leaving the league’s top D coordinators absolutely befuddled.
    Next, we have Kawhi Leonard who load managed he way to AP Male Athlete of the Year. This dude was 9th in NBA MVP voting!
    There is an apparent bias against Jackson. Hopefully, he gets his due with a SB win and a SB MVP trophy.

  2. So only the play of people on Super Bowl champions matters? Therefore if Balt doesn’t win it Jackson’s year was for naught? Sheesh.

  3. Re alleged bias against Jackson. First, this is just one site and not an official one. Second the league MVP has been conceded to him, a much bigger award. Where’s the bias?

  4. awl1998 says:
    January 1, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    Re alleged bias against Jackson. First, this is just one site and not an official one. Second the league MVP has been conceded to him, a much bigger award. Where’s the bias?

    It is the same bias that said he should be a receiver. It is the same bias that said he is running a high school offense. It is the same bias that said he is a running back playing QB. Do I need to continue?

  5. The saints didn’t have the strongest schedule but considering Brees missed five games it’s really impressive. Thomas in one of the most difficult games on the schedule, vs the 49ers torched their defense. He’s one of the best and obviously not just the product of a hall of fame QB like some may say.

  6. What I find interesting is the only two WR’s to win the award, Michael Thomas, and Jerry Rice, were not real speed burners. They were plenty fast enough, but there were also plenty of faster WR’s. I mean, both players had first ballot HOFers for QB’s, and that has a lot to do with it, but Brees also had Ted Ginn jr., and Montana had Renaldo Nehemiah, yet it was the “slow” guys that turned out to be the money guys. Just a note to all the Draftniks out there.

  7. He’s the best….at pushing off to get open. Possession receiver with a big mouth. Cole Beasley could put up those numbers if he got the ball thrown his way 20 times a game.

  8. Yes, I think Lamar got snubbed. This second problem I have with this is the Saints are notorious for going for records. One year Brees was trying to reach 5,000 passing yards in season. He was getting absolutely punished in the pocket in a meaningless game, but he stayed in regardless. Lamar sat out games when the victory was well in hand. He could have had 10 TDs against the Dolphins.

  9. 1. What round and spot was Jackson drafted in? What are the expectations of that draft position? Did he exceed them?
    2. Same questions about Thomas. Thomas drafted #47 overall, sixth wide rcvr drafted. What expectations, Did he exceed them?

  10. Amazing how people who have no clue can spout off on this sight and prove it.
    Michael Thomas a big mouth?!
    If you have evidence of this I’ll be glad to listen but I have only witnessed him as affable and actually very low-key.

  11. This award should go to Michael Thomas, but when you look at how impressive Lamar Jackson’s season was, take into effect that he literally sat out what equals to over two games with resting and then having commanding leads. He’d probably have 1400 yards rushing, 3500 passing, and close to 50 touchdowns.

  12. Amazing how only the rich and famous shower themselves with awards – athletes, actors, musicians – Lamar and Ravens would give up all these silly awards – we want the Super Bowl!

  13. To other Ravens fans out there… dudes, this is offensive player of the year. That is the only place where non QB’s and non RB’s have a chance. MVP is a QB and RB race, and the PFT MVP would obviously be Lamar for MVP. Lamar doesn’t need to win all the offensive awards out there in a year. It might be justified, but jeez. Be happy that he is basically the unanimous MVP for any football new source, PFT or AP.

  14. McCaffrey hands down.

    Despite over 2300 yrds and 19 Tds, would have also led the league in rushing if the team wasn’t getting blown out in it’s last four games, and playing catch-up.

    Thomas had what, 8 TDs off 149 receptions ?

  15. strongisland87 says:
    January 1, 2020 at 3:37 pm
    McCaffrey doesnt get any love for being on that terrible offense and putting up the numbers he does. Teams cant just focus on Thomas, like they can mcafffrey
    This is true because if you double team Thomas, than Brees can hit Kamara. Or Cook. Or Ginn Jr, and others. But in the Carolina offense, there is McCaffery and maybe DJ Moore.

  16. The right choice here. He didn’t really effect games to an “MVP” level if that makes sense but you can’t deny his week in and out total consistency. Best receiver in the leagie right now.

  17. MVP is nothing more than a popularity contest. Brees was runner up but never won despite having better statistics all season yet went to Manning and others. Jackson is the MVP and deservingly so. However to claim Thomas isn’t worthy of Offensive Player of the Year is beyond ignorance. And he always open. Explain that.

  18. And when he’s not catching everything in sight, he’s blocking 40 yards downfield to make sure Taysom Hill gets a touchdown off a little flare pass.

    Pound for pound, there’s no better player in football. Period.

  19. nagyisterrible says:
    January 1, 2020 at 12:52 pm

    He’s the best….at pushing off to get open. Possession receiver with a big mouth. Cole Beasley could put up those numbers if he got the ball thrown his way 20 times a game.


    But Michael Thomas only got 11 targets per game this year.

    If you’re suggesting that throwing the ball to Cole Beasley and his 62% catch percentage 320 times in a season is anywhere near the same thing as throwing to Michael Thomas 185 times in a season with his 81% catch percentage, you’re even stupider than I thought before now – and hell, that’s saying something.

  20. Big Panthers fan here and I love what McCaffrey did this year with his record receptions for a RB and 1000/1000 but there is no doubt that Thomas deserves this award. In any other year CMC would have walked away with this but Thomas has a season for the ages. It is fine, CMC will break the scrimmage yardage record next year with 1500 rushing yards and 1100 receiving.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.