We’re two weeks into the 2021 NFL season and a lot has happened around the league in that span. Some teams and players have had surprisingly hot starts while others are disappointing their fanbase. The league has also seen some changes when it comes to award races, however, that is not the case regarding the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
Before the season began, New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones was favored to win the award at +250 odds, according to BetOnline. While his odds may have changed a bit, the rookie gunslinger is still the sportsbook’s favorite to win at +300.
Jones deserves to be the Offensive Rookie of the Year frontrunner for the fact that he hasn’t looked out of place in New England’s offense. He’s gotten off to a 1-1 start in his first two contests, completing 73.9% of his passes during that span for 467 yards and a touchdown. That isn’t even to mention his 96.7 quarterback rating. What’s also impressive is that he hasn’t committed a turnover yet, whether that be an interception or fumble. Rookie quarterbacks can often be mistake-prone, so it’s promising to see how well he’s adapted to head coach Bill Belichick’s system.
It also helps that Jones plays on a team as good as the Patriots. New England is a contender in the AFC more often than not, which means the rookie is surrounded by a winning culture. That’s already a lot more than other first-year signal-callers are getting. As long as New England keeps on playing as well as it has been through the first two weeks, there’s no reason why Jones won’t remain in the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year conversation at the first least.
2021 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Odds After Week 2
Odds via BetOnline as of Tuesday, September 21
- Mac Jones (+300)
- Justin Fields (+450)
- Trevor Lawrence (+600)
- Najee Harris (+650)
- Ja’Marr Chase (+900)
- Trey Lance (+1200)
- DeVonta Smith (+1200)
- Zach Wilson (+1400)
- Davis Mills (+1400)
- Rondale Moore (+1600)
- Kyle Pitts (+1800)
Complete odds list is available at BetOnline.ag.
Justin Fields OROY Odds
Before the 2021 season began, it was unknown how much playing time rookie QB Justin Fields would see this year. After all, veteran gunslinger Andy Dalton was signed to be the team’s No. 1 option earlier in the offseason. However, Dalton is currently sidelined with a knee injury, meaning that Fields has seen some early action and it was apparently good enough to award him with the second-best odds (+450) to be named Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Fields has made appearances in each of the Bears’ first two games, completing eight of his 15 passing attempts (53.3%) for 70 yards and an interception. He’s also rushed the ball 11 times for 34 yards and a touchdown. While those stats might not be anything otherworldly, that does change the fact that he has the tools to be named OROY if Dalton is out for the long term.
Fields threw for over 5,300 yards and 63 touchdowns in his two seasons with the Ohio State Buckeyes. He also put up 867 rushing yards and 15 TDs with the team, which shows his impressive range. If he can translate that to the NFL stage, even at a lesser level, he’d set himself apart from his peers. Bears head coach Matt Nagy said that Dalton will be the starter when he returns, so Fields has to use the time that he has to convince him otherwise.
Trevor Lawrence Offensive Rookie of the Year Odds Fall
Jacksonville Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence was one of the OROY favorites throughout the offseason after being selected first overall at the 2021 NFL Draft. Unfortunately, his odds have fallen to +600 now that the Jaguars have started the year 0-2.
While Lawrence has looked good at times, he’s also struggled. He recorded 332 passing yards and three touchdowns to three interceptions in Week 1’s loss to the Houston Texans, showcasing that he could handle an NFL starting job. He then recorded a measly 118 passing yards last week against the Denver Broncos, finishing with a TD and a pair of INTs. If Lawrence bounces back with a showing as he displayed in Week 1, he should have no issue climbing back up the Offensive Rookie of the Year rankings. However, if Week 2’s performance becomes a trend, things won’t look as promising for the former Clemson Tiger.