The 2021 NFL season has reached Week 14 of its schedule, which means that we’re one step closer to finding out who wins each of the individual awards. One of the accolades that will be up for grabs is the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award, which is exactly what it sounds like.
While there have been several offensively talented rookies who’ve made their debuts this year, oddsmakers think that two have stood out above the rest. Those players are New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones and Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase.
Both first-year players are talented in their own right, however, only one can be named the 2021 Offensive Rookie of the Year. Continue reading to see which rookie BetOnline is favoring over the other.
Mac Jones Leading the OROY Race
At -500 odds, Jones is BetOnline’s favorite to be named this season’s Offensive Rookie of the Year. It’s a bit of a surprise to see the Patriots QB leading the race, especially considering how he was the fifth quarterback off the board at the 2021 NFL Draft. People thought that one of the signal-callers ahead of him would win the award during the offseason, however, those quarterbacks either haven’t played well or just aren’t starters yet.
Meanwhile, Jones has helped New England become a championship contender with a 9-4 record, which is good enough for the stop spot in the AFC. Yes, a lot of the Patriots success has been because of their defense, but Jones had helped the offense tremendously.
Last season, the team was averaging just 20.4 points per game with Cam Newton under center, which ranked sixth-worst. Now, the Patriots are averaging 26.9 PPG in 2021 and that’s good enough or eighth-best.
When it comes to his individual stats, it’s easy to see why Jones is an Offensive Rookie of the Year favorite. For starters, he’s completed an impressive 70.3% of his passes (270 for 384) for 2,869 passing yards and 16 touchdowns to eight interceptions. His passing yards and touchdowns lead all rookie quarterbacks, as does his 97.0 quarterback rating. People knew he’d be good one day, but they just didn’t expect him to blow the rest of his peers out of the water in Year 1.
Nevertheless, as long as Jones keeps up his current pace for the remaining schedule, it’s tough to imagine a world where he isn’t the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Ja’Marr Chase Offensive Rookie of the Year Odds
While Chase may not be the favorite to be named Offensive Rookie of the Year, his +300 odds to win the award are more than respectable. In fact, there actually was a time earlier this season that he was the favorite.
Still, Chase has been nothing short of impressive this season. While some had concerns about him dropping balls in the preseason, he’s proven to still have the same chemistry with Bengals QB Joe Burrow that they had during their LSU days.
This year’s fifth overall selection has caught 55 of his 90 targets so far, turning them into 958 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. Chase has turned in some monster games this season, including a 201-yard performance in just his seventh career game.
Unfortunately, Chase’s play has trailed off as of late. He’s finished with 52 or fewer receiving yards in each of his last five games. What’s concerning is that he never finished below that total in each of his first seven games. Not only that but his issue with drops has resurfaced lately, proven by his nine dropped passes on the year.
If Chase starts playing like he did at the start of the year and limit his costly drops, there’s an outside chance that he can gain some ground on Jones in the Offensive Rookie of the Year race. Only time will tell if that happens.