Offensive Rookie of the Year favorites

Andrew Weber/USA TODAY Sports

Giovani Bernard has emerged as one of the front-runners for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

As we close in on the end of the NFL regular season, ESPN Stats & Info looks at some of the leading candidates for the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

RB Giovani Bernard, Bengals

Bernard has been a dual-threat back for the Cincinnati Bengals in his rookie season. The 37th overall pick has three receiving touchdowns, more than all other rookie backs combined this season.

Bengals Offense This Season
With Giovani Bernard On/Off Field

The Bengals' offense has noticeably improved with Bernard on the field this season. Bernard has been especially effective in the red zone. His 4.6 yards per rush in the red zone is the highest by a rookie since Adrian Peterson (4.8) in 2007.

WR Keenan Allen, Chargers

Allen, who fell to the San Diego Chargers at 76th overall in the draft due to a knee injury, leads rookie receivers in receptions (61) and receiving yards (902). Allen is on pace to post the most receptions and receiving yards by a rookie receiver in the last five seasons (A.J. Green finished with 65 receptions for 1,057 yards as a rookie in 2011).

Not only does Allen lead rookies in standard receiving categories, he also boasts the best catch rate among rookie receivers (70 percent).

RB Eddie Lacy, Packers

Eddie LacyLacySince his return from a concussion in Week 5, Lacy leads the league in rushing yards after contact (441). Last season, the Green Bay Packers averaged only 1.4 yards after contact per rush, the fourth fewest in the league.

One of Lacy’s biggest impact areas comes on third and fourth down. The Packers convert on 50 percent (41-of-82) of their third downs and 100 percent (5-of-5) of their fourth downs when Lacy is on the field. Without Lacy, the Packers convert only 29 percent (26-of-89) of their third downs and 20 percent (1-of-5) of their fourth downs this season.

Honorable mention

• RB Andre Ellington, Cardinals

• WR/KR Cordarrelle Patterson, Vikings