NFL midseason award winners: Who takes home the hardware?
It’s hard to believe that the 2017 NFL season is already halfway over, yet here we are. The calendar reads November and we’re heading into week nine. We’ve had some huge stories so far this season, and we’ll see more down the stretch. So that got me thinking, who are frontrunners for the awards so far? This is the list of whom I would pick if the season ended today, and who is lurking not too far behind.
NFL MVP: Carson Wentz QB Philadelphia Eagles
This one came to me pretty easily, second-year man Carson Wentz has lit up opposing defenses this season. All while leading this Eagles team to a 7-1 record. Their only loss was to the Chiefs in week two who happened to be the hottest team in football at the time. Since then the Eagles have claimed that name reeling off six straight wins. Wentz has thrown for 2063 yards which is good for third in that category, and 19 touchdowns which has him tied for first with rookie Deshaun Watson. With the Eagles adding Jay Ajayi at the trade deadline they’ve only made themselves a better team than before. Wentz and this current Eagles staff who sit at 7-1 remind me a lot of the 2004 Eagles who also happened to start out 7-1, and went on to play in the Super Bowl.
Honorable mentions: Kareem Hunt RB Kansas City, Deshaun Watson QB Houston, Tom Brady QB New England
NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year: Deshaun Watson QB Houston Texans
This pick wasn’t as clear-cut as the MVP race, however, Watson has been nothing short of spectacular. After replacing Tom Savage in the season opener Watson ran away with the starting job. Watson has put up numbers not many saw him doing in his rookie season. Through the seven games he’s played he’s thrown for 1,699 yards and 19 touchdowns. Houston has remainded relecvant due to Watson’s play. DeAndre Hopkins is returning to number one receiver form now with consistent quarterback play, and Will Fuller looks like the first round talent some thought he was. If Watson can continue to light up defenses he won’t only remain in the OROY argument but MVP talks as well. However Watson will miss the remainder of the season with an ACL injury. Watch for Hunt, or Fournette to take it at the end of the season.
Honorable mentions: Kareem Hunt RB Kansas City, Leonard Founette RB Jacksonville, JuJu Smith-Schuster WR Pittsburgh
NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year: Marshon Lattimore DB New Orleans Saints
In recent memory, everyone thought when playing the Saints you’d have a big day on offense, due to their lack of a defense. Which proved true at times but Marshon Lattimore is changing that. The rookie has played lights outmatched up against some of the game’s best. Lattimore is PFF’s highest-rated rookie ever. Through the Saints first eight games he’s recorded 27 tackles, defended nine passes and intercepted two passes one of which he returned for a touchdown. This kid has done it all and has helped the Saints reach a record of 5-2 which currently leads the NFC South.
Honorable mentions: Jarrad Davis LB Detroit, Zach Cunningham LB Houston, Carl Lawson DE Cincinnati
NFL Offensive Player of the Year: Kareem Hunt RB Kansas City
Kareem Hunt had an interesting start to his NFL career, fumbling on his first career carry to leading the league in rushing. The Toledo product has performed admirably in his first season and could end up winning the offensive rookie of the year award if Deshaun Watson struggles down the road. Hunt has helped lead this Kansas City to a 6-2 record so far this season, and the lead of the AFC West. Thanks to Kareem Hunt, Alex Smith is having a fantastic year. What makes Hunt so dynamic is the way he performs even when teams scheme for him and still rushes for 100 yards. Hunt is future MVP and team leader, the future is bright for this kid.
Honorable mentions: Le’veon Bell RB Pittsburgh, Alex Smith QB Kansas City, Carson Wentz QB Philadelphia
NFL Defensive Player of the Year: Joey Bosa DE Los Angeles Chargers
Joey Bosa has been nothing short of dominant this season. While the Chargers are fighting to finish the season above 500, Bosa has been amazing. He’s recorded 38 tackles and tied for the team lead in sacks with Melvin Ingram with eight and a half. While at the end of the season Bosa may not garner the votes he deserves he is part of the nastiest front sevens in the league. The Chargers will need to ride the success of said front seven to win more games this season. There’s a bright future for the Chargers defense if the team can keep them intact the Chargers will go places.
Honorable mentions: Julius Peppers DE Carolina Panthers, CJ Mosley LB Baltimore, Marcus Peters Kansas City
NFL Comeback Player of the Year: Todd Gurley RB Los Angeles Rams
Todd Gurley went into the 2016 season with a ton of hype surrounding him, hype he didn’t live up to. Honestly Jeff Fisher tried to lose games though. However this season the kid is playing fantastic. The emergence of Jared Goff and a passing game has certainly helped. The Rams are finally playing like some thought they would last season. A big part is due to Gurley bouncing back and running effectively. Gurley sits at number five in the league in rushing yards and tied for third in rushing touchdowns. The Rams are going places thanks to not only their defense but the young backfield of Goff and Gurley,
Honorable mentions: Julius Peppers DE Carolina Panthers, Josh McCown QB New York Jets, Alex Smith QB Kansas City
NFL Coach of the Year: Sean McVay Los Angeles Rams
The Rams were nothing short of atrocious in their first year back in LA. McVay who also happens to be the youngest Head coach in the NFL has turned this Rams team around. From the draft to the playbook, he’s changed the culture and the attitude. The locker room loves him, and it’s easy to see why. The Redskins will regret letting this one go as he will haunt them for years to come.
Honorable mentions: Doug Pederson Philadelphia Eagles, Sean Payton New Orleans Saints, Sean McDermott Buffalo Bills
Halfway through the season, we have some oddities, and some teams performing better than expected. Can they keep it up is the true question.