Here we are at the halfway point of the NFL season, and we’ve witnessed some unbelievable things. Between games resulting in a tie for the past 2 consecutive weeks (possibly a 3rd coming up), Julio Jones 300-yard game against the Carolina Panthers in week 4, Jay Ajayi’s back to back 200 rushing yard games, and the Cleveland Browns being winless, this season has shaped up to be an entertaining one thus far. With that being said, here are our midseason awards picks.
Derek Carr, QB (Oakland Raiders)
Matt Ryan has the stats to be MVP this year (2,636 yards passing, 19 touchdowns and 4 interceptions), and you can even make an argument for Tom Brady, even though he missed the first four games of the season. I’m going with Derek Carr. The Oakland Raiders are 6-2 this season (yes, that is correct) with them being 5-0 being away from home and tied for the division lead. He’s thrown for 2,321 yards, 17 touchdowns, just 3 interceptions, and a passer rating of 100.9. Carr is on a career high pace with all categories that were mentioned. Most importantly, the Raiders are relevant again (for now).
D.Reed’s Pick: Matt Ryan
“Dak Elliott” Dak Prescott, QB & Ezekiel Elliott, RB (Dallas Cowboys)
Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott has been sensational for the Dallas Cowboys this season. In the absence of Tony Romo, Prescott has thrown for 1,773 yards, 9 touchdowns, and only 2 interceptions. He holds the record for most passes without an interception to start an NFL career with 163 attempts. Ezekiel Elliott has filled the void of the running back whole for the Cowboys due to the departure of Demarco Murray in 2014. Elliott leads all of the NFL in rushing with 799 yards, averaging 5.0 yards per carry. This dynamic duo has proven to be a force to reckon with, not only in the NFC East, but in the NFL as well with a record of 6-1.
D.Reed’s Pick: Dak Prescott
Joey Bosa, DE (San Diego Chargers)
Bosa didn’t play until October because of contract negotiations that dragged out into the regular season. In the four games that Bosa has played in, he has recorded 13 tackles, including 4 sacks. He is turning out the be the pass rusher that the Chargers has desperately needed since the Shawne Merriman era.
D.Reed’s Pick: Joey Bosa
Julio Jones, WR (Atlanta Falcons)
There are a few plays you can make a case for this award including Matt Ryan, Demarco Murray, Ezekiel Elliott, and A.J. Green, but Julio Jones has been special. Arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL, Jones has 43 receptions for 859 yards (20.0 yards per catch) and 4 touchdowns thus far. His defining moment came in week 4 where he caught 12 balls for 300 yards and a touchdown against Carolina. That game cost former Carolina Panthers cornerback Bene Benwikere his job.
D.Reed’s Pick: Julio Jones
Zach Brown, LB (Buffalo Bills)
Rex Ryan is known for his defensive coaching, and Zach Brown has been a key component to their success this year. Brown leads the NFL with 87 tackles (59 solo tackles), which includes 3 sacks. If their offense can get healthy, this team can sneak up for a possible wild card berth down the line.
D.Reed’s Pick: Marcus Peters
Jordy Nelson, WR (Green Bay Packers)
Jordy Nelson missed all of the 2015 season with a torn ACL. He’s not quite the explosive wide receiver we are used to seeing back in 2014 just yet. So far he has 31 catches for 415 yards and 6 touchdowns. The Packers offense struggled last season without the deep threat of Jordy Nelson and has not been that much better this season. However, it’s only a matter of time before Nelson turns the corner to become an elite WR again.
D.Reed’s Pick: Jordy Nelson
Jason Garrett (Dallas Cowboys)
The Dallas Cowboys are without Tony Romo. They have been without Dez Bryant for a period of time during this season. They have rookies starting at quarterback and running back. Somehow, they are 6-1 on the season. This team has played mistake-free football while winning close games (games there were prone to losing last season). What a difference a few injuries and a couple of rookies make, huh?
D.Reed’s Pick: Jason Garrett