NFL Midseason Awards


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.

MVP

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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

Offensive Rookie

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“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

Defensive Rookie

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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

Offensive Player

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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

Defensive Player

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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

Comeback Player

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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

Coach

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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

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What Did We Learn? NFL Week 2


Tom Brady

Another exciting week of the NFL has wrapped up. My several fantasy teams done fairly well this week (I’m either 2-0 or 1-1). I also made a profit on FanDuel for the second straight week. Besides all of that, they were some exciting moments like the Julio Jones catch, the Cam Newton touchdown flip, and the endings to the Raiders/Ravens and the Broncos/Chiefs games. But first, I have to give credit when credit is due:

Tom Brady On Another Level

New England took on a Buffalo Bills defense that stomped the elite offense of the Indianapolis Colts in week 1. Tom Brady simply didn’t care if they went against the 85′ Chicago Bears team. Brady passed for 466 yards and threw 3 touchdowns with 0 interceptions. New England was up 37 to 19 before Buffalo started to make a game out of. The Patriots defense actually looked incredible, forcing 3 turnovers. Brady has played like a man possessed this season (754 passing yards, 7 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 119.9 passer rating). I made prediction on Twitter that Buffalo would win that game because of their elite defense. Brady shredded my thought along with Buffalo’s secondary. I’m going to go a limb and say he’s still angry over that suspension thing.

Darrelle Revis

The Jets Defense Is Legit

The New York Jets has been known for their defense when current Bills head coach Rex Ryan was their coach for the past several years. The Jets defense was elite a few years ago but was not as good the last 2. Bringing back Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie has complemented their aggressive pass rushing ability perfectly. They forced 5 turnovers against an Indianapolis Colts team that is known for having a top rated offense. The efficient play of Ryan Fitzpatrick has given the team a wonderful balance.

Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel Making Plays

Johnny Manziel, previous known as “Johnny Football” has made the most out of his recent opportunities. Manziel still has A LOT of room for improvement as far as his mechanics, decision-making, and ball security, but when the plays were breaking down, he has made the opposing teams pay, and pay dearly. He’s connected on big time bombs to Travis Benjamin for a couple of touchdowns. He’s been able to extend plays and find his wide open targets. I’m not sure if Cleveland will continue to start him when Josh McCown is fully healthy, but these are good signs from a quarterback that had a few red flags on him.

Tony Romo

The NFC East Is Up For Grabs

In my NFL Preview Post (Note: that post was made way before all the injuries and Tom Brady suspension was reversed), I have hinted that this particular division will be a 3 team race between Philadelphia, Dallas, and New York (Giants). Well… that is certainly true and you can throw Washington into that equation. Tony Romo and Dez Bryant are out for an extended period of time for the Cowboys. The high-flying offense of the Eagles has been a total disaster. Spending all that money on DeMarco Murray and almost half of the quarterbacks around the league, if not more, has more rushing yards on the season. The Giants simply cannot find a way to win close games. The Redskins came in as the weakest link to the division has been noticed as the most stable team. I’m not sure how long that’s going to happen, but with all these question marks will make the division race exciting.

Cam Newton

Cam Newton Is Superman

Did you all see that flip into the endzone!?!? (CLICK ME to check it out) Besides the acrobatics, Cam Newton has found ways to win games despite his lack of resources. Newton easily has the least amount of offensive fire power on offense, with a depleted wide receiver core (Ted Ginn Jr is starting… let that sink in), an underrated running back who is as fragile as a box of wine glasses, and an offensive line that can barely stop a running nose. His team is tied on top of the NFC South and will host and maybe Drew Brees-less New Orleans Saints team.

Derek Carr (right)

How About Them Raiders!?

The Oakland Raiders won a game that in the past decade that 10 times out of 10 that they would probably lose. Derek Carr torched the Baltimore Ravens secondary for yards, including the game winning touchdown to Seth Roberts with under 30 seconds left. Carr, who initially wasn’t supposed to play, looked comfortable the whole game. Amari Cooper showed why he was the first wide receiver off the draft board in May. Michael Crabtree looked like a reliable number one target, something the Raiders haven’t had in several years. Latavius Murray was relentless the whole game. Most importantly, Khalil Mack was constantly pressuring Joe Flacco the whole game. If this core can stay healthy, they can turn some heads.

JGood