Mid-Season Awards

League MVP - Patrick Mahomes, QB Kansas City Chiefs

The MVP Award could have easily gone to our Offensive Player of the Year, Todd Gurley, but when the NFL is a Quarterback driven league, we simply cannot overlook what Mahomes has done up to this point. Mahomes has thrown for over 2,500 yards and 26 touchdowns. In addition to that, he also has a 115.3 passer rating. The difference between Alex Smith and Patrick Mahomes leading the Chiefs is stark, but Alex Smith is also playing lights out for the Redskins as well.

Also Awarded Best Quarterback

Offensive Player of the Year - Todd Gurley, RB Los Angeles Rams

Todd Gurley is the best non-quarterback offensive player in the league. Gurley is on pace for 1,600 yards and 22 touchdowns. Not including the number of passes he catches and the corresponding stats he gets from those catches as well. Simply put, Gurley is a beast and he is doing things at his position that other people just aren’t doing at theirs.

Also Awarded Best Running Back

Defensive Player of the Year - Khalil Mack, EDGE Chicago Bears

Khalil Mack is the most dominate player in the NFL. No one can disrupt a game the way Mack is able to. Take for example what Mack was able to do against the Packers in week 1. Not only did he single-handedly take over the game, but he has replicated that performance several times over so far this season. Not many players are able to be traded away for what the Bears gave up to get Mack, but when you play like Khalil Mack, some teams just can’t pass that up.

Also Awarded Best Defensive Lineman

Offensive Rookie of the Year - Saquon Barkley, RB New York Giants

Offensive Rookie of the Year could have gone to several players, but I decided that Barkley should be the recipient. Being the 2nd overall pick in a draft has lots of high expectations, and Barkley has lived up to every signle one of them. Although the Giants are just a train wreck of a football team as of late, things should begin to change with people like Barkley on the team. Barkley is on pace for over 1,000 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns on one of, if not, the worst team in the league. On top of that, teams know Eli Manning isn’t a passing threat, therefore placing more pressure and attention on Barkley, which makes his accomplishments that much more impressive up to this point.

Defensive Rookie of the Year - Derwin James, DB

Unlike Barkley, Derwin James doesn’t have a ton of competition when it comes to being the Defensive Rookie of the Year. James is playing lights out and frankly, is doing things most of the best Defensive Backs cannot do, consistently sack the quarterback. James already has 3.5 sacks on the season which leads all Defensive Backs and is equal to or more than some “good” pass rushers such as Melvin Ingram, Michael Bennett, Bud Dupree, Bruce Irvin, and Clay Matthews just to name a few.

Best Wide Receiver - Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings

This may not be the most popular pick for the best Wide Receiver in the league. However, best doesn’t necessarily mean the most talented. For me, it strictly comes down to the numbers Wide Receivers put up and not what they could put up with different people throwing them the ball. Thielen leads the league in receptions (74), yards (925), and tied for 3rd most touchdowns (6). When people start to look at the numbers and stay away from what-ifs, Thielen is currently the best. He has 13 more receptions than Odell who has the second most at 61. He has 113 more yards than Julio Jones who has the second most with 812. Things could change by year’s end, but as of now, Thielen is the best.

Best Tight End - Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles

This award could have gone to Ertz or Travis Kelce of the Chiefs. Both have been playing very well, but Ertz is putting up slightly better numbers across the board. I also think Ertz is the better teammate, as we have seen Kelce throw temper tantrums throughout his career, and give up completely on an interception thrown by Alex Smith last year against the Bills. Until Kelce is more concerned with winning versus being a diva, he can’t be my best Tight End. Plus, the numbers support my conclusion as well.

Best Linebacker - Darius Leonard, Indianapolis Colts

Leonard has been playing lights out, to the point that if not for Derwin James, he would have been the Defensive Rookie of the Year. Leonard leads the league with 88 tackles and also has a very respectable 4 sacks and 3 forced fumbles. Darius Leonard is exactly what the Colts defense needed, a. budding star in the middle who can play the run and the pass. The Colts have relied on their passing game to carry the team all the way back to the Manning days. We’ve seen the Colts get torched when Manning and Luck have gotten hurt, but hopefully Leonard can help buck they trend.

Best Defensive Back - Jalen Ramsey, CB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Jalen Ramsey has stiff competition for this award, and frankly it could have gone multiple ways. But as of now, I think Ramsey is the best Defensive Back in the game. Ramsey’s game is often overlooked by the poor play coming from Blake Bortles and the fact that the Jaguars are trending in the wrong direction as of late. However, this has very little to do with Ramsey not being able to shadow the opponents best receiver all game.

Coach of the Year - Sean McVay, Los Angeles Rams

As the only unbeaten team left in the NFL it would be wrong not to give this award to Coach McVay. In his first season and a half as head coach of the Rams, he is 19-5, but 0-1 in the post season. If the Rams continue to play the way they have up until this point, he is surely going to start winning some postseason games. Also, what makes Mcvay’s performance so impressive is that he is still only 32 years old and the fact that super teams usually don't fair very well in the NFL. The Rams have upcoming games against the Saints and Chiefs, so it'll be tough to remain unbeaten, but the Rams are clearly on a path towards a Super Bowl trip.

Michael ShoemakerComment