03 November 2016

2016 NFL Midseason Awards

(AP Photo)
As we are wont to do when it comes to the midway point of a season, let's hand out some hardware for the 2016 NFL season thus far.
Preseason Awards

MVP - Tom Brady, New England Patriots
New England Patriots (2000 - Pres)Can a guy be the league's MVP at the midway point when he has played in just half of the games? I don't see why not, particularly when a guy has looked as brilliant as Brady has been on his revenge tour. Try a 73% completion percentage, 12 touchdown passes to zero interceptions, a whopping 133.9 passer rating and an average of 9.8 yards per attempt. Not to mention that the New England offense has been lights-out since Brady has returned from his suspension and I think the clear is quite clear.
Runner-up - Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders

Offensive Player of the Year - David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals (1994 - 2004)We all know how superflouous this award is so while you could give it to the MVP or one of the top receivers (Julio Jones or A.J. Green) or somebody else but I'll give it to Johnson as he is just about single-handedly carrying the Arizona offense right now. Johnson is third in the league in rushing but he is also playing an important role in the passing game with 35 catches and over 400 yards. He is leading the league in total yardage and it's not even close and his multipurpose skillset is what will win him this award.
Runner-up - Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons

Defensive Player of the Year - Von Miller, Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos (1993 - 1996)With J.J. Watt out due to injury, I don't think there is any question that Miller is the league's finest and most dominant defensive player right now. On pace for 17 sacks this season with 8.5 through the team's eight games, which would give him more than his brilliant season a year ago, Miller may have taken on even more importance for a Denver defense that is still the best defense in the league. And his numbers may just undersell how dominant he has been.
Runner-up - Marcus Peters, Kansas City Chiefs

Offensive Rookie of the Year - Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys (1964 - Pres)One could make a case for Dak Prescott here given how good he has looked under center for the Cowboys, maybe even Carson Wentz, but Elliott still has to be the pick for me. Elliott is leading the league in rushing, something that has not happened for a rookie since Edgerrin James in 1999, and is the only player avering 100 yards-per-game at 114. Sure, he has a terrific offensive line but one cannot overestimate how good he has looked thus far this season.
Runner-up - Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

Defensive Rookie of the Year - Joey Bosa, San Diego Chargers
San Diego Chargers (2007 - Pres)Bosa got a late start to his NFL career after a length contractual standoff and did not even make his debut until last than a month ago but even with all of that, he has certainly made an impact. He already looks like the top defensive rookie on the field at this point with four sacks in four games and he has helped the Chargers perform better on the defensive end. You almost have to wonder how good he could look had there not been that holdout to start the year.
Runner-up - Jalen Ramsey, Jacksonville Jaguars

Coach of the Year - Mike Zimmer, Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings (2013 - Pres)You could certainly make a case, as you could do every year, for Bill Belichick and nobody would complain about it but I think that the Minnesota head coach has a strong case for this award. Keep in mind that the Vikings are without their starting quarterback, their star running back and have an offensive line in tatters and yet they are leading the NFC North thanks to capable work under center from Sam Bradford and excellence from Zimmer's defense. 
Runner-up - Bill Belichick, New England Patriots