NFL Midseason Awards
Now that every team in the NFL has played at least 8 games (some with 9), it’s time to crown the NFL’s best to this point in the season and before the weekend it was close in some races and this weekend either cemented my picks, or shook them up entirely! For these awards, I’m going to crown winners and runners-up of Most Valuable Player, Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Offensive Rookie of the Year, Defensive Rookie of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year, and Coach of the Year. Following these first and second-place finishes, I will put forth a dark horse candidate who could potentially swipe the award by year’s end. Without further ado, SONT Midseason NFL Awards with your host Kodey Stauffer!
Most Valuable Player:
It only took Patrick Mahomes 40 games to reach 100 Pass TDs.
The fastest to do it in NFL history ? pic.twitter.com/Tt0Ya1sMgD
— ESPN (@espn) November 8, 2020
Winner: Patrick Mahomes
This weekend helped Mahomes just edge out Russell Wilson in what is a really close race. Mahomes has been absolutely phenomenal this season leading KC to an 8-1 record while throwing for 25 TDs and just ONE INTERCEPTION! He has showed up against some of the best teams in the NFL and came away with victories and opens up the Kansas City offense so much with his arm being the single most dangerous body part in the NFL. With defenses playing on their heels it gives the Chiefs free room to run and has allowed Andy Reid to have some of his most creative play calling in all of his years of coaching. If Mahomes keeps up this pace en route to 40-something TDs and only 3 interceptions, he walks away with this award for the 2nd time in his career.
Runner Up: Russell Wilson
Let Russ cook has been a trending topic in Seattle with Wilson throwing for 3 or more TDs in all but one game this season and is the sole reason the Seahawks are in the position they’re into this point in the season. Wilson is the head of the number 1 offense in the NFL averaging 34.2 points per game and the O shows no signs of slowing down. If the Hawks get a running game going again and Wilson doesn’t HAVE to throw 40X a game for the Hawks to win, his chances of winning this award by year’s end increases dramatically.
Dark Horse: Dalvin Cook
Pulled this for this week's Transplants last night. There are way, way too many of these pic.twitter.com/0q9AfsTYlN
— Aaron Nagler (@AaronNagler) November 3, 2020
I’ll be talking about Cook more here in a second, but these last 2 weeks have shown how the Vikings best operate and you could also argue that Minnesota’s worst games this year have been with Dalvin out of the lineup or on limited touches due to injury concerns. Cook has played only 7 games but is the NFL’s leading rusher at 858 yards and IS the NFL leader (non-QB) in Touchdowns with 12. If he can somehow carry the Vikes into the postseason a la 2012 AP, then I can see a scenario where he walks away MVP.
Offensive Player of the Year
Winner: Kyler Murray
Kyler Murray is in the top-10 of rushers and the top 12 of passers for yardage total all the while being responsible for 24 TDs. Murray is no slouch threw the air completing 68% of his passes and sporting a 99.3 QBR with his revived receiving core putting him in positions to complete deep bombs and stretch the field. Once the defense gets beat over the top, they back off and allow Murray to beat them with his legs. Murray is the leader in average yards per carry with 7.1 and has ran for 8 TDs. Murray might be a 1,000-yard rusher and a 4,000-yard passer that would make him the first one in NFL history. If Murray keeps this pace, which I believe he can, this should be a landslide win for him and potentially give him a shot at MVP depending on how many games he can win.
KYLER MURRAY 56-YARD BOMB.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 8, 2020
Runner Up: Dalvin Cook
Either read the blurb above on his rushing production, or learn that he’s caught for an additional 175 yards with a TD and has 3-2-point conversions to his name this season making him solely responsible for 84 points this season (38% of Minnesota’s total points in a crowded skill room).
Dark Horse: DK Metcalf
Wait for a surprise at the end of this @dkm14 mic’d up ??
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) November 5, 2020
You have to be doing special things for people to start comparing you to Calvin “Megatron” Johnson, and Metcalf has done just that emerging as Russell Wilson’s number 1 receiver in year 2. Metcalf is 2nd in the NFL in receiving yards with 788 and tied for 2nd in TDs with 8. DK is 2nd in the league in average yards per catch with 18.3 (with at least 40 targets) and has used his mind bogging physique to turn non-plays into potential TDs. He’s also one holding penalty from potentially leading the NFL in TDs and yards and could sneak into this spot if he were to put up close to 2K yards and 18 TDs in year 2.
Defensive Player of the Year
Winner: Aaron Donald
I know I know, there’s no controversy with this one and it’s the same answer as the past 2 years but it’s not my fault Donald continues to dominate! He’s tied for the league lead in sacks, and forces fumbles and has scooped them up. Donald is a game-wrecker and has been the only reason that the Rams are in games sometimes such as the Buffalo one. He is so dominate at such a hard position to dominate at.
Most total pressures among edge defenders:
? T.J. Watt – 39
? Myles Garrett – 38
? Shaq Barrett – 38
? Joey Bosa – 37 pic.twitter.com/4ioUeG3lKo
— PFF (@PFF) November 6, 2020
Runner Up: Myles Garrett
The other sack leader, when Myles is firing on all cylinders the rest of the Browns’ defense is better off for it and it shows with his 4 forced fumbles. I put him here because he doesn’t have as many tackles for loss facing the run game but if the Browns can capture a playoff spot and he leads the league in sacks he could swipe this award from under Donald’s nose (and maybe some voters being tired of Aaron winning).
Dark Horse: Devin White
White is a linebacker who plays sideline to sideline and can blitz, play the pass, and stuff the run. White really could be the next great linebacker in the league and he has shown his range by being tied for 3rd in the league in total tackles with 82, forcing and recovering a fumble, and breaking up 2 passes. He is at his best flowing forward as you can see by his 5 sacks and 10 tackles for loss. White can take this award home if he can collect some interceptions and score a defensive TD or 2 while just continuing his pace in other areas.
Offensive Rookie of the Year
Winner: Justin Herbert
?RECOMENDACIONES FANTASY PARA LA SEMANA 8 #NFL
?Carson Wentz vs Cowboys
?Joe Burrow vs Titans
?Tom Brady vs Giants
?Justin Herbert vs Broncos
?Kirk Cousins vs Packers
?Drew Brees vs Bears
?Matthew Stafford vs Colts
?Tua Tagovailoa vs Rams pic.twitter.com/JZuuUgYdMd
— The Holy Roller (@TheHolyRoller49) October 30, 2020
Despite starting one less game than Burrow, Herbert has thrown for 6 more TDs and just a little above 100 yards less. Both of their teams are not in any position to win their divisions so at this point its about stuffing the stat sheet and Herbert has been way more careful with the football not fumbling so much and has a great setup with All-Pro receivers Mike Williams and Keenan Allen. If both QBs go at the same rate for the rest of the season, Herbert just barely wins it out.
Runner Up: Joe Burrow
The preseason favorite for this award has played pretty alright being the 8th leading passer with 2,272 yards and throwing for a modest 11 TDs. His turnovers have been a huge story with 8 fumbles in 8 games and 5 INTs to go with it. If Burrow can play the way he did against Tennessee and put together a respectable season where Cincinnati doesn’t lose double-digit games and he has more days with 3 TDs to no INTs, he could easily take this award right back.
Dark Horse: Clyde Edwards-Helaire
I was going back and forth here whether it should be CEH or James Robinson but ultimately, I’m giving it to Helaire seeing as how he is playing on a team that is more relevant and his potential is higher for numbers this season. Clyde has already ran for a half-century worth of yards while adding on 224 through the air. If Helaire gets enough touches in this very deep Chiefs offense, he could be a 1,000-yard rusher and 500-yard receiver. I think if he wants a chance, he will need more TDs (probably 14 total between the ground and air) which is VERY possible in KC.
Rookie Leaders in 2020:
Pass yds: Joe Burrow
Rush yds: Clyde Edwards-Helaire
Rec yds: Justin Jefferson
QB Hits: Patrick Queen
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) November 6, 2020
Defensive Rookie of the Year
Winner: Patrick Queen
Queen has been an integral part to this Ravens squad who has allowed the least amount of point per game this year (only 17.8!) and has made some splashy plays to go with it. His tackle production has dipped the past few weeks but his ability to flow to the ball and force opposing teams to look elsewhere in the run game and even the passing game with his deflection and enforcing presence over the middle. I think the biggest advantage Queen has is his 2 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries, and his Touchdown that puts him in such a good spot.
Runner Up: Chase Young
Young has been a nightmare for offensive lines so far and has setup opportunities for other members of The Football Team to make plays (i.e. Fuller’s 4 interceptions, etc.). Young consistently draws double teams as a rookie but the biggest thing working against him is his lack of stats so far this season. I think he needs to amp up his sack totals and make more flashy plays in the backfield before he gets overshadowed by the defensive backs in the class.
Most QB pressures by rookies:
1. Chase Young – 17
2. Derrick Brown – 13
3. Javon Kinlaw – 12
4. Tershawn Wharton – 11 pic.twitter.com/cFqGBzVeIh
— PFF (@PFF) November 10, 2020
Dark Horse: Jaylon Johnson
Johnson has continued to impress me week in and week out with his ability to break on the ball and break up big plays from happening while also delivering some solid hits. Johnson is constantly close to making a play and picking the ball off and I think if he closes that gap and makes the interceptions, he could end the season with 5 and become the Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Comeback Player of the Year
#7 Ben Roethlisberger is back in at QB.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 8, 2020
Winner: Ben Roethlisberger
I feel like this race is the one that has the widest gap seeing as how the Steelers have already matched their win total from last season already and the biggest difference is Big Ben’s presence leading the offense to score more than 10 points a week. Ben hasn’t passed over 2,000 yards but his TD to INT ratio is 18:4 and that’s exactly what the Steelers needed was a QB who could put in the points and cutback on the ridiculous turnover problems that plagued Pittsburgh last year.
Runner Up: Todd Gurley
Gurley is not the runner he once was, but he has been like clockwork in the RedZone scoring a touchdown every week except for 2 for 9 TDs on the season. He also still has a chance to pass 1,000 yards in Atlanta and could reach a Pro Bowl with the pace he has set for TDs.
.@TG3II this year:
? 2nd in rushing TD (9)
? 3rd in carries (159)
? 5th in first downs (35)
? 5th in rushing yards (584)
? Hasn’t had consecutive games without a rushing TD since 2017
“You can’t cheat the grind." pic.twitter.com/zur4Ta7lcd
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) November 11, 2020
Dark Horse: Baker Mayfield
A lot of people forget that you can win CPOTY just from bouncing back after a so-so season. Last year Mayfield threw nearly as many TDs as INTs and the Browns fell to 6-10 after opening up as favorites to at least win their division last year. This year is a different story where his ratio has jumped back up to a little over 2:1 and the Browns are in a good spot to surge towards the playoffs. With some VERY favorable matchups coming up to close the season (Houston, Philly, Jacksonville, and both New York teams) Mayfield could have a stellar backend of the season and send Cleveland to the playoffs and steal the award from Big Ben.
Coach of the Year
Winner: Mike Tomlin
At 8-0, Mike Tomlin has clinched another non-losing season.
Tomlin's streak of 14 straight non-losing seasons is tied for the longest by a head coach to start his career in NFL history ?
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 9, 2020
Do I really need to explain this pick? After barely missing out on the playoffs last year with a patched-together squad, Tomlin has taken a lot of the same with Big Ben and shown that they are a Super Bowl contender after barely being a fringe playoff team last year. 8-0 wins you coach of the year I don’t make the rules.
Runner Up: Sean McDermont
This Bills team came out the gate swinging and is the number 3 seed in the AFC right now. If they can win some more big games and get some help ahead of them, Buffalo could be the number one seed. Even if they don’t win the number one seed, winning the division for the first time since 1995 is a feat within its own some consistency is the gap between the Bills and being a legitimate contender.
Dark Horse: Brian Flores
The Dolphins are suddenly in a very good spot to capture a playoff spot in the AFC East after getting the number 4 pick in the draft. This turnaround where they allowed over 100 points in their first 2 games last year to scoring a ton of points of their own on defense has everything to do with Flores (and management for piecing together a decent squad). If the Dolphins win some important games down the stretch and beat Vegas in week 16, I see Flores stealing this award (and so long as the Steelers lose games at some point).
Kyler Murray is already making NFL history.
He becomes the first player to ever pass for 2000+ yards and rush for 500+ yards through eight games ? pic.twitter.com/Cucs0a3QJ8
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 9, 2020