The season is halfway through and we are now starting to see who the pretenders are and the contenders are. Now I am ready to give out my midseason NFL awards, I haven't thought up a name for them yet. After consulting the writers at The Mark Graham Sports Blog, I have come up with the winners and they are:
- NFL Most Valuable Player- Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
There was one of two players I was considering for this award, Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. I ultimately decided on Rodgers because he simply is the best player in the NFL. Period. The Packers are at 8-0 and he is having a career year. Rodgers is completing 72.5 percent of his passes and leads the NFL in touchdown passes with 24. Fred Jackson is a huge reason the Bills are tied atop the AFC East, but Rodgers is THE reason the Packers are 8-0.
Notable Mentions: Buffalo Bills RB Fred Jackson
- Offensive Player of the Year- Green Bay Packer QB Aaron Rodgers
Notable Mentions: Buffalo Bills RB Fred Jackson, New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees
- Defensive Player of the Year- San Francisco 49ers LB Patrick Willis
The San Francisco 49ers appear to have turned their ship around and are finally playing well again. Patrick Willis is a huge reason why. Willis has 67 tackles, one sack, three forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. Willis has become the leader and this 49er defense. The 49ers are in the top ten in total defense and without Willis in the lineup they drop down considerably and might not lead the awful NFC West.
Notable Mentions: Dallas Cowboys DE DeMarcus Ware, Green Bay Packers CB Charles Woodson
- Offensive Rookie of the Year- Cincinnati Bengals QB Andy Dalton
A lot has been said about Cam Newton and his great year, but being overshadowed is Bengals QB Andy Dalton. The Bengals are surprisingly tied atop the AFC North with the Baltimore Ravens. No one could have seen this coming at the beginning of the year. Dalton, a second round pick from TCU, was overlooked in the NFL Draft and is now making people pay for their mistakes. The Bengals now have a franchise quarterback in Andy Dalton and because of his play, the Bengals were willing to trade Carson Palmer for two 1st round picks to set the Bengals up for further success in the future.
Notable Mentions: Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton
- Defensive Rookie of the Year- Denver Broncos LB Von Miller
Von Miller has lived up to his best defensive player in the Draft expectations. Miller is really the only thing going for the Broncos right now. He leads all rookies in sacks with 6.5 and has forced two fumbles. Miller is going to be the future of the Broncos defense, lets just hope Tim Tebow lives up to his expectations.
Notable Mention: San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith
- NFL Coach of the Year- Buffalo Bills coach Chan Gailey
If anyone told you that the Bills would be tied for the AFC East lead halway through the year, you'd think they were crazy or a Bills fan (usually they are both). But Chan Gailey has turned this once hapless franchise around and are in a position to actually win the AFC East. The Bills came back and beat the Patriots and beat the Philadelphia Eagles, games once thought to be losses for the Bills when the season first started. Gailey was once considered to be on the hot seat in Buffalo, now is the toast of the town. Time will tell if they are a one hit wonder.
Notable Mentions: San Francisco 49er coach Jim Harbaugh, Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz
- Ryan Leaf Award for Biggest Disappointment- Cleveland Browns RB Peyton Hillis
In 2010, Peyton Hillis broke out and became a star for the Cleveland Browns. He rushed for 1,177 yards and had 11 touchdowns. Hillis also became the cover boy for Madden NFL 12. The Browns had their future running back in Hillis. Now in 2012, Hillis has pulled a complete 180, he missed a game, on advice from his agent, because of strep throat, complained about his contract, lost his players support in the locker room, and was seen throwing balls from the goal post while he was supposedly injured. One Browns player said that Hillis was the locker room leader last season bringing so much energy to the team, but now is a pariah in the locker room. One has to wonder if fame got to his head.
Dishonorable Mention: Tennessee Titans RB Chris Johnson
Well that is all for the midseason awards and we will see if these winners keep the same pace throughout the second half of the season.