The 2012 NFL Midseason Awards May Surprise You
With the NFL at it something of a halfway point, it is a perfect time to look back at the first half or so of the season. When you have a season that lasts 17 weeks, it is hard to find the "official" halfway mark so suspend belief for a moment.
We have seen some great things early in the season. Teams like the Atlanta Falcons and the Chicago Bears have shown that they could be potential Super Bowl champions. Players like Peyton Manning have defied the odds and returned to play at an extremely high level. I bet a lot of people did not have that predicted at the very start of the season. I know that I did not expect it.
There have also been some teams and players that have disappointed. The Detroit Lions have fallen off the map while guys like Mario Williams have simply been unable to adjust to a new home. Then you have the curious case of Tony Romo. The bad is starting to outweigh the good with him and the Cowboys are starting to suffer.
I have tried to include some awards that you might find out the mainstream. As with every award list, this should be used to create debate. Some of you will think I made great picks. Others of you will think I should stop talking about professional. Either way works for me, so let us know in the comment section of the article.
I think I have talked enough about this stuff, so let us get to the 2012 NFL midseason awards. As always, these will probably not hold up by the time Week 17 rolls around.
Worst Team: Kansas City Chiefs
Trust me, the Kansas City Chiefs have earned this title. When your head coach has no idea why your star running back finished a game with five carries, that should be giant red flag. The quarterback play has been brutal, which means the Chiefs are going to be picking in the top five of the NFL Draft.
Best Team: Chicago Bears
The Monsters of the Midway may not have the best record, but I'd take them over any team right now. Sorry Falcons fans. The Bears defense has been simply unreal while the offense has shown flashes of brilliance. If they turn those flashes into permanent bright spots, I think we have a Super Bowl favorite.
Most Disappointing Team: Detroit Lions
The Lions have not looked anything like the team that made the playoffs last year. Wait, they still commit horrible penalties and look like the most undisciplined team to ever walk the planet. They just don't win games this year. Outside of this last game, Matthew Stafford has been brutal and Calvin Johnson is MIA. Yikes.
Most Surprising Team: Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings are probably going to implode in the second half (have you seen that schedule?), but they do deserve some recognition for their first half. They did start 5-2, which is about three games better than I would have guessed.
Worst Coach: Ron Rivera
There are lot of candidates for this award, but Rivera has earned this title. He has basically stunted the Carolina Panthers offense and there seems to be no hope in sight. Plus, he has no idea how to manage fourth and short when he has a giant human being as his QB. Just brutal.
Best Coach: Lovie Smith
He may be stoic on the sidelines, but Smith has the Chicago Bears defense on a roll right. There were a lot of questions about it going into the season but none of them have been a hinderance. The Bears are well on their way to a top playoff spot, which Smith should get ample credit for.
Worst Offseason Move: Mario Williams To Buffalo
The Houston Texans do not miss Williams, but I bet he misses them. He took a lot of money to leave, but he has shown zero of the production that he had down south. There is a reason that the Buffalo Bills tend to be bad and deals like this shine a giant light on it.
Best Offseason Move: Brandon Marshall To Chicago
I guess Jay Cutler only needed a true number one receiver to get the Bears offense working. Marshall has been great in his first half season with the Bears and he is going to put up some ridiculous numbers. Take Sunday for instance. The Bears needed to put together a quick drive in order to kick a potential game winning field goal. Marshall was targeted almost the entire drive and he delivered.
Best Offensive Rookie: Robert Griffin III
This is a no brainer. RG3 has made the Washington Redskins fun to watch. I would have never guessed that would be possible. The team will not have a great record but the numbers Griffin keeps putting up are simply superb. There will still be some growing pains, but he pretty much has this award locked up.
Best Defensive Rookie: Casey Hayward
Get to know Hayward's name before it's too late. The Green Bay Packers rookie has been phenomenal on defense, as he is one of the league's leaders in interceptions. He seems to have a nose for the football and hasn't had too many glaring mistakes. The team is going to need him to keep up this pace, since Green Bay will be holding practices in a medical ward at their current injury rate.
Offensive Player Of The (Half) Year: Aaron Rodgers
The Packers might not have the record they had last year, but the MVP is still putting up great numbers. He had a below average for him start, but look at the defenses he had to go against. The offense has some injury issues but Rodgers has been in form the last few weeks.
If you wanted to make an argument for Julio Jones here, I would not be opposed. That is one guy I completely misread coming out of college. Who knew sending oodles of picks for a wideout would pay such dividends?
Defensive Player Of The (Half) Year: JJ Watt
This award has been hotly contested, but Watt holds the lead right now. His sack rate is amazing and he blows up so many passing plays by just getting his hands up. It seems simple in practice, but not a lot of defensive lineman remember to do that.
However, do not be surprised if Tim Jennings or Charles Tillman make a run at this spot. If I could combine them into a guy named Tarles Tillings, they would take the award easily.
MVP: Matt Ryan
This just might be the year that Matty Ice gets to win a few playoffs games. The Atlanta Falcons are the last unbeaten team in the league and their quarterback is a big part of it. There are some other great players on the team, but the QB is the guy that will bring home the trophy.
I would say the only way that he does not win this award is if the team ends up dropping three or more games. If they finish 14-2 or better, he should be able to hold of a charge from Peyton Manning. Would have never seen that coming.