Midseason Awards: We’re Halfway There Edition

Here we stand at Week 9, the midpoint of the 2012-2013 NFL season. Let’s change things up this week and give out mid-season awards, while we also look ahead to what the second half of the season may have have in store for us.

Mid-season MVP

Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons

Matty Ice agrees with this assessment!

The man is at the helm of the last remaining undefeated team in the NFL, and one of the key reasons this team looks poised to make a deep run in the playoffs. He doesn’t have the most passing yards at the midway point (8th with 2018), but he is tied for 3rd place with 17 passing touchdowns. Matty Ice is what makes the Falcons go. They are 24th in the league in rushing yards per game with 95, making Ryan’s performance week in and week out that much more essential to the Falcons success. The MVP award is his to lose.

Honorable Mentions: Eli Maning, QB, New York Giants; Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos; J.J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans

Comeback Player of the Year

Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos

This may very well be the easiest award to predict of the season. As long as Peyton is playing, and at his usual high level, this award is his unanimously. Through 7 games, Peyton is 1st in passer rating (109.0), 5th in passing yards (2,113), and tied with Matt Ryan for 3rd in passing touchdowns (17).

Honorable Mentions: Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings; Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

Offensive Rookie of the Year

Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins

This is the second easiest award to predict this season. This is not Andrew Luck’s award to win back; it is Griffin’s to lose. Two weeks ago, RGIII was in the top 5 in passer rating, and currently he sits at number 7 (97.3). He has 14 total touchdowns on the season, 6 of which have come on the ground. That puts him 2nd in the league only to Texans running back Arian Foster, who has 9. What is also noteworthy is that he is ranked 17th in rushing yards with 476. Currently, he is ahead of Maurice Jones-Drew, Steven Jackson, Darren McFadden, and Matt Forte.

Honorable Mentions: Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts; Doug Martin, RB Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Greg Zuerlein, PK, St. Louis Rams

Defensive Rookie of the Year

Chandler Jones, DE, New England Patriots

Entering the team’s bye week, Jones has 33 tackles, 6 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles. There is only one defensive end in the entire league who is ahead of Jones in tackles and that is Muhammad Wilkerson of the New York Jets with 36. Jones’ 6 sacks have him in a 4-way tie for 12th.

Honorable Mention: Casey Hayward, Cornerback, Green Bay Packers

Offensive Player of the Year

Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans

Foster leads both wide receivers and running backs in touchdowns with 9, and he is 11th in scoring. This is of note because the 10 players in front of him are place kickers. He is 5th in rushing yards with 659, and the biggest stat of them all, he has 0 fumbles halfway through the season. When Foster is healthy, like he is now, he is one of the best players in the National Football League. On most teams, the rushing attack is used to set up a team’s aerial game, but not in Houston. Quarterback Matt Schaub goes to the air to set up the team’s run game. There are very few teams in the NFL who have the personnel to do this week in and week out.

Honorable Mentions: Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots; Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

Defensive Player of the Year

J.J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans

J.J. Swatt, as he is commonly being referred to, is wreaking havoc on opposing quarterbacks this season. Watt leads the league in both sacks and passes deflected with 9.5 and 10 respectively. With linebacker Brian Cushing out for the season, Watt has turned his game up a few notches, while also being the leader of one of the league’s best defenses this season.

Honorable Mentions: Tim Jennings, CB, Chicago Bears; Clay Matthews, LB, Green Bay Packers

If Foster and Watt were to win both the offensive and defensive player awards respectively, it would be the first time the award went to teammates since the 2003 NFL season when running back Jamal Lewis and MLB Ray Lewis did it. It would be the 2nd time in the history of the awards as well. 

Coach of The Year

Joe Philbin, Miami Dolphins

Raise your hand if you thought that at the halfway point of the season, the Miami Dolphins would be in the playoffs if the season ended today? :waits: :crickets: Didn’t think so! Everyone, including myself, laughed when the Dolphins cut Chad Johnson prior to the start of the season, as if they were such a great team they could afford to do such a thing. Well, here they stand at 4-3, 1 win away from tying the Patriots for a piece of the AFC East.

Let’s give credit where it’s due. Philbin has this team playing amazing defensively, run wise at least. Coming into Week 9, the Dolphins are ranked 3rd in opposing rush yards per game at 82. They aren’t blowing out teams (aside from last week’s 30-9 victory over the Jets), but are gritting games out for four quarters, thus hanging in there long enough for kicker Doug Carpenter to kick them to a W.

Honorable Mentions: Mike Smith, Atlanta Falcons; Lovie Smith, Chicago Bears

-Jimmy Lips

It’s been a while

So it’s been two months since I’ve written anything … no lamenting so here we go!

The Kings vs the Devils in the Cup finals, the Devils (hated rival) broke my Rangers hearts and the Kings have been lighting up everyone they play sweeping or merely losing one game to each team. Now they’ve lost one to the Devils and they find themselves in the driver seat up3-1 heading toward their first Stanley Cup victory. They’ve been ridiculous on the road not losing a game all postseason, so what do you say we close this series out Kings? Connecticut’s own Jonathan Quick has been as close to perfect as you can imagine posting a ridiculous 15-3 record with a 94.8 save percentage and a machine like 1.39 GAA. Good luck beating him twice in a row Devils!

To the NBA, the Thunder await the Heat/Celtics win as they, the Thunder, ran train through the Western Conference except for a road stumble against the Spurs. The Heat and the Celtics are playing one of the best conference finals in recent years and it is certainly entertaining me as Lebron James scored a ridiculous 45 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in the Heat’s blowout Game 6 win. We head to Game 7 in South Beach where many talents will be taken on Saturday night!

The MLB has been interesting this season already with surprises of the Orioles, the Indians and the Mets. The Yankees and Red Sox struggled to find their stride but seem to be discovering it and rather quickly too. Josh Hamilton is destroying the ball, so was Matt Kemp before he hit the DL … twice. Pujols is struggling, Fielder is fitting in nicely, and Jose Reyes is having trouble getting hits in the biggest (and gaudiest) ballpark. Johan Santana has returned in a big way pitching the Mets’ first ever no-hitter We are only one third of the way through the season but there is much to look back on already.

The most interesting thing since I have last written is the amount of press an off-season of football can receive. The Saints have been put on probation since bounty-gate, head coach Sean Payton has been suspended and so has defensive captain Jonathan Vilma. Junior Seau has paced away after he shot himself in the chest, placing more emphasis on concussion treatment and work for retired athletes. The NFL Draft came with two QBs taken in the first three picks. Free agency came and went and my Giants lost two key members of their offense in Brandon Jacobs and Mario Manningham, whom both left for San Francisco. Peyton Manning is  Bronco and Tim Tebow is a Jet. I know, I know.

Well I will be most certainly posting more and you should keep checking more to read my take on some of the stories from the Sports world and even some movie reviews!

These are my two cents … cash em in!


Bad Riddance to Good Rubbish …

Four MVP Awards, a Super-Bowl ring, records upon records, playoff appearances, division titles, and pride into a hidden football city. Just naming some of the things that FORMER Quarterback Peyton Manning brought to Indianapolis, and will now leave in the rear view mirror. The man who saved this franchise has been released today at the dawn of the NFL Free Agency, and days before the Colts would be required to pay him his $28 Million roster bonus. Manning went under the knife four times from May 2010 until September 2011 for his neck, including a neck fusion, which has been rumored to be one of the toughest to recover from. So naturally there were concerns about his health and if he would even be able to play again. I mean let’s think about this seriously, doctors have said that if Manning takes a hit too hard or in the wrong spot, he could be paralyzed basically, forget football.

Let’s delve into the decision now. Of course after the Colts magically finished 2-14, beats me how they even won two games. Everyone questioned how could one player make this much of a defense … well when that player is Peyton Manning and they haven’t even considered drafting a decent backup QB since 1999, that’s how. If I had been a writer you bet your ass that I would have put a vote in for Manning as this year’s MVP. The Colts were plain awful this year as Kerry Collins, Curtis Painter, and Dan Orlovsky all gave their best shots at turning this team around. With their efforts, if you call it that, the Colts “earned” the first pick of next years draft, which has been solidified to one Andrew Luck ever since he decided to stay in school last year. That left the Colts with the toughest decision since Manning vs. Leaf, which they said wasn’t difficult, so maybe it was the toughest decision since, “Hey, should we leave Baltimore in the middle of the night?” Now it was should we keep Peyton and draft Luck or release our best player, ever, and draft the unproven rookie first overall? For the Colts, it had worked before drafting a rookie quarterback and handing over the reigns to him from the get-go. But this time around who says it won’t be different?

Peyton was willing to work out his contract and his bonus. He was giving all he had to recover from the neck surgery to give everything he has left in his tank into the franchise that he built into an AFC South Superpower. But it wasn’t enough. It was a business decision made by the owner, Jim Irsay, and I fault him for it. They could have taken the Brett Favre approach, allowing their future QB to develop under their current Hall of Famer’s wings. I can guarantee you Peyton would have ridden off into the sunset without a complaint and rightfully so at the end of his contract or maybe even retired a year before it came to its conclusion. In addition, Andrew Luck would have been able to watch and learn from one of the greatest of all time. The Colts could have made salary room as they still plan to, but now Luck will have to lead a completely different team and offense as the Colts plan to cut Joseph Addai, possibly Dallas Clark and now with the news of Manning, they will lose Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon. Their offensive line had become poor as it is, and now they have six more picks to fill at least four more positions on offense, with rookies. In other words, this team is screwed and by losing Peyton they have lost most, if not all of their offense. I will be the first to admit when I’m wrong, so if I am wrong I will say so, but the Colts will not get better then they were in Peyton’s last full season (10-6 in 2010) until at least two years down the road. Jim Irsay screwed his team and a friend simultaneously. Goodbye to the greatest Indianapolis Colt, ever.

Those are my two cents … cash em in if you want.