NFL 2014 Mid-Season Awards
Most teams in the NFL have now played half their schedule which means it’s time to extrapolate the small sample size of eight games into what could also be considered a small sample size, sixteen games. These are the guys who will be holding hardware at the end of the season…
NFL MVP: Peyton Manning
Whenever a Hall of Famer is putting up some of his career best numbers you know he’s doing something special. Manning leads the NFL in passer rating (119.0) which would be the second highest total of his career. He is on pace to lead the league with 50 touchdown passes, which would also be the second highest total of his career. Additionally he’s on track to only throw 6.86 interceptions, which would be the lowest total of his career.
Offensive Player of the Year: See MVP
Defensive Player of the Year: J.J. Watt
Anytime a player is in the top five of Sacks and Pass Deflections, and leads the league in defensive touchdowns and fumble recoveries you know that he has an impact all over the field. That is what Watt is doing. After signing a six year $100 million contract Watt has deserved every penny. Amazingly the Texans defense is still average compared to other teams in the league. Image where Houston would be without Watt.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Jerick McKinnon
Replacing one of the greatest running backs in the history of the NFL is never easy but try doing it as a rookie who has never played the position before. That’s what former college quarterback Jerick McKinnon is doing. Even though he only threw 81 passes to 619 carries at Georgia Southern his transformation is impressive. At this point in the season he only has 392 yards and is yet to score a touchdown but now that he has assumed the starting running back job and is averaging 5.2 yards per carry look for those numbers to rise. He only needs to pick up 76 yards a game the rest of the way for a 1000 yard rushing season.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: C.J. Mosley
While there was a year in between him arriving and Ray Lewis departing, C.J. Mosley also had the task of replacing a legend. Mosley is currently fourth in the NFL in tackles and has a pair of interceptions putting him at the top of the list for linebackers.
Comeback Player of the Year: Kyle Orton
Orton has not been a regular starter in the NFL since 2011 when he was traded away after five games by Denver to make way for Tim Tebow. While Orton has only started four games so far this season he has put up his best passer rating (104.0) , touchdown % (6.4) and touchdown per game (2.25) of his career. He is giving Buffalo a chance to make the post season for the first time since 1999.
Coach of the Year: Bruce Arians
Arians just missed on this award last year but should be a shoe in this year. Before he got the Arizona the Cardinals were 5-11. Since his arrival they went 10-6 in 2013 and are now off to an NFL best 6-1 start. Also factor in the 2012 season where he filled in for Chuck Pagano to bring the Colts from 2-14 to 11-5 with rookie QB Andrew Luck and you are looking at one of the best 3 year stretches for any NFL head coach.