NFL Mid-Season Awards

Philadelphia+Eagles+second+year+quarterback%2C+Carson+Wentz+has+lead+the+Eagles+to+an+impressive+8-1+mark+while+throwing+a+league+leading+23+touchdown+passes.+%28Courtesy+of+Rich+Schultz%2FGetty+Images%29

Philadelphia Eagles second year quarterback, Carson Wentz has lead the Eagles to an impressive 8-1 mark while throwing a league leading 23 touchdown passes. (Courtesy of Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Justin Valentovic , Staff Writer

The NFL season has officially reached the halfway mark and that means it is time to name the mid-season award winners. The awards for Most Valuable Player, Offensive Rookie of the Year, Defensive Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and Comeback Player of the Year all based on the player and teams performance as of week nine of the season.

Most Valuable Player

(Via the undefeated.com)

The Philadelphia Eagles took a huge gamble in the 2016 NFL draft when they selected Carson Wentz second overall out of North Dakota State, and so far this season, that gamble is paying off. In his rookie campaign last season, Wentz was able to throw for 3,782 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. This season, Wentz has massive signs of improvement and has thrown for 2,262 yards, 23 touchdowns, and  five interceptions. Wentz has also been able to lead the Eagles to a league best 8-1 record.

Wentz’s success can be attributed to plethora of new offensive weapons that he now has at his disposal. The offseason signings of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith have proven to help Wentz in the pass game, while tight end Zach Ertz has emerged as one of the NFL’s top redzone targets. The recent addition of Jay Ajayi in the backfield, makes Philadelphia the top offense in football. Wentz was given all the tools he needed to succeed this season and so far he has taken full advantage of them, and has earned the mid-season MVP.

Defensive Player of the Year

(Via profootballtalk.nbcsports.com)

Calais Campbell has spent the majority of his career in the desert playing for the Arizona Cardinals, flying under the radar of many people. The change in scenery is has been great for the 31 year-old defensive end thus far. In his first season with Jacksonville Jaguars, Campbell is amidst one of the best seasons of his 10 year career. So far this season, Campbell has recorded a career high, 11 sacks, which is a league best.

For the past few seasons, the Jaguars have been steadily building one of the top defenses in the NFL. Regardless of who they had brought in they always seemed to be missing a pass rusher that is able to get to the quarterback, but the addition of Campbell is filling that void. Campbell’s ability to get to the quarterback forces the team to have to game plan around him, which gives other players chances to make plays. Along with the sack numbers, Campbell’s play has taken the Jaguars defense to another level, earning him DPOY.

 Offensive Rookie of the Year

(Via www.sportingnews.com)

When a player is selected in the first round of the NFL draft there are high expectations for that player to make an impact. That is exactly what Deshuan Watson was able to do for the Houston Texans in the first half of the year. The Texans have been desperately searching for a franchise quarterback, and have found one in Watson. Before his season was cut short due to injury, Watson was setting the league on fire, throwing for 19 touchdowns and 1,699 yards in just seven games. Watson’s 19 record breaking touchdowns is the most touchdown passes by a rookie quarterback through their first seven games, passing Hall of Famer Kurt Warner. 

Even though the Texans were only able to win three games with Watson, he showed the signs being the long term answer for Houston. Three of the losses for the Texans came against the Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, and Seattle Seahawks, all of which were by only one score. Much of Watson’s success comes from the play of wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, as the duo had connected for 551 yards and six touchdowns. Despite having his rookie season cut short, the future looks extremely bright for Watson, and for that he has earned himself mid-season OROY.

Defensive Rookie of the Year

(Via espn.com)

A single player can not turn a historically bad defensive around in one season, but rookie Marshon Lattimore is giving it his best effort. Since Sean Peyton took over has New Orleans Saints Head Coach, prior to the 2006 season, the Saints defense has been one of the worst in the NFL, but with the selection of Marshon Lattimore in this past draft they are looking to change that. Coming into this year many believed Lattimore was just another fast cornerback with decent coverage skills, but at the midway point in the season he is proving those doubters wrong.

In the first eight games of his career, Lattimore has recorded 31 tackles, two interceptions, one of which he was able to return for a touchdown, while allowing 18 or fewer receiving yards in four of his last five games. What is even more impressive is that he has not allowed more then 38 yards in every game season. At the half way point, the Saints defense is only giving up 18 points per game this season, which is down from last years average of 22 points per game. Marshon Lattimore is proving to be more then just another fast corner, has drastically improved the Saints defense, and because of that has earned DROY.

Comeback Player of the Year

(Via www.cbssports.com)

Under former Head Coach, Jeff Fisher, the Rams franchise were consistently one of the worst teams each year during his tenure from 2012-2016. The culture that Fisher had created of constant mediocrity year in and year out, had an affect on rookie quarterback Jared Goff  to the point where many people were ready to write Goff off as another draft bust. This past off-season, the Rams had finally made a long over due change at head coach and brought in Sean McVay to try to fix and develop Goff. To the surprise of many, Goff has drastically improved and is living up to the expectations that come with being the first overall pick.

Last season, Goff was only able to pass for 1,089 yards with five touchdowns and seven interceptions, but with McVay at the helm, Goff has made a complete turnaround this season. As of week nine, Goff has thrown for 2,030 yards, 13 touchdowns, and just four interceptions. The new offensive system, in addition to the improvements of Los Angeles’ offensive line, has played a drastic role in Goff’s progression this season. Running back Todd Gurley has also returned to form the season which is helping to take the pressure off of Goff. The Rams are currently 6-2 overall and are first in the NFC West, averaging a league best for 32.9 points per game, and because of that Jared Goff has earned CPOY.