NFL Midseason Awards
Most Valuable Player: Matt Ryan (QB, Atlanta Falcons)
At this point in the season, this is an obvious choice to me. With an aging Michael Turner and developing aerial weapons at his disposal, offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter stated that he would put the offense in Matt Ryan's hands this season. Ryan has made Koetter proud of his decision, throwing for 295 yards per game, completing 68.9% of his passes, throwing for 17 touchdowns with only six interceptions, and posting an exceptional 103.0 quarterback rating.
It's not just the numbers, however, that make Matt Ryan the MVP. Ryan has led his team to a league-best 8-0 record with the league's 25th ranked rushing offense. This Falcons team goes as Ryan goes, and the team is going very well - perfectly, in fact. Ryan has also been calm and composed in big moments, leading two fourth quarter comebacks along with a league-leading four game-winning drives.
Ryan's biggest threat for MVP is Peyton Manning. I can understand the argument for Peyton, as he has thrown for 300.5 yards per game and leads the league with a 108.6 quarterback rating. However, Peyton has, at times, failed to get his offense going early and has gotten his team in a hole. The Broncos - a team that made it to the second round of the playoffs last year with Tim Tebow behind center - have a mildly impressive 5-3 record, and we want to give their quarterback the MVP? No way. Matt Ryan is your NFL MVP... for now.
Honorable Mention: Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Arian Foster
Offensive Player of the Year: Peyton Manning (QB, Denver Broncos)
As I mentioned before, Peyton Manning's numbers are staggering this season. The reason I couldn't give him the MVP was because many of his too-little-too-late performances weren't resulting in wins. The OPOY award, however, doesn't take wins into account as much as MVP does. Throwing for over 300 yards a game, and posting league-leading marks in completion percentage and quarterback rating, Peyton has the most impressive passing numbers in the league. He's thrown for 2+ touchdown passes in seven of his eight games, and has thrown three touchdowns in each of his last five games.
Peyton's possibility of returning to pre-injury form was strictly based on whether or not he could regain full feeling in his right arm. He's definitely got that feeling back, so we're seeing good old Peyton Manning again.
Honorable Mention: Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson, Tom Brady, Arian Foster