All NFL teams have played at least eight games, and that means it's time to hand out some midseason awards. A few were easier to determine than others (is anybody really going to debate the MVP topic?), while some required a bit more thought. Remember that plenty can change between now and the end of December, a fact that could make reviewing these selections after Week 17 fun/interesting/maybe a little humiliating.
2013 NFL midseason awards: MVP
There are, if you really want to make a case, arguments that Drew Brees or even Tom Brady deserve MVP honors. Brees is once again putting up monster numbers on a weekly basis, while Brady continues to win with a cast of who's who of “who is that?” Peyton Manning's assault on the record books has somewhat cooled off, but this award is still his to lose.
Manning leads the NFL in quarterback rating, passing yards, yards per game and passing touchdowns. He is second only to Philip Rivers in completion percentage, and Manning trails Rivers by only a point in that category. There may, depending on what occurs in the second half of the campaign, come a time when Manning is relegated to Offensive Player of the Year.
That day, however, is not today.
2013 NFL midseason awards: Offensive Player of the Year
The league likes to separate this award from NFL MVP, so it is, for me, down to Brees and Brady. I wouldn't at all be shocked if my pick changes before the end of the season. Brees was unstoppable during the unbeaten run of the New Orleans Saints, but both he and his team have looked more human as of late. Brady and the New England Patriots, however, continue to roll.
The Saints winning the division doesn't look like as much of a gimme as it did a few weeks back.
2013 NFL midseason awards: Defensive Player of the Year
Cornerback Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks is more than just an All-Pro. He is the top player in what may be the best defense in the NFL. Sure, he often makes headlines for reasons other than his play. He continues to back all of it up on the field.
2013 NFL midseason awards: Offensive Rookie of the Year
I went back and forth between running backs Eddie Lacy (Green Bay Packers) or Zac Stacy (St. Louis Rams). Then, something hit me. The New York Jets are a playoff team, and it's largely because of Geno Smith.
Smith hasn't been perfect. No rookie quarterback is. He has been the QB that the Jets weren't sure that they had back at the start of September, and he seemingly gets better with every week; well, minus that forgettable game at the Oakland Raiders, that is.
2013 NFL midseason awards: Defensive Rookie of the Year
Kiko Alonso of the Buffalo Bills hasn't just been an impact player. He's the best rookie linebacker in the game. Alonso has, at this stage of the campaign, 89 total tackles and four interceptions. Sorry, Sheldon Richardson, but Alonso may run away with this award before Week 17.
2013 NFL midseason awards: Coach of the Year
The Kansas City Chiefs – yes, the Chiefs – are 9-0. Unless KC has a shocking second half collapse, the answer is and will be Andy Reid. Considering the talent that the Chiefs have on defense, don't hold your breath waiting for them to fall apart.
Let's assume, just for funsies, that the Chiefs don't finish with the league's top regular season record. Such a scenario could open the door for Sean Payton, who has proven this fall just how much he means to the Saints. Ron Rivera could also be a sleeper pick if the Carolina Panthers stay hot and make it into the postseason.