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Red Zone Play: Mid-Season Awards

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With the second half of the season looming, let’s hand out some awards to remember the first half highs and lows of the Texans’ 2016 season.

NFL: Chicago Bears at Houston Texans
A.J. Bouye and Whitney Mercilus are mid-season award winners!
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

While the bye week doesn’t offer up much in the vein of newsworthy subjects, the fact that it landed essentially in the middle of the season worked out really well for the Houston Texans. The players had some time to rest and heal, the coaching staff had time to self-evaluate, and Brock Osweiler wasn’t given the opportunity to throw a fumble last week.

It also gives the fan base the opportunity to compartmentalize the first half of the season and take stock of what’s happened so far to get a feel for how this season will finally shake out. With that in mind, it’s time for the first annual Red Zone Play Mid-Season Houston Texans Awards – the single most prestigious set of awards ever given out in this column today. Exciting, isn’t it?

Now that you’ve had a chance to calm down from all the excitement of the last paragraph, let’s get to handing out these life-changing awards that are guaranteed to mean absolutely nothing once you’ve forgotten you read about them right here!

COACHING AWARDS:

Most Competitive Product Award: Romeo Crennel and Mike Vrabel have done a pretty solid job on their side of the ball in a coaching capacity. Vrabel especially, as this may be the best linebacking corps the Texans have ever fielded. If Crennel can get the defensive line to match the linebacking effort in the second half of the season, this defense could be historically good.

The More Things Change They Stay The Same Award: Larry Izzo hasn’t managed to get out from under the Texans’ own “Curse of the Bambino” as far as special teams are concerned.

They Are NOT Who We Thought They Were Award (And We’re Not Letting Them Off The Hook): Bill O’Brien and George Godsey, alleged quarterback-whispering offensive gurus, have put out one of the most truly offensive offenses in recent memory.

PLAYER AWARDS:

Creating Brand New Ways To Commit Turnovers Award: Brock Osweiler. He threw a fumble. Threw. A. Fumble. Didn’t even know that was possible. #nuffsaid

Offensive Ray Of Sunshine Award: Lamar Miler has done a good job despite the lack of any passing threat to keep defenses honest, but has yet to make anyone stop yearning for the peak of Arian Foster’s career. He’s getting there, though.

Strike At The Heart Of The Defense Award: C.J. Fiedorowicz has come on strong, finally filling the void of quality receiving play at tight end created when Gary Kubiak and Owen Daniels left the building.

Put Your Heart On A Roller Coaster Award: Will Fuller. The epitome of player-induced fan stress is the moment the ball is in the air and you realize Fuller is the target – do you get excited or freak out in anger? Only time will tell as the clock stands still while the ball hangs in the air...

The “Where Is He Now?” Award: DeAndre Hopkins has barely done anything worth mentioning, so he will remain mentionless.

Man Playing With Boys Award: Jadeveon Clowney is finally having the season everyone hoped he’d have as a rookie. What a shame J.J. Watt isn’t on the other side to really give Clowney more free reign.

Show No Mercy Award: Whitney Mercilus is continuing to play at an elite level, but he’s also seeing more attention due to Watt’s absence.

Forget About Him? Please Do Award: Benardrick McKinney seems to be the recipient of the “Least Attention Paid To A Defender” aspect of this season, and the inside linebacker is wreaking havoc in nearly every game because of it.

The HOLY SHNIKE! Where Have They Been Hiding This Dude? Award: A.J. Bouye seems to have come out of nowhere and lit the NFL on fire with his game. Not sure if it all finally clicked this offseason for A.J., or if Crennel finally figured out a different way to put Bouye in a winning position. Either way, opposing QBs can’t ignore Bouye.

That’s it for the first annual Red Zone Play Mid-Season Awards © ™ ® . With the Texans running a respectable 11 out of 15 wins coming out of a bye week over the last two years under Bill O’Brien, look for the award winners to shine, or not, this coming weekend against a struggle-bus riding Jacksonville Jaguars. Blake Bortles beware!

Have any awards of your own to hand out? Do so in the comments below!