By this point in the season, most teams have played eight games. That constitutes half of an NFL season, so it’s time to reevaluate preseason predictions. After all, most preseason predictions are like throwing a handful of darts blindfolded into a spinning dart board. I’ll lead off with my new Super Bowl pick and you can find my midseason awards below the rankings.
When the season started, I had the Steelers winning the Super Bowl. Little did I know that Big Ben would miss almost the entire season. I’ve had to correct just a bit. I have the Saints and Patriots in the Super Bowl now for a few reasons.
1) Both teams play good defense.
Obviously the Patriots have the better defense. They are giving up 7.6 points per game and have only given up 61 total points during the season. They haven’t played especially potent offenses, but it’s impressive in the NFL to completely dominate through eight games the way the Pats’ D has.
Meanwhile, the Saints have a top 10 defense. They boast the second-best rush defense, giving up a mere 84.2 yards per game. Come playoff time, when teams typically try to run the ball more, the Saints will be set up nicely.
2) Both teams have veteran QBs.
Tom Brady and Drew Brees are both Hall of Famers. The moment is never too big for either and they should be able to navigate the playoff field.
3) Both teams have really good head coaches.
The Patriots and Saints have two of the best head coaches in the NFL. Bill Belichick is the best coach of this generation and maybe the best of all time. Sean Payton is an offensive mastermind and likely Coach of the Year. It’ll be a treat to see them match up in the Super Bowl.
I picked the Saints to win it all because I can’t stand to see the Patriots win yet another Lombardi Trophy. Plus, I would really enjoy seeing Tom Brady lose the Super Bowl before he retires this offseason.
- New England Patriots (8-0)
- San Francisco 49ers (7-0)
- New Orleans Saints (7-1)
- Green Bay Packers (7-1)
- Seattle Seahawks (6-2)
- Minnesota Vikings (6-2)
- Buffalo Bills (5-2)
- Baltimore Ravens (5-2)
- Indianapolis Colts (5-2)
- Kansas City Chiefs (5-3)
- Dallas Cowboys (4-3)
- Los Angeles Rams (5-3)
- Houston Texans (5-3)
- Carolina Panthers (4-3)
- Philadelphia Eagles (4-4)
- Jacksonville Jaguars (4-4)
- Detroit Lions (3-3-1)
- Tennessee Titans (4-4)
- Oakland Raiders (3-4)
- Los Angeles Chargers (3-5)
- Chicago Bears (3-4)
- Pittsburgh Steelers (3-4)
- Cleveland Browns (2-5)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-5)
- New York Giants (2-6)
- Denver Broncos (2-6)
- Arizona Cardinals (3-4-1)
- New York Jets (1-6)
- Atlanta Falcons (1-7)
- Washington Redskins (1-7)
- Cincinnati Bengals (0-8)
- Miami Dolphins (0-7)
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Josh Jacobs
Josh Jacobs is the real deal. He has explosiveness, power, and vision. The Raiders made the right call in drafting him. He fits Jon Gruden’s ideal RB mold and has allowed the Raiders to stay competitive in most of their games this year. He’ll be a RB that we talk about putting in elite company as soon as next year.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Devin Bush
Devin Bush has gotten a little overlooked this year due to the play of Nick Bosa (more on him later.) He’s a really versatile linebacker and has filled the void that the Steelers have had in the middle of their defense since Ryan Shazier got hurt. He has played really well for a banged-up Pittsburgh team and figures to get better with age.
Offensive Player of the Year: Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers is finding new life under first-year head coach Matt LaFleur. He is second in the league in passing yards with 2,324, tied for second in TDs with 16, and has a 106.7 passer rating. Those numbers are pretty great. More importantly, he’s beginning to look like the Rodgers of old. Some of the plays he is making are insane, like the throw he made Sunday night off his back foot to Jamaal Williams for a touchdown. Oh yeah, and he’s doing all of this without Davante Adams.
Defensive Player of the Year: Nick Bosa
Nick Bosa is a rookie, but he is already one of the top defensive players in the league. Bosa has shown the ability to turn the corner and close on the QB. He’s the best player on the best defensive line in all of football. He’s making highlight reel plays every week. This dude is the real deal. He reminds me of a young J.J. Watt. That may sound like blasphemy to Texans fans, but this kid is going to be special.
Nick Bosa is a bad man! Just avoiding this cut block is impressive...the rest is ridiculous. pic.twitter.com/EfcH5gtULe— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) October 28, 2019
Most Valuable Player: Deshaun Watson
MVP is a tricky award because everyone seems to have different criteria. I view it this way: If you’re one of the best players in the league and your team wins games because of the plays you make, you can be considered. Deshaun Watson gets the call here because he fits that criteria exactly. The argument could be made that the Texans would be 1-7 without Watson pulling on his Superman cape and making game-winning plays each and every week. His numbers put him near the top of the league in passing yards, touchdowns, and passer rating. Deshaun Watson is the midseason MVP, and if he keeps playing this way, he’ll be the real MVP at the end of the year.
Honorable Mention: Russell Wilson
Coach of the Year: Sean Payton
Sean Payton not only kept the Saints alive after Drew Brees was lost for six weeks during the second game of the season, he helped them thrive. Payton inserted Teddy Bridgewater into the starting lineup and went a cool 5-0. The Saints have a legit shot at a first round bye due to Payton’s leadership and coaching ability.
At the midway point, who do you have as your favorites for these awards?