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The Redzone: NFL mid-season awards

We’re already half-way through the NFL season but which players have impressed Steven O’Rourke so far?

Machine: JJ Watt of the Houston Texans.
Machine: JJ Watt of the Houston Texans.
Image: Dave Einsel/AP/Press Association Images

Quarterback: Matt Ryan

The Atlanta Falcons are the last undefeated team in the NFL and, without a running game to speak of, most of the thanks must go to Matt Ryan. The fifth year QB out of Boston College has 17 touchdowns to just six interceptions and his completion percentage of 68.9% ranks third in the NFL.

Honourable mentions: Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Eli Manning

Running back: Adrian Peterson

As tempting as it is to put Doug Martin in here after his 251 yard, four touchdown performance last night, the award has to go to the Viking’s star in the backfield. Peterson leads the way in yardage (957), yards per game (106.3) and is fourth in yards per carry with 5.7. All this as he comes back from what was considered a career threatening injury.

Honourable mentions: Marshawn Lynch, Doug Martin, Alfred Morris

Tight end: Rob Gronkowski

It doesn’t appear as if ‘The Gronk’ is having as much of an impact as he did for the Patriots last season but he still has 580 yards and seven touchdowns on 43 receptions. His run blocking has also significantly improved the previously tepid New England rush attack.

Honourable mention: Vernon Davis

Wide receiver: Reggie Wayne

Andrew Luck wouldn’t have a winning record this season if it wasn’t for the league-leading 835 receiving yards of Reggie Wayne. The veteran has hauled in 61 of 101 passes, including 44 for first down. Wayne is also the only receiver in the NFL averaging over 100 yards per game.

Honourable mentions: Percy Harvin, Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker

Offensive line: Denver Broncos

All the talk before the season started surrounded Peyton Manning and his reconstructed neck. Could the veteran QB survive the pounding NFL defences regularly hand out. The answer is that we still don’t know for Manning the Elder has been sacked just 10 times this season and the protection afforded by his offensive line has allowed him to be the most accurate quarterback in the NFL with 69.5% of his throws finding their target.

Honourable mentions: New York Giants, Houston Texans

Defensive line: JJ Watt

Wait, how can one player win a team award? Well, when that one player has sacked the opposing quarterback more times (10.5) than two teams (Jaguars and Eagles) have managed, you know you’re dealing with a special player. Watt is the defining defensive lineman of his generation and on course to being the greatest defensive end of all time.

Honourable mentions: Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers

Outside linebacker: DeMarcus Ware

Nine sacks and four forced fumbles on the year make Ware the obvious choice at outside linebacker. Yes, he has given away some stupid penalties this season but his 37 tackles put him just ahead of Clay Matthews for me. It’s just a pity he can’t play offense for the Dallas Cowboys or they might have a chance to make the playoffs.

Honourable mentions: Clay Matthews, Ahmad Brooks, Justin Houston

Inside linebacker: Daryl Washington

The Arizona Cardinals inside LB has a massive 64 solo tackles this season already. He has also sacked opposition quarterbacks eight times, batted down a pass and forced two fumbles. The Cardinals season may be going down the drain, but Washington remains a shining light.

Honourable mentions: Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman

Cornerback: Charles Tillman

Tillman wins this award almost solely for his performance against Calvin Johnson and the Detroit Lions when he held the superstar receiver to just three catches for 34 yards on twelve targets. Tillman also has two interceptions, both of which he has returned for touchdowns, seven forced fumbles and 43 tackles.

Honourable mentions: Richard Sherman, Tim Jennings, Cortland Finnegan

Safety: Ed Reed

Reed may be aging but he has still managed 35 tackles, defended ten passes, intercepted three more and recovered a fumble. Not bad for an 11 year veteran, especially in a patchwork Ravens defence.

Honourable mentions: Eric Weddle, TJ Ward, Jairus Byrd

Week nine results

  • Kansas City Chiefs 13 @ San Diego Chargers 31
  • Denver Broncos 31 @ Cincinnati Bengals 23
  • Baltimore Ravens 25 @ Cleveland Browns 15
  • Arizona Cardinals 17 @ Green Bay Packers 31
  • Chicago Bears 51 @ Tennessee Titans 20
  • Miami Dolphins 20 @ Indianapolis Colts 23
  • Carolina Panthers 21 @ Washington Redskins 13
  • Detroit Lions 31 @ Jacksonville Jaguars 14
  • Buffalo Bills 9 @ Houston Texans 21
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers 42 @ Oakland Raiders 32
  • Minnesota Vikings 20 @ Seattle Seahawks 30
  • Pittsburgh Steelers 24 @ NY Giants 20
  • Dallas Cowboys 13 @ Atlanta Falcons 19

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About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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