NFL: Make way for mid-season honors
The first half of the season is a thing of the past. So much data can change by the end of the regular calendar, but if it were to be decided today, a few players and coaches would stand out for individual honors.
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Certain categories are characterized by very close fights or particular situations, starting with the title of player most useful to his team.
If the season ended today, it would be hard to justify not going with Titans running back Derrick Henry. With 937 yards rushing, his dominance was monstrous and his pursuers were far in the haze before his injury.
Its gigantic workload shows how essential its role is. But now, his injury, which will force him to miss several weeks, makes it impossible for him to receive the most coveted individual honor.
If there’s a prediction to be made today, let’s go with Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady.
Kyler Murray, Aaron Rodgers, Lamar Jackson and Matthew Stafford will be one to watch.
Offensive and defensive players
For offensive players, the logical choice would be Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp. Players in this position aren’t often considered, but Kupp is in a class of his own this season. In receivers, he currently holds the triple crown for receptions (74), yards (1019) and touchdowns (10).
Another player worthy of mention is Colts running back Jonathan Taylor. He goes straight for the title for the biggest harvest of rushing yards.
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On the defensive side, Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, who already has 12 sacks on the clock, would be the chosen one.
Regular subscribers to this column, Rams tackle Aaron Donald and Steelers outside linebacker TJ Watt, will also be part of the discussion. Just like Trevon Diggs with his seven interceptions, although the latter has however missed some big plays.
Recruits and coaches
Among the recruits on the offensive, I opt for a scenario that will never come true, but which should still be considered. Blocker Rashawn Slater has completely transformed the Chargers’ offensive line and it’s hard to find a first-year player with so much impact on offense.
If quarterback Mac Jones brings the Patriots back to the playoffs, he will certainly be considered, but the final winner risks being Bengals receiver Ja’Marr Chase.
In defense, Micah Parsons, for the versatility and production demonstrated as a linebacker with the Cowboys, should take the honor. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah had a great start to the season with the Browns before getting injured. Same observation with cornerback Patrick Surtain,
of the Broncos.
If the Cardinals keep up the pace, Kliff Kingsbury will be named Head Coach of the Year. Otherwise Mike Vrabel, who does a solid job with the Titans or Sean Payton, who continues to run the Saints without a true number one quarterback, would be my choices.
The return of the year winner will most likely be Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, unless Bengals’ Joe Burrow makes a better impression by the end of the season.
Coach Reid to the top 5
If the Chiefs dispose of the Raiders, the victory will have a special flavor for head coach Andy Reid. This would be his 227e career victory in the regular season, which would give him the exclusivity of fifth place in history, ahead of Curly Lambeau. Tom Landry (250), Bill Belichick (285), George Halas (318) and Don Shula (328) are the most victorious.
Many fans like to bet a few dollars on the outcome of matches and one detail should be brought to their attention. For the past week, teams underdog by margins of more than seven points have posted a 4-1 record. The surprise wins came from the Dolphins on Thursday and the Broncos, Jaguars and Titans last Sunday. Today, the Cowboys, Colts, Bills, Buccaneers, Steelers and Cardinals are favorites by more than seven points.
Beckham in uniform
At the time of his hire, Odell Beckham Jr. seemed a luxury for the Rams, who were already betting on Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods. However, the Rams revealed yesterday that during Friday training, Woods suffered a tear in the anterior cruciate ligament of the knee, which ends his season. Suddenly, « OBJ » becomes a necessity and will see ground tomorrow night against the 49ers.
Titans on fire
In the past four weeks, the Titans have defeated four clubs (Bills, Chiefs, Colts and Rams) that were from the last playoffs. If they do the same against the Saints, they will become the second team in history to have five playoff teams in a row. The last team to have achieved the feat? The Eagles, in 2003.
TJ Watt of the Steelers is having a very early career. The outside linebacker will be in his 70’se career game and has already recorded 61 quarterback sacks. With at least one sack against the Lions, Watt would hold the second-highest sack total in 70 games, behind immortal Reggie White (79). Watt is currently tied with his brother JJ and the great Derrick Thomas, at the same stage of their career.
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