It’s HALFTIME in the 2023 NFL season! The trade deadline has come and gone (as I hope showing Taylor Swift during Chiefs games every ten seconds has as well), and we are steadily approaching Week 10! So far it would appear that the scriptwriters are favoring the Chiefs and Eagles in a potential rematch of last year’s Super Bowl. From what I and many others have seen, at least, those two teams seem to be getting the most favorable calls during games. About a month ago I put out a “Way Too Early” post for award winners. Let’s see how that’s shaping up at the halfway point of the year.
MVP: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
After the first quarter of the season, I had Quarterback Brock Purdy as the early MVP. Since that time, Brock has lost a few ugly games and probably put himself somewhere between 5-10 for QBs overall. I could have listed QB, Tua Tangovailoa here, but I think Tyreek Hill is more the reason for his success in that dynamic duo. When you look at the weapons on KC’s offense, they’re mediocre at best. The fact that the Chiefs are 7-2 is a miracle, and only because of Mahomes leading the offense; he is the very definition of Most Valuable Player.
Honorable Mentions: Jalen Hurts (QB), Philadelphia Eagles, Christian McCaffrey (RB) San Francisco 49ers, and Tyreek Hill (WR) Miami Dolphins
Coach of the Year: Dan Campbell, Detroit Lions
I had Campbell as my guy after the first quarter mark of the season, and I’m sticking with him…but just barely. The Lions are still sitting on top of the NFC North with a record of 6-2, and their two losses were in OT to the Seattle Seahawks, and then getting beat in Baltimore. With the other coaches that you need to take into consideration here, Campbell has had the hardest uphill battle, finishing last season 9-8. The Lions should win 12 games this season and take the NFC North Title for the first time in their franchise history.
Honorable Mentions: John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens), Andy Reid (Kansas City Chiefs), and Nick Sirianni (Philadelphia Eagles)
Comeback Player of the Year: Tua Tagovailoa (QB), Miami Dolphins
Like Dan Campbell, Tua was also one of my original picks that I can’t steer away from. As mentioned before, Tua has started the first half of this season on fire; currently first among quarterbacks in Passing Yards (2,609), Passing TDs (19), and Passer Rating (106.4). At the halfway mark the Dolphins are getting a little flack for being able to really beat up on teams with losing records, but not being able to win against teams with winning records. This will be a blemish for Tua in the MVP talks, but if he keeps this up, he should win Comeback Player.
Honorable Mentions: Lamar Jackson (QB), Baltimore Ravens, and Breece Hall (RB) New York Jets
Offensive Player of the Year: Tyreek Hill (WR) Miami Dolphins
After the first quarter of the season, I had Christian McCaffrey, and he’s still doing great in San Fran. CMC is leading all running backs in yards and is second in rushing TDs. However, Tyreek is first in receiving yards (1,076), Receiving TDs (8), and Yards After the Catch (YAC) with 408 yards. Tua is second only to Stefon Diggs in receptions, and that’s only by one catch. Hill is dominating his position more so, and that makes him the Offensive Player of the Year.
Honorable Mentions: Christian McCaffrey (RB) San Francisco 49ers, A.J. Brown (WR) Philadelphia Eagles, Lamar Jackson (QB), Baltimore Ravens.
Defensive Player of the Year: Danielle Hunter (LB) Minnesota Vikings
A lot of people like linebackers Micah Parsons, or TJ Watt, but the number don’t lie. Hunter is leading the NFL in Sacks (10) and in Tackles for Loss (13), and he also has more forced fumbles (3) than Watt (2) or Parsons (1), and more overall tackles than either one. Myles Garrett and Maxx Crosby are also in the discussion as Defensive Ends, but Danielle edges them out too (pun intended).
Honorable Mentions: Everyone else that I mentioned above, and Geno Stone (S) Baltimore Ravens, who has six interceptions in nine games.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Puka Nacua (WR) LA Rams
I had Puka for the first quarter of the season, and I still like him now as well. Nacua is fourth in overall receiving yards and tied for fourth with Ja’Marr Chase in receptions with 64. How could he NOT be considered the ROY when he’s at the top of his position. Sure, CJ Stroud is third in passing yards per game, and seventh in passing TDs and passing yards, but he’s also a first-round draft pick. I’m still giving the slight edge to Nacua because he was drafted in the fifth round.
Honorable Mentions: C.J. Stroud (QB) Houston Texans, and Bijon Robinson (RB) Atlanta Falcons
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Devon Witherspoon (CB) Seattle Seahawks
In the first quarter of the season, I had Safety, Brian Branch, but Witherspoon is showing to be a little bit better after the halfway mark. Devon has 39 tackles, two sack, an INT returned 97 yards for a TD and nine passes defended vs Branch, who has 33 tackles, no sacks an INT returned 50 yards for a TD and four passes defended. A lot of people like Jalen Carter in Philly, but I would put him at third with his 16 tackles four sacks and two forced fumbles.
Honorable Mentions: Brian Branch (S) Detroit Lions, Jalen Carter (DT) Philadelphia Eagles, Will Anderson (DE) Houston Texans.
I likely will not be doing another one of these until the end of the season, but you should Subscribe to get updates so you don’t miss a thing! Thanks for the “read”!