B/R Award Race
Week 12 is coming to a close and the award races continue to tighten. Some key injuries have derailed some players, but others it has opened up a door of opportunity.
MVP: Hansen Spoon, Andrew McBride, Cam Newton, Sony Michel, D.J. Chark JR
Hansen Spoon: At the midpoint of the season he was on the outside looking in. Coming off an inconsistent sophomore campaign he has really turned it on with 24 total touchdowns and only 11 interceptions. His offensive line has allowed him to only be sacked 22 times and push the ball more downfield than in past seasons and it really shows in the stats.
Andrew McBride: Upgraded from rookie of the year consideration he is squarely in the conversation as the MVP in season 37. Passed over for other quarterbacks in the draft he has turned that into motivation as he is averaging exactly 300 yards passing per game. He currently sits third in the league with 25 passing touchdowns.
Cam Newton: At the age of 33 he is not slowing down yet putting together arguably his best season in his career. His ability to hold onto the ball has put the Lions in the fight for the division as he has only thrown 8 interceptions this season. That number 8 could be symbolic for the organization if he carries this into the playoffs.
Sony Michel: With an injury to Barkley it looks like Michel is on the fast track to lead the league in rushing in season 37. In 11 games he is the only back to surpass the 1,000-yard mark rushing and has got into the end zone 11 times already. He has shown his ability to gain yards after contact as he is leading the league in that as well.
D.J. Chark Jr: No matter who he lines up against it is a mismatch as he is on pace for a 2,000-yard season and 20+ TD season. The combination of the most receptions on the season and one of the highest RAC numbers in the league has turned him into possibly the leagues most complete player. If he can carry his team to the post-season it is tough considering anyone else for this award.
Offensive Player of the Year: Benjamin Paradis, Patrick Mahomes, Saquon Barkley, Chris Conley
Benjamin Paradis: We haven’t seen a gunslinger in the league like him since Brett Favre. While he is far out front with 33 passing TD’s and 3,684 yards on the season it is hard to consider him in the MVP when he as thrown the 4th most interceptions on the season as well. With an elite talent like Chark, it is easy to understand why he looks to throw the ball so much and Chark has been able to bail him out a few times.
Patrick Mahomes: After overcoming 5 interceptions in a week 4 match up against the Dolphins he has turned the ship around until he faced the Seahawks this past week with a surprising loss. With an upcoming schedule of some lower tier defenses, he could get hot and finish the season very strong.
Saquon Barkley: An unbelievable season is cut short after dislocating his elbow this past week. We felt the season he put together was worthy of noting as he finishes the regular season just shy of 1,0000 yards but with 13 Td’s in 11 games. Reports have come in if the Giants secure a bye he could be back in the divisional round and potentially lead them to another super bowl.
Chris Conley: After being overshadowed by Hill in KC he has put together by far his best season in the career in Jacksonville. Benefiting from double teams on Chark it has allowed him to be the only other receiver in the league averaging over 100 yards a game and surpass 1,000 yards. From season 34-36 he only combined for 750 yards total.
Defensive Player of the Year: Jamal Hillis, Ricardo Allen, Natrell Jamerson, Derek Rivers
Jamal Hillis: Another remarkable regular season has been cut short as Jamal Hillis will miss the rest of the regular season with an upper arm fracture. Through week 12 he continues to be the sack leader in the MBL with 18 and had another 11 tackles for loss. He single-handedly forced 3 and outs almost every week.
Ricardo Allen: The free safety for the Falcons has been high flying this year as he has already hit his career high in interceptions with 6. With a shared lead in the league with interceptions, he has also got his hands on other throws with 11 deflections on the season. There might not be a more improved team this season and he is squarely in the middle of why that is the case.
Natrell Jamerson: Natrell has benefited from a blitz-heavy scheme that has allowed him to be aggressive on third downs. Twice this season he has taken a pick to the house and sits with 5 on the season. He overshadows the league with 243 interception yards already this season.
Derek Rivers: While he benefits from a stacked secondary to give him time to put pressure on the quarterback, he continues to show consistency. With 16 sacks already this season and 63 sacks total going back just to season 35 he might be the most dynamic pass rushing end in the league. This year he has picked up another tool in his bag as he has already forced a career high 4 fumbles.
Rookie of the Year: Graham Foote, Ross Tanner, Howard Long, Carroll Holland
Graham Foote: While currently being overshadowed by McBride’s remarkable year he has quietly put together a strong season with 19 passing touchdowns and only 5 interceptions. In a tough market like New York, he has been able to rely on Barkley to take off the pressure and allow him to be conservative. With Barkley out the rest of the season will Foote push the ball more downfield and make plays is the question.
Ross Tanner: Continues to put up strong numbers as he is approaching the 1,000-yard mark in his rookie campaign. While many wrote off the Browns in the division the growth of Ross Tanner so quickly has changed the outlook of the organization and goals for this season.
Howard Long: Long has been slow to come along with sacks in his rookie season after dominating at Penn State. Even with the slow start, he leads all rookies with 6.5 sacks He continues to be the beneficiary of being in the right place at the right time with his instincts as he leads the league with 4 fumble recoveries on the season.
Carroll Holland: With a trio of rookie studs on the Titans roster Holland leads the bunch with 4 interceptions which is tied for a share of the lead between all rookies. A trio of Holland, Fenderson, and Bromley all playing well is a homerun draft for the Titan’s organization.