At the halfway point of the NFL season, there are many surprises across the league. Teams such as the young Indianapolis Colts and the Seattle Seahawks are making a turn from their previous seasons, and rookie Doug Martin is making a case for an unexpected historical season.
How timely it is that many of these individual and team efforts are bursting onto the scene when the annual "Midseason Awards" lists are formulated. Like most members of the Legitimate Media™ have done, I (not a member of the Legitimate Media™) have put together such a list myself. Readers beware. A few of my decisions may surprise and/or offend you...
Surprise of the Year
Who would've thought that the young Colts would be 5-3 and currently hold the 5th seed of the AFC at this point in the season? Very few people. We all knew that Andrew Luck would be good, but he is playing outstanding. He has 2,404 passing yards, 10 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions. In his game against the Dolphins, Luck threw for a new rookie record 433 passing yards. He is on pace for breaking Cam Newton's rookie record of 4,051 yards.
Disappointment of the Year
After being called "The Dream Team" by back up quarterback Vince Young last year, the Eagles went on to finish 8-8 and miss the playoffs. This year, the Eagles are off to an extremely slow start at 3-5 and are in 13th place in the NFC. There is a lot of disarray in the coaching staff and the roster is full of stars such as Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy, Nnamdi Asomugha, and DeSean Jackson, who are somehow not leading this team to victory. Who Dat Nation is not complaining about the Saints 28-13 win over the Eagles, though.
Rookie of the Year
The majority of the public is saying either Robert Griffin III or Andrew Luck will win the Rookie of the Year award. I'm going out on a limb and saying that Tampa Bay's rookie running back Doug Martin will win. He is currently third in the league with 794 rushing yards (with 5.2 yards per carry). He is on pace to finish a couple hundred yards away from Eric Dickerson's rookie rushing record of 1,808 yards set in 1983. Last week against the Raiders, Martin rushed for 251 yards, which is good for 10th place in NFL history for yards in a single game.
Offensive Player of the Year
Aaron Rodgers, the reigning NFL MVP, is putting together another great season. He has 2,383 passing yards, which is 7th in the league. He also has 25 touchdowns, a 67 completion percentage, and a 107.4 passer rating.
Defensive Player of the Year
The second year man out of Nebraska is having a heck of a year defensively. He leads the NFL with 10.5 sacks, which is about 42 percent of the Texans' total number of sacks. Watt also has 39 total tackles and 9 passes defended.
Right now, Adrian Peterson is the Most Valuable Player in the league. He leads the league with 957 rushing yards (averaging 5.7 yards per carry) and is on pace to finish with about 1,700 yards. I have Peterson narrowly beating out Rodgers due to the fact that Peterson basically is the Minnesota Vikings. He alone is responsible for about 37 percent of the Vikings' total yards. If he was not playing, they quite possibly would have only one win this season.
Comeback Player of the Year
No questions here. After missing a full year and having multiple neck surgeries over the offseason, Peyton is playing like his old self again. He is tied for fourth in the league with 2,404 yards, and he leads the league with a completion percentage of 69.5 and a passer rating of 108.6. He has turned the Denver Broncos into a legit Super Bowl contender.
Super Bowl XLVII Champions
Right now, my pick to win the Super Bowl is the Chicago Bears. This is large in part because of their dominant defense. They have two players on their squad that are in the running for Defensive Player of the Year (Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings), and they have scored eight defensive touchdowns, which is more than the number of touchdowns scored on them (7). The Bears' offense is not above average, but it is not terrible either. Jay Cutler is doing just enough to help the team win, and it also doesn't hurt to have Matt Forte in the backfield.