NFL Mid-Season Awards 2019

Ansh Suchdeve

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The NFL has passed its midway point of the regular season, which means it’s time to hand out midseason awards for the first half of the 2019-2020 season. These awards will consist of the most valuable player (commonly referred to as MVP), offensive player of the year, defensive player of the year, offensive rookie of the year, defensive rookie of the year, comeback player of the year, and coach of the year. The NFL honors award ceremony will take place on February 1st, 2020, where the NFL will handout the aforementioned awards, along with other grants.

Disclaimer: This article was completed prior to the beginning of Week 11 of the 2019-2020 regular season.

                     (Photo by: Joy Asico/Invision/Associated Press)

MVP – Russell Wilson

(Photo by: Mike Siegel/The Seattle Times)

Seattle Seahawks quarterback, Russell Wilson, has had his best season as a professional, throwing for 2,737 passing yards, 23 passing touchdowns, two interceptions, and has averaged 8.4 yards per attempt (commonly referred to as Y/A). In addition, Wilson has carried Seattle to eight wins thus far, including defeating the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams. When asked about Wilson’s quarterback play, Los Angeles defensive tackle Aaron Donald said this: “That’s what he does. I have to watch the film and see what happened, but that’s what he does. At times he got out on us, and we have to be better than that.” From an advanced statistical standpoint, Wilson leads the league in passer rating index with 131 (100 being average), and a passing touchdown percentage index with 127 (100 also being average), according to Pro Football Reference. Wilson’s ability as a mobile signal-caller and his significant arm talent already give him an advantage over some pocket-passing quarterbacks, and his five game-winning drives this season makes him the most valuable player across the NFL.

Offensive player of the year – Christian McCaffrey

(Photo by: Jeffrey Phelps/AP)

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey has undoubtedly been the most proficient runner in the NFL, as he’s accounted for 989 rushing yards, 14 total touchdowns (rushing and receiving) and has averaged 5.3 yards per rush attempt (according to Pro Football Reference). McCaffrey, 23, currently leads the league in rushing yards per game with 109.9– being one of the more versatile scat backs, He has been a threat in the passing game with 396 total receiving yards, making him one of, if not the most valuable receiving back across the league. McCaffrey’s overall ability to elude defenders at the line of scrimmage is what makes him so valuable, and despite being one of the youngest runners in the league, the Carolina back still joined former Panthers wideout Steve Smith Sr. as the only players in franchise history with multiple 150+ scrimmage yards and three touchdown games in the same season (according to ESPN).

Offensive rookie of the year – Josh Jacobs

(Photo by: Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The second running back being receiving an award on this list, Josh Jacobs, has been the top halfback in his draft class, respectively, rushing for 811 yards, seven touchdowns, and averaging a Y/A of 4.8. An alum of Alabama, Jacobs was described as “having the ability to track the ball as a receiver,” and “instinctive with timing,” coming out of the draft. He has shown that he can play a role in the receiving game as he has tallied 132 receiving yards off of 14 receptions. Furthermore, Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden emphasized that “we couldn’t be happier with him. He’s a great kid, he’s got slashing ability, he can break tackles, he’s got a powerful stiff arm, he’s taking care of the ball, he’s a good receiver and he’s going to get better. We wouldn’t trade him for any backs.”Moreover, Jacobs’ main competition in the race is Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, who may be the best rookie signal-caller in the class, but he has not put up astounding numbers while being in one of the more experimental offenses in the league (Arizona’s head coach, Kliff Kingsbury is coaching for the first time in the NFL). As a result, Jacobs’ rapid rise to stardom as a rookie gives him the label for the best offensive rookie, through the first ten weeks of the season.

Defensive rookie and player of the year – Nick Bosa

(Photo by: Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)

San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa has already become one of the top edge rushers across football. He has obtained seven sacks and 14 quarterback hits, along with a fumble recovery through the first ten weeks of the season, per Pro Football Reference. Coming out of college, Bosa was the most sought-after edge rushing prospect because of his ability to adequately rush the passer-by winning one-on-one “battles” with opposing offensive linemen, as shown by his 20 tackle season thus far. Overall, Bosa’s pass-rushing abilities as a rookie have driven him to success in the NFL, which is why he may earn the defensive rookie and player of the year awards.

 

Comeback player of the year – Cooper Kupp

(Photo by: Steve Flynn/USA Today Sports)

After tearing his ACL in the 2018 season, Rams wideout Cooper Kupp has quickly become one of the better pass catchers in football,  having accumulated 792 receiving yards, five touchdowns, and has averaged 13.7 yards per reception. Not to mention, Kupp had his first-ever 200-yard receiving game in his young career, where he tallied seven receptions, 220 yards, and a touchdown in a regular-season contest against the Cincinnati Bengals (a noteworthy feat for a young wideout who is in an offense full of talented pass catchers). Moreover, in his rookie season, Kupp was known as the third to fourth option on the team to quarterback Jared Goff–but since his sudden emergence as one of the best wide receivers in football, he’s turned into the top target for Goff. All-together, Kupp will likely be labeled as the comeback player of the year due to his significant knee injury, and his fast rise to one of the more reliable pass catchers across the NFL.

Coach of the year – Kyle Shanahan

(Photo by: Josie Lepe/AP)

San Francisco 49ers head coach, Kyle Shanahan, has transcended the 49ers into one of the most well-rounded teams in football. Despite being known as an offensive mastermind (previously an offensive coordinator for several teams from 2008-2016) Shanahan has turned the 49ers into a defensive juggernaut. They have surrendered just 129 points through the first ten weeks of the season, which is good for second-fewest in the league (behind the New England Patriots, who have given up 98). Not to mention, San Francisco’s offense has shown it can keep up with some of the top offenses in the NFL, as they have averaged 28.8 points per game (commonly referred to as PPG)–the fourth-best in football. Overall, Shanahan has turned a once rebuilding 49ers team into a Super Bowl contender, with the likes of rookie studs Nick Bosa and Deebo Samuel.