We are at the halfway point of the 2019 NFL season, and it’s time for midseason awards. Except we aren’t doing the normal awards because those are boring. We are doing some spicy awards.
Here are nine midseason awards I made up. I hope you enjoy the fun.
These quarterbacks are wizards award: Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers
Easily the two best touchdown passes of the season are from these two quarterbacks. Russell Wilson’s body was running in one direction while his arm was throwing in another here:
i was 80% sure Russell Wilson was just throwing this ball away pic.twitter.com/K7UBNqmNPI
— Christian D’Andrea (@TrainIsland) October 4, 2019
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) October 28, 2019
But do I even care? Nope. It was amazing.
The team we thought might be good, and is actually good award: San Francisco 49ers
I should have seen this coming, but I’m always leery of getting excited about the team with the most potential for improvement in the offseason. And the No. 1 reason why people liked the 49ers was their quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, who was healthy again. However, he isn’t having the incredible year people expected. He’s just been OK: ninth in QBR and 19th in EPA (expected points added) after eight weeks. The 49ers are outstanding on offense because of their playcaller Kyle Shanahan. His ability to design a game plan with play sequencing and eye violations for the defense is awesome.
While the offense has been elite, their defense has been wow. The 49ers’ secondary has made the best improvement in the NFL of any unit from 2018 to 2019, and their pass rush is the best in the NFL. They are a legit contender.
Every person who didn’t have a Browns avatar knew this was going to happen award: Cleveland Browns
Duh. Anyone who covered the NFL and was honest with themselves knew the Browns would be a dumpster fire. They had a first-year head coach with almost no experience leading a team. The pressure put on the Browns to win — internally with trades for Odell Beckham, and Olivier Vernon, as well as the signing of Sheldon Richardson, and then externally by the media — was going to weigh heavily on their performance.
Baker Mayfield has been one of the worst QBs in the NFL this season, and now he is having maturity issues with reporters. Freddie Kitchens’ coaching decisions are mind-numbing, and this team is the most undisciplined in the league. The Browns lead the NFL in penalties and are tied for second in turnovers.
Well, of course this rookie is good award: Nick Bosa
Nick Bosa has a legitimate chance to win the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award. He’s been that great attacking quarterbacks in his rookie season. After his final season at Ohio State was cut short because of injury, and he was hurt this offseason, it felt like we forgot that how elite Bosa really was in college.
Bosa checked the important box for me for college pass rushers: he was multiple with his pass rush moves. We often see college rushers win with just a single move, either with strength or speed. That makes their transition from college to the NFL tougher. But Bosa was already a complete package. Lots of people, including myself, fell in love with Quinnen Williams and thought he’d be the better pro because we saw him dominate in the College Football Playoff. We were wrong.
Please, football gods, heal this player award: Patrick Mahomes
The New England Patriots are going to run away with the AFC if Patrick Mahomes isn’t healthy. The Chiefs are the only team the Patriots would worry about in the playoffs. The Chiefs have the offensive firepower, the scheme, and the overall talent to compete against the Patriots.
The Colts and Texans, while playing well, have no chance. Do you think Jacoby Brissett scares the Patriots? Heck no. So please, get healthy, Pat, so you can guide the Chiefs into the AFC Championship Game.
Good Lord, what happened to them award: Atlanta Falcons
Before the season started, I ended up picking the Dallas Cowboys to win the NFC, even though I was high on Atlanta all offseason. The Falcons have the playmakers on offense and improved their offensive line, and that side of the ball has played relatively well. It’s their defense which is a wreck.
They are near the bottom in Football Outsiders’ DVOA and 31st in passing defense. They are 23rd in yards per play allowed. They have ZERO pass rush, even though they’ve spent multiple high draft picks on that position. Dan Quinn will be fired at season’s end and they will start anew.
At least they didn’t fake it award: Miami Dolphins
Oh, wait, we aren’t any good award: Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals just benched Andy Dalton and signaled a move for the future. They are currently 0-8 and in a position to get the top pick in the draft. And look, I understand with a new head coach that it takes time for things to start gelling, but the Bengals look worse under Zac Taylor than they did under Marvin Lewis.
Geoff Schwartz is smarter than y’all award: Chicago Bears
I might have been the only pundit who thought the Bears weren’t going to the playoffs. In my preview column before the season, I noted that quarterback Mitchell Trubisky played poorly in certain spots last season, even though the team won games. I didn’t like what was said about him this offseason regarding the playbook, and it’s showing whenever we see him play. The Bears will need to find another quarterback next season.