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Ouhaj: NFL midseason awards

| Friday, October 30, 2020

Can you believe it?! The NFL season is already at its halfway point. In a season many thought would be impossible to play during the COVID-19 pandemic, here we are. It is now time to evaluate who my favorites are to win the various NFL awards with the halfway mark. Today, I will be breaking down who my MVP, OROY, DROY, DPOY and OPOY are going into week eight.

 

Most Valuable Player — Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks

Can you believe Russell Wilson has never received an MVP vote during his nine NFL seasons? It is hard to believe, but the former Wisconsin Badger quarterback has been lights out this season. After breaking the touchdown record through his first three games in which he threw for 14 touchdowns, Wilson has guided a rather terrible Seahawks team to a 5-1 record. Wilson deserves all the praise even after his poor performance against the Arizona Cardinals. Wilson is currently on pace to break Peyton Manning’s 2013 touchdown record of 55 this season with 59 touchdowns. If he can keep up the rate he is now at, he is undoubtedly the league’s MVP.

Honorable mentions: Tom Brady, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

 

Offensive Rookie of the Year — Justin Herbert, QB, Los Angeles Chargers

My favorite draft prospect going into the 2020-2021 season, Herbert, has exceeded expectations. While the Chargers record sits at 2-4, Herbert has been phenomenal going up against Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes. Herbert has 1,542 yards, 12 touchdowns and just three interceptions since taking over the starting role in week two. While Joe Burrow has been great, Herbert has played even better. In my opinion, when facing the three quarterbacks mentioned earlier, he has easily been the best quarterback on the field. The future looks bright in L.A. with this young rookie.

Honorable mentions: Joe Burrow, QB, Cincinnati Bengals; Justin Jefferson, WR, Minnesota Vikings; James Robinson II, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

 

Defensive Rookie of the Year — Patrick Queen, LB, Baltimore Ravens

Taken late in the first round, Queen has been what many consider a steal for the Ravens. The young linebacker out of LSU has posted 32 solo tackles, two forced fumbles, two sacks and a touchdown. Whenever I watch the Ravens play, I always notice Queen flying around the field and making play after play. The Ravens defense is among the top three units in the league, and when you add someone like Queen, you only get better. The Defensive Rookie of the Year race will be a close one with the immense talent we have seen this year, but I believe if Patrick keeps up the pace, he will walk away with this honor.

Honorable mentions: Chase Young, DE, Washington Football Team; Antoine Winfield Jr, S, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Jaylon Johnson, CB, Chicago Bears

 

Defensive Player of the Year — Aaron Donald, DT, Los Angeles Rams

You could see this coming from a mile away, but once again, Donald finds himself as the best defensive player in the league. He currently has eight sacks, two forced fumbles and 12 solo tackles. As someone who demands triple teams at times, Donald is a player you cannot gameplan for, and no matter what you try, he is always disrupting the pocket. The first-ballot Hall of Famer will go down among the best to ever play the game and will more than likely notch his third Defensive Player of the Year award.

Honorable mention: Myles Garrett, DE, Cleveland Browns

 

Offensive Player of the Year — Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals

When you add DeAndre Hopkins to a pass-happy offense, chances are your quarterback is going to flourish. That is exactly what has happened with last year’s offensive rookie of the year, Kyler Murray. Murray is not in the MVP conversation because of his inconsistent performances against the Carolina Panthers and Detroit Lions, and even then, he was not playing terribly. However, through eight weeks, Kyler has been the most electric player I have watched this season. With 20 total touchdowns (13 passing and seven rushing), Murray is doing it all. This pick may surprise you as you can argue Russell Wilson and Patrick Mahomes deserve this award more, but no. Murray deserves respect. Murray went toe-to-toe with the undefeated Seahawks and won. Murray may not be having the same season as Lamar Jackson last year, but he for sure is doing everything he can to put the Cardinals in contention for a deep playoff run.

Honorable mentions: Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks; Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs; Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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