After a full half of the NFL Season behind us, Here are my first half award winners and playoff prediction..
NFL MVP: QB Aaron Rodgers; Green Bay Packers - Rodgers has been lights out through the first half of the season, and the main reason why Green Bay is the early Super Bowl favorite. Despite the struggle in the run game and ranking towards the bottom of the NFL in defense, Rodgers has led the team to an 8-0 record. He is on pace to throw for over 5,000yds 48tds and only 6int, including a league leading 72.5 completion percentage.
Offensive POY: HB Fred Jackson; Buffalo Bills - I have Jackson edging out Matt Forte HB of the Chicago Bears. Both backs are having a great start and the main reason why both teams are enjoying early success with their 5-3 records. Jackson has been a huge part to Buffalo's turn around season and is on pace to rush for 1,600yds 12tds with a 5.4yds/carry and 60rec with nearly 800yds receiving.
Defensive POY: OLB DeMarcus Ware; Dallas Cowboys - Despite the early roller coaster the Cowboys have been on with their 4-4 record, DeMarcus Ware is still playing at a high level and will be key if Dallas can turn the second half around and make a push for the NFC East title. Ware has 34tk 12sk and 2FF.
Offensive ROY: QB Cam Newton; Carolina Panthers - Newton has been outstanding and looks nothing like a raw project that many considered Newton to be coming out of the draft. Cam is on his way to breaking many rookie records and is the #6 passer in yards with 2,393 11td 9int and a 87.1 QB rating, also rushing for another 319yds and 7tds. Honorable mention has to go to QB Andy Dalton of the Cincinnati Bengals, who has his team 6-2 1st place in the AFC North.
Defensive ROY: OLB Aldon Smith; San Francisco 49ers - The 49ers are ranked #1 vs the rush this season and #1 in points allowed giving up only 14.8 this season. Aldon Smith, like Newton, was considered to be a project and someone that probably wouldn't peak until year 3. Smith has 6.5 sacks and leads the 49ers in that category and is a big key to the success on defense. Honorable mention, Von Miller OLB Denver Broncos.
Comeback POY: QB Matthew Stafford; Detroit Lions - The Lions are off to a hot start and is one of the few season surprise teams this season after years of being in the cellar. Stafford has had his share of injuries but has been healthy through the first half of the season and has his Lions 6-2 2nd place in the NFC North.
Coach of the Year: Jim Harbaugh; San Francisco 49ers - The 49ers are off to a 7-1 record and is cruising in the NFC West. Despite a similar roster to last seasons 6-10 finish coached by Mike Singletary, Harbaugh has this team in the right direction and is off to its best start since 1997 when the team started 11-1. The 49ers are on its way to its first winning season since 2002 when it won the NFC West at 10-6 and that was the last time they made a playoff appearance.
1. Baltimore Ravens 12-4
2. NY Jets 11-5
3. Houston Texans 11-5
4. San Diego Chargers 8-8
5. Pittsburgh Steelers 11-5
6. New England Patriots 10-6
Wild Card: Patriots over Texans ; Steelers over Chargers
Divisional: Ravens over Patriots ; Jets over Steelers
AFC Championship: Jets over Ravens
1. Green Bay Packers 15-1
2. San Francisco 49ers 13-3
3. NY Giants 11-5
4. Atlanta Falcons 10-6
5. Detroit Lions 11-5
6. New Orleans Saints 10-6
Wild Card: Giants over Saints ; Falcons over Lions
Divisional: Packers over Falcons ; 49ers over Giants
NFC Championship: Packers over 49ers
SUPERBOWL: Packers over Jets