We're officially at the midway point of a ridiculous NFL season, and it's time to recap the most important aspects of the year. I'll go through projected end-of-season power rankings, give out some awards, and pick the All-House team. Normally, I stick with the NFL awards as a template, but I felt compelled to add the Trench Tyrant of the Year and Most Improved Player awards solely out of the goodness of my heart...and it also highlights players who deserve some immense recognition that the usual awards don't take into account.
Photo: Rusty Jones/AP Photo
End of Season Power Ranking Predictions
*movement is based on Week 1 Power Rankings vs where I predict each team to end up by the end of the year*
Seattle Seahawks (+23)
New Yok Giants (+19)
Chicago Bears (+13)
Seahawks: Seattle has proven me and bunch of other people wrong all year long. They have the strongest draft class from 2022, Geno is playing like a top-5 QB, and Pete Carroll is proving he still has it as a head coach.
Key Players - Geno Smith, Uchenna Nwosu, Tariq Woolen
New York Giants: Daniel Jones is having a career year, Brian Daboll is a Coach of the Year candidate, and the defense has played lights out despite numerous injuries. If not for the stellar play by the Eagles and Cowboys, the Giants may be one of the best teams in the NFC.
Key Players - Saquon Barkley, Andrew Thomas, Dexter Lawrence
Chicago Bears: I don't think the Bears will finish with a winning record, but this is a scrappy football team. Justin Fields progression this season alone has been a sight to see, and this young, electric defense has been energetic. The Bears should string together a good amount of wins in the second half of the season.
Key Players - Justin Fields, Teven Jenkins, Eddie Jackson
New Orleans Saints (-16)
Indianapolis Colts (-15)
Denver Broncos (-15)
Saints: With a QB carousel, multiple injuries on offense and defense, and Dennis Allen not living up to the hype, it's clear to see Sean Payton was one of the few things holding this franchise together. Even with big free agent spending, this team is unraveling at the seams.
Underwhelming Players - Andrus Peat, Paulson Adebo, Bradley Roby
Colts: Oh boy, I could go on and on about how horribly the Colts are managed by coaches and by ownership. JT can't get going, the O-line went from one of the best to one of the worst in just 3 seasons, and this defense is littered with awful play.
Underwhelming Players - Jonathan Taylor, The Entire Offensive Line, Kenny Moore II
Broncos: I mentioned the Broncos in my quarter-season recap, and not much has changed. Russell is playing a tad bit better, but still nowhere near where he should be, and Hackett continues to make horrible decisions in crucial situations.
Underwhelming Players - Russell Wilson, Albert Okwuegbunam, DeShawn Williams
Photo: Bob Levey/Getty Images
Listed below are my personal picks for individual awards, with a couple of new ones added to the slate.
Comeback Player of the Year: Saquon Barkley - Running Back - New York Giants
Runner up: Geno Smith - Quarterback - Seattle Seahawks
Most Improved Player*: Geno Smith - Quarterback - Seattle Seahawks
Runner up: Tua Tagovailoa - Quarterback - Miami Dolphins
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Sauce Gardner - Cornerback - New York Jets
Runner up: Tariq Woolen - Cornerback - Seattle Seahawks
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Kenneth Walker - Running Back - Seattle Seahawks
Runner up: Chris Olave - Wide Receiver - New Orleans Saints
Trench Tyrant of the Year*: Andrew Thomas - Offensive Tackle - New York Giants
Runner up: Tristan Wirfs - Offensive Tackle - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Special Teams Player of the Year: Ryan Succop - Kicker - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Runner up: Justin Tucker - Kicker - Baltimore Ravens
Defensive Player of the Year: Matthew Judon - Edge Rusher - Pittsburgh Steelers
Runner up: Micah Parsons - Edge Rusher - Dallas Cowboys
Offensive Player of the Year: Tyreek Hill - Wide Receiver - Miami Dolphins
Runner up: Nick Chubb - Running Back - Cleveland Browns
Coach of the Year: Nick Sirriani - Philadelphia Eagles
Runner up: Brian Daboll - New York Giants
Most Valuable Player: Jalen Hurts - Quarterback - Philadelphia Eagles
Runner up: Josh Allen - Quarterback - Buffalo Bills
* - denotes new award
Saquon has dealt with the injury bug over the last few years, and there was a lot on uncertainty with the all-star running back before this season. He's exploded in a massive way and seems to be back to his roots that we saw his rookie year.
Geno went from second round starter, to career backup, and is now not only having his best season, but is playing like one of the best QBs in the entire league. This is even more impressive considering a young offensive line, a rookie running back, and only two good wide receivers on the roster.
Sauce has exceeded all expectations set for him during his rookie year. Besides a big chunk play given up to Stefon Diggs, he has locked down every receiver he's faced. He's allowed just 7 pass yards in man coverage this season on 13 targets, and he's allowed only 189 pass yards total in his rookie year so far.
Photo: Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports
Taking over for the injured Rashaad Penny, Walker has taken off and played lights out. Since taking over as the starter, he has 424 rush yards and 6 TDs across 4 games. For reference, fellow OROY candidate Dameon Pierce's best 4 game stretch so far has been for 365 yards and 1 TD from Week 5 to Week 9, although he did score 3 TDs between Week 3 and Week 5. KW3 should be the clear cut OROY as the year progresses.
Andrew Thomas looked like a bust after his rookie year, but has been fantastic in the past 2 seasons. Across 308 pass block snaps this year, he has allowed just 9 pressures and no sacks, giving him a pressure rate allowed of just 2.9%. There are some tackles who have played better as pass blockers, like Laremy Tunsil and Tristan Wirfs, but run blocking is where Andrew Thomas gets the edge, as he has a run blocking grade of 83.4, highest among offensive tackles.
Ryan Succop has been uber-reliable for an underwhelming offense. He's made 22 out of 24 field goals this year, putting him on pace for the most field goal makes and attempts since David Akers in 2011. He also has made all 8 of his field goal attempts from 40-49 yards, which is the most out of all kickers this year.
While Garrett has played better on a snap to snap basis, Judon has tremendous production. He's 2nd in the NFL with 44 pressures, and he leads the league in sacks with 11.5. Add in 10 TFLs and 3 fumble recoveries, he has been around the ball all year long.
Tyreek is currently on pace to shatter the receiving yards record in a single NFL season. He is the only receiver with over 1,100 receiving yards, with the next closest being Justin Jefferson with 867 yards, and Tyreek is on pace to record 2,085 receiving yards. He's been the perfect target for Tua, and he's having a career year in Mike McDaniel's brand new offense.
Nick Sirianni leads the only undefeated team in the NFL and has them playing at a high level. You could make the argument they have one of the easiest schedules in the league, but unlike the Steelers from a few years back, this team is playing some sensational football. Jalen Hurts is playing lights out, the offensive line is one of the best in the league, and this defense is feasting on their opponents.
Anyone who says Hurts isn't the MVP hasn't seen him play this year. He is what makes the Eagles offense move effectively and efficiently, as he ranks 2nd in lowest turnover worth play rate at 1.6%, while also ranking 2nd in yards per pass attempt with 8.5. He also has the highest adjusted completion rate of 81.5%, which excludes dropped passes, spikes, throw aways, and batted passes. Add in over 2,000 pass yards and 12 TDs, along with over 300 yards on the ground and 6 TDs, he's been one of the best players in the NFL this season.
Photo: Kate Frese/For PhillyVoice
QB: Jalen Hurts - Philadelphia Eagles
HB: Nick Chubb - Cleveland Browns
WR: Tyreek Hill - Miami Dolphins
WR: Stefon Diggs - Buffalo Bills
TE: Travis Kelce - Kansas City Chiefs
Flex: Cooper Kupp - Los Angeles Rams
LT: Andrew Thomas - New York Giants
LG: Joel Bitonio - Cleveland Browns
C: Creed Humphrey - Kansas City Chiefs
RG: Michael Onwenu - New England Patriots
RT: Tristian Wirfs - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Edge: Matt Judon - New England Patriots
Edge: Micah Parsons - Dallas Cowboys
IDL: Aaron Donald - Los Angeles Rams
IDL: Quinnen Williams - New York Jets
LB: Bobby Wagner - Los Angeles Rams
LB: Demario Davis - New Orleans Saints
LB: Matt Milano - Buffalo Bills
CB: Jalen Ramsey - Los Angeles Rams
CB: Darius Slay - Philadelphia Eagles
Safety: Minkah Fitzpatrick - Pittsburgh Steelers
Safety: Talanoa Hufanga - San Francisco 49ers
DB: Sauce Gardner - New York Jets
K: Ryan Succop - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
P: Tommy Townsend - Kansas City Chiefs
KR: Devin Duvernay - Baltimore Ravens
PR: Jaelon Darden - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
ST: Jeremy Reaves - Washington Commanders
LS: Matt Orzech - Los Angeles Rams
QBs: Josh Allen, Geno Smith
RBs: Derrick Henry,
Receivers: AJ Brown, Mark Andrews
O-Line: Laremy Tunsil, Lane Johnson, Chris Lindstrom
D-Line: Myles Garrett, Dexter Lawrence, Chris Jones
LBs: Lavonte David, Fred Warner
DBs: Jack Jones, Patrick Surtain II, Antoine Winfield Jr
STs: Justin Tucker, Michael Dickson
Photo: Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers
A lot can changed from now until the end of the season. There's plenty of good football left to be played and even more players who have a lot to prove this year. Expect some shakeups in the awards and All-House team as we get closer to the end of the season. Until then, enjoy one of the wildest years in NFL history!