Put more than a dozen of NFL Media's analysts in a room (ok, maybe not physically, but digitally/metaphorically) and have them throw out their names for the 2015 NFL season awards just around the halfway pole. You're bound to get some disagreement, but some near consensus illuminates the narrative as we head into Week 9.
|New England Patriots QB Tom Brady||16|
|Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton||1|
Shout out to Gil Brandt for torpedoing unanimity here, but let's be real. Brady's off to an incredible start as the Pats have jumped out to 7-0. And whereas his eternal foil in Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning has had to entertain calls of 2015 being the end of his career while leading his team out to the same unbeaten record, Brady is riding the post-Deflategate high to a ridiculous stat line and no such speculation.
Off. Player of the Year
|New England Patriots QB Tom Brady||4|
|New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski||4|
|Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones||4|
|Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers||3|
|New York Giants WR Odell Beckham, Jr.||2|
|St. Louis Rams RB Todd Gurley||1|
That's Ike Taylor with your vote for Just Todd Gurley for OPOY.
There's some logical dissonance between everyone getting behind Brady for MVP and then spreading this one out, but whatever.
And Odell? Julio has 20 more receptions and 240 more yards with just 1 less touchdown. GTFOH. If anything, Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins should've picked up the WR2 votes.
Def. Player of the Year
|Denver Broncos CB Aqib Talib||4|
|Oakland Raiders CB Charles Woodson||4|
|Carolina Panthers LB Luke Kuechly||3|
|Houston Texans DE J.J. Watt||2|
|Carolina Panthers CB Josh Norman||2|
|Denver Broncos OLB Von Miller||1|
|Philadelphia Eagles DE Fletcher Cox||1|
|Green Bay Packers LB Clay Matthews||1|
I'll admit some surprise that Aaron Donald didn't at least merit a vote as perhaps the best candidate on one of the NFL's best defenses, but I get it. The Rams have barely pierced the national consciousness in a decade in any real fashion outside of the draft, and the defense is more about collective excellence than individual performance.
Besides, Donald will get his fair share of love in the years to come.
Off. Rookie of the Year
|St. Louis Rams RB Todd Gurley||11|
|Oakland Raiders WR Amari Cooper||5|
|Minnesota Vikings WR Stefon Diggs||1|
Rams-Vikings this weekend is a football game I think we will be watching.
Def. Rookie of the Year
|Kansas City Chiefs CB Marcus Peters||9|
|Buffalo Bills CB Ronald Darby||4|
|New York Jets DE Leonard Williams||3|
|Pittsburgh Steelers LB Bud Dupree||1|
Plenty of wiggle room in the second half here. Texans CB Kevin Johnson and Packers S Damarious Randall are both coming off of huge weekends.
Coach of the Year
|New England Patriots HC Bill Belichick||5|
|Atlanta Falcons HC Dan Quinn||4|
|Carolina Panthers HC Ron Rivera||2|
|Oakland Raiders HC Jack Del Rio||2|
|Cincinnati Bengals HC Marvin Lewis||2|
|Minnesota Vikings HC Mike Zimmer||1|
|Green Bay Packers HC Mike McCarthy||1|
|Denver Broncos DC Wade Phillips||1|
Oh Dave Dameshek, you rebel you, voting for a coordinator.
Comeback Players of the Year
|Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer||10|
|Kansas City Chiefs S Eric Berry||4|
|Arizona Cardinals RB Chris Johnson||2|
|Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson||1|
|San Francisco 49ers LB NaVorro Bowman||1|
Palmer's producing, but the Berry story is a great one beating back cancer. This could be a tough vote at season's end...especially if the Rams can catch the Cards in the NFC West.
Who wins the awards (besides JTG for OROY obviously...) for you thus far?