NFL Midseason Recap

By: ZACHARY JONES / STAFF REPORTER


MVP - Josh Allen (Buffalo Bills Quarterback

Josh Allen is having an elite start to the season, starting off 6-1 with multiple big wins, including a win over the Tennessee Titans, Kansas City Chiefs, and the Green Bay Packers. He has also helped Stephon Diggs to pace for the best season of his career.

Offensive Player of the Year - Saquon Barkley (New York Giants Running Back)

Barkley has been surprisingly well with an offense that hasn’t looked amazing so far this season. Regardless of how the offense performs, Saquon has been a guaranteed game-changer. He is near the top of the league in rushing yards, and he is still highly involved in the passing game in New York. This offense has seen him lined up in many positions, including wildcat and out wide. Saquon has been elite this season, and his team's record reflects as they actively sit at 5-2, being one of the better teams in the NFC.


Defensive Player of the Year - Darius Slay (Philadelphia Eagles Cornerback)

Unlike years past, Darius Slay isn’t an edge rusher like the award normally caters to, but this year could be the year we see something different. Slay is having the best season of his career, and it shows, as he is leading the league's best defense to an undefeated record. He is the leader of this Philadelphia secondary that has allowed under 200 yards passing per game, and grabbed ten interceptions. He ranks 6th in pass deflections with eight, and fifth in interceptions with three. He has proved he can shutdown the opponents WR1 when against the Vikings he allowed Justin Jefferson only six catches for 48 yards.

Jets running back Breece Hall (20) rushes past multiple Packers defenders in pursuit of the endzone. (Photo: Jeff Hanisch for USA TODAY Sports)

Offensive Rookie of the Year - Kenneth Walker III (Seattle Seahawks Running Back

Walker has been an electric runner behind a youthful Seattle Offensive line this year following the season ending injury to opening day starter Rashaad Penny. Walker has seemed to be the best rookie rusher following an injury to the Jets Breece Hall. While he may not get the receiving volume Hall did, he has excelled as a runner so far this season. He has simply been one of the league's most efficient rushers averaging over 5 yards per carry on the season. The former second rounder also looks like one of the better closers in the league as he tallies 7.5 yards per carry in the fourth quarter and has ran for 4 out of his 5 touchdowns on the season in the fourth as well. Walker has ultimately lived up the expectations of a Doak Walker award winner, and helped lead his team to a start nobody expected.


Defensive Rookie of the Year - Tariq Woolen (Seattle Seahawks Cornerback)

Woolen is a one of the best combinations of athleticism and size that this most recent draft produced. Woolen was instantly catapulted into the CB1 spot for a Seattle secondary that has struggled in recent years. Tariq has instantly produced in this role putting up great numbers in every category. The big corner finds himself 8th on the team in tackles, 1st in the NFL in interceptions, and 11th in the NFL in pass deflections.


Comeback Player of the Year - Saquon Barkley (New York Giants Running Back)

Saquon has been the focal point of the New York Giants offense, and helped to lead the squad to a 5-1 start in his first full season since 2020. Barkley is the clear favorite for the award based on individual statistics as well as team performance. As a rusher Saquon is 1st in yards and 6th in touchdowns while also averaging just under 5 yards per carry. As a receiver Barkley leads the Giants in receptions and is 3rd in yards for the squad. He has proven weekly this year that he is the player the Giants intended for him to be.

New York Giants first-year head coach Brian Daboll celebrates his first win of the season in the locker room with his team. (Photo: Giants.com)

Coach of the Year - Brian Daboll (New York Giants Head Coach)

Daboll seems to be one of those players coaches much like last year's CoTY Mike Vrable. The case for Daboll is obvious at the midseason mark as he turned a franchise that has been bad for a long time into a competitive team. The 5-2 record should prove the impact Daboll has on the roster as a coach, and the turnaround for the team should hold him at the forefront. Quarterback Daniel Jones has looked like a start worthy quarterback this year, limiting turnovers and finding a way to win games despite the very depleted receiving core he’s had due to injuries. Daboll is a lock for Coach of the Year especially if the team continues to find ways to win regardless of the poor circumstances.


Super Bowl Prediction - Buffalo Bills defeat the San Francisco 49ers

I know the immediate thoughts are probably where are the Philadelphia Eagles, but ultimately the playoffs are one game series and I lean towards the 49ers to win that head to head matchup if it is to come. With the recent addition of Christian McCaffrey paired with a playoff experienced team, the 49ers should be the team to beat in the NFC. For the AFC I think the clear cut favorites get it done this year. The Buffalo Bills host the best quarterback, wide receiver, and maybe even the best defense in the NFL. Josh Allen and the Bills were already a coin flip away from the big game last year, and I think they will change their fortune with as unstoppable as they have looked. I think the Bills win in a 30-22 game behind the efforts of Josh Allen and Co.

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