Mid-Season Team MVP Awards – AFC North
We’re at the midway point of the season, with every team in the league having played either seven or eight of its 16 games. This feels like a perfect time to check in with each and every one of the NFL’s 32 teams, and hand out some mid-season Most Valuable Player awards. Let’s get started:
Other articles in the series:
Pittsburgh Steelers – Le’Veon Bell
These are not your Father’s Pittsburgh Steelers. For a start, they are a measly 3-4. Even worse, the usually dominating defensive team has just 10 sacks (31st) and 5 takeaways this season. Suffice to say, the team’s midpoint MVP does not come from the defensive side of the ball…
The MVP comes instead in the form of the man who has made the most difference in Steel City. Before rookie running back Le’Veon Bell came back into the side against the Minnesota Vikings at Wembley in week 4, the Steelers were 0-3 and deserved to lose all three games.
Bell changed that. In the loss to the Vikings in which Bell was the lone bright spark, the powerful back ran for two touchdowns despite it being the rookie’s very first NFL regular season game. Pittsburgh then won their next two with Bell as the “Bell-Cow” back – riding him for 93 yards on 19 carries to beat the rival Ravens in a must-win home game in week 7.
Bell hasn’t been consistent, putting up a stinker against both the Jets in week 6 and the Raiders in week 8. But that could be attributed to the fact that he is working with one of the worst offensive lines in football.
His presence in the backfield, and his ability to make tough yards up the middle when they matter the most, have changed the fortunes of this football team; and for that, he earns the Steelers mid-season MVP.