Mid-season NFL awards
We have reached the halfway mark of the 2018 NFL season and we have seen a ton of different action. There have had positive surprises, such as the emergences of guys like James Conner and some of the game’s biggest stars returning from injury, disappointing teams like the Raiders and Giants as well as those up-and-down rides we have watched in Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Browns. With that being said, there have been some players, coaches and teams that have really stood out so far and it’s time to point out the most apparent ones, by telling you who I think should win the major NFL awards if the season ended today. To qualify for any of them, the individuals have to have appeared in pretty much every game and made an impact. While they are personal accomplishments to some degree, the influence they have made on their teams, especially when it comes to the Most Valuable Player and Coach of the Year obvously, effects the voting process for me. I will present my front-runner and mention the other candidates I at least considered.
A couple of weeks into the NFL season, I did an in-depth analysis on the Chiefs young signal-caller and pointed out why I was wrong on him coming into the draft one-and-a-half years ago. While I knew he had all the arm talent and athleticism you want to see, it’s been Mahomes’ intelligence and ability to process information quickly that has left me speechless. Through the first eight games of this season, he is leading the league in passing yards, touchdowns (26) and he is second in both 20+ yard and 40+ yard completions. He has thrown for at least 300 yards in every single week since the season-opener when his team put up 38 points anyway and he tossed four TDs.
To be a gunslinger like him and having turned the ball over just six times is unbelievable. He diagnoses coverages pre-snap and then adjusts mid-play so well that you don’t ever feel like he’s a first-year starter. Mahomes is under full control in this Chiefs offense and other than the New England game I haven’t felt like he was ever really fooled and he came back in the second half to almost pull it off in an epic 43-40 battle. There are playmakers all over the field for Kansas City and not only does Andy Reid find a way to get them all involved, but they also have the right guy to get the ball to them.
At this moment Mahomes is the most dangerous quarterback in the game. He can beat defenses from within the pocket, but even more so when he extends plays. There is never a moment where you should feel safe that he won’t go over the top, but at the same time, he understands when the ball needs to go underneath. The Chiefs defense is second to last in total yards allowed and they are still outscoring the opposition by more than 10 a game because of what the quarterback does.
Also considered: Todd Gurley, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers