What a difference a year makes. Last year after 8 games we were sporting a 3-5 record and 1-2 after beating Oakland. We had gone into the 8th game reeling from a 45-10 loss to the Detroit Lions.
This year, we are 5-3, 2-0 in division play, and on a 3 game winning streak. We have passed through the toughest part of a brutal schedule and have a chance at going 13-3. Our QB is the number one quarterback in the league with a 108.6 QB rating and completing 69.5% of his passes and over 2400 yards. 20 TDs to 6 Int ratio. We have a top 5 offense married to a Top 10 defense (No. 10 in overall defense) and a fantastic special teams group.
So, for fun, I thought we should have some discussion and hand out some mid-season awards.
Offensive Rookie of the Half Year Award
Has to go to Ronnie Hillman as Osweiler isn't playing a whole bunch and all the rest of the rookies are on defense or haven't played. Ronnie has show some flash as a nice change of pace runner with 32 rushes for 140 yards (4.4 yd ave.) with a long of 31 yards.
Defensive Rookie of the Half Year Award
Derek Wolfe has to be leading in this catagory with 3 sacks, 25 tackles, and a pass defensed. He's been playing all over the front four and causing havoc. Danny Trevathan rates a runner-up with 17 tackles and a sack.
Special Team Award
Wow, who do you give this to? Britton Colquitt is proving to be one of the best punters in the league with 31 punts for a 46.8 yard average and the ability to put them inside the 5 yard line. Matt Prater is one of the best kickers in the league, he's perfect so far this year - 10 for 10 with a 53 yarder as his longest. After last night's game in Cincy, I would give the the trophy to Trindon Holliday for his electrifying 105 yard kick return for a touchdown.
Offensive Player of the Half Year Award
Tough choice. On one hand, you have Demaryius Thomas with 45 receptions for 756 yards and 4 TDs with a 16.8 yard average. On the other hand, you have Eric Decker with a team-high 46 receptions for 583 yards and another team-high 7 TDs. A real toss-up. Can't forget Willis McGahee and his 620 yards of rushing and 4 TDs.
Defensive Player of the Half Year Award
An even tougher choice. Von Miller is the obvious choice here with 9 sacks (2nd in NFL), 33 tackles and a forced fumble. But don't forget about the breakout season Wesley Woodyard is having. Tied for 4th in the NFL with 75 tackles, plus 3 sacks, 2 interceptions, a forced fumble and 3 passes defensed. And Champ is still the Champ. Still arguably the best cornerback in the league, consistently getting the job done on an island each week.
Coach of the Half Year Award
It's gotta be Jack Del Rio at this point. The Broncos are 10th in total defense through 8 games. Last year we finished 20th in total defense, we finished last in the league in 2010 and 20th in 2008. He's got the defense playing lights out, swarming to the ball and intimidating opposing teams. Come the end of the season, John Elway needs to steal Jack's iPhone, duct tape him to a chair and lock the door. Don't let this guy get away. Please don't let us have a 9th defensive coordinator in 9 years.
Comeback Player of the Half Year Award
Can this be given to anyone but Manning? Maybe Chris Kuper until he went down with another ankle injury yesterday. But seriously, a 36 year old QB leading the NFL and claiming he's still not 100%?
Midseason MVP Award
I didn't list Peyton Manning in the Offensive POY category. Gotta give someone else a chance to win something. I think he's leading most pundits lists for the NFL MVP, so the team MVP is a given. 203 for 292, 2404 yards, 69.5% accuracy (leading the NFL), 108.6 QB rating (leading the NFL), 20 TD and 6 interceptions.
The Rod Smith Award for the Best Undrafted Player
And just for fun,
The Shannon Sharpe Award for the Best Quote
I don't have anyone to nominate, I leave it to you, the reader to nominate anyone with a great quote.
Please feel free to disagree with my picks, nominate who you think should be considered. Let the discussion begin!