The MMQB Midseason All-Pros, Awards Winners

By
Greg A. Bedard
· More from Greg·
(David Welker/Getty Images :: Bob Levey/Getty Images :: Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
giovani bernard (David Welker/Getty Images :: Bob Levey/Getty Images :: Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

We’re at the halfway mark of the 2013 season, so The MMQB is pressing pause to take a look back at the storylines, teams and players that made an impact or headlines in the first half of the season. After nine weeks of studying tape, Greg A. Bedard unveils his midseason All-Pro team and awards winners.

Offense

QB: Peyton Manning, Broncos. Believe it or not, I debated a while about this pick, with it coming down to Manning and Philip Rivers, and Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers close behind. It’s extremely difficult to ignore Rivers’ 72.2 completion percentage, and his lesser supporting cast. But Manning’s 29 touchdowns against Rivers’ 17 won out—for now.

RB: LeSean McCoy, Eagles; Jamaal Charles, Chiefs. McCoy leads the league with 777 rushing yards, and he’s fumbled just once. It won’t be long before critics knock McCoy as a “system back,” but Shady is just tremendous, especially in space. The only question is if he can last the season as the workhorse.

As for the second pick, Frank Gore, once the 49ers remembered he’s the man in their offense, has taken off and is having a great season, with seven rushes of 20 or more yards (compared to one for Charles). Still, you can make a convincing argument that there may not be a more valuable non-quarterback than Charles. He has accounted for 39 percent of the Chiefs’ yards, and half the offensive touchdowns, and is running with tremendous vision.

FB: Anthony Sherman, Chiefs. Bruce Miller is once again doing good work for the 49ers, but the young Sherman has been a little more consistent in the blocking department. Sherman’s trade from the Cardinals in May (for cornerback Javier Arenas) was a huge boost for the fullback.

Calvin Johnson's 329-yard performance against Dallas in Week 8 was the second-best single-game showing of all-time, just seven yards from the record. (Rick Osentoski/AP)
Calvin Johnson’s 329-yard performance against Dallas in Week 8 was the second-best single-game showing of all-time, just seven yards from the record. (Rick Osentoski/AP)

TE: Jimmy Graham, Saints. He won’t be mistaken for pre-surgery Rob Gronkowski with his mediocre blocking skills, but Graham’s the most dynamic weapon of the group at this point. His 15.2 yards per catch average and 10 touchdowns are well above the followers, like Jordan Cameron, Antonio Gates, Tony Gonzalez and Jason Witten.

WR: Calvin Johnson, Lions; A.J. Green, Bengals. Oh boy, this one was a doozy. You could make a convincing case for any number of guys, including Antonio Brown, Dez Bryant, Jordy Nelson, Pierre Garcon, Andre Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Wes Welker and DeSean Jackson. In the end, the tiebreaker was the most talent. The last three off were Brown, who leads the league with 61 receptions, Bryant (first among outside receivers with eight touchdowns) and Nelson, who has been terrific all around virtually the entire season. Brown was knocked out because he’s been a little aided by the Steelers trailing so much. Nelson’s 43 catches just aren’t enough. And Bryant’s been held under 50 yards three times.

OT: Joe Staley, 49ers (L); Doug Free, Cowboys (R). What made this choice so difficult was the fact that there are no longer any dominant left tackles in the game. There are plenty of good ones, like Nate Solder, Andrew Whitworth, Joe Thomas and Jordan Gross. But there are none that make you say, “That guy is Canton bound.” Solder probably has the highest ceiling—he might indeed win this in his second season at left tackle before the year is over—but Staley gets the nod for now because he’s had the higher degree of difficulty: Packers, Seahawks, Colts, Rams, Texans and Cardinals. You can make an argument he didn’t allow a sack in any of those games. And Staley is the toughest and most rugged of the bunch. On the right side, Free has done such terrific work that you could call him the league’s most improved player. He’s been a standout, especially on the ground.

OG: Evan Mathis, Eagles (L); Louis Vasquez, Broncos (R). Mathis is simply the best guard in the game, and it’s not even really close. Just a phenomenal athlete and top-notch technician. Vasquez was one of the most underrated free-agent signings of the offseason, coming over from the rival Chargers and instantly stabilizing a line that has endured injury woes at left tackle and center. The Broncos have the league’s best pass-blocking line (Manning surely helps), and needs to be represented.

C: Chris Myers, Texans. Houston hasn’t gotten the results it’s used to out of the zone blocking scheme or in the standings, but that’s been more about the quarterback play than anything. Myers has been a rock-solid standout in every game except against the Chiefs and nose tackle Dontari Poe, but nobody’s been able to block them or him with regularity.

Go to Page 2 to check out my midseason All-Pro defense

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49 comments
AlanHawkins
AlanHawkins

Jamaal Charles over Peyton Manning?  No way you made your case on that nonsense. He is not the best running back, not the most vital player in the league and he has done NOTHING special this year.  But Peyton has redefined the position so often they will end up naming the award after him when he is gone. Take your own measurements and plug in Manning's numbers and you will be embarrassed to think Charles deserves even a mention in the debate. You lose credibility as a pundit to propose something so absurd as Charles over Manning. Ridiculous takes make your articles not unpopular but unworthy. 

CBgB
CBgB

It's interesting how a lot of analysts/writers don't like going with the obvious - they need to carve their own trail.  Charles over Manning?  ha.  I'll tell you what, let's both start a team - you take the most valuable player and I'll settle for Manning.  really?  And you considered Rivers for OPoY because of his completion %.. lol.. yes, his 72.2% makes Manning's 71.2% look terrible.. hopefully the remainder of Manning's stats, which dominate Rivers, holds up 'for now'...


JP3434
JP3434

Chris Clemons comeback > Darrelle Revis' comeback.  I would say Clemon's impact is bigger than Darrelle's.

Mood_Indigo
Mood_Indigo

What?!! Vernon Davis not even getting a mention in the list of TE's?! Davis, is by far the best overall TE in the league. All of the ones in the list except Gronk are below average blockers.  Comparing players based solely on numbers without considering schemes in which they play, and not considering blocking and other unmeasured variables, is simpleminded analysis. Works for fantasy football fans, I guess.

gyffesme
gyffesme

Given how many were shouting for the Cowboys to release Free, I'd think he's GOTTA be in the running for Comeback Player. Sure, it's not from injury, but he was AWFUL the last few years, and last year was a NIGHTMARE of holding calls and false-start penalties.

BenMyers
BenMyers

Comeback Player of the year?  Well gee Peter, IDK; they have millions of reasons to come back, but that ain't the same as being able to come back from a career threatening injury, and resume HoF pace and stats, like for instance Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson have both done recently.

It's not a matter of everyone gets an award, but an acknowledgement that a player has defeated to odds to return to the pinnacle of a grueling sport that already tried to take him out at least once.  Get your knee ligaments turned to confetti and see if you can "comeback" to a pick up basketball game, let alone in under a year be the only reason your team made the Playoffs (Adrian Peterson).

MMoney0021
MMoney0021

May be me just being a Pats fan but pre injury I would have taken Aqib Talib as the DPOY - completely shutting down Julio Jones, AJ Green and Jimmy Graham in back to back to back weeks.  Now you see just how valuable he is, out the last 3 games and the secondary back to its previous form giving up a ton of third and longs and a ton of yards.  In other words, they desperately need this guy in January.  

space4mase
space4mase

Very disappointed with the pick for Comeback Player of the Year. This was a lazy choice. Terrell Thomas of the Giants has come back from his third ACL and second in two years and was last week Defensive Player of the Week. Lets get serious. 

ryan l
ryan l

why is richard sherman on here, he does not even guard the best wr on the other team

ChrisSanchez
ChrisSanchez

Charles over Manning makes little sense either.  Charles is not a dominant back nor is he the reason why they are winning, yet somehow he is an MVP.  Alex Smith is the MVP of the team so how Charles is even recognized is bizarre.  The Chiefs are only winning because they are not turning the ball over thanks to Alex Smith.  Charles is not even coming close to the year he had last year in rushing.  If you are going to take into account running and passing yards received than Moreno is everybit as effective as Charles and has scored more TDs yet he is not even mentioned.

ChrisSanchez
ChrisSanchez

Rivers has had a solid season for a .500 team but he is not even close to being in the same league as Manning.  Rodgers is hurt so he is pretty much out of it.  Brees and Brady (funny no one gave Manning credit for what he did last season with his new young receivers but people act like Brady is doing something no one has done ever).  The MVP and offensive player of the year should come down to Brees, Manning, and Calvin Johnson/Jimmy Graham (for non-QB contenders).  Also, how do you fail to mention Julies Thomas in the TEs, he is having the second best year among TEs (better than Witten, Gonzalez and Cameroon)

BigAltweetsyes
BigAltweetsyes

Whoa. Completely missed the boat on your OROY pick. Lacy hands down. Are you knocking him for missing time earlier in the year?

mgranadosv
mgranadosv

J.J. Watt is a great player on an awful team that has been getting carved. How is he the DPOY?

Should go to Richard Sherman who is actually you know, making a difference to win games.

And I hate the Seahawks

bearsbball12
bearsbball12

Peyton Manning has accounted for 30 touchdowns so far this season (29 passing, 1 rushing). There is only 1 other TEAM in the NFL with 30 touchdowns this season (Dallas has exactly 30 and has played 9 games to Denver's 8). Who knows what the second half hold, but naming anyone but him the MVP is just laughable right now.

BlueBarron
BlueBarron

Jamal Charles? That's just trying too hard to be different.

And Reid, while doing a great job, doesn't deserve COY. The teams success says more about the former coach than it does about Reid.

TheeLidman
TheeLidman

Hard to argue against Andy Reid, but he did inherit a team with 6 Pro-Bowlers-6 on defense. He also added a QB, who was 16-4 over his last 20 starts. On top of what you said, about Ryan, he's had to do this is the biggest media market with everyone calling for his head. His GMs early actions did suggest he might be setting him up to fail. He lost both his DC and Asst HC, both of whom are having success at their new spots. He's brought in a new OC coordinator too. For the most part, other than Sutton, Reid has much of his old staff, which is huge for continuity. 

As for other awards, how Mo Wilkerson doesn't make your team or a sniff for DPOY seems hard to believe…8 sacks, from a 3/4 DE who anchors the top run defense in the league..and 1 interception to boot.

The only reason Revis has fewer passes 'defensed', even in zone, nobody throws at him. I know Peter is a big PFF fan, well according to them, Revis was only targeted 8 times, in October: https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2013/11/05/team-of-the-month-q2/ So, while he may be telling us he wasn't 100%, it seems opposing OCs/QBs don't feel the same way.

tlombardo949
tlombardo949

3 Cowboys is so preposterous. They are perhaps the worst D in league, yet 2 fr their D. 2 Texans, and for the entire nation to see no closing out a huge lead for Watt and his D. Not one NE player, and just 1 fr DEN, IND, and SF. I am ignoring spec teams. Something like 96% of FG inside 40yds are made! and very few kick returns are now attempted. Nobody cares about the next touchback or fair catch.

GrillClass
GrillClass

Matt Forte, third on the list of total yards from scrimmage per game (av. 121.8), behind Jamaal Charles (123.8) and LeSean McCoy (122.0). Almost a 20 yd. drop off to the next player (Marshawn Lynch at 102.6 per game). 

No mention of Forte under running backs.

Baconpizza
Baconpizza

Revis' comeback for $16 mill/ year is downright heroic.

JustinParisi
JustinParisi

The reasoning and logic behind some of these picks is mind boggling. Completion % over touchdowns? Really? Rivers is having a great year, but it's kind of skewed in perception because of how bad he was in  previous years. Manning is the guy right now, hands down, regardless of surrounding talent. Not even close.

I'm also not sure how you can call a linebacker a defensive end just because of the scheme he's in. Mathis plays linebacker, plain and simple. Putting him at DE is a cop out.

Dinging Antonio Brown because the Steelers throw alot? Why not ding Jimmy Graham for the same reason? Or ding Jamaal Charles because the Chiefs run a lot?

Giving the edge to Joe Staley because he's had a tougher schedule? How about his job being easier since his QB is one of the most mobile in the game?

Sheldon Richardson over Tyrann Mathieu? What? "Mathieu may have flashier numbers." What are you measuring Richardson on? Intangibles?

No mention of Lacy for OROY?

regdaDkciN
regdaDkciN

Eddie Lacy has 65% more yards that Giovani Bernard in two fewer games.  65% more, not 65 yards.  Lacy is averaging 85 yards per game, Bernard 40.

croane17
croane17

Wait you name Peyton Manning OPOY hands down, but debate whether he should be the all pro QB.  Then you say Jamaal Charles is the MVP in the NFL. He's not even the most valuable player on that team. I can name three players on that defense that I would consider more valuable considering its their defense winning games for them not their offense. if jamaal charles accounts for 40% of their offense the defense accounts for the other 60. The thought should be here if Charles goes down Smith will still be able to time manage while their defense gets them by. But picking any one other than Manning for MVP at this point is laughable, i do not care how good his supporting staff is someone still has to get them the ball and he makes that make shift o-line seem as good as it is. 

anon76
anon76

Precisely how well do you think the Broncos would be doing without Peyton?  He accounts for 78% of their yardage and 75% of their offensive touchdowns.  And this isn't an offense that scores 9 points a week and relies on defense to score (like the Chiefs), it is the single most explosive offense that's ever been seen through 8 games in NFL/AFL history.  The fact that you had any consideration on who to put at QB for your all pro team speaks volumes about your decision making ability in this area.

Sportsfan18
Sportsfan18

Mr. King,

Phillip Rivers completion percentage is just one stat of many obviously for QB's.  He isn't lapping the field.  Peyton is at 71.2% to Rivers 72.2%.  How close is this?  Well Peyton has more pass attempts and if Rivers were to go 24 for 38 in passing in his next game, he and Peyton would be tied with the exact same amount of completions and pass attempts.  Of course Peyton is going to play that week too so they won't end up tied but since they are that close (when one game by the league leader may sway things), all of the other stats have to come into play.

Peyton's lead in TD passes over Rivers is 12, which is MORE than one games worth (at least in NFL history up to this point).  Peyton is leading in yards per attempt, yards per game, QB rating, has thrown fewer INT's in more pass attempts and has taken fewer sacks on more pass attempts (yes the O line is partially responsible here but so is the QB for knowing where receivers are, dumping the ball off or throwing it away to avoid the sack).

I don't see how a slim lead in one category (slim enough that one game with the leader completing 63% of his passes by going 24 of 38 negates his lead in that category and ties the two men) renders Peyton's lead in multiple other categories moot.

Is having the lead in one category, regardless of how tenuous, really enough to trump another QB when the other QB leads in all other categories?

ProfessorGriff
ProfessorGriff

I really hope Ray Horton gets a shot at a head coaching job next season, he really deserves it

jimmyjon_55555
jimmyjon_55555

DEs are tough to choose since a few guys are having great years ....  but one guy ill take:  muhammed wilkerson - jets DE having a beast of a year.  8 sacks- 2 ffs- 1 sick interception and generally a massive force in every game--  the guys in the booth for every jets game rave about him.  

mgoetze5
mgoetze5

Yes, we know J.J. Watt was amazing last year. But aren't the awards supposed to be about this year?

Packers aren't humming along on offense anymore now that the truly award-worthy man is out of the picture... Aaron Rodgers.

Also, Megatron for MVP.

gogolf424
gogolf424

Eddie Lacy not even considered for OROY? Seriously?

Allthings18
Allthings18

Your MVP is cute.  Ignorant, but cute.

jhc54
jhc54

Terrell Thomas should be comeback. Not even close, with three ACL tears. Fix that please.

BenMyers
BenMyers

@space4mase  Petey's whole tepid opinion of the CPotY award is lazy and disappointing.  As Is his desire to marginalize already marginalized guys like FG kickers, despite the amount of vilification they get if they don't pull through. (remember Nick Folks getting chased out of Dallas?  Yup, because kicking FGs is sooooooo easy Pete.  Go kick a few. Then tell us about it)

thedon923
thedon923

@ChrisSanchez Okay, we get it. You're a Broncos fan and you're bitter. It's just one dude's opinion he doesn't speak for the population

TheeLidman
TheeLidman

@BlueBarron I'll never understand the strategy of suggesting how a prior team's coach, or a prior team's opponent, is more responsible for current success, than a new coach, or the winning team. Sure, maybe Haley wasn't the right fit for KC, but they were still 2-14. Does Alex Smith go there if Andy Reid isn't there? Does Bob Sutton go there and transform their 2012 26th scoring defense to the top scoring defense? I personally think R Ryan is a better candidate, but to say Reid doesn't deserve it, is incorrect, in my opinion.

ChrisSanchez
ChrisSanchez

@tlombardo949 as poor as a lot of the kick coverage in the NFL and as poor as tackling that is done.  Touchbacks are very important stat to keep.  Special teams is very underrated in the NFL but they are key to winning any NFL game.

TheeLidman
TheeLidman

@Baconpizza What effect, or bearing, does Revis' compensation have on his being a candidate for CPOY? Adrian Peterson gets paid quite well too.

TheeLidman
TheeLidman

@JustinParisi Richardson is a 3-4 DE, on the league's best run defense. Last year, the Jets were 25th in run defense. Last year, Sheldon Richardson was playing at Missouri. 

j7apple
j7apple

@regdaDkciN   For those that lack math skills  Lacy 134 Rushes 596 yards  Bernard 81 rushes 361 yards  

CMFJ
CMFJ

@Sportsfan18 


One stat that supports your argument is ESPN's QBR.  I know that not everyone is a fan of that stat, but of the advanced QB stats, it was the easiest to compare on a per game basis for each of the listed QBs.  I suspect the other advanced states (PFF and Outsiders), it would be similar.

Manning's top five games this year are in QBR were 95.9, 95.4, 93.7, 89.1, and 83.6.  Each of the other 3 QBs have only 1 game that would crack that list.   Brees and Rogers have both had two terrible games, with QBR < 40.  Manning has two games in the 50s (52.7 and 57.9).  Rivers has one <40, but most of his games have been in the 60-81 range, which is to say around the same the range as Manning's bottom 4 games.  In sum, Manning has been excellent in more games, by far than the other QBs listed, has had fewer average games, and has had not bad games.  

It is also useful to look at INTs and TDs as % of attempts.  

TDs: Manning 8.7%, Rivers 5.8%, Brees 6.5%, Rogers 6%

INTs: Rogers 1.6%, Manning 1.8%, Brees 2.2%, Rivers 2.4% 

In both categories, each is doing quite well

anon76
anon76

@Sportsfan18 

In Mr. King's defense, this was not written by him, but by the apparently infeebled mind of Greg Bedard.

Mike26
Mike26

@mgoetze5 Who's blocked JJ with less than 2 guys THIS year?  What other DT's have the impact he does on games?

Next....

TheeLidman
TheeLidman

@gogolf424 It's 1st half…he just started to make his move the past 3 weeks…love that guy

TheeLidman
TheeLidman

@jhc54 First off, TT was first hurt at USC, so that has no bearing on his NFL performance. Second, while his perseverance is admirable, the CPOY is also rated on performance. Revis had the same injury as TT, that's the only similarity they share. You can't compare the two from a performance stand point, before, or after their injuries.

siaccount
siaccount

@BenMyers Is nobody going to mention to this guy that Peter King did not write this article? Good one, Benny.

mgranadosv
mgranadosv

@Mike26 @mgoetze5 look at all those games the Texans D has won for them. Just look at how they completely stopped the Colts on sunday.

Yeah J. J. Watt is having a huge impact....in 2012

TheeLidman
TheeLidman

@Mike26 @mgoetze5 Well, I guess blocking him with 2 guys is working, because Houston is currently 18th in rush yds per game. I realize it's an entire defense, but Mo Wilkerson's presence has allowed rookie, Sheldon Richardson to thrive and 2nd yr UFA, Damon Harrison to be arguably the top NT in the game. He's making those around him better….and he's producing…facing double teams.

space4mase
space4mase

@TheeLidman @jhc54 huh? Comeback Player of the Year has little to do with previous performance. It seems to factor in every year, where the largest household name to be unfortunately injured and come back is handed the award. If you want to rate performance after the injury, you are right, the two cannot be compared. Revis has factored in as an average zone corner on a discombobulated defense without a win. Terrell Thomas has returned from two NFL ACL injuries in the last two seasons and leads the defensive back field in tackles, and provided quiet days to good receivers (Welker et al.). Not to mention last weeks NFC Defensive Player of the Week. 

C'mon Man.  

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