NFL midseason thoughts

Peyton Manning has thrown a touchdown pass to six different players

Now that every team has played at least half their games, let’s recap…

Offensive MVP
Peyton Manning, QB Indianapolis – Put any receiver or tight end in no. 18’s arsenal and he finds a way to get them the ball. Manning’s completing 65% of his passes and has an outstanding four to one touchdown to interception ratio. The veteran quarterback is doing this while the Colts’ running game is averaging a meager 3.7 yards per carry.

Defensive MVP
Clay Matthews, LB Green Bay – Not a very tough pick here. The second-year guy out of USC has been terrorizing opponents in Dom Capers’ 3-4 defense. Even sitting out a game due to injury, Matthews leads the NFL in sacks with 10.5. He added to his impressive stat line last week by returning an interception for a touchdown against Dallas.

Offensive Rookie
Jahvid Best, RB Detroit – Hmm… it’s hard to find an offensive rookie lighting up the stat sheet. Dez Bryant has yet to surpass 100 yards receiving in a game. Sam Bradford is showing potential, but is in the bottom third of the league in passer rating. Best is on pace to have over 1300 yards from scrimmage and 10 touchdowns and is a big reason the Lions offense can score with anyone.

Defensive Rookie
Ndamukong Suh, DT Detroit – Not bad to have two potential rookie awards on the same team. Suh is starting to come on strong for a Lions team that has a very bright future. Over the past three games he has four sacks including a fumble recovery for a touchdown. Did anyone see his PAT attempt last week against the Jets?

Biggest Surprise
Kansas City Chiefs – I thought this team would be very competitive with its young talent. But 5-3 at the half-way point? The Chiefs could easily be 7-1 as they had heartbreaking losses at Houston and Oakland. With San Diego playing well, the AFC West race is one to follow as the season ends. Todd Haley is a coach of the year candidate.

Biggest Disappointment
Cincinnati Bengals – For the sake of time and space I won’t mention Jerry’s team. Considering the Bengals were a playoff team last year, they have to be upset with a 2-6 start. After Cedric Benson’s career appeared to be revived, he’s averaging just 3.7 yards per carry. Carson Palmer is one of the most overrated quarterbacks in the league. The lone bright spot? Ironically the guy who causes locker room drama is having a pro bowl type season. Yes, I’m talking about Terrell Owens who has 770 yards receiving to go along with 7 touchdowns.

Best Team
Pittsburgh Steelers – Tempting to put the Packers here, but I’ll stick with the best defense in the league and an offense that looks to be coming together with Ben Roethlisberger back. The stingy defense gives up less than 60 yards a game rushing. Rashard Mendenhall is one of the better running backs in the game. Receiver Mike Wallace leads the NFL in yards per catch at 23 a clip. Their only two losses are to Baltimore minus Roethlisberger and on the road at New Orleans. The remaining schedule is very favorable.

Worst Team
Buffalo Bills – Probably the least talented team in the league, it’s no surprise at the 0-8 start. However, they’ve had legitimate shots to win six of the eight games they’ve competed in. They appear to have two winnable games left on the schedule against Detroit and Cleveland. And with the effort the Bills put out each week I wouldn’t expect them to go winless. I hope Andrew Luck likes Buffalo because that’s where he’s headed in April’s draft.

Other rants

– Dallas should do everything in its power to draft cornerback Patrick Peterson of LSU.

– Brad Childress has absolutely lost it. He blew the Randy Moss deal, and is continually taking shots at Brett Favre.

– The Texans look to be headed down the same path. Great offense, no defense. Gary Kubiak’s in trouble if this team doesn’t make the playoffs.

– Has there ever been more parody in the NFL? Every division is up for grabs and about eight teams have a legitimate shot at winning the Super Bowl.

– Adrian Peterson (knock on wood) hasn’t fumbled this season.

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