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Wednesday February 1 2023
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NFL Mid-Season Awards

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Green Bay Packers quarterback--and defending Super Bowl MVP--Aaron Rodgers is PSR's mid-season NFL Player of the Year.

Offensive Player of the Year:
Aaron Rodgers; QB- Green Bay Packers

No sign of a Super Bowl Slump from Aaron Rodgers, the clear offensive standout in the NFL so far this season. Rodgers’ 70.3 completion percentage and 122.4 quarterback rating are tops in the NFL by a considerable margin. He also leads the league with 17 touchdowns and only three interceptions. Rodgers has led the Packers to an undefeated record of 7-0 and shows no signs of letting up anytime soon. After finally emerging from Brett Favre’s shadow in Green Bay with last year's Super Bowl victory, Rodgers has become the most electrifying player in the NFL.

Runner up:
Fred Jackson; RB- Buffalo Bills

Defensive Player of the Year:
Justin Smith; DE- San Francisco 49ers
Quarterback Alex Smith and the 49ers offensive have been playing well, but the team leads the NFC West because of their defense. Justin Smith is the standout in the system and forces the opposing teams’ quarterbacks out of the pocket like no other defensive end in the league. An 11-year veteran, Smith is finally being recognized throughout the league as a strong defensive threat because of the 49ers winning ways. Smith leads the league in combined sacks, hits and pressures on the quarterback with 36 through the first six weeks.

Runner up:
Darrelle Revis; CB- New York Jets

Rookie of the Year:
Cam Newton; QB- Carolina Panthers
Even Cam Newton's biggest backers couldn't have predicted what the No. 1 draft pick would accomplish in the first few weeks of the season. Newton, the defending Heisman Trophy winner, threw for a record-tying 422 yards in his first game, a loss against the Arizona Cardinals, and then followed that up with a record-breaking 432 yards in a loss against the Green Bay Packers. While his numbers have dipped a bit since the first two weeks, Newton is still among the league leaders in passing yards and passing yards per game. His real versatility comes from his running ability. Newton has racked up six rushing touchdowns for the Panthers, on top of his seven passing touchdowns.

Runner up:
A.J. Green; WR- Cincinnati Bengals

Comeback Player of the Year:
Matthew Stafford; QB- Detroit Lions
The Lions first overall pick in 2009 after their abysmal 0-16 season, Stafford is a great athlete with a lot of potential. His first two seasons, however, have been plagued with major injuries. This year, though, has been a different story. The Lions started 5-0 before losing their last two games, but Stafford has left no doubt that the Detroit Lions are for real. Stafford is among the league leaders in passing yards (1,729), andtouchdowns (15) and has only thrown four interceptions through the first seven games. Nine of his 15 touchdown passes have been to the league’s leading touchdown receiver, Calvin Johnson. The tandem of Stafford and Johnson has been a force to be reckoned with through the first half of the season.

Runner up:
Shawne Merriman; LB- Buffalo Bills

Coach of the Year:
Jim Harbaugh; San Francisco 49ers
Harbaugh was hired by the 49ers shortly after the end of their disappointing 2010 campaign. Harbaugh is a proven winner and coached Stanford University to a high winning percentage throughout his tenure. Nothing has changed for Harbaugh. The 49ers are 5-1 so far this season and show no signs of letting up due to a terrific defense and a strong rushing game. Harbaugh’s coaching has improved the 49ers offense, posting 27.6 points per game, good for sixth in the league. The remainder of their schedule has some tough match-ups against teams such as the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Can the 49ers hold their ground and win the NFC West? If Jim Harbaugh has anything to say about it, they will.

Runner up:
Mike McCarthy; Green Bay Packers

Team to Beat:
Green Bay Packers
Last year’s Super Bowl champions, the Green Bay Packers, have been the NFL’s best team through the first half of the 2011 season. Led by Aaron Rodgers and one of the best receiving core in football (Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson and Donald Driver), the Packers are 7-0 and look to be unstoppable. Rodgers’ numbers are phenomenal and the defense has been solid. The only weakness in the Green Bay defense is their secondary. But if anyone is looking to take down the Packers, they need to do something to get Rodgers out of his rhythm. But at this point, it’s looking to be a task easier said than done, and the Packers are well on their way to repeat as champions.

Runner up/AFC contender:
New England Patriots

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