We're halfway through the season and it's clear that the New England Patriots are the best team in the league. As a result, I'm declaring that all midseason awards should be given to those associated with the best team. So, as voted by the Pats Pulpit staff, are your Mid-Year Awards!
Most Valuable Player: New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady.
Freeland: Not only is Brady most valuable to the Patriots franchise, he should wind up winning the league MVP award this year, with only Andy Dalton really his top competition.
Alec: I started writing something about how the entire planet is going with Tommy B, so I'm going to do something different here and pick a different player - but how could I possibly do that? Brady is playing the best football of his career right now and looks completely unstoppable.
OJI: Never before has a quarterback been capable of carrying his team the way Tom Brady does right now. He's on another level, one that is worthy of the MVP award - and it's not even close.
SMP: There are 3 undefeated teams, and some of them win despite their quarterback. Brady wills the Patriots to victory every single week.
Rich: Is there any question that the best player on the best team in football is the most valuable in the land?
Offensive Player of the (Mid)Year: New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski
OJI: For his own lofty standards, he has had a few statistically mediocre games - but don't let yourself be fooled, Gronkowski is the most dominant offensive skill position player in the entire league.
SMP: Gronk is setting some incredible production for an offensive player, and when you realize he stays into block quite a bit, his numbers his stats per snaps as a target are otherworldly.
Alec: It's kind of silly to name Tom Brady the MVP and not also give him Offensive Player of the Year as well...but for the sake of diversity I'll go with Gronkowski here. This year perhaps more than any other Gronk is proving what a mismatch he is in coverage and how opposing defenses just don't have an answer for him. Without Gronk, the entire complexion of the offense changes
Rich: There's no one player in the entire league that creates as much of an offensive mismatch as the Patriots otherworldly tight end.
DISSENT: Freeland: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is posting historical numbers and looks borderline unstoppable with 6 straight games of 30+ points and the offense has a league-leading 3.05 points per drive [before Washington].
Defensive Player of the (Mid)Year: New England Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones
Freeland: It was a tossup between Jones and Jamie Collins, but I feel that Jones is more deserving due to his stellar numbers in pass rushing and run defense.
SMP: I looked up JJ Watt's numbers and Chandler is right there with him in many categories. When you consider he's playing against stronger teams, I'll give him the edge.
Alec: Jones is really coming into his own this season and now represents a legit pass rushing threat as well as a run stuffer. He's absolutely an anchor along that defensive line and he's quickly becoming one of those guys offensive lines have to specifically gameplan for.
Rich: I wanted to name a player like Jamie Collins or Malcolm Butler, but there's no question that Jones has been the best player on this Patriots defense. His versatility to align all over the defensive front makes him a nightmare for opposing offenses and he's been a rock with his health.
Rookie of the Year: New England Patriots center David Andrews
Freeland: There really hasn't been a lot of contribution from the rookie class in general since the Patriots drafted players where they have a really deep rotation. However, I'm going with Andrews because he stepped up at center and was able to prove to be an asset as opposed to a liability.
Alec: Undrafted rookie center asked to step in immediately and develop an instant chemistry with a quarterback who is constantly adjusting the play and realigning the blocking schemes? For me it's Andrews in a landslide.
Rich: While players like Shaq Mason and Tre Jackson have had a big impact, and while Malcom Brown continues to grow, there's no question that Andrews has been the top of the Patriots rookie class.
Newcomer of the Year: New England Patriots running back Dion Lewis
OJI: Prior to his season-ending injury, Lewis was one of the most electrifying players in the league - and one that basically came out of nowhere. Hopefully, he will have another great comeback next year.
SMP: Great zero to hero story. Also a possibility for Comeback Player of the Year, but I think that should be someone who was a someone. This guy is a Citgo reclamation project gone wild.
Freeland: This was another tough choice between Lewis and Jabaal Sheard, but Lewis has the edge here due to his ability to break the laws of physics when he catches a pass out in the flat with space in front of him.
DISSENT: Alec: New England Patriots defensive end Jabaal Sheard. Everyone else picked Dion Lewis, right? So let's zig while everyone else zags and go with Sheard. Although he has been hampered by an ankle injury as of late, he's a disruptive presence along the line and is quickly becoming an integral part of the defense.
Non-Bill Belichick Coach of the Year: New England Patriots offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo
SMP: My hat is off to this man. If I found out the Pats were plugging in prioris, a traffic cone, and Alec Shane straight off a Taco Tuesday binge night, I wouldn't even bat an eye at this point. Brady would stay upright and the Pats would get 6 YPC.
Alec: New England has lost its starting left tackle, opened the year with the center on IR, and had three rookies anchoring the interior of the line. And they are holding their own and then some. And while a good part of that is Brady's ability to release quickly and diagnose the defense, you have to give the line a tremendous amount of credit here.
Rich: I have to give props to the positional coach that's turned a garbage situation into gravy. The line will be healed in a couple weeks, but Gug has done a tremendous job keeping the ship upright through all of the injuries.
DISSENT: Freeland: New England Patriots cornerbacks coach Josh Boyer. The Patriots have some really young CBs at the position with none of the veteran options panning out, so Boyer gets credit for getting these young corners playing at a high level this year.
VOTE!: Play of the (Mid)Year:
OJI: Brady-to-Edelman on 3rd and 17. Midway through the fourth quarter, trailing, Brady avoids pressure to find Edelman on a huge 3rd down conversion. Last year this happened to the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX, this year to the Jets in week 7. Watch it here.
SMP: Danny Amendola's Superman catch. You will believe a man can fly ... and make an amazing catch as well. Watch it here.
Freeland: The Colts Fake Punt. It was one of those plays where Colts thought they were smarter than the Patriots and the Patriots nonchalantly lined up against it and realized to overload the center. Bolden gets credit on the stop and the entire region of New England starts laughing until they're blue in the face. Watch it here.
Alec: Dion Lewis's touchdown against the Cowboys. Can I pick the Colts fake punt here? No? Then I guess I'll go with Dion Lewis's touchdown scamper against the Cowboys. A one handed grab, a bunch of broken ankles, and a score. Watch it here.
Rich: Edelman's 59-yard Touchdown Grab. Tom Brady threw an absolute dime to Julian Edelman at the start of the 4th quarter against the Cowboys, receiving a huge wallop in the process. The ball traveled 15 yards down the field, but it was a rainbow right to Edelman, who broke a bunch of tackles on his way to the end zone. Watch it here.
Make sure to vote and give your own ballot in the comments!