The 2017 NFL season is halfway over, which means that now is the time to look back an reassess the first two months of action to find out who stood out positively or negatively, who surprised and who lived up to expectations. We at Pats Pulpit are doing this through our midseason awards series but we are far from the only ones handing out halfyear accolades.
Advanced analytics website Pro Football Focus, for instance, has recently published its midseason All Pro team. Author Sam Monson has named first team choices and honorable mentions and surprisingly one of the NFL's best teams is only featured with one player: the New England Patriots, whose quarterback Tom Brady was named the top choice at his position.
The author had to say the following about the future Hall if Famer's first half of the season:
Tom Brady has once again set the standard for quarterback play in the NFL despite approaching the age players used to be inducted into the Hall of Fame at, let alone playing your best football. Brady has just eight turnover worthy plays all season, or 1.35 percent of his snaps, and has a passer rating over 100.0 both when kept clean in the pocket and when hurried.
Brady has been among the NFL’s most productive and successful passers this season. Seeing him named PFF’s top choice at quarterback, ahead of honorable mention Alex Smith of the Kansas City Chiefs, is therefore no surprise. What is a surprise, though, is Brady being the lone Patriot among the 54 players named to the All Pro squad.
Neither the NFL’s best tight end, Rob Gronkowski, has made the team nor have standouts like guard Shaq Mason or defensive tackle Malcom Brown. The biggest surprise, however, might be the absence of a member of New England’s special teams units like Matthew Slater, Brandon King or Jonathan Jones - especially considering that the article does not list honorary mentions at the positions.