Is the first half of the season over already? While football fans dread the thought of their beloved sport reaching its end, they can take comfort in knowing this is point of the season where identities, for the most part, are established. Normally, superlatives are awarded at the end of the school year, but there are some glaring performances that can’t be ignored. With that said, here are the students and staff members, uh players and coach(es), who I think will cement their places in the NFL 2009 Yearbook:
Most Likely to Succeed (Most Valuable Player) – A toss-up between Drew Brees and Peyton Manning! Their individual contributions have played huge roles in New Orleans and Indianapolis being the league’s remaining undefeated teams.
Biggest Bullies on the Block (Defensive Player of the Year)– Jared Allen leads the league with 10.5 sacks, 7.5 of them were at the expense of the Green Bay Packers. Darren Sharper is the candy snatcher of the class. He has seven interceptions, three of which went for touchdowns of 97, 99 and 42 yards.
Most Improved– Cedric Benson! In one season, the once Texas Longhorn went from being an outcast of the Chicago Bears to the NFL’s fourth leading rusher with the Cincinnati Bengals.
From Nobody to Somebody– Miles Austin! Recently, a projected number one Dallas receiver said, “I’m the number one receiver, but things are just going number two’s way”. Call it what you want Roy, but Tony Romo has found a new friend in a receiver who was once on the bubble for making the roster. Now that we’re in Romo’s favorite month (November), look for Austin’s popularity to rise.
Most Inspiring Teacher– Look no further than 33-year old Josh McDaniel. With his arrival came discord, leaving Bronco fans dejected about the forthcoming season. Six wins and one loss later, Denver is atop the AFC West, the coach-quarterback relationship is much improved, the defense has gone from last to first and Brandon Marshall, who once wanted out of Denver, is now hugging McDaniel after games. I guess being a disciple of Bill Belichick does pay dividends. Why shouldn’t McDaniel be considered for Coach of the Year?
Against All Odds– With all that has been awry with Washington Redskin football, London Fletcher has been the exception. He is second in the league with tackles (71) and works endlessly to keep the locker room together. The only question left is, will the league recognize his value and award him with a starting Pro Bowl slot?
How will these students fair in the second half of the season? Will these players go on to earn individual accolades, or will others emerge from the heap to surpass them? Before I get too caught up in individual performances, I guess I should get back to what I’ve been doing for the last eight weeks, huh? Here we go:
Falcons over Redskins
Cardinals over Bears
Bengals over Ravens
Colts over Texans
Jaguars over Chiefs
Patriots over Dolphins
Packers over Buccaneers
Saints over Panthers
Seahawks over Lions
Giants over Chargers
49ers over Titans
Cowboys over Eagles
Broncos over Steelers
I won eight games (8-5) in week eights, which now gives a 76-40 mark for the season. As always, enjoy the games and we’ll be back at it Wednesday, November 11th.
By Antoine Hoffman