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2017 NFL midseason awards: Who’s getting trophies in November?

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SB Nation’s 32 team sites voted on the best players and teams in the NFL so far this season. These are the results.

We’re eight weeks in the 2017 NFL season now, with Week 9 just a day away from getting underway. It’s the halfway point. With the mid-point milestone, it’s a great time to hand out some awards.

This year we turned to the experts at SB Nation’s 32 team sites to make this picks (so if you’re mad, feel free to send them all your irrational email messages). A representative from ever site voted on the following group of awards. It’s a solid list, without much room to quibble.

Without further ado, here are SB Nation’s midseason NFL award winners.

Coach of the Year: Sean McVay, Los Angeles Rams

Quite an honor for a rookie head coach, but at 5-2 he’s already topped the team’s record from last season. That’s not easy to do. Even more impressive is Jared Goff’s turnaround. He looked like he was on a one-way trip to bustville last season. Under McVay, he’s on the path the stardom.

Doug Pederson came in second on the vote tally for leading his Eagles to a 7-1 performance.

From Turf Show Times:

What Sean McVay has done in his first year as head coach of the Los Angeles Rams is remarkable. That he’s done as much as a first-year head coach and the youngest head coach in modern NFL history is practically unbelievable. It’s worth considering what the scope of the challenge was to boot. Taking over the NFL’s worst offense without a first-round pick and the sunk costs of the trade the Rams worked with the Tennessee Titans last year that they used to take Jared Goff. Not only has McVay made good on the hire, he’s done so in just seven games. The Rams are 5-2 for the first time since 2003 when they finished 12-4 under Mike Martz. They tried three head coaches thereafter. The fourth has been a home run to this point. McVay and the Rams’ biggest challenges are yet to come … but he’s gotten them this far. And that’s deserving of the accolade.

Rookie of the Year: Deshaun Waton, QB, Houston Texans

No surprise here. Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt, the second leading vote getter here, had this one locked down for the first month of the season, but then Watson dazzled us all with a four-touchdown effort against the Titans on Oct. 1. He’s thrown 16 touchdowns in his last four games, and his total of 19 touchdowns in the first seven games of his career is a new record.

From Battle Red Blog:

Watson’s impact on the Texans has been astronomical over the first half of the season. Watson offers the Texans a truly versatile and talented QB who can not only sling it with accuracy and poise from the pocket but can throw with velocity and accuracy even whilst being chased by a horde of 300+ pound men. His legs alone have revolutionized this offense, allowing for the continuation and often times salvaging of what would be doomed plays. His ability to escape has actually made a bad Texans offensive line look much better just because the pressure that they sometimes let through doesn’t always result in sacks. Watson is the main reason behind one of the most drastic turnarounds in recent football memory, and that’s why he deserves to be the Rookie of the Year.

Defensive Player of the Year: Calais Campbell, DL, Jacksonville Jaguars

We’ll let retired NFL defensive lineman Stephen White explain this one.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when he signed with Jacksonville, seeing as how he had been playing in a 3-4 most of his career and he would have to transition to 4-3 defense. But Campbell has been nothing short of a revelation for the Jaguars. That he is second in the league right now with 10 sacks is a big friggin’ deal, but he has been just as stout against the run. I also think he has helped everyone around him on that defensive line raise their game up as well. Right now, there is a legit chance that the Jags not only make the playoffs, but maybe even win a game or two with Blake Bortles(!) at quarterback. That in and of itself should be enough to hand Calais Campbell the award.

From Big Cat Country:

When the Jaguars signed defensive lineman Calais Campbell, many thought that he was just chasing a huge payday from a team with a lot of salary cap room. Campbell has transformed what was a talented defensive line into one of the best defensive lines in the NFL with the ability to completely smother out another team’s passing game, in large part because of the impact Campbell has on the rest of the players. Not only does Campbell currently lead the NFL in sacks, cruising right past his career high through not even half the 2017 season, he’s also making the players around him better by presenting them with better matchups. For instance, against the Indianapolis Colts, there was a play where the Colts essentially used four offensive lineman to block/slow down Campbell, giving former first-round pick Dante Fowler Jr. with a matchup against a running back and forcing the quarterback to make a rushed throw. Campbell’s production alone makes him worthy of being NFL Defensive Player of the Year thus far, but when you factor in the attention teams give him and the fact that he’s had a domino effect on the rest of the Jaguars defensive line, it seems like an easy choice.

MVP: Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles

Retired NFL lineman Geoff Schwartz summed up this award.

Carson Wentz has shown tremendous growth over the first half of the season. His knowledge of the offense and execution on third downs, combined with his athleticism, make him a force to be reckoned with.

From Bleeding Green Nation:

Carson Wentz, the quarterback of the team with NFL’s best record, is the MVP. He’s s really doing it all. He can unleash the deep ball. He can avoid pressure and place the ball with laser accuracy into tight windows. He can use his legs to extend plays and/or run down the field — the way he escaped a pile of defenders against Washington in Week 7 was incredible. But Wentz’s game isn’t based on flash alone. He’s shown the ability to be consistent and sustain drives down the field. He’s been absolutely awesome on third down all year long. It’s unreal how quickly he’s progressed from Year 1 to Year 2.

Best team in the NFL: Philadelphia Eagles

The vote was a little closer on this one, with the Chiefs finishing a close second, the only team to beat the Eagles this year. But you can’t argue with what the Eagles have done this season so far. Philadelphia has played its way to the top of the NFC. And if that weren’t enough, they went and got running back Jay Ajayi at the trade deadline to give that offense even more firepower.

From Bleeding Green Nation:

The Eagles are the best team in the NFL. At 7-1, owners of the best record in the league. Their +76 point differential also puts them ahead of every other team. The offense, led by MVP candidate Carson Wentz, has a number of capable receiving threats. Their run game is boosted by the presence of LeGarrette Blount and a strong offensive line.

On defense, Philadelphia is better at stopping the run than any other team. That forces other teams to be one dimensional through the air. The Eagles also have one of the best special teams units in the NFL thanks to coordinator Dave Fipp. This is a complete team that’s playing together and having a great time. Head coach Doug Pederson deserves a lot of credit for outperforming expectations

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