Sports, Satire and Bad Jokes
Saturday May 21st 2011

NFL Halfway Wrapup and Awards

The NFL season is now half over. Some things have changed since the quarter season wrapup, while others have remained the same. Last time I got torn a new asshole for making my picks, and this time I expect much the same.

AFC North: The Bengals still remain atop this division and are 4-0 in the division and have beat the once mighty Ravens twice already. The Steelers have picked up their game though. They have won five straight games and are behind Cincy on tiebreakers only. Baltimore is 4-4 and unless they pull up their socks and win out, are likely staying home in January this year.

AFC South: At the begining of the year I said the Colts would fight through the turmoil of coching changes to finish 13-3. Right now they are 8-0 and have a schedule in front of them that could allow them to reach that goal. Tennessee has gone back to Vince Young, and have won their last two games. Jacksonville and Houston are two of the NFL poster children for inconsistency. Houston is tied for second in the league with 26 TD’s and yet sits at a measly 5-4, while Jacksonville is capable of blowing people out or being blown out.

AFC West: The Broncos started out on fire winning their first 6 games, with Kyle Orton throwing only one INT through the first 7 games. They’ve leveled out a little bit, and Orton has 4 INT’s and the team sits at 6-2. The Chargers have picked up their game and have won their last three games to sit at 5-3. Oakland is an incredible -123 in point differential, and yet has won 2 games. The biggest problem they have, in my opinion, is that JaMarcus consitently overthrows his players by such a margin that you’d think that he’s of the belief that the point is to not let anybody catch the ball. Unfortunately for him, the other teams defenders don’t thinnk that and like to catch his passes. Kansas is, well they’re Kansas. They did cut Larry Johnson though, so maybe their offense will catch a spark.

AFC East: At the onset of the season I suggested that though the Pats would win the division, they’d struggle and finish 10-6. They did indeed struggle early, but have feasted on some crappy teams and are 6-2 with a 110 point differential. They have a big test this week when they play their annual game against the Colts, so we’ll see what they’re made of. After the Pats, this division is fairly mediocre. It does happen to be the only division where every team has at least 3 or more wins though. The Jets are at 4-4, and it looks like Sanchez doesn’t really like playing in cold weather which may be a problem for a Northern team. Miami is STILL having incredible success with the wildcat formation, but unfortunately for them, they’ve lost some tight games and sit at 3-5 along with the Bills.

AFC Wildcards: I picked the Ravens and the Texans to be the wildcards this season. If the season were to end today, the wildcards would be the Steelers and either the Texans or the Chargers. I say either, because the Texans are one of the few teams to not have their bye week yet and thus have played an extra game over the Chargers. Sweet, I could still get this half right. I really like the Texans, they have an explosive offense and an up and coming future power defense.

NFC North: Hoo boy. I picked the Packers to win this division and I don’t think there’s a snowballs chance in hell that that is going to come true. The Vikings sit at 7-1 and have two wins over the Packers, who sit tied with Chicago at 4-4. The Vikings are lead by 40 year old Brett Favre though. He’s broken down over the last couple seasons as the year has gone on. He very well could blowout his entire body yet, and then the Vikings would have to rely on Tavaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels to lead the team. That is a tandem that does not lead me to a lot of confidence. If the Packers line starts to play well, and Favre does go down, then that snowball that I previously referenced may be made of diamond. There’s really no need to mention the Lions, but they have more wins than they did last year, so yay!

NFC South: Fuck and or yes. While I lowballed the Saints at saying they’d go 11-5, they’re currently 8-0, my other thoughts on them are going pretty stellar. I said that with Greg Williams coming in, “The D was concern the last couple years, but this is the year that they turn the corner.” Check. I also said, “with Pierre Thomas and a potentially healthy Reggie Bush they might not be so one dimensional on offense.” I’m going to take that as a win also, as Thomas is running for 5.5 YPC and is on pace for a 12 TD year. The Bucs are complete garbage, but they played in their creamsicle uniforms last week and beat the Packers. The Panthers are so up and down, you never know what you’re going to get from them. They caused Kurt Warner to throw 5 INT’s, but Delhomme himself is on pace for 10TD’s with an amazing 26 INT’s. And he just signed a contract extension this offseason. Oops. Atlanta is who we thought they were, sits at 5-3.

NFC West: I picked the Cardinals to go 11-5 this year with them having a load of confidence. They are, well they’re something. They do sit in first at 5-3, but are 1-3 at home while 4-0 on the road. That should help them come playoff time as they wont have homefield advantage. Warner has been pretty good this year if you take away the 5 INT game, and I think they do have the talent to finish on 6-2 run. They’re pretty schizophrenic though, so maybe. The 49ers are also up and down. They started 3-1, but are on an 0-4 run. Easterbrook thinks it’s because they signed first round pick, Michael Crabtree, but that’s clearly bull shit. It’s a team filled with talent, and Vernon Davis is tied for the league lead with 7 TD’s. Seattle has been decimated by injuries yet again, but are a semi-respectable 3-5. The Rams are 1-7, and possibly the worst team in the league, though it seems a lot of teams want that distinction.

NFC East: I picked the Giants to go 11-5 and win the division this year. I even said, “This team plays Steeler ball possibly better than the Steelers will this year.” I guess what I meant was Kordell Stewart years Steelers. They started out 5-1 and looked on fire. Now they’ve lost their last 4 and look like their going down in flames. The Cowboys have turned around an ugly start and sit in first place at 6-2. Will this be the year that Romo steps up in the playoffs? Well he doesn’t have Jessica Simpson around anymore, but hey Tom Brady has been banging models for years and he won 3 Super Bowls so that’s not a valid excuse anymore. The Eagles are 5-3, but lost to the Raiders so that’s all that needs to be said about them. The Redskins are dreadful, and Jim Zorn is a dead man walking.

NFC Wildcards: For the wildcards I had picked the Bears and the Vikings. Wrong and wrong. As of right now the wildcards are the Falcons and the Eagles. The Falcons are most likely going to finish there. As for the Eagles? Well that’s completely up to them. Play like the team that lost to the Raiders and no, play like the team thats a plus 66 in point differential, and maybe.

MVP: At the begining of the year I chose Peyton Manning to be here. He’s still here for me. He’s currently on pace to break Marino’s record of yards in a year, and is on pace to finish with 5090 yards, 32 TD’s, 10 INT’s and only 14 sacks. This while having no run game and a completely new coaching staff, major defensive injuries and they’re undefeated. My second choice is Cedric Benson. He’s having a great year for the Bengals, and is giving Palmer the space he needs to make throws. Teams are actually having to stack the box against the Bengals. For third place, I’m going to pick Brees. While he does have a run game and a defense, there’s no way this team is 8-0 with pundits saying they could go undefeated all year, without him.

Offensive Player of the Year: I originally had Brees here in this spot, but I’m going to have to pick Peyton again. He’s the only QB to EVER throw for 300+ yards in 7 of the first 8 games of the year. He hasn’t thrown 400 in a game yet, and he’s still on pace to surpass Marino’s single season record. For me, my second pick is going to Chris Johnson of the Titans. They’re a last place team, and opposing defense’s have been able to stack the box against him and yet he’s on pace for over 1900 rushing yards. He’s also a dynamic threat in the passing game and has a 69 yard reception for TD this year. I’m going to slide Brees into third place again. He is indeed having a great year, but it just seems to pale in comparrison to his numbers from last season. Sure that’s bullshit on my part, but it’s my column and that’s how I’m picking it.

Defensive Player of the Year: Originally I picked Mario Williams to land this award, but I don’t think that’s likely to happen, this year. In first place I’m going with Darren Sharper of the Saints. He’s got 7 INT’s on the year and at 34 is setting himself up for one more big contract. Next up is Dwight Freeney. Go ahead and wipe up whatever mess you made with that spit-take. Dwight has got 9.5 sacks this year, which isn’t the league leader, but he’s gotten one in every single game. Plus he’s made huge strides against the run game this year, and is always a threat to cause a strip sack in every game. Next up I have Curtis Lofton of the Falcons. He has 84 tackles on the year and has forced a couple fumbles. His 84 tackles lead the league, and he’s playing for a good defense. I know the consensus is that Jared Allen is having a super year on defense, but of his 10.5 sacks, 7.5 have come against the Packers. I’d like to see more consistant production out of him, instead of just picking on a crappy O-line. Plus, he’s not very good against the run as he’s always downfield behind the runner if it is a run play.

Offensive Rookie: I originally picked Percy Harvin, and he’s done nothing to lose that status as top offensive rookie in the league. He’s a huge triple threat in all aspects of the offensive game, other than throwing. Second place goes to Johhny Knox. He’s not quite on Harvin’s level, but he does all the things that Harvin does for Chicago, and Cutler seems to like him. Oher was in third, but his last couple games make him slip from the spot. I don’t really have a great replacement for him, but since I’ve picked three in all the other categories, I’m going with Eugene Monroe of the Jaguars. He looks like he’s going to end up as a franchise Tackle for them.

Defensive Rooke: Aaron Curry is playing well, but he’s not living up to the billing that I had given him at the beginning of the year. I’m picking Brian Cushing of the Texans. The Texans are setting themselves to have a superstar defense with Demeco Ryans and Mario Williams already anchoring them, now add Cushing to that and wow. Next up is James Laurinaitis of the Rams. He’s their best defensive player, and he’s a rookie. Sure it’s the Rams, but it’s still impressive. Lastly, Rey Maualuga of the Bengals. He’s an important cog of the vastly improved Bengals defense.

Coach of the Year: I had Mike McCarthy slotted in here, but with that O-Line it’s just not happening. I’m going with Brad Childress, and even though I don’t like the Vikings that thought sends a chill down my spine. Next up is Marvin Lewis. He was brought in as a defensive guy, and now the team is playing good defensive football. If they do make the playoffs, he’s number one but Chilly has been such a bad coach that 7-1 trumps 6-2. Lastly I’m going with Josh McDaniels. Sure they’re on a slump right now, but they’ve already reached the amount of wins that I thought they were going to for the whole season.

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