With nine weeks of action in the books, let’s take a look at the AFC East’s midseason MVPs.
I am going to give this award to Cameron Wake, but it should really go to the entire defense. The Dolphins defense, besides week 1, has played extremely well and kept them in every single game. To put things in perspective, they have only given up more than 20 points in regulation twice this year (Texans and Colts).
The reason the award goes specifically to Wake though, is the amount of disruptiveness he has caused on opposing quarterbacks. Wake has 8.5 of the Dolphin’s 23 sacks (Wake only had 8.5 all year last year), and no other Dolphin has more than 3.5. Wake has also forced a fumble and is 8th on the team in total tackles. The bottom line is, the Dolphins have been exceeding expectations because of their defense, and their defense has been exceeding expectations because of Cameron Wake.
New England Patriots-
For the sake of mixing things up, I am NOT going to give this award to Tom Brady, that would be the easy answer. Instead, I am going to fight against my man crush and give someone else the hardware for a change.
The New England Patriots MVP thus far has been Tom Brady’s favorite target, Wes Welker. The 9th year receiver out of Texas Tech is having another career season, even despite all the other weapons around him. Welker not only has 60 receptions and 732 yards this season, but 35 of those have been for first downs. Welker is also 2nd in the league in yards after catch, with 405 (the next closest Patriot is Gronkowski with only 239). Welker has recorded at least 6 receptions in 6 straight weeks and has four 100-yard receiving games this year.
So, while Brady may be running the offense, Welker has been doing the grunt work.
New York Jets-
This is tough. When a team is 27th in yards per game, 24th in points allowed, and 26th in pass yards per game, there isn’t a whole lot to praise. With that being said, I guess you have to take their ‘least’ bad area of work (their running game is 14th in the league) and go from there.
So, the Jets midway MVP award goes to Running Back Shonn Greene, by default. Despite his early season struggles, Greene has rebounded and been able to average 4.5 yards per carry over the last 3 games and has 0 turnovers on the year.
Coincidently, when Greene has recorded more than 17 carries this season, the Jets are 3-0. When he records less, the Jets are 0-5. While that could probably be attributed to the fact that Mark Sanchez is throwing it less in those games, it doesn’t change the fact the Greene has been the Jets MVP so far.
This was the easiest award to give out. 3rd year running back C.J. Spiller has been absolutely ridiculous this year and is without question, the Bills mid season MVP.
The former Clemson running back has recorded 562 yards on 78 carries, for an average of 7.2 yards per carry. The next closest running back in that statistic is Adrian Peterson with an average of 5.7. Spiller has 5 total touchdowns and has also brought in 24 receptions for 236 yards. Seemingly everything Spiller has touched this year has turned to gold for the Bills.
Now, the Bills just need to find a way to keep them in the game long enough to get Spiller more carries.