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FOOTBALL FREAK: Mid-season awards

['Journal Pioneer NFL columnist John Turner.']
['Journal Pioneer NFL columnist John Turner.']

Columnist identifies outstanding and disappointing performances through first half of NFL season

The NFL season is just past the halfway point, and The Freak is going to hand out some shiny trophies for the Football Freak’s mid-season awards.
Coach of the year: Both the head coaches of the Eagles, Doug Peterson, and Rams, Sean McVay, have their teams playing very well, and they might end up meeting in the NFC Championship game. Who thought this was possible at the beginning of the season?
Most disappointing offensive player: Wide receiver Julio Jones is one reason why the Falcons are 4-4. He isn’t getting any separation from defenders with all his leg ailments, and dropping easy touchdown passes.
Most disappointing defensive player:  What has happened to the once vaunted Broncos secondary with Aqib Talib and Chris Harris? Teams are passing on them at an alarming rate.
Rookie offensive player: The Freak was going to give it to Jags running back Leonard Fournette, but he missed the team photo the other day. It looks like he’s going to be one of those guys, so it’s going to Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt.
Rookie defensive player: Saints corner Marshon Lattimore has become a shutdown corner in his first season. He frustrated Bucs’ stud receiver Mike Evans so much that Evans got ejected from the game for taking a swing at him.
MVP: Hard to believe a second-year quarterback can be carrying his team, but the Eagles’ Carson Wentz has been doing this and looks like a true franchise quarterback.
Top offensive player: Seattle has no offensive line, no running game and only a couple of good receivers. But the one player that continuously moves the chains with his arm and legs is Russell Wilson. Seattle would be near the bottom of the league without him.
Top defensive player: Jaguars defensive lineman Calais Campbell has 11 sacks coming over from Arizona, and is a big reason they have one of the top defences in the league.
Most surprising team: The Los Angeles Rams, who had the worst offence in football and now have one of the top five offensives in the NFL. The team is young and exciting, and they play hard for their young head coach.
Most disappointing team: The Giants, without a doubt, going from a playoff contender to a contender for the first overall draft pick. The Freak needs to check every Sunday if he’s on the correct channel for the game, or is this a skit on the Comedy Channel.
 
Stat of the week
The Raiders are the first team in NFL history to not have an interception in the first nine games of a season.
 
Sure thing
Detroit looks like it might be hitting its stride offensively, and is home to the winless Browns. The Lions pound Cleveland.
The Texans are totally a different team without the injured Deshaun Watson, and it showed against the Colts. Now they have to go on the road to play the Rams. The Texans can’t slow down the Rams, Los Angeles wins.
Indy won a game for the first time in a while and now host the Steelers, who are coming off a bye. The Colts will be competitive, but the Steelers will pull away in the fourth quarter.

Don’t mortgage the house picks
The Broncos have gone in the tank like the Giants and now face the Patriots, who had two weeks to prepare for them. The boo birds will be loud in Denver during this Patriots’ win.
The Freak wrote the first week of the season, “You need to take any team playing the New York Jets.” That was a one-word typo, and it should of read, “You need to take any team playing the New York Giants!” In the battle for the first overall pick, take the winless 49ers at home.
The Panthers never win pretty, and the Dolphins aren’t a pretty team on the road. Football isn’t a beauty pageant, take Carolina in an ugly win.

Upset special
Dallas has played well the last two weeks, and travels to Atlanta. The Falcons haven’t played a complete game really this season. The ‘Boys show they are hitting their stride with a big road win in Atlanta.
Last week: 5-for-7.
Season: 45-for-63.

John Turner is a Summerside school teacher and coaches youth football. His column appears every Thursday during the NFL season. Feel free to e-mail questions and comments to ssidespartansfootball@yahoo.ca.

 

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