At this point in the season, every NFL team has played (at least) eight games. Pundits who follow the league usually take this time to give out their “midseason awards.” I figured, why not do something similar?
Now, I’m not going to waste your time with the entire league, but here are my nominations for Broncos Bye Week Awards:
Defensive Player of the Year – Kareem Jackson
In my mind, there were a few solid candidates for this award on the defensive side of the ball, including Justin Simmons, Chris Harris Jr. and Derek Wolfe. None of those guys have combined a collection of game-changing impact plays with a consistent presence week to week like Kareem Jackson has so far. The first-year Bronco almost single-handedly won the Chargers game for the orange and blue, and has highlights strewn throughout multiple other matchups. He’s also the runaway winner in the “Acquisition of the Year” category, considering Ja’Wuan James and Bryce Callahan have barely seen the field and Joe Flacco probably spent too much time on it.
Offensive Player of the Year – Brandon McManus
It pains me to say it, but the Broncos kicker has been the most consistent source of scoring so far this year. You know it’s true. McManus has accounted for 57 of the team’s 149 total points and averages almost two made field goals per game. It’s tough to give the award to anyone else when the team scores less than 17.0 points per week. Clearly, this has been the biggest reason for the Broncos 3-6 record.
Rookie of the Year – Malik Reed
If Noah Fant had one more game on his game log like Sunday’s breakout performance against the Browns, I probably would have picked him here. In fact, I would expect him to take this honor by the time January rolls around. Unfortunately for him, his multi-drop game against the Chiefs and uninspiring rest of the season means undrafted rookie Malik Reed gets the nod. Reed has played surprisingly well in the place of Bradley Chubb on what is still a top-five scoring defense. While his box score numbers don’t jump off the page, his on field impact has been obvious since his role has increased.
Most Valuable Player – Courtland Sutton
For me, this was the easiest award to pick. Sutton has proven week in and week out he’s the most dangerous player on the field for the Broncos and his play against the Browns on Sunday points to yet another step forward in his career as the number one receiver. Sutton’s 692 yards are eighth best in the NFL, and he’s on pace for almost 90 receptions and eight TDs in a sputtering offense. Hopefully, the quarterback change will lead to even more production in the last half of the season.
Biggest Disappointment – Joe Flacco
I’m sure you’re surprised that Garett Bolles name isn’t in bold here. For me, Bolles doesn’t qualify solely because I’m not disappointed by what he’s done so far. I can’t be disappointed when what he’s provided is exactly what I expected out of the third-year tackle. Joe Flacco, on the other hand, was far worse than I could’ve imagined. I didn’t think he’d be an MVP candidate, but I couldn’t have possibly predicted a six-touchdown, five-interception season that ended with a trip to the IR. Flacco’s lack of mobility and inability to secure the ball cost the Broncos a chance to win more than once (the Jaguars and Chiefs games stand out the most) and the fact that the organization tied themselves to him beyond this year only makes matters worse. There have been plenty of disappointments from Dove Valley in 2019, but Joe Cool has been the biggest.
Broncos Country, what do you think?
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