2012 Patriots: Mid-season Awards

Chandler Jones Patriots

Did Chandler Jones pick up any of our mid-season awards? (Photo: US Presswire)

NEPD Editor: James Christensen

The Patriots were off this weekend, getting rested up for the stretch run before a hopeful playoff berth. They didn’t get to be a part of one of the worst weekends for sportsbooks, but a great one for guys that bet on NFL football this weekend.

As the Patriots head into the second half of the season, I hand out a few awards to some deserving Patriots.

Comeback Player of the Year

Devin McCourty had an awful 2011 season, nobody is denying that. However, in 2012 McCourty has consistently been a steady contributor in a secondary that has been anything but

He has only missed two tackles all year, defending six passes, grabbing two interceptions and holding opposing quarterback to a QB rating of 65.6 when throwing in his direction.

Coach of the Year

Dante Scarnecchia has, once again, done an amazing job with the Patriots offensive line. He has consistently protected Tom Brady with makeshift parts, rookies and veteran castoffs.

He is grooming Nate Solder to join Sebastian Vollmer as one of the top ten tackles in the NFL and has gotten everything he could out of an interior line that looked like it would sorely miss Brian Waters.

Coach Scar might be the best positional coach in the entire NFL, even if you’ll rarely see his name on ESPN.com.

Rookie of the Year

Dont’a Hightower has been very good, as well as Alfonzo Dennard. Even Tavon Wilson has made some plays. That said, Chandler Jones has won this award and it isn’t even close.

Jones has had a better statistical season than Jason Pierre-Paul, racking up six sacks and 20 hurries. You could argue that Jones is even more valuable to the Patriots than JPP is to the Giants, as Jones has accounted for almost a third of the Patriots 65 hurries to the date.

Offensive MVP

This is the hardest decision that I had to make handing out awards. Is Tom Brady helped out by Rob Gronkowski or vice versa? In the end I had to give the award to Gronk.

Gronkowski is still one of Brady’s go-to targets in the passing game, but it is his contributions in the Patriots’ potent running attack that really set him above Brady. The balance that the Patriots have exhibited this year will be so key come the playoffs.

Defensive MVP

Devin McCourty, contrary to popular belief, has played very well so far for this year, but he can’t crack the top three of the defensive MVP’s.

Brandon Spikes and Vince Wilfork both have made big impacts this year, but Chandler Jones once again takes the award. Without him consistently harassing the quarterback, I shudder to think what opposing offenses would have done against the secondary.

Your Turn

Who would you choose for your mid-season awards in the above categories?

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7 Responses to “2012 Patriots: Mid-season Awards”

  1. JMC says:

    This all looks good but I think Wilfork gets the MVP for the defense.
    Brady has played better this year than the last two years, I think, but Kyle above is right about Welker- among all the great talented stars, he seems to be the anchor that makes the offense solid.

    You should look at unsung heroes too-like Woodhead, Nicho, Love and some others that have stepped up at key moments or with quiet consistency.

  2. Dan says:

    I love Chandler Jones, but I would love if they could give him some help on the other side. So I hope they draft Dion Jordan. And then Robert Lester.

  3. D.S.T. says:

    I love how our team has such a robust core:
    Brady, Edelman, Lloyd, Mallett, Mankins, Connolly, Wendell, Cannon, Thomas, Vollmer, Gronkowski, Hernandez
    Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich, Kyle Love, Vince Wilfork, Brandon Spikes, Donta Hightower, Jerod Mayo, Devin McCourty, Tavon Wilson

    That’s a great core that has the potential to stay together for at least 3 more seasons.

  4. Jinx says:

    I agree with some of your awards….

    Where I disagree:

    Vollmer for Comeback player of the Year and Brady or Welker for offensive MVP.

  5. Guru says:

    This is welkers last year, gonna miss him. Love all the play makers on defense. This is the first year 2013 since 2007 that the patriots can draft the best player available. Welker off mvp

  6. Kyle says:

    Comeback Player: Brandon Spikes- he missed a lot of time last year, so I think he qualifies for this award. The defense is entirely different with him in there.
    Coach: Dante Scarnecchia- simply the best.
    Rookie: Chandler Jones- not close, though Hightower and Dennard have played well.
    Off. MVP: Wes Welker- they tried to phase him out but it is clear how much he means to the offense. He is reliable and Brady’s go to WR on 3rd down.
    Def. MVP: Chandler Jones- the primary source of the pass rush, I have my eyes on him on almost every play.

  7. AM says:

    Good selections, although I think Brady always has to walk away with Offensive MVP. Even putting aside the passing itself, the speed of his reads and delivery protects the offensive line, and that’s a large part of their success.

    That being said, if we take Brady out of the equation, I go with Welker over Gronkowski on offense. Even after a slow start, he’s on pace for an unbelievable season, and he’s proven that he’s not only got supreme chemistry with Brady but is also tough as nails. On a 4th-and-5, he’s always going to be open, and that’s no small thing.

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