NFL midseason awards: Everyone is chasing Russell Wilson for MVP

Profile Picture: Robert Criscola

November 2nd, 2020

As we reach the midway point of the 2020 NFL regular season, it’s a good time to take stock of the battle for individual year-end honors. We’ve seen some obvious frontrunners emerge in some races, while others could come down to the final week of the campaign. Here are our selections for the unofficial NFL midseason award winners.

MVP: Russell Wilson

After a Week 7 hiccup against the Cardinals in which he threw three interceptions, Seahawks signal caller Russell Wilson bounced back in Week 8 with a four-touchdown performance against an overmatched 49ers squad.

Wilson owns the best passer rating in the league through seven games (120.7), and he’s had to be that sharp to bail out a Seattle defense that’s allowed the ninth-most points per game in the NFL (28.4).

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Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) takes a handoff from quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17). (Photo by Daniel Dunn/Icon Sportswire)

Offensive Player of the Year: Derrick Henry

Titans tailback Derrick Henry picked up where he left off last year by running wild on the NFL. He leads all rushers in yards per game (110.7) and is second in rushing touchdowns (eight) to Dalvin Cook, who had a difficult-to-replicate four-touchdown performance in Week 8 to boost his tally to 10.

If Henry keeps this pace up, he could become the first halfback to win this award since Todd Gurley in 2017.

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Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95). (Photo by Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire)

Defensive Player of the Year: Myles Garrett

It’s a close call between Browns defensive end Myles Garrett and Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald (a two-time winner of this award), but Garrett would seem to have the lead right now.

Garrett leads Donald 19-15 in solo tackles, and 4-3 in forced fumbles. Each has nine sacks on the season, tied for the NFL lead.

Garrett left Sunday’s game against Oakland early due to a knee injury,  but the Browns are hopeful that a MRI reveals no significant damage.

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Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire goes around the end during a NFL game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Denver Broncos. (Photo by Steve Nurenberg/Icon Sportswire)

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Clyde Edwards-Helaire

Chiefs halfback Clyde Edwards-Helaire could end up being surpassed by Bengals rookie quarterback Joe Burrow or the Chargers’ Justin Herbert by season’s end, but he at least deserves the midseason Offensive Rookie of the Year Award.

Edwards-Helaire is third among all running backs in rushing yards this season (572) and has also tallied 204 receiving yards through eight games. He’s only scored two touchdowns in 2020, but the sure-handed rookie from LSU has yet to fumble.

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Jeremy Chinn

Described by teammate Tre Boston as "Real Deal Holyfield," Panthers safety Jeremy Chinn appears to be the frontrunner for Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.

"What I love about him is his high energy man, the guy plays 110 mph each and every play," Boston told Sports Illustrated. "He has what you call those young fresh legs and he’s able to use them. He’s not afraid to hit, he can do just about everything. Shoutout to his parents because he’s a freak of nature."

Chinn won Rookie of the Month honors for October, when he recorded 30 tackles, four passes defensed, and an interception.

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Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin looks on during the NFL football game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire)

Coach of the Year: Mike Tomlin

Mike Tomlin is the head coach of the last undefeated team in the NFL this year in the 7-0 Steelers. They haven’t faced any cupcakes lately either – they took on three winning teams over the last three weeks in Cleveland, Tennessee, and Baltimore, and beat them all.

Tomlin, who recently passed Tony Dungy to become the all-time winningest Black head coach in the NFL, is long overdue for his first NFL Coach of the Year Award.