Midseason awards (cont.)
Posted: Tuesday November 6, 2007 1:14PM; Updated: Tuesday November 6, 2007 1:44PM
Defensive player -- Jared Allen, DE, Kansas City -- In the six games he has played after serving the two-game suspension the league handed him for his two DUI arrests, Allen has 8½ sacks and a pair of forced fumbles. He's the best player on an underrated Chiefs defense that is giving up just 18.2 points per game and some how keeping Kansas City in the thick of the AFC West race. The Chiefs were 0-2 without him, and are 4-2 since he returned to the lineup.
Kudos to: Mike Vrabel, New England, Albert Haynesworth, Tennessee, Osi Umenyiora, Giants, and Aaron Kampman, Green Bay.
Comeback player -- Randy Moss, WR, New England -- The Raiders decision-makers said he looked like he had lost a step and his legs were starting to go. Uh, no. He just knew a minor league outfit when he saw one, and there wasn't a quarterback in Oakland who could get him the ball. All of that has changed in New England, where questions about how he'd fit in with the Patriots now seem comical in retrospect.
Kudos to: Brett Favre, Green Bay.
Coach -- Tom Coughlin, N.Y. Giants -- We've seen the Giants fade in the second half before, but we're giving Coughlin the nod for now based on his accomplishment of keeping his team together after that ugly 0-2 start, which some how gave way to a six-game winning streak. New York hasn't really had an eye-opening win, but this week's first-place showdown against visiting Dallas would certainly qualify.
Kudos to: Dick Jauron, Buffalo, Mike McCarthy, Green Bay, Herman Edwards, Kansas City.
AFC Surprise team -- Kansas City -- The Chiefs in the preseason appeared to me destined for a top-three draft slot, and gave HBO's Hard Knocks reality series an ironic twist on the title. Despite their offensive shortcomings, they're 4-4 and tied for first in the AFC West at midseason. Go figure.
Runners up: Cleveland and Tennessee.
NFC Surprise team -- Detroit -- The Lions and Packers have both had the Cinderella story line working this season, but while Green Bay did manage to finish 8-8 last year, Detroit was 3-13 and owns the NFL's second-longest playoff drought behind Arizona (the Lions and Bills both last made the postseason in 1999). Matt Millen for NFL Executive of the Year?
Runners up: Green Bay, Tampa Bay, and the Giants.