The Official And I Mean Completely Official GWJ Mid-Season Awards Certis Make Me Trophies
MVP: It’s Tom Brady. I don’t care if you hate Tom Brady. I don’t care that he’s a snake oil salesman or a Trumpkin or you’d rather resurrect Hitler and give him the award instead. Tom Brady is the best player in the game and has been for years. With his WR corps banged up and having to constantly throw to overcome a shockingly awful defense, he’s still #1 in both DYAR and DVOA in Football Outsider’s rankings, and the difference between #1 Tom Brady and #2 Alex Smith (WAIT WHAT THE HELL DID I JUST WRITE) is greater than the difference between #2 Alex Smith and #6 Deshaun Watson. Also, if you’d told me in the preseason that three of the top six QBs in DYAR at the midpoint of the year would be Alex Smith, Case Keenum, and Deshaun Watson, I’d have asked you who the hell you were because I’ve never met any of the people who post in the NFL thread in real life.
Most Surprising Team, Bad Edition: The Giants, barely beating out Tampa.
Most Surprising Team, Good Edition: While the turnaround of the Rams is shocking in all sorts of ways, I think it has to be . . . *heavy sigh* . . .
The Jacksonville Jaguars, by actually building enough of a defense to overcome the existence of Blake Bortles. Bortles has positive DYAR and DVOA per FO, and, while he’s not great in either (20th and 19th, respectively), he’s not actually awful this year. I want you to know I’m in no way whatsoever hoping Bortles turns it on in the latter half of the season, leading the Jaguars a game or two into the playoffs, and inspiring the team to give him a massive, Flacco-esque extension based on him finally turning the corner. Because that would be wrong.
Coach of the Year, Good Edition: It’s Sean McVay, and it’s not even close. The Los Angeles Rams were laughable and awful and terrible and Jared Goff was positively Gabbertesque his rookie year, and I’d have been shocked if they went .500 this year. They’re currently 5-2, #2 in DVOA, and FO rates them as having an 82.3% chance to make the playoffs and 10.1% to win the Super Bowl. THE RAMS. The city of Los Angeles should build a statue to McVay so the ten people in the entire metropolitan area who actually care about professional football can pay him tribute.
Coach of the Year, Bad Edition: It’s Jeff Fisher. I don’t care if he’s not coaching. See above; there really aren’t that many additions to the Rams team from last year, and most of those are cast-offs or second-tier guys. Jeff Fisher would be 1-6 with this same team.
Fine. Uh . . . Chuck Pagano. Make a list. Pick anything he has failed to do. He is a train wreck of clueless and incompetent and the only way he could keep a job is if his owner was on drugs INSERT OBVIOUS JOKE HERE
Clevelandiest Clevelanding: Guys, we have an upset. The winner is . . . Cleveland! Where do you start? Is it starting rookie Deshone Kizer, while repeatedly benching him and then starting him again, all while having Cody Kessler as the third-string, when Kessler was honestly at least decent last year? Is it passing yet again on Deshaun Watson, after passing on Wentz and apparently-no-longer-sucky Jared Goff last year? Is it arranging to overpay for A.J. McCarron in a trade with the Browns, and then being too busy celebrating to actually file the paperwork? Or, alternatively, the front office passive-aggressively and intentionally not filing the paperwork in time, just to spite the coaching staff?
How Cleveland is Cleveland?
NONE MORE CLEVELAND.
Most Expected Free Agent Failure: Desean Jackson, come on down! No, further; Jameis is overthrowing you again. Fun fact; Football Outsiders did a ranking of QBs by routes in the offseason. Jameis Winston was excellent on all sorts of routes, but was the singly-worst QB in the league last year on go routes. Desean Jackson is great at go routes. The hope here was that Winston had fixed his deep ball, but he keeps OVERTHROWING DESEAN JACKSON.
Funniest Subplot of the Year So Far: Even I admit it’s the Bucs’ kicking game. There are people over at Bucs Nation posting that the Bucs should draft kicker X next year because that worked so well last time.
Best Trade Deadline Ever: This trade deadline. What the hell? Ayaji, Benjamin, Dareus, and Garappolo all moving, A.J. McCarron pretending to. Also, let the Kirk Cousins speculation begin. Jacksonville? The Jets? Arizona? Denver? Lots of possibilities now.
MAKE YOUR WEEKLY GAME PICKS HERE
Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers: The best WR left on the Panthers is either Funchess or Russell Shepard, who, for a wide receiver, is a really good special teams guy. The best GM on the Panthers is Marty Hurney, who, for a GM, is a pretty good radio guy.
Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans: HOT TAEK—is Mariota’s ceiling Slightly More Affluent Man’s Donovan McNabb? DISCUSS.
Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers: We’re likely looking at the last game of the C.J. Beathard era/career. No idea if Jimmy G is any good, but this is going to be the first time in a number of years San Francisco is actually interesting to watch.
Kansas City Chiefs at Dallas Cowboys: Kareem Hunt is the Offensive Rookie of the Year, though Deshaun Watson will have a lot to say about that. Ezekiel Elliott currently exists in a quantum state, both suspended and not suspended, until you stack eight men in the box.
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers: Brett Hundley has been very, very bad at football. Going back to FO stats, he has “accumulated” -197 DYAR on 64 passes. Jay Cutler, by way of comparison, has accumulated -176 on 192. Hundley has had several years to absorb things from Aaron Rodgers and prepare himself for this, and I think there’s a vague chance he might not be very good.
Week 8 Results
Rat Boy: 3-2
Season to Date
Rat Boy: 21-19