2019 NFL midseason award predictions: MVP race heating up

With the 2019 NFL season at its midpoint, our analysts revisit/revise their preseason predictions for the major individual awards.

Most Valuable Player

T-1. Aaron Rodgers(11 votes: Baldinger, Battista, Bergman, Blair, Casserly, Filice, Hanzus, Jones, Rank, Rosenthal, Thomas)
T-1. Russell Wilson(11 votes: Bhanpuri, Brandt, Carr, Cersosimo, Chadiha, Gbajabiamila, Hall, McGinest, Patra, Reece, Robinson)
3. Lamar Jackson(2 votes: Parr, Smith)
T-4. Dalvin Cook(1 vote: Trotter)
T-4. Christian McCaffrey(1 vote: Tomlinson)

Why Judy Battista chose Aaron Rodgers: Did you see that ridiculous on-the-run touchdown pass to Jamaal Williams against the Chiefs? Remember when we wondered how Aaron Rodgers and Matt LaFleur would coexist? Rodgers and the Packers have never looked better.

Offensive Player of the Year

1. Christian McCaffrey(9 votes: Bergman, Carr, Chadiha, Gbajabiamila, Hall, McGinest, Patra, Reece, Robinson)
2. Lamar Jackson(5 votes: Bhanpuri, Blair, Hanzus, Parr, Smith)
3. Dalvin Cook(4 votes: Brandt, Filice, Jones, Tomlinson)
T-4. Patrick Mahomes(2 votes: Baldinger, Casserly)
T-4. Michael Thomas(2 votes: Cersosimo, Trotter)
T-4. Deshaun Watson(2 votes: Battista, Rank)
T-7. Aaron Rodgers(1 vote: Thomas)

Why Jeffri Chadiha chose Christian McCaffrey: McCaffrey came into this season wanting 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving. He might not get there, but he is still on pace for 2,464 total yards from scrimmage, which would be the second-highest amount in NFL history (behind only Chris Johnson's 2,509-yard 2009 campaign).

Defensive Player of the Year

1. Stephon Gilmore(11 votes: Baldinger, Bergman, Bhanpuri, Casserly, Filice, Jones, Patra, Robinson, Rosenthal, Smith, Trotter)
2. Myles Garrett(4 votes: Battista, Cersosimo, Gbajabiamila, Thomas)
3. Devin McCourty(3 votes: Carr, Hall, McGinest)
T-4. Nick Bosa(2 votes: Hanzus, Parr)
T-4. Bobby Wagner(2 votes: Rank, Reece)
T-6. Shaquil Barrett(1 vote: Tomlinson)
T-6. Jamie Collins(1 vote: Chadiha)
T-6. Chandler Jones(1 vote: Blair)
T-6. Luke Kuechly(1 vote: Brandt)

Why Steve Smith Sr. chose Stephon Gilmore: I originally had Baker Mayfield in this spot. That's right! Mayfield for DPOY! The guy has been responsible for 12 picks and three fumbles (one lost) in seven games so far. He's handing out turnovers to defenses across the league like candy at Halloween. Unfortunately, my editors wouldn't let me pick him since he technically doesn't qualify. So Stephon Gilmore it is. The Patriots' shutdown cornerback comes to play every week -- often shadowing the opponent's top receiver -- and he has one of New England's four defensive TDs this season. Shutdown cornerbacks are hard to come by, but Gilmore has played arguably better than any other through the first half of the season.

Offensive Rookie of the Year

1. Josh Jacobs(11 votes: Bhanpuri, Blair, Carr, Casserly, Filice, Gbajabiamila, McGinest, Parr, Patra, Reece, Smith)
2. Kyler Murray(9 votes: Baldinger, Battista, Brandt, Cersosimo, Chadiha, Hanzus, Robinson, Rosenthal, Tomlinson)
3. Terry McLaurin(3 votes: Hall, Jones, Trotter)
4. Gardner Minshew(2 votes: Bergman, Rank)
5. Marquise Brown(1 vote: Thomas)

Why Kevin Patra chose Josh Jacobs: Questions about whether Jacobs could be a workhorse at the NFL level were quickly sunk 12,000 feet to the bottom of the ocean. The Raiders have leaned on the running back like no other rookie, making Jacobs the focal point of Jon Gruden's offense. The RB has responded with 620 rushing yards, sixth-most in the NFL. (His 88.6 rush yards per game sits fifth, currently ahead of the likes of Ezekiel Elliott and Saquon Barkley.) Jacobs combines superior vision to find the hole, burst through the second-level, jaw-dropping one-cut ability and the skill to make defenders look silly in space. The rookie is a rare version of power and agility on the ground, with pass-catching ability ideal for today's NFL.

Defensive Rookie of the Year

1. Nick Bosa(23 votes: Baldinger, Battista, Bergman, Bhanpuri, Blair, Brandt, Carr, Casserly, Cersosimo, Chadiha, Filice, Gbajabiamila, Hall, Hanzus, Parr, Patra, Rank, Reece, Robinson, Rosenthal, Smith, Thomas, Trotter)
2. Devin Bush(3 votes: Jones, McGinest, Tomlinson)

Why Gregg Rosenthal chose Nick Bosa: Bosa is already one of the best pass rushers in football. He's got a chance to be hunting bigger game than this award, like DPOY or the Lombardi Trophy.

Comeback Player of the Year

1. Cooper Kupp(10 votes: Baldinger, Bergman, Bhanpuri, Carr, Filice, Hanzus, Jones, McGinest, Parr, Rank)
2. Jimmy Garoppolo(7 votes: Battista, Blair, Cersosimo, Gbajabiamila, Patra, Thomas, Tomlinson)
T-3. Dalvin Cook(2 votes: Casserly, Chadiha)
T-3. Travis Frederick(2 votes: Robinson, Rosenthal)
T-5. Teddy Bridgewater(1 vote: Smith)
T-5. Jacoby Brissett(1 vote: Reece)
T-5. Aaron Rodgers(1 vote: Brandt)
T-5. Emmanuel Sanders(1 vote: Hall)
T-5. Darren Waller(1 vote: Trotter)

Why Adam Rank chose Cooper Kupp: I think it's becoming pretty clear with each passing week that Cooper Kupp was the Rams' offensive MVP last year. Everyone wondering what happened to L.A. down the stretch last season (and in the Super Bowl) thought it was Todd Gurley. But it's Kupp -- and he's dominating again now. He's far and away the Comeback Player of the Year.

Coach of the Year

1. Sean Payton(10 votes: Baldinger, Battista, Bhanpuri, Blair, Chadiha, Filice, Hall, Hanzus, Robinson, Trotter)
2. Kyle Shanahan(6 votes: Brandt, Gbajabiamila, McGinest, Rank, Thomas, Tomlinson)
3. Frank Reich(5 votes: Carr, Cersosimo, Parr, Rosenthal, Smith)
4. Bill Belichick(3 votes: Bergman, Patra, Reece)
T-5. Pete Carroll(1 vote: Jones)
T-5. Sean McDermott(1 vote: Casserly)

Why DeAngelo Hall chose Sean Payton: The New Orleans Saints have experienced crushing back-to-back postseason exits, so when Drew Brees tore up his thumb in Week 2, "Who Dat" nation was gutted. Sean Payton has also been without starting running back Alvin Kamara and tight end Jared Cook for stints, and the longtime head coach has handled it all brilliantly. Payton deserves a ton of credit for leading the Saints to a 5-0 mark during Brees' absence with Teddy Bridgewater, who's had a miraculous comeback of his own, improving each week as the starting QB. Payton has his team sitting at 7-1 heading into the bye week, and it feels like the Saints' season is just getting started.

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