At the midpoint of the 2015 NFL season, our analysts refresh their predictions on the major individual awards, the entire playoff field and Championship Sunday/Super Bowl outcomes.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Michael Silver: Brady. He says he's better than he was a few years ago -- scarily, his assessment (as with everything else) is accurate.
Ike Taylor: Brady. Something is on his mind. I don't know if the offseason got to him, but it always seems that being a sixth-round draft pick is still the chip on his shoulder. He's in full form this year.
Nate Burleson: Brady. When it's all said and done, he's going to have the most efficient year of his career.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Michael Silver: Brady. In what bizarro universe does an offensive player win MVP without also winning this award?
Steve Wyche: Rodgers. A great player who has elevated the play of younger receivers and his running backs.
Nate Burleson: Beckham Jr. It was around this time last year that he started making a name for himself, having missed the first four weeks of the season due to injury. He's already hit the ground running in 2015, so you can only imagine what he's going to do in the second half.
Gil Brandt: Brady. He's 38 years old and playing his 16th NFL season -- and it's shaping up to be his best pro campaign ever. He's on pace to finish with 5,508 yards (which would set a new single-season record) and 46 touchdown passes. Oh, and the Patriots are undefeated. Brady is the hands-down choice here.
Steve Mariucci: Jones. He's off to a great start and Atlanta is a playoff team. He should continue to put up big numbers if he can stay healthy.
Dave Dameshek: Gronkowski. There's zero evidence any defense can stop Gronk at full strength. Appreciate it -- you're watching the best to ever play the position.
Elliot Harrison: Gronkowski. Gronk is on pace for nearly 1,500 yards and 16 touchdowns, which would represent the most productive year ever by a TE.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Michael Silver: Talib. The "No Fly Zone" is the most daunting force in football right now, and this physical, prolific player is the chief air-traffic controller.
Colleen Wolfe: Woodson. He's so good and so old. If you mash one word into the other, it makes "gold." That was just a thought in my head.
Shaun O'Hara: Kuechly. Nobody expected Carolina to be undefeated at this point in the season, and he's a big part of that.
OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Willie McGinest: Cooper. If he stays healthy, he's neck-and-neck with some of the top receivers. He's great after the catch.
Michael Silver: Gurley. He's a monster whose presence warmed Jeff Fisher's heart from Day 1 -- and he's only getting started.
Gil Brandt: Gurley. I went with Melvin Gordon in September, but I'm going back to my late-August pick in Gurley. He's only started four games so far -- but he's gained more than 125 yards rushing in each of those four starts. With 566 yards total in those starts, Gurley has surpassed Billy Sims, whose 539 rushing yards in 1980 had previously stood as the most by an NFL player in his first four starts. Gurley is also the youngest player in NFL history to have consecutive 100-yard games in his first four starts.
Bucky Brooks: Gurley. The big-bodied runner has topped the 100-yard mark in each of his four starts, displaying remarkable speed, quickness and burst. Gurley is a threat to take it the distance from anywhere on the field, which is why the Rams' offense has become more dynamic and explosive since his insertion into the starting lineup.
Steve Mariucci: Cooper. They're throwing the ball like crazy, and when they play from behind, he's going to get a lot of catches.
DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Ike Taylor: Peters. Again, he's one of those guys who I thought would be good by the end of the season. But he's good right now and not playing like a rookie. He's already playing with a whole lot of confidence -- usually guys have to grow into that.
Gil Brandt: Peters. He has played 96 percent of the Chiefs' defensive snaps, collecting 38 tackles and three interceptions -- very impressive numbers for a rookie cornerback. I think if you look at it from every angle, Peters has probably played the best among a group of really good first-year pros.
Charley Casserly: Williams. The D-lineman has played well in stopping the run and putting some pressure on the QB.
Bucky Brooks: Peters. It is uncommon for a rookie to step in and fill the void as the team's designated "shutdown corner," but Peters has played like an All-Pro since Day 1. With three interceptions and a number of PBUs (passes broken up) on the stat sheet, he is quickly becoming a household name as one of the NFL's premier cornerbacks.
Dave Dameshek: Peters. The Husky CB has been physical, fearless and downright terrific since Week 1.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Willie McGinest: Bill Belichick, New England Patriots. I'm going Belichick first, and then Mike Zimmer. The obvious coach is Belichick because the Pats are undefeated halfway through the season, and they've lost so many players. He's still got his team playing at a high level despite all the new guys. Zimmer has helped construct and build the Vikings through the draft, and the pieces are starting to fit. Minnesota is flying under the radar.
Nate Burleson: Belichick. He's a proven winner and an evil genius. While everybody is trying their hardest to stop him, the Pats are surgically picking this league apart.
Shaun O'Hara: Quinn. They hired him because they wanted a defensive-minded guy, and the defense has gotten better. But that offense is doing well, too. He's doing a great job with almost the same roster from a year ago.
Dave Dameshek: Wade Phillips, Denver Broncos. Yes, I realize he's not a head coach. Rules are made to be broken. Bruce Arians is, at worst, the second-best head coach right now, but Bum's son deserves a tip of the ten-gallon hat for transforming the same pieces on the DEN D from very good to downright terrifying.
COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Willie McGinest: Palmer. He's 35, but with the way he's been playing and his accuracy, he looks a whole lot younger. He still has great arm strength and is making all the throws. He's really playing at a high level.
Ike Taylor: Berry. After everything he's been through with cancer, to get himself back on the field says an incredible amount about his determination and strength of mind.
Steve Wyche: Berry. K.C. is awful, but Berry has played well. It's remarkable he's even on the field, having been diagnosed with cancer less than a year ago.
Nate Burleson: Berry. What he's battled back from doesn't happen often -- not just in sports, but in life.
Adam Schein: Palmer. He's healthy and playing good, solid, consistent ball, while guiding one of the NFL's best teams.
Bucky Brooks: Palmer. Veteran quarterbacks are not supposed to play their best football at the latter stages, yet Palmer is performing at an elite level as a 13th-year pro coming off his second ACL injury.