At the midpoint of the 2016 NFL season, our analysts refresh their predictions on the major individual awards, the entire playoff field and Championship Sunday/Super Bowl LI outcomes.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Gil Brandt: Brady. After missing the first four games of the season with a suspension, Brady has put together a four-game start to his campaign as good as any he's had throughout his career. He's thrown 12 touchdown passes against zero interceptions with a passer rating of 133.9 -- and three of the four games were on the road.
Maurice Jones-Drew: Brady. He is putting on a clinic in 2016, which is no different than any other year.
Willie McGinest: Brady. Right now, he's the most efficient quarterback in the league. I think he'll keep this up the remainder of the way.
Charley Casserly: Brady. Forget about the fact that he missed four games. With a QB rating of 133.9 and 12 TDs against zero INTs, Brady's a man on a mission!
Colleen Wolfe: Brady. Proof that everybody should get four weeks of vacation. Time away from work increases productivity, reduces stress and often leads to a 73.1 completion percentage at the midway point of busy season. Talk to your bosses today!
Alex Gelhar: Ryan. This award too often favors quarterbacks, and Ryan is playing some of the best football of his career and leading one of the NFL's top offenses.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Charley Casserly: Ryan. Lot of possibilities here (Julio Jones, Ezekiel Elliott, Matt Stafford, etc.), but I am going with Ryan. He has been consistent the whole year with 19 TDs against four INTs. Ryan has proven he can win without Julio Jones, too, beating Green Bay last week when the Pack shut down Atlanta's star receiver.
Colleen Wolfe: Ryan. If Matt Ryan loses MVP to Tommy Boy, he belongs right here. Ryan's playing like he got that lemon pepper chicken with the sauce and extra blue cheese from J.R. Crickets. With career bests in passing yards per game, yards per attempt, TD-to-INT ratio and passer rating, WHAT ELSE DO YOU WANT FROM HIM? (A championship? Talk to the defense.)
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Jeffri Chadiha: Miller. He was a holy terror through the first four games of the season and has 8.5 sacks at the midway point. Don't be surprised if he's even more dominant as the playoff race heats up.
Maurice Jones-Drew: Miller. He's got 8.5 sacks midway through the season and is only going to be a bigger force for that defense going forward.
David Carr: Miller. He's had an impressive run since January and is one of the most valuable players in football.
Ike Taylor: Peters. I love this guy. He's leading the league again in INTs (5) and probably won't give that honor up.
OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Gil Brandt: Elliott. On track to challenge Eric Dickerson's rookie rushing record, Elliott is a complete back who catches and blocks at a championship level, and he leads the NFL in total rushing yards and runs of 20-plus yards.
Maurice Jones-Drew: Elliott. He's leading the league in rushing yards and could finish the year atop the board.
Brian Billick: Elliott. He could also win the Offensive Player of the Year, so he surely has to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year.
David Carr: Elliott. I think he'll get this award pretty easily and could even get Offensive Player of the Year.
Charley Casserly: Elliott. You could make the argument he is a strong candidate for Offensive Player of the Year.
DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Gil Brandt: Bosa. He's been a surprise to me -- when a guy misses as much time in the preseason and early portion of the regular season as Bosa did, you don't expect him to play well. But Bosa quickly made up for it, racking up two multi-sack games and serving as the catalyst of San Diego's defense. He's showing a level of competitiveness that wasn't as obvious during his time at Ohio State.
Brian Billick: Bosa. He missed the first four games of the season, but you'd be hard-pressed to prove to me that any other rookie has been as impactful as Bosa on a game-by-game basis.
Gregg Rosenthal: Jones. Linebackers who rack up tackles as rookies often win this award. Jones has been solid as a starter, but will have to pick up his pace for this prediction to come true.
David Carr: Ngakoue. Not many people are following Ngakoue but just look at his stats (13 tackles, four sacks, one pass defensed, one INT and three forced fumbles).
Ike Taylor: Bosa. Even though he missed the first four games of the season, Bosa is wreaking havoc on opponents.
Colleen Wolfe: Bosa. Worth the wait. Bosa had a lot of people (me) wondering if he'd be as good as advertised. Turns out he's better. Bosa has logged multiple quarterback hits in every game he's played, helping improve a Chargers team that lost a lot of pieces early in the season. His mom will be so happy.
Adam Rank: Brown. Unlike his teammate, who held out for the whole preseason, Brown has been a great defender since Day 1.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Gil Brandt: Bill Belichick, New England Patriots. The Patriots just keep winning, no matter what, but this year, Belichick took that consistency to another level, succeeding with three different quarterbacks. He's dealt with injuries and still pushed New England to a three-game lead in the AFC East. He knows how to design football plays and get the team to execute.
Willie McGinest: Zimmer. What he's been able to do so far despite losing a lot of starters makes him the favorite here.
Colleen Wolfe: Belichick. Jack Del Rio is bae for everything he's accomplished in Oakland, but the hoodie won't be denied here. Bill Belichick could win every year, but this is the year he should win. Leading his team to a 7-1 record without Tom Brady for half that time is not luck. Nobody exploits matchups better than Belichick ... except maybe Tinder.
Marcas Grant: Del Rio. BlackJack Del Rio has played the odds and come up a winner several times this year. Now he has a young team contending for a playoff spot and division title.
COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Gil Brandt: Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers. I can think of half a dozen names here, but I'll go with Nelson, who has six touchdowns in seven games after missing 2015 with a torn ACL. Despite the Packers' inconsistent running game, which allows opponents to key on Green Bay's receivers, Nelson has continued to get better each week. I think he's the key to the Packers making the playoffs.
Charley Casserly: Murray. He was one of the top players in the NFL in 2014 -- and now he's back to that level.
Colleen Wolfe: Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers. Gordon was living in the shadow of Todd Gurley last year. Through 14 games Gordon ran for 641 yards on 184 attempts, never once crossing the goal line. His six fumbles were just terrible icing on a very sad Gordon cake. NOT THIS YEAR! Gordon has baked up eight TDs through eight games. Mmm mmm good.
Marcas Grant: Luck. He has shaken off a very forgettable 2015 campaign and is on pace for arguably the best season of his career.