Here’s our belated look at the best of the best for the first half (or so) of the 2008 season.
First up, the offense.
Best receivers:  Anquan Boldin, Cardinals; Andre Johnson, Texans; Greg Jennings, Packers.
Best tight ends:  Jason Witten, Cowboys; Tony Gonzalez, Chiefs.
Best tackles:  Chad Clifton, Packers; David Diehl, Giants; Michael Roos, Titans.
Best center:  Matt Birk, Vikings; Nick Mangold, Jets.
Best guards:  Chris Snee, Giants; Steven Hutchinson, Vikings; Eric Steinbach, Browns.
Best running backs:  Adrian Peterson, Vikings; Clinton Portis, Redskins; Chris Johnson, Titans.
Best fullback:  Le’Ron McClain, Ravens. 
Best quarterbacks:  Kurt Warner, Cardinals; Drew Brees, Saints.
Next, the defense.
Best defensive ends:  John Abraham, Falcons; Justin Tuck, Giants; Jared Allen, Vikings.
Best defensive tackles:  Albert Haynesworth, Titans; Shaun Rogers, Browns; Kevin Williams, Vikings.
Best outside linebackers:  Joey Porter, Dolphins; LaMarr Woodley, Steelers; DeMarcus Ware, Cowboys.
Best inside linebackers:  Jon Beason, Panthers; DeMeco Ryans, Texans.
Best cornerbacks:  Charles Woodson, Packers; Antoine Winfield, Vikings; Cortland Finnegan, Titans; Nnamdi Asomugha, Raiders.
Best safeties:  Troy Polamalu, Steelers; Nick Collins, Packers.
And the special teams.
Best kicker:  Matt Bryant, Buccaneers.
Best punter:  Shane Lechler, Raiders.
Best kick returner:  Darren Sproles, Chargers.
Best punt returner:  Jacoby Jones, Texans.
And, finally, here’s some miscellaneous stuff.
Best G.M.:  Thomas Dimitroff, Falcons.
Worst G.M.:  Matt Millen/Martin Mayhew, Lions.
Best coach:  Jeff Fisher, Titans.
Worst coach:  Marvin Lewis, Bengals.
Best owner:  Wayne Huizenga, Dolphins.
Worst owner:  Al Davis, Raiders.
Rookie of the year:  Matt Ryan, Falcons.
Rookie bust:  Vernon Gholston, Jets.
Best free agent acquisition:  Michael Turner, Falcons.
Worst free agent acquisition:  Javon Walker, Raiders.

129 responses to “MID-SEASON (SORT OF) AWARDS

  1. Looks like we only rank defensive players based on sacks and interceptions on NFL.com instead of actually watching the games.

  2. Good burn BringingTheWood!
    Looks like there’s some truth to it.
    The lack of Kris Jenkins on the list shows either Florio’s lack of football smarts or, more likely, his Jets hatred.
    But seriously, ROGERS?! At least Jenkins has, you know, improved his teams’ defense.

  3. I have both Brees and Warner on my fantasy team. Unfortunately I can only start one per week…It’s been painful. Fantasy team aside, both of these guys have had great years so far. I didn’t notice an MVP pick…Did I miss it? Anyways, I would go with either Brees, Warner, Adrian, Clinton Portis, Kerry Collins, or Joey Porter for MVP…Yes I said Joey Porter, he’s having a good season. I would ultimately pick Joey Porter simply because he’s really having a great season. Florio, who is your pick?

  4. I’m loving this… not a Patriot to be found in the bunch (possibly because nearly all the starters are on Injured Reserve). Keep the disrespect coming! That’s like spinach for Popeye for this team.
    Seeing as Gholston gets the award for “rookie bust” can we go back and see how many Jets fans were chortling about “stealing” Gholston away from the Patriots? Seems like Belichick let drop a rumor about moving up to grab him just to prompt MangIdiot to waste a top draft pick on him. Too bad they couldn’t convince the Jets to burn another #1 draft pick to move up in the draft to take him as they did when they let slip the rumor that they wanted DeWayne Robertson.
    How did that one work out for the Jets?

  5. c’mon florio, no love for the jets? kris jenkins is the best tackle that doesn’t step on people’s faces. revis leads the league in INTs despite the fact that teams have stopped throwing the ball to his side of the field completely, and thomas jones leads the AFC in rushing, and has a better average per carry and more TDs than chris johnson.

  6. You missed Ray Lewis, who is going to get some votes for DPOY I promise. But that’s ok, the Ravens like flying under the radar.

  7. I guess Hall could be considered the worst FA acquisition by two teams in the same season.
    Certainly that should be worthy of an award.

  8. Completely ridiculous to not have London Fletcher on the inside linebacker list, Jon Beason fine, but come on the Texans defense is terrible and Ryans isn’t even a top five MLB.
    Ray Lewis
    maybe Beason

  9. James Harrison has better numbers than Woodley…and that seems that’s what you’re basing this off of…and should Mcclain count as a fullback? Anyone listed as fullback that plays a lot of tailback is going to have great number for a FB, so obviously he stands out. But again, I guess it’s just about numbers.

  10. Flacco could still be ROY imo depending on what happens down the stretch with the Ravens going up against the toughest competition in the league from here on out. Ryan is ballin out tho.

  11. Spork – Although Hall seems be as big of a bust as javon Walker, i don’t think he was a FA. He was a trade acquisition. regardless, he has sucked for a couple of years now.

  12. You must be kidding with Chad Clifton. Did you mean Mark Tauscher because as a Packer fan I can tell you Clifton cant block anyone anymore and has been hurt all year. Did you not see what a injured Allen did to him this week!

  13. Al Davis has struggled, but he is no Mike Brown. 1 winning season in 18 seasons for Mike Brown. The only reason Al Davis gets the pub is because nobody cares about the Bengals.

  14. Really, what exactly has Rogers done? I have watched their games, and he has done jack-shit for that defense. They’re even worse than last year. And how can you not include Jenkins? He single-handedly has kept that Jets team in contention with his constant pressure. Jenkins is simply everything that Rogers isn’t and is supposed to be.
    I simply don’t get Nnamdi being lest off this list. Yes he plays for a bad team, but so does Rogers! Yes he did get his first pick this week, but thats because only Delhomme is retarded enough to throw his way. (And I am a Panthers fan)
    And what the heck on worst free agent? DeAngelo Hall? $70 million? I know Golston is an easy target for biggest rookie bust, but his team is winning. How about Derrick Harvey of the Jaguars? He held out of training camp, and his team sucks. How about Chris Williams? I know he’s been hurt and that it’s not his fault he’s not on the field, but at least Golston has occasionally seen the field. Besides, the lack of stats on his part is due to him being used to cover TE’s, not rush the passer. That’s what Pace was brought in for.

  15. how could you not have Kris Jenkins as a top DE? the guy might be the defensive player of the year. Also, Revis might be #4 CB on that list.

  16. This list is a personification of how the media has no real football knowledge and can only base their opinions off of reading a stat sheet. The only defensive players they ever choose are sack and int leaders. It is pathetic. This is exactly why you never see 3-4 DEs or 4-3 OLBs in the probowl. Their seasons aren’t as quantifiable so they get ignored. The media is full of stupid, lazy morons which makes most of the NFL fans stupid, lazy morons because they simply buy in to whatever the media is selling them. Piss on your awards Florio.

  17. Not a bad list, but Chad Clifton has had a pretty bad year at tackle, and this is from a huge Green Bay fan.
    Wow, Steve Slaton isn’t Florio’s pick for Rookie of the Year?? Thats surprising.
    All three of Oakland’s “big” off-season acquisitions should be in that spot. Why no love for Hall and Kelly??

  18. Hall isn’t listed as the worst free agent acquisition because he wasn’t. Hall was asked to play almost entirely man-to-man, something he has never been great at. However, he still recorded three interceptions and is still a fantastic zone defender. The Raiders released him for financial reasons. Meanwhile, Javon Walker has done absolutely nothing for the Raiders, and has no excuses.
    No Richard Seymour on this list? I’m not the biggest Seymour fan, but he’s been so dominant this season, not seeing him on this list is a shame.

  19. As a loyal Packer homer, Clifton is a shell of his former self this season. College should be starting over him at LT until he figures out what’s wrong, and if it’s something that can be fixed. I think he’s just past his prime. Tackles get old, quick. Lots and lots and lots of them go from good to bad in 1 season, I think time has just caught up to Chad.

  20. how in the f do you omit rivers? he’s #2 in the nfl at the qb position, and had been #1 most of the season
    another mediot enamored with the drew brees yardage stat, and forgetting the guy is barely a lifetime .500 qb
    florio got fooled

  21. Kris Jenkins definitely deserves to be on the list.
    The management at the Dolphins need to be on the list somehow for their amazing turnaround.
    Hell, rookie coaches as a group need to be on the list somehow. Zorn, Sparano, Smith all featuring major turnarounds in their first head coaching gigs. Most valuable non-player category: Rookie Head Coaches.
    I don’t think Marvin Lewis is the worst coach…his hands are tied with such awful front office work. Come on…bringing back Chris Henry? If Marvin had any clout, you could blame it on him, but it is clear he doesn’t.
    Biggest balls: Green Bay management for trading away Favre. Runner Up: Shanahan and Herm for going for 2 at the end of the game down by 1.
    Smallest balls: Romeo Crennel, for consistently ordering field goals and punts when he should obviously go for it.

  22. No Roddy White for best receivers? Greg Jennings has 43 catches for 801 yards – RODDY HAS 53 CATCHES FOR 801 YARDS!! Same yardage and 10 more catches!! And he has 6 TD’s!!! Andre Johnson has 3 and Greg Jennings has 4 !!!!! Roddy is CLEARLY the best receiver with a ROOKIE QB throwing to him!!! Get a grip OREO!!!

  23. Josh Cribbs from the Cleveland Browns is notably missing from this list as a kick return specialist. Carlos Rogers from the Redskins should also get some consideration.

  24. Well, I guess Anquoin with 10 TD’s (but nowhere near the yardage or reception leaders) deserves some love, but Roddy is the man!!!

  25. Good to see some Titans getting praise. Titans secondary is really underrated. They’ve got 3 starters tied for 2nd in the league w/ 4 picks. And they’ve been playing the past month w/o their best pass rusher in KVB. They’ve gotten very little pressure w/o him… relatively speaking of course.

  26. I’m a huge fan of LaMarr Woodley, and it’s not that he doesn’t deserve to be on that list, but you can’t exclude James Harrison and only put Woodley on there. You either have both or you just have Harrison. Just like the media, though, so it really doesn’t surprise me. Wood’s a no name gettin’ all the credit in the world (and he deserves it) but Harrison established himself last year and is having a defensive player of the year kinda season, but doesn’t really get anything. Strange.

  27. Al Davis worst owner? Have you heard of Mike Brown. At least Al gives the impression publicly that he wants to win.

  28. how do u not put nnamdi asoughmua as best corners, hes been thrown his way 10 times in 9 games, and the one time they threw an actual pass his way, he picked it off

  29. Reggie Bush is clearly the best punt returner from the first half of the season. Check it out: 13 returns for 285 yards and 3 TDs. Your boy Jacoby Jones has 17 returns for 220 yards and 2 TDs, an average of 12.9 yards per return…nice but not close to Bush’s 21.9 yard average.
    We know you hate Bush, but give the guy credit. You constantly point out that he’s not a running back, well, give him credit for being a great punt returner then.

  30. how can you leave haloti ngata off the list of best defensive tackles?.. he’s single handedly the reason why the ravens are the allowing the least rushing yards in the league.. i’m now starting to see why people bash on you all the time. this list is complete horseshit

  31. How does Hall not make the list of worst FA acquisition?
    Simple, the raiders traded for him, then they signed him to that huge deal

  32. For a pretty unimpressive, hovering around .500 team, the Packers sure do have a lot of players on this list.

  33. Jenkins is dominating the NFL right now.
    And don’t look now but, Tanenbaum is up for GM of the Year.

  34. Sorry for the ranting before, I just couldn’t believe some of those choices. Theses are the awards I respectfully disagree with:
    I do think that Jeff Fischer is a totally worthy candidate for coach of the year, especially considering how the first week played out, but if the Falcons make the playoffs, Mike Smith really does deserve a shot at it.
    As for worst coach, how does Rod Mirinelli not get it? At least the Bengals won a game. Marvin Lewis is a terrible coach, there is no question, but Mirinelli is just a failure at life in general.
    Sproles is a dynamite returner, but Joshua Cribbs anyone? And I do like your choices for best receivers, but how do you leave out Roddy White? He’s a huge part of Matt Ryan’s success, and the Falcons success in general.
    Last thing: While Wayne H. is definitely deserving of owner of the year (who the hell gives that award out?), you have to consider Arthur Blank. A big reason why the Dolphins are doing good is that they spent the offseason getting good players and have one hell of a G.M. Blank definitely didn’t add to much other than his draft and Turner, and what we now know to be one hell of a G.M. I think he gets the nod for his savvy in hiring people that nobody really know about.

  35. Ha. You obviously don’t watch many NFC North games if you think that Clifton and Birk are having even remotely decent years.

  36. The Raiders got Hall via trade, so that can’t be the worst FA acquisition. The Redskins got him for peanuts, which is not nearly as bad as all of the guaranteed money that the Raiders gave Javon. Javon is clearly the worst FA acquisition.

  37. “How does Hall not make the list of worst FA acquisition?”
    He wasn’t a free agent. It was a trade. Which kinda makes it even worse. But not a “free agent acquisition”.

  38. IMO, James Harrison has to make the list at OLB. He doesn’t just record sacks; he is strong against the run and brings pressure almost every time he rushes the passer. I think the case could be made that he should be Defensive Player of the Year. Solid group at OLB, and I’m not sure who I’d leave off.

  39. You know, you were flabbergasted when the Vikings had 7 pro bowl players last year. You have 6 on your all pro team!
    FYI – Hutch hasn’t been very good this year. Fred Robbins should have made it over Shaun Rogers (only because Rogers is a fat POS who has one good season then takes the next two off, so you don’t want him to peak too early).

  40. Worst Division: Tie, AFC West, NFC North
    Overrated coaches: Andy Reid, Mike McCarthy
    Overrated players: Antonio Cromartie, Al Harris

  41. because hall was received in a trade. not free agency. and florio. how dont u include asomugha? in watching this last weekends game. they said that according to the nfl stats… hes been thrown at only 25 times this entire season. that was before the game i will add. i only can think of one pass that was thrown at him all game. it was picked. not only is he the best cover corner (in my opinion).. he has great tackling skills for a cb.

  42. As a Packer fan….no on Clifton. He peaked a few years ago and it’s been a steady decline ever since. He got ABUSED against the Vikings this past Sunday.

  43. Actually, my only complaint would be with my man Chad Clifton. I love the guy, but he has played like crap all year.

  44. chad clifton? no way. he hasn’t even played the best LT on our team. Colledge has outplayed him this year. Our line is better with him riding the bench

  45. Technically Hall can’t make the list of “free agent” as he was traded for a 2nd and a 5th…which makes it even worse.
    Speaking of bad corners acquired in a trade, where would the Pacman Jones acquisition fall on this list?

  46. End of the year ideas:
    The Herschel Walker Award (Worst Acquisition)
    The Johnny Unitas Award (Best Acquisition)
    The Jerramy Stevens Award (Turd of the Year)
    The Kevin Everett Award (Comeback POY)
    The Warrick Dunn Award (Off The Field POY)
    The Pasquarelli Award (Worst Journalist)
    The Reggie White Award (DEF. POY)
    The Walter Payton Award (OFF. POY)
    I’m running out of ideas. I’m sure you can think of some more Florio.

  47. I’m a Ravens fan and I’m going to echo the Ngata comment. Baltimore, arguably, has the best defense in the league and he’s been a huge part of that. He run blocks so well, frees up the linebackers to make plays and even puts together a decent pass-rush. He’s been a top notch draft choice.
    I’m most shocked about the lack of Nnamdi Asoughma on this list. I think he’s proven himself as the best corner in the league this year.

  48. I know Florio hates Reggie Bush, but how can he not be on list as best punt returner? 3 returns for TD in 7 games that could’ve easily been 4 if not for getting tripped up against Minny while going for his 3rd of that game! Who the hell is Jacoby Jones?

  49. Nnamdi Asomugha has got to be the best corner. Going into last game it’s been said that he has been thrown at anywhere between 12-20 times ALL YEAR!!! That is just incredible. D Hall is overrated, but there are bound to be big plays on you if teams are only throwing at you and not the other side of the field. Other than that I don’t have any real gripes with the list, except I wouldn’t mind seeing Lance Briggs on the list because he has been one of the few bright spots on a declining Bears D, but I am also biased towards the Bears.
    For new categories how about “Steal of the Draft (2nd day pick)”
    “Breakout/Comeback Player(s)”

  50. Madison Hedgecock should be listed as the best fullback. He is the reason the Giants running game is as good as it is. If I could vote just one Giant to the Pro Bowl this year it would be him.

  51. Come on, what about Best Trade?
    You skipped it because you knew you’ve have to give props to the Jets for trading for Brett Favre.
    Boo, for skipping to avoid praise of Brett …

  52. No Kris Jenkins?
    The Jets went from bottom five in run defense to top three, possibly even ranked #1 (not sure what the rating is this week), because of Kris Jenkins.
    But I guess Shaun Rogers is better right?

  53. Worst free agent bust? J.Walker? How about D.Hall who couldn’t even finish the season with the same team he started it with?

  54. Florio,
    Nice job on the rankings! I agree with almost all of them. I would agree with a lot of the people on here and put Nhamdi Asomugah in the top corners. Stats don’t show how good he is because QB’s are scared to throw towards him. I also think that Bill Parcells deserves some recognition for what he has done with the dolphins. Anyways you were taking a lot of shit for this so I want to throw a nice job your way. Keep it up. People will always be bitching but i bet they would bitching more if you stopped writing them. Think about people what would we do all day at work if Florio wasn’t writing these articles!!

  55. Chad Clifton? Did you look at the Pro-Bowl roster from last year? Chad Clifton has been TERRIBLE this year. He gets called for a penalty like twice a game, and Jared Allen beat him with one quick move to sack Rodgers for the safety play.

  56. “Think about people what would we do all day at work if Florio wasn’t writing these articles!!”
    Maybe we’d make some money for our companies and the economy would be better lol. Oh well.

  57. Sub in James Harrison for DeMarcus Ware and Jeff Reed for Matt Bryant and you are good. Reed is 13/13 and has only 2 misses over the past 2 seasons. One was a 65 yard attempt and the other was an attempt in the Miami MNF slosh game. He did miss an extra point this year, but that’s it.

  58. Yo Florio I gotta give ya a hard time about Kris Jenkins being omitted as well. He has almost single handedly turned around The Jets defense…Where’s the love?

  59. considering how no matter who your picks are, people are going to bitch because one of their players isn’t on the list, I think you should’ve just listed ridiculous choices and made everyone’s head blow off their shoulders at work. I can just imagine some Jets fan in his cubicle at work “FOUR PATRIOTS PLAYERS ON THE DEFENSE? NO JETS PLAYERS?? MATT EFFING CASSEL AS BEST QB?? RRR…RRRRRR..RRRRRR BOOM!”

  60. “revis leads the league in INTs despite the fact that teams have stopped throwing the ball to his side of the field completely, and thomas jones leads the AFC in rushing”
    Snoopo323, just an FYI, Revis has 4 INTs. The league lead is 5 INTs and that is shared between Charles Woodson and Nick Collins…both with the Packers.
    I do agree with the Thomas Jones comment. No way he shouldn’t be up there.

  61. Ngata the best DT in football. Lewis the best MLB ever and having his best season since he last won the DPOY. There is no better MLB. T. Suggs – I’d take him over Woodley or Harrison any day, but then again they’re Squealers and he’s a Raven.

  62. Giants have the number rushing offense in the league, two RBs poised to go over a 1,000 yards each, they have played nine games and rushed for over 200 yards in four of them, they AVERAGE 5.2 yards a carry and Madison Hedgecock is NOT the league’s best fullback???

  63. How can you not have the most dominate DT in football…..Haolti Ngata!!!!The guy is a beast, Rogers has had a few good games of late but started the season off doing NOTHING. Ngata has stopped the run as well as 2 INTs……..since week 1 he’s been the best all around DT in football

  64. Only CP for the Skins? ILB London Fletcher, CB Carlos Rogers, and FS LaRon Landry should all be Pro-Bowlers this season…

  65. How high are you? Not to sound like a homer BUT – Ray Lewis, Haloti Ngata aren’t on your list? And to crown Mullet Man as the best coach -you have to be kidding

  66. The fact that Kris Jenkins and Fred Robbins are not on the defensive tackle list is insane. Now maybe I have a NY bias but common Jenkins could be the best free agent pick-up in the entire league and Fred Robbins is playing unbelievable on possibly the best front four in the NFL and doesn’t get much publicity but has already tied his career high 5.5 sacks. Also, I think Madison Hedgecock is the best football strictly because I think he is the best blocking fullback in the game and hes leading the way for the NFL’s most potent rushing offense

  67. Mike Sellers is the top FB in the NFL.
    And how London Fletcher doesn’t get his props year after year baffles me……

  68. No way on Clifton. He looked lousy even before Allen kicked his ass with one arm on Sunday. Just so no one calls me a complete homer, Birk hasn’t been all-pro this year either. Age is catching up to both guys.

  69. Terrell Suggs???? Halotia Ngata???? Ray Lewis???? Ed Reed??? Hello, the only Raven on the list is La’Ron McClain??? I thought this was a Pro Football site? OK, as Ray Lewis told Peter King, the Ravens love flying under the radar.

  70. The only thing Chad Clifton has done well this season is get Aaron Rodgers killed.
    He may be the worst player on a really bad offensive line.

  71. How do you not have any players from the number two ranked defense in the league on your list? Haloti Ngata and Ray Lewis definitely belong on this list. Ngata is a freak and in a league of his own athletically and Lewis is a beast as usual. I know you hate the Ravens but come on man!!!

  72. yknow what i love about your analysis? how you base everything on record, stats, and occasionally, madden rating. for instance: demeco ryans? he clearly hasnt contributed JACK to the houston defensive unit. talented as he may be, hes not the best ILB. ray lewis isnt in that list? thats insulting to me, and im not even a ravens fan. i also love that youve jumped on the bandwagon for andre johnson…if hes so good, why arent the texans and for that matter, matt schaub? as for the special teams, nothings certain there, except that matt bryant is not the best kicker, not by a longshot. i feel for him and his wife, but that doesnt make him a good kicker. he can hardly a 40 yarder, and has yet to hit a 50 yarder. youre basing his ‘best kicker’ status on his 11 30 yarders due to tampas stagnant offense. like i said: based on stats. on to the miscellaneous…theres no stats or madden ratings to go by here. that means youve based it on record.
    am i wrong?

  73. psycho/mentally uncapable player of the year: pacman,t.o.,
    ocho stinko, vince young,
    mvp: haynesworth, peezy, kurt warner
    LVP: cleveland brown’s training staff, vernon gholston, glen
    dorsey, jamarcus russell.

  74. Hey Skinsfan1:
    Shows how much you know, Barrett Ruud is playing better than all the guys you listed, and he’s waaaaaaaay better than old man London Felcher (yes, i said Felcher).

  75. DeMeco Ryans + No Ray Lewis = Crack make Mike Florio a dull boy (dull = stupid as a bag of Chris Cooley’s hair)

  76. Patrick Willis? Roddy White? Barrett Ruud? Larry Fitzgerald? (that late catch over the Dallas Defender) Phillip Rivers? Kris Jenkins? Antonio Gates? (How many teams have to gameplan against a Tight End?)
    Question the Chad Clifton pick (I empathize for ’em since getting Sucker Punched by the Sucker Prince Warren Sapp, but with that abysmal Packers Running Attack?!?)
    Also, the Out of Nowhere Category – Chris Horton, WAS S and Chinedum Ndukwe, CIN S…
    Also don’t leave the Media out, How About (Waiting for a detached television executive to put together)….
    Football Night in Bizaro World…
    with Studio Team of Chris Berman, Tiki Barber, Shannon Sharp, Emmit Smith, Warren Sapp and the former Coach Jim Mora sending it to the booth where Pam Ward is joined by Brian Baldinger and Dan Dierdorf…

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