Mid-season awards: Eagles, Rams and Deshaun dominate


Deshaun Watson photo courtesy of the Houston Texans

Millions of people went to the polls Tuesday, so we figured: Why not join them? So we did, and this is what happened when your three Talk of Fame Network’s voted on the 2017 mid-season awards:

COACH

RON BORGES — SEAN McVAY, L.A. Rams. He found a way to make the Rams relevant in L.A. By winning. Runner-up: Sean McDermott, Buffalo.

CLARK JUDGE — SEAN McVAY, L.A. Rams. The Rams haven’t had a winning season since 2003. They haven’t looked this good since Kurt Warner. And they may be … may be … the best team in the NFC. Who said youth is wasted on the young? Runner-up: Doug Pederson, Philadelphia.

RICK GOSSELIN — SEAN McVAY, L.A. Rams. Who knew the youngest coach in the league could work the most magic? He fixed Jared Goff. He fixed the defense. If he could only fix the Coliseum. Runner-up: Doug Pederson, Philadelphia.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER

(Carson Wentz photo courtesy Philadelphia Eagles)

RON BORGES — KAREEM HUNT, RB, Kansas City. Everyone knows he’s getting the ball, and they still can’t stop him. He’s running the Chiefs into AFC title contention. Runner-up: Dallas RB Ezekiel Elliott.

CLARK JUDGE — CARSON WENTZ, QB, Philadelphia. He leads the league in touchdown passes. He has the Eagles on top of the league. And so far … so far … he hasn’t given Iggles’ fans a reason to boo. Runner-up: Todd Gurley, L.A. Rams.

RICK GOSSELIN —  CARSON WENTZ, QB, Philadelphia. His 23 touchdown passes lead the league and have the Eagles at 8-1. Runner-up: Tom Brady, QB, New England.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER

(Calais Campbell photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

RON BORGES — CALAIS CAMPBELL, DE, Jacksonville. He’s getting after it in Jacksonville, where defense gives the Jags a playoff chance. Runner-up: Demarcus Lawrence, DE, Dallas.

CLARK JUDGE — CALAIS CAMPBELL, DE, Jacksonville. He was a force with Arizona. He’s a tornado with Jacksonville. There’s a reason the Jags are called Sacks-sonville, and you’re looking at him. Runner-up: Everson Griffen, DE, Minnesota.

RICK GOSSELIN — CALAIS CAMPBELL, DE, Jacksonville. The Jaguars gave him a $60-million contract, with $30 million of it guaranteed. He’s been worth every penny of that contract. He leads the league with 11 sacks and has triggered a defensive resurgence in Jacksonville that has the Jags at No. 3 in the league. Runner-up: Everson Griffen, DE, Minnesota.

ROOKIE

RON BORGES — DESHAUN WATSON, QB, Houston. He breathed life into a dying Texans’ team at the toughest position in sports. So he’s hurt. Give him the trophy. Runner-up:  Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City.

CLARK JUDGE — DESHAUN WATSON, QB, Houston. He was to the Texans what Jose Altuve is to the Astros: The heart and soul of the team. Houston, you do not have a problem at QB … not when this guy returns. Runner-up: Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City.

RICK GOSSELIN — DESHAUN WATSON, QB, Houston. The 12th pick of the draft who should have been the first. But the NFL short-changed Watson, just as it short-changed Russell Wilson (third round), Dak Prescott (fourth round) and Tom Brady (sixth round). Forget the height, weight and speed in the scouting process. Focus on the intangibles. Watson is a born leader. Runner-up: Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City.

MVP

(Tom Brady photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

RON BORGES — CARSON WENTZ, QB, Philadelphia. Where are the Eagles without him? Grounded. Runner-up: Jared Goff, QB, L.A. Rams.

CLARK JUDGE — TOM BRADY, QB, New England. Every year he does the improbable, and every year we shrug and say, “Oh, well, it’s Tom Brady.” He’s a victim of his own success … so good that we don’t pay attention anymore. Well, you should. Because at 40, Brady defies the odds — so good he outscores the Patriots’ matador defense week after week. Runner-up: Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia.

RICK GOSSELIN — CARSON WENTZ, QB, Philadelphia. It’s early in his career, but this nine-game snapshot indicates Wentz has a chance to be the best Eagles’ quarterback since Norm Van Brocklin. Runner-up: Todd Gurley, RB, L.A. Rams.

BIGGEST SURPRISE

(Jared Goff photo courtesy of L..A. Rams)

RON BORGES — CARSON WENTZ, QB, PHILADELPHIA, AND JARED GOFF, QB, L.A. RAMS. In their second seasons, both are showing they were worth the gambles. Nobody could’ve predicted they’d be this good this fast. Runner-up: Eagles dominating the NFC.

CLARK JUDGE — JARED GOFF, QB, L.A. RAMS. Admit it. Tell me where he went in your pre-season Fantasy Football Draft, and tell me where he would go today. Yep, that’s what I call a surprise. Runner-up: Saints’ defense.

RICK GOSSELIN — SAINTS’ DEFENSE. With Drew Brees, the New Orleans offense has always been there to compete for Super Bowls, but Dennis Allen now has the defense carrying its weight. The Saints not only have a shutout this season; they held five opponents in their six-game winning streak to 17 or fewer points. Runner-up:  Runner-up: Josh McCown, QB, N.Y. Jets.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

RON BORGES — N.Y. GIANTS. They were supposed to contend, and coach Ben McAdoo was supposed to be a genius. Make that oh-for-2. Runner-up: Owners stumbling over themselves on the National Anthem issue.

CLARK JUDGE — N.Y. GIANTS. We all knew the worst team in the league would be New York. We just didn’t know it would be the Giants. Runner-up: Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis.

RICK GOSSELIN — N.Y. GIANTS. What was supposed to be a Super Bowl contender just surrendered 51 points on its home field. Runner-up: Atlanta Falcons.

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