Eight games are in the books for the Indianapolis Colts, who have their bye this week. Here are your midseason honors for the squad.
Halfway through the season is always a good time to assess a team and give props where they are due. There has been some good, some bad and some ugly. In this piece, we will focus on the good, which there has been a lot of.
The MVP is obviously the most valuable player on the team. The team cannot win without their MVP. This was an easy decision.
QB Andrew Luck. Luck has been superb this season, throwing for over 2,100 yards and 23 touchdowns, to only 8 interceptions. There is an obvious difference in the team when Luck is on the field, as he has missed quite a bit of time with injury lately. Luck does not have the best arsenal in terms of pass catchers, but he makes his receivers better. Luck makes incredible plays that separates himself as an elite passer in this league.
Offensive player of the year:
The OPOY is given to the most outstanding player on the offense. This player consistently shows out and plays phenomenally week in and week out for the offense.
Guard Quenton Nelson. The rookie from Notre Dame has shown why he was selected sixth overall in this year’s draft. Nelson is an absolute athlete and consistently clears out holes for the run game. Nelson is a huge reason the run game has been so successful this season, with the team eclipsing over 200 yards rushing each of the last two games. If Nelson can stay healthy, he will be a staple on the offensive line for a long time.
Defensive player of the year:
The DPOY exemplifies excellence each and every week for the defensive unit. This player is all over the field and creates turnovers for his team. The DPOY is often the most unselfish player on the team.
LB Darius Leonard. Another rookie from this year’s draft gets some midseason hardware. Leonard has absolutely taken over games multiple times this season. Leonard’s impact on this defense is immeasurable, and the production on the field is second to none. He should be up for DPOY of the league at the end of the year if he keeps up this pace of play.
Rookie of the year:
Rookies often do not make a big impact in their first year, but those who do are special. This award is given to the most outstanding rookie on the team. I do not want to do any repeat winners, so I have made the executive decision that Nelson and Leonard are out of the running at this point.
OL Braden Smith. Smith has been a rock solid right tackle this season as a rookie. What makes that even more impressive is that he was drafted as a guard. It may not seem like much, but the difference in guard and tackle is night and day. Like Nelson, Smith has played a big role in the re-surging run game. However, he is doing what a lot of other Indianapolis Colts’ tackles could not do: protect Andrew Luck.