So we’re halfway through the NFL season and it’s been quite the rollercoaster so far. Thrills, spills and everything in between have summed up the Eagles season so far but it’s time to give out some Midseason awards. Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.Com recently gave out a series of awards to the Eagles class of 2015 and we decided that we wanted to give our take. So here are our winners and losers for the midseason awards as originally created by Mr Shorr-Parks.
We’d have to agree with Eliot on his selection of Malcolm Jenkins. Jenkins. The Safety has been crucial in the turnaround of the Secondary, leading the team for tackles and forcing two fumbles to go along with an Interception. A leader who has been making plays all over the field deserves this kind of recognition. From storming through the trenches to hit running backs to deflecting passes, Jenkins has done it all. There’s nothing defensively he cannot do and has been a large part of the teams success this year.
We’re 2/2 for agreement now, there’s simply no other man that has outshone Jordan Hicks in terms of stealing the spotlight. Whilst it may not be as surprising to us (since we were the ONLY site to predict a big year for the third round pick) he has been absolutely sensational. His first ever #HicksSix put the cherry on the cake but unfortunately an injury has cut his explosive season short. He was without a doubt a contender for a Defensive Rookie of the Year award and had over 50 tackles in what’s technically less than half of a season. Without Alonso or Kendricks, many expected this core to crumble…Hicks glued it together and became one of the brightest prospects in the team.
Our first disagreement..the obvious option would be to go with the generic consensus and say Sam Bradford, but there are too many variables. You can’t buy a second hand car with a breakdown history and expect it to go like a Lambo straight away..instead, we’re giving the unfortunate award to Connor Barwin. Now before you all grab your pitchforks, nobody is doubting his passion. The man bleeds green through and through. But after leading the NFC in sacks last year, we all expected another dominant season but instead Barwin has been lost int he shadows behind the emergence of Hicks and the rest of the core being exceptional (for the most part). It’s not like he’s the most disappointing in terms of form, he’s the most disappointing in terms of what we know he can do and what he’s actually doing. 3 sacks and 21 tackles just don’t scream a Barwin season, hopefully he can turn things around over the next few weeks.
E.J Biggers. Too many times this man has been tasked with shutting down a big name and he’s got the job done. The seven year veteran has made some big plays this season yet rarely sees recognition for it. It’s rare to see him make an error and his under the radar plays have been a huge help to the Eagles.
We have said this all season, Bryan Braman. A sack against Drew Brees, an ALMOST blocked field goal and some insane special teams play and yet this guy still doesn’t get snaps at LB? Maybe with Hicks out that will change BUT PLEASE GIVE THIS GUY A SHOT.
It pains me to say it but Byron Maxwell. I know he gave up 17 yards against Dez and no TD’s or big plays against him or Odell but as an overall package, someone who costs $63million SHOULD be performing and until the last few games that wasn’t the case. The end of season awards will surely boast a different winner due to his recently improved form (playing like a shutdown corner) but his lack of tackling ability and worrying man-to-man coverage in the opening few weeks seal the deal here.
Simba, next award. (see description for biggest surprise)
This was a close one between Eric Rowe and Nelson Agholor but it’s got to be Nelly. Agholor was expected to quite literally burst onto the scene and be a route running terror, but some big drops and a fumble on a trick play perhaps outshine his impressive 45 yard catch and ability to beat Revis off the line constantly against the Jets. We’re almost certain that if Bradford had actually given him a shot instead of barely targeting a receiver that takes the most snaps of any then he would have had a much better season. It’s hard to say what could have been after he sustained the leg injury, but it would have certainly been better. Unfortunately, his errors have downplayed the hype.
Contract they should extend today:
Again we will agree with Eliot on this one, Cedric Thornton has been absolute terror on the Defensive line this season and to lose him after this season would be a big blow. His ability to set the edge, beat blockers and pave the way for linebackers to carve through is exceptional..DO THE THING.
Player they should cut today:
This would have been an easy choice in Marcus Smith but after the cutting of Brad Jones and the injury to Hicks, he has yet one more final shot to turn his season around. Instead we’re going to go with Seyi Ajirotutu. With the core being so weak until recently, this man was almost a fall back plan who should never have been. Rasheed Bailey went to the CFL and was picked up by the Jags whilst Ajirotutu is yet to make a catch for the Eagles and has only taken three snaps (135 on ST). For me this was just a bad call and I truly believe Bailey was the better option who could have actually given something to the receivers this season.
Offseason acquisition they would do again:
The turminator. Without a doubt, Walter Thurmond. Thurmond has been sensational for the Eagles this season and ranks among the best safeties in the NFL. 3 interceptions, 4 pass deflections and over 30 tackles do not do this man justice, an incredible signing that is sure to only improve as the season progresses.
Offseason acquisition they regret:
Our final agreement with Mr Shorr- Parks, DeMarco Murray. Despite his recent incline in form, the salary amount and length of time it’s taken to get the running game going simply isn’t worth it YET. Against the Cowboys it became clear just why Mathews and Murray are taking the amount of snaps that they are as the one-two punch is coming together. But to get to this stage it’s taken some vast adjustments to formations, playing styles and adaptability. It’s something that seemed conquerable at the time but overwhelmed the Eagles as opposites attracted. I don’t think they will regret this move come the end of the season. The game against the Cowboys showed that this running game is working exactly as intended…it just took a while to get going.
What do you guys think? Let us know your winners in the comments below or tweet us! @PhiladelphiaSN. Again, original credit for the idea and award names go to Eliot Shorr-Parks who can be found at https://twitter.com/EliotShorrParks