Midseason Awards: Total Packers Edition
We gave you the midseason awards: other people’s edition yesterday and we also told you what we thought about midseason awards.
The best word to summarize would be this one: indifference.
However, we promised you our midseason awards at some point, and here they are.
The difference between our midseason awards and other people’s are this — we don’t get paid to write about the NFL and therefore, don’t really care about a lot of teams and players. So, our midseason awards are going to be pretty NFC North-centric.
The similarity between our midseason awards and other people’s are this — they carry equal meaning. That is to say, they mean shit.
Perhaps in the future, we’ll hand out plaques, or maybe even trophies for midseason awards that mean nothing. However, that day is not today.
With that, I give you the Total Packers’ midseason awards.
The Holy Shit This Guy Is Really Fucking Good Award
Clay Matthews, linebacker, Green Bay Packers
We had an idea Matthews was good after he tallied 10 sacks as a rookie. However, if you know anybody who said Matthews would have a similar total (a league-leading 9.5) through eight games, well… we’d call you a liar, punch you in the face and take your lunch money. Matthews has not only improved upon his rookie season, he’s turned into the catalyst for the Packers’ defense. Without Matthews in the lineup, the Packers are an average defensive team. With him, they are one of the best in the league. What’s most impressive, is Matthews has put up these sack numbers without any help from the opposite side. Frank Zombo and Brad Jones, who’ve started at the other outside linebacker position, have a total of two sacks. Matthews is almost constantly double teamed, but he has a motor that doesn’t quit. I’d venture to say the Packers have never had a linebacker quite like this, and he’s only in his second year.
The Way To Step Up Because You Want To Get Paid Award
Tramon Williams, cornerback, Green Bay Packers
Let’s be honest. Tramon Williams deserved a long-term deal before the season started. The Packers didn’t give him one and Tramon pouted for a while before showing up. Big mistake on the Packers part. Whether Williams came in with the mindset to make the Packers pay is irrelevant. The guy is playing some of the best defensive football in the NFL. Williams has taken over the role of shutdown corner from Charles Woodson, last season’s NFL defensive player of the year. He’s made Al Harris’ return an afterthought. Pretty simply, if opposing quarterbacks are going to throw the ball, they’re going to target Woodson before they target Williams, this season. He’s playing that well. And the Packers, well… they’re going to pay through the nose to keep him.
The I Am The Stupid Douchebag You Already Knew I Was, But Now I’ve Really Confirmed It Award
Tie: Brad Childress, coach, Minnesota Vikings/Brett Favre, quarterback, Minnesota Vikings
Jesus. Where to even begin? This entry could fill a notebook, but I’ll try to be succinct. Brad Childress is a dumb motherfucker. This fact has been established and validated over and over. However, Chilly has perhaps pulled off the idiot’s trifecta, this season. He sold out to an over-the-hill quarterback, pushing all his chips to the middle of the table and proclaiming, “Super Bowl or bust!” His team got off to a shitty start behind that over-the-hill-quarterback and he yelled, “There’s nothing to see here. Move along.” He then traded for a known problem wide receiver, who, although talented, brought a lot of baggage to the table, in hopes of salvaging his rapidly sinking ship. Then, he cut that receiver for disparaging the caterers, admitted he made a mistake by making the deal (and lost a third-round pick in the process), and angered management by not telling them. I’ll mention now that the Vikings are 2-5. Then you have Favre. Here’s a guy who told teammates he was retiring, but a few begged him to come back, hoping he would duplicate the magic of last season, and he agreed. He hasn’t come close to duplicating last season. He has more turnovers than touchdowns. He’s been accused of sexual harassment and, at the very least, clearly committed some form of adultery, which he’s admitted to in part. He’s also playing with a laundry-list of injuries — tendinitis in his elbow, a broken ankle and a chin that required eight stitches. Oh, and he’s no longer the media’s darling. Any way you slice it, it hasn’t been a good few months for Brett Favre. Did I mention his team is 2-5?
The Greatest Free Agent Pick-up In The History Of Free Agent Pick-ups Award
Jerry Angelo, general manager, Chicago Bears
The Bears made a big splash by signing defensive end Julius Peppers on the opening day of free agency, in the offseason. They gave him $91.5 million, with $42 million guaranteed. Forget the total value of the contract for a second. Ask yourself, what does a $42 million defensive end look like? Well, at least 15 sacks, right? Nope. Peppers, who only plays when he wants to, is on pace for about five sacks this season. Meanwhile, the Bears offensive line, which is again one of the worst in the league, has given up a league-leading 31 sacks through week eight. If we were giving a Worst General Manager In the NFL Award, it would go to Angelo.
The I Knew It, But It Hasn’t Translated Into Wins Award
Detroit Lions, team
Hey, we’ve got to give the Lions an award. We gave everyone else in the NFC North one, right? I promise you, though, this is justified. The Lions are no longer a laughingstock. They’re no longer holding the division down. The Lions, believe it or not, have some real, live, legitimate talent. You know receiver Calvin Johnson is a stud, but running back Jahvid Best looks like a future star. Witness week two when he ran for 78 yards, two touchdowns, averaged 4.6 per carry, and caught nine balls for 154 yards and a touchdown, against Philadelphia. On the defensive side, the Lions drafted the most dominant defensive tackle we’ve seen in some time, in Ndamukong Suh. Suh has 6.5 sacks through seven games, which is tied for eighth in the league and is tops among defensive tackles. The Lions may only be 2-5, but their average margin of defeat is 6.5 points. They only lost to the Packers by two in Lambeau. In their two wins, against St. Louis and Washington, their point differential is plus-50. Obviously, this team can play. They just need a little seasoning.
The That’s One Hell Of A Job Award
Mike McCarthy, coach, Green Bay Packers
Look, I’ve never liked Mike McCarthy. Historically, his teams have been plagued by penalties, poor special teams play, ineffectiveness in close games, etc. To me, all of those things are signs of poor coaching. However, as I’m absolutely the first to criticize the guy, I’m also going to give credit when credit is due. The Green Bay Packers have been decimated by injuries, this season. Ten players are on injured reserve, five of whom are starters. Yet, McCarthy, to his credit, had held the Packers together and has them on top of the NFC North after eight games at 5-3. Just like stupid mistakes are a reflection of poor coaching, resiliency and perseverance are a reflection of good coaching. Despite my problems with McCarthy, he’s done — and let me tell it like it is — one fucking hell of a job keeping this team focused and together, thus far. My hat goes off to him.
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Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.