Patriots midseason awards: Jamie Collins big winner

WEEI
November 08, 2019 - 6:00 am
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The Patriots are on their bye week, and with it being Week 10 -- just past the midway point of the season -- Andy Hart and Ryan Hannable have decided this was the perfect opportunity to hand out their midseason awards.

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There were several categories and as a whole the defensive was the big winner given their dominant start to the year.

Check it out as awards for MVP, offensive player of the year, defensive player of the year, etc. were all decided on.

MVP

Stephon Gilmore- The defense was the best part of the Patriots through nine games. Gilmore is the best player on the defense with the toughest job. He not only makes plays and takes away his assignment each week, but also makes everyone else’s job that much easier. Obvious choice. (AH)

Jamie Collins- This was a tough one given how good the Patriots defense has been and it could have gone to a few players, but we went with Collins. The unit essentially has the same players as last year, but is drastically better this season. Collins wasn’t around last year, so that adds to his importance. It’s also hard to argue with his numbers: three interceptions, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, 5.5 sacks, four QB hits and eight pressures. (RH)

Offensive Player of the Year

Julian Edelman- The slot receiver has been as good as ever despite battling a chest/rib injury and serving as Tom Brady’s only consistent main target most of the year. His 63 catches are third in the NFL. He’s on pace for career highs in receptions and yards. Coming off his Super Bowl MVP performance Edelman has been a beast for opposing defenses to deal with. (AH)

Julian Edelman- This one was easy. Just listen to the way Tom Brady has spoken about him this year when there was some question if Edelman could play on some weeks given his chest injury. Brady said how drastically different the offense would be and that is a credit to his importance. Edelman leads the team with 63 receptions for 663 yards. In addition, his 90 targets on the year are second among wide receivers behind DeAndre Hopkins. (RH) 

Defensive Player of the Year

Jamie Collins- Returning for a second tour through New England, Collins has reminded everyone just how versatile, athletic and talented he really is. He’s been the top playmaker on Patriots’ dominant defense. Collins’ numbers are worthy of NFL Defensive Player of the Year consideration, including six sacks and three interceptions through nine games. He jumpstarted the Boogeymen. (AH)

Stephon Gilmore- Collins and Gilmore could certainly be flipped between this and MVP, but since we went with Collins as MVP we’re going with Gilmore as defensive player of the year. While he doesn’t have the same pure numbers as Collins, that is not what defines a good cornerback. Opposing quarterbacks have been reluctant to throw his way and when they do, Gilmore doesn’t allow many completions. Gilmore has solidified himself as one of, if not the best cornerback in the NFL. (RH)

Rookie of the Year

Jake Bailey- This is an obvious selection. Bailey took over the punting and holding duties from veteran Ryan Allen. He’s shown his strong leg and good-enough situational execution. He also had to take over kickoff duties when Stephen Gostkowski went on IR. Bailey has a lot on his plate and has performed relatively well or better in all his duties. (AH)

Jake Bailey- It was either Bailey or Chase Winovich for this, and ultimately it was an obvious decision. Bailey has been very solid as the punter, including winning the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for Week 4 in the Patriots’ win in Buffalo. Also, following Stephen Gostkowski’s injury, Bailey has taken on the kickoff duties and has worked with two new place-kickers as their holder. (RH)

Top Veteran Newcomer

Jamie Collins- Collins has been an impact playmaker on the defensive front. He’s been solid against the run and made plays in the passing game as both a rusher and in coverage. He’s always been a very good player, but it’s hard to believe Bill Belichick envisioned this type of impact when he signed Collins for a return to Foxborough this spring. (AH)

Jamie Collins- Collins doesn’t have much competition for this, but he’s another player that Bill Belichick has gotten more out of in their second stint with the team. It’s hard to imagine Collins being able to keep the same pace in the second half of the season, but even with a slight drop-off it still would be a tremendous season, and perhaps one that could put him in the running for NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year. (RH)

Biggest Disappointment

Sony Michel- The second-year back was coming off a really impressive postseason that ignited increased expectations for 2019. The thought was that he’d be more explosive this fall and increase his role as a productive option in the passing game. He’s really done neither and has been far less productive than he was a year ago. (AH)

Sony Michel- Belichick always talks about how the jump from Year 1 to Year 2 is always a big one, but in Michel’s case he has regressed. After averaging 4.5 yards per attempt in his rookie season, he’s averaging 3.3 yards per attempt in his sophomore season. Certainly, the offensive line has something to do with it, but overall Michel hasn’t given the team much, especially for a running back who was selected in the first round. (RH)

Top Offensive Play

James White’s 59-yard screen pass against the Browns was a thing of beauty. It came on a key third down and showed once again just how good a pass-catching back White is. He has done it time and time again over the years, but there may not be a better guy to execute a screen pass. White also gets honorable mention for his catch down the field on a back-shoulder play in Baltimore to beat Earl Thomas. Unfortunately, that play came in a losing effort. (AH)

There really weren’t many great plays to choose from here, but Phillip Dorsett’s 26-yard touchdown catch against the Jets a few weeks back on Monday Night Football was up there. Tom Brady threw a perfect pass, dropping it right into the hands of Dorsett in the end zone for a touchdown. It was one of Brady’s best throws on the year and came in arguably the most impressive win of the first half. (RH)

Top Defensive Play

There have been a lot to choose from, including defensive scores and endless turnovers. I’ve always thought that Lawrence Guy was one of the better players on the Patriots defense and doesn’t get the love he deserves. So I’m going with his crazy interception of Baker Mayfield’s ugly push pass as the top defensive play of the first half of the season. Sure, the overwhelmed Browns’ QB threw it right to Guy. But his impressive penetration caused the issue and he held on to the ball, which not many defensive lineman may have. Some love for Guy, it’s just too bad he didn’t get to return it for a touchdown. (AH)

Kyle Van Noy’s fumble recovery returned for a touchdown against the Giants was pretty impressive. Jamie Collins did an excellent job of knocking the ball free and then Van Noy was able to scoop up the loose ball and return it all the way for a touchdown. It also came at a good time in the game, early in the fourth quarter, when the Patriots only led 21-14. This play clinched the win for the Patriots. (RH)

Top Special Teams

Play J.C. Jackson’s blocked punt and Matthew Slater’s return for a touchdown – the first of his career – may have been the difference in New England’s 16-10 Week 4 win in Buffalo. The touchdown meant a lot to Slater and even more to his team. (AH)

While Slater’s touchdown was great against the Bills, the game was won by Bailey’s punts and his ability to flip the field. We’re going with any of Bailey’s punts in this game as the best special teams play of the year. Yes, it’s unconventional, but Bailey deserves credit for what he did. (RH)

Related: Off Day Mailbag: What to make of Patriots offense?