Best Newcomer of the First Half: Martellus Bennett
The tight end position has been one that has struggled over the last few years. Maybe it’s a bit of a skewed data set since the previous tight ends were so bad. Bennett has already matched the production of the entire tight end group from last season. With 32 catches and 356 yards and 2 TD’s, Bennett is justifying the big bucks Phil Emery spend on him in free agency. Besides, he’s a funny ass dude.
Others receiving votes: Jermon Bushrod, James Anderson, Matt Slauson
Biggest Disappointment of the First Half: Julius Peppers
I was hoping that the panel would have distinguished between least valuable and most disappointing, but Peppers gets both distinctions. No question that his falloff, whether he’s losing a step or he’s been injured, has garnered the most vitriol from Bears fans. I think the defense as a whole has been pretty disappointing and Peppers has embodied that disappointment.
Others receiving votes: Shea McClellin
Biggest surprise of the First Half: Jordan Mills
The Bears offensive line is markedly approved. The Bears took a multi-faceted approach to tackle their problems on the offensive front. They went the big bucks route to bring in Jermon Bushrd via free agency, they also went into the bargain bin and found gold with Matt Slauson. They also drafted Kyle Long in the first round. But wait, there’s more! The Bears also drafted Jordan Mills in the fifth round. You don’t expect a fifth rounder to make big contributions, but Mills has stepped in from Day 1 and pushed past J’Marcus Webb (OK, who hasn’t?!?!) to win the starting right tackle job and hasn’t looked back.
Others receiving votes: Alshon Jeffery
Player Needed to Step Up Most in Second Half: The Defensive Line
The votes for this category were pretty diverse, with a couple of Peppers votes, a McClellin vote or two as well as a couple for the entire defense. If the defensive line can overcome the injuries and lack of depth, they can make everyone on defense look better. Yes, even Chris Conte.
Others receiving votes: Matt Forte, Josh McCown and Jay Cutler
What do you think? Who earns your midseason awards? Post yours in the Comments!