The Lions wide receiver is the NFL's most difficult player to defend, anywhere on the field.
One of the "bold predictions" on this page in Week 1 said the Colts would go 5-11 without Peyton Manning.
Turns out that was giving way too much credit to Peyton's lifeless teammates. The winless Colts would have to go 5-3 the rest of the way to make that prediction come true.
That's both unfortunate for Indianapolis and satisfying for those of us who have had to defend voting for Manning as NFL Most Valuable Player multiple times in recent years.
One is tempted to vote for him again this year. After all, never in the history of the league has a team proven its utter reliance on -- and the value of -- a single player the way the Colts have without Manning this season.
But voting for Manning wouldn't be right. So he wasn't considered for this particular list of midseason award winners:
Most Valuable Player: Calvin Johnson, WR, Lions.
Only one receiver has ever won the award: Jerry Rice in 1987. Rice averaged 90.6 yards, 5.4 catches and 1.8 touchdowns per game that year. Johnson is averaging 100.5 yards, 5.9 catches and 1.4 touchdowns per game through the Lions' 6-2 start.
So why not Megatron?
He's often double- and triple-teamed because the Lions have no running game and no other wide receiver threat. Yet the 6-5, 240-pounder with the 4.3 speed remains the league's most difficult player to defend anywhere on the field. Of his 47 catches, 40 have gone for a first down (85.1 percent) while 17 have gone for gains of 20 yards or longer (36.1 percent), including five of 40 yards or longer.
Offensive Player of the Year: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers.
No, we didn't forget about the likely MVP. He's completing 71.5 percent of his passes with 20 touchdowns, three interceptions and an average of 9.92 yards per attempt.
In other words, he's basically averaging a first down every time he throws the ball. And he's doing it with an anti-Favreian plus-17 ratio in TDs to interceptions.
His passer rating of 125.7 also is 21.3 points higher than the next best rating, which belongs to Tom Brady.
Perfection is impossible in the NFL. But Rodgers is about as close as one will ever get.
Defensive Player of the Year: Jared Allen, DE, Vikings.
Allen leads Dallas' DeMarcus Ware in sacks, 12 1/2-12; forced fumbles, 3-2; fumbles recovered, 3-0; passes defensed, 4-1; interceptions, 1-0; and tackles, 34-31. Granted, Ware has played one fewer game.
If Allen maintains this pace, his team's record won't matter. Five players have won NFL Defensive Player of the Year on losing teams. The last to do it was Miami's Jason Taylor in 2006.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals.
On a team that won four games with Carson Palmer last season, Dalton already has won five games with a higher completion percentage (62.4-60.6) and fewer turnovers (11-7) than Cam Newton, who has proven a lot of people wrong about his own ability to play at a high level.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Aldon Smith, LB, 49ers.
He leads all rookies with 6 1/2 sacks. He also has a safety and a forced fumble. With him at linebacker next to Patrick Willis, it's no wonder the 49ers have the best run defense and a 6-1 record.
Coach of the Year: Jim Harbaugh, 49ers.
It took him just seven games to match San Francisco's six-win total from last season. The 6-1 record includes a 3-0 road record against teams in the Eastern time zone. Not bad for a rookie NFL coach whose debut season followed a 4 1/2-month lockout.
|Los Angeles - LP: B. Wilson||7||FINAL|
|Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Grimm||8|
|Detroit - WP: M. Scherzer||3||FINAL|
|Kansas City - LP: J. Shields||2|
|Philadelphia - WP: J. Williams||3||FINAL|
|Oakland - LP: D. Otero||0|
|Toronto - WP: M. Stroman||6||FINAL|
|NY Yankees - LP: C. Capuano||3|
|Arizona - LP: T. Cahill||1||FINAL|
|Colorado - WP: E. Butler||5|
|Boston||2||Bottom 4th Inning|
|Milwaukee||0||Bottom 4th Inning|
|Washington||0||Bottom 5th Inning|
|NY Mets||3||Top 5th Inning|
|Chicago WSox||0||Top 5th Inning|
|Cleveland||0||Top 2nd Inning|
|Seattle||1||Bottom 4th Inning|
|Cincinnati||1||Top 5th Inning|
|San Francisco - Y. Petit||7:40 PM|
|San Diego - A. Cashner|
|Texas - C. Lewis||8:05 PM|
|LA Angels - J. Weaver|
|San Diego||9/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Dallas||9/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Washington||9/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Houston||9/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Minnesota||9/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Tennessee||9/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Baltimore||9/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Green Bay||9/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Indianapolis||9/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Oakland||9/21/14 12:00 PM|
|San Francisco||9/21/14 3:05 PM|
|Denver||9/21/14 3:25 PM|
|Kansas City||9/21/14 3:25 PM|
|Pittsburgh||9/21/14 7:30 PM|
|Chicago||9/22/14 7:30 PM|
|NY Giants||9/25/14 7:25 PM|
|(11) Michigan State||73|
|(6) Texas A&M||58||FINAL|
|San Jose St||7||FINAL|
|Texas State||28||4th Qtr|
|Georgia State||14||3rd Qtr 3:43|
|Ball State||0||Delayed 9:30|
|Appalachian St||7||2nd Qtr 2:24|
|Miss State||17||2nd Qtr 1:20|
|Northern Ill||7||2nd Qtr 1:30|
|Middle Tennessee||7||2nd Qtr 1:04|
|Utah State||7||2nd Qtr 6:10|
|Miami-Ohio||14||2nd Qtr 2:33|
|Idaho||7||2nd Qtr 2:12|
|(14) So Carolina||3||2nd Qtr 11:17|
|(4) Oklahoma||3||2nd Qtr 13:37|
|Ga Southern||14||2nd Qtr 10:04|
|UNLV||7||1st Qtr 6:33|
|Miami-Florida||7||1st Qtr 6:49|
|New Mexico||0||1st Qtr 3:26|
|New Mexico St||0|
|(22) Clemson||0||1st Qtr 13:15|
|(1) Florida State||0|
|(2) Oregon||9:30 PM|
|San Diego St||9:30 PM|
|Texas Tech||9/25/14 6:30 PM|
|(25) Oklahoma State|
|Appalachian St||9/25/14 6:30 PM|
|(12) UCLA||9/25/14 9:00 PM|
|(15) Arizona State|
|Middle Tennessee||9/26/14 7:00 PM|
|Fresno State||9/26/14 7:00 PM|
|(1) Florida State||9/27/14 2:00 AM|
|Duke||9/27/14 2:00 AM|
|North Carolina||9/27/14 2:00 AM|
|Texas-El Paso||9/27/14 11:00 AM|
|(20) Kansas State|
|Tennessee||9/27/14 11:00 AM|
|Vanderbilt||9/27/14 11:00 AM|
|Wyoming||9/27/14 11:00 AM|
|(11) Michigan State|
|Northwestern||9/27/14 11:00 AM|
|TCU||9/27/14 11:00 AM|
|Iowa||9/27/14 11:00 AM|
|Tulane||9/27/14 11:00 AM|
|So Florida||9/27/14 11:00 AM|
|Colorado State||9/27/14 11:30 AM|
|Western Mich||9/27/14 11:30 AM|
|Maryland||9/27/14 12:30 PM|
|Akron||9/27/14 12:30 PM|
|Bowling Green||9/27/14 2:00 PM|
|Arkansas||9/27/14 2:30 PM|
|(6) Texas A&M|
|Kent State||9/27/14 2:30 PM|
|Western Ky||9/27/14 2:30 PM|
|Minnesota||9/27/14 2:30 PM|
|Wake Forest||9/27/14 2:30 PM|
|FIU||9/27/14 2:30 PM|
|Miami-Ohio||9/27/14 2:30 PM|
|Colorado||9/27/14 3:00 PM|
|Louisiana Tech||9/27/14 3:00 PM|
|Texas||9/27/14 3:00 PM|
|Temple||9/27/14 3:00 PM|
|(16) Stanford||9/27/14 3:15 PM|
|TX-San Antonio||9/27/14 4:00 PM|
|South Alabama||9/27/14 4:00 PM|
|Cincinnati||9/27/14 5:00 PM|
|(23) Ohio State|
|Rice||9/27/14 6:00 PM|
|(18) Missouri||9/27/14 6:00 PM|
|(14) So Carolina|
|Boise State||9/27/14 6:00 PM|
|Central Mich||9/27/14 6:00 PM|
|Troy||9/27/14 6:00 PM|
|New Mexico St||9/27/14 6:30 PM|
|Memphis||9/27/14 6:30 PM|
|(10) Ole Miss|
|Texas State||9/27/14 7:00 PM|
|Washington St||9/27/14 7:00 PM|
|(9) Notre Dame||9/27/14 7:00 PM|
|(7) Baylor||9/27/14 7:00 PM|
|UNLV||9/27/14 7:00 PM|
|San Diego St|
|Illinois||9/27/14 8:00 PM|
|Oregon State||9/27/14 9:30 PM|
|Nevada||9/27/14 9:30 PM|
|San Jose St|
|Houston||0||2nd Half 30:00|
|New England||0||2nd Half|
|San Jose||0||2nd Half|
|Red Bull New York||1|
|FC Dallas||9:30 PM|
|Calgary||9/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Ottawa||9/21/14 3:00 PM|
|Montreal||9/26/14 6:00 PM|
|Saskatchewan||9/26/14 9:00 PM|
|Hamilton||9/27/14 5:30 PM|
|Brt Columbia||9/27/14 8:30 PM|
|Aug 8 - vs. Oakland||7 pm||X||10-6|
|Aug 16 - vs. Arizona||7:30 pm||X||30-28|
|Aug 23 - at Kansas City||7 pm||X||30-12|
|Aug 28 - at Tennessee||7 pm||X||19-3|
|2014 regular season|
|Sep 7 - at St. Louis||Noon||X||34-6|
|Sep 14 - vs. New England||Noon||X||30-7|
|Sep 21 - at New Orleans||Noon|
|Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta||3:25 pm|
|Oct 2 - at Green Bay||7:25 pm|
|Oct 12 - vs. Detroit||Noon|
|Oct 19 - at. Buffalo||Noon|
|Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay||Noon|
|Nov 2 - vs. Washington||Noon|
|Nov 9 - Bye|
|Nov 16 - at Chicago||Noon|
|Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay||Noon|
|Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina||Noon|
|Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets||Noon|
|Dec 14 - at Detroit||Noon|
|Dec 21 - at Miami||Noon|
|Dec 28 - vs. Chicago||Noon|