With the Detroit Lions halfway through the 2014 season, let's hand out some midseason awards.
Offensive MVP: WR Golden Tate
Can you imagine where the Lions offense would be without Golden Tate? With Calvin Johnson and many other playmakers going down with injuries in the first half of the season, Tate stepped it up and became the Lions' most reliable offensive threat. He hauled in 55 catches for 800 yards and three touchdowns during the first eight games, and he's been one of the top receivers in all of the NFL.
Defensive MVP: LB DeAndre Levy
Ndamukong Suh could easily be the winner of this award given the impact he consistently makes, but I went with DeAndre Levy for two main reasons. For starters, Levy is playing at a very high level with 75 tackles, half a sack, one safety, three pass defenses and one interception; he's been one of the NFL's top outside linebackers. What's more, with the Lions losing Stephen Tulloch to a torn ACL, Levy has really had to become the leader of the defense, and he has done an excellent job in that role.
Special teams MVP: P Sam Martin
Sam Martin is really the pick by default given the Lions' kicker issues, but he would be deserving of this award even if those issues didn't exist. I say that because Martin is sixth in the NFL in yards per punt, eighth in net yards per punt and second in punts inside the 20-yard line. On top of that, he's been one of the top kickoff specialists this season, so he has earned this award with more than just his punting.
Rookie of the year: TE Eric Ebron
In all honesty, nobody is really deserving of this award for the Lions at this point in time because their 2014 rookie class as a whole has done very little this season. For the sake of actually picking someone, though, Eric Ebron is the obvious choice. He only has 10 catches for 103 yards and one touchdown, but that still puts him ahead of the other rookies from a contributions standpoint. Hopefully multiple rookies will emerge in the second half of the season and give us some real options for the final version of this award.