Welcome to the tenth edition of my JFF “Mid-Season Report Card.” This is an ‘expanded’ version of my normal JFF Power Rankings installment that examines where teams are at roughly the ‘halfway’ point of the season.

JFF Mid-Season OFFENSIVE MVP & DEFENSIVE MVP

What makes a player be deserving of an MVP Award?

During the Fall 2003 Season, when JFF St. Louis Rams Wide Receiver Torry Holt had 100 or more yards receiving and 2 or more receiving touchdowns, the JFF Rams were 10-0; on the other hand, in the games where Holt had less than 100 yards receiving and/or had less than 2 receiving touchdowns, the JFF Rams were 1-5. Holt was selected by myself as the Fall 2003 Mid-Season Offensive MVP, and he was also voted by the entire league membership as the End-of-the-Regular-Season Offensive MVP. Holt was the first player in The JFF to win both awards in the same season.

A similar scenario happened during the Fall 2004 season with the JFF New Orleans Saints Defensive End Charles Grant. In Regular Season games where Grant had 3 or more sacks, the JFF New Orleans Saints were 8-2; in games were he had less than 3 sacks, the JFF Saints were 2-4. Grant was the first defensive player in the league to garner both the Mid-Season Defensive MVP (as selected by me) and the End-of-the-Regular-Season Defensive MVP (as voted on by the entire membership).

Those two award winners had individual performances that proved to be directly correlated to their teams’s win-loss record.

An MVP candidate should be that one player who is primarily, if not almost solely responsible, for the offensive or defensive success of that team.

With that said, here are my selections for this seasons Mid-Season MVP Awards:

CLICK HERE for the Spring 2015 Mid-Season OFFENSIVE MVP and DEFENSIVE MVP

JFF Divisional Power Rankings

Which division in the league is the toughest? Which ones provide the least competition for teams outside of their division?

1) AFC East
Number of Human Users in division: 4 / 4
Record among Human Users: 24-12 (.667)
Overall record: 24-12 (.667)
Record against teams outside the division: 18-6 (.750)

Comment: The AFC East is one of three divisions in the league (along with the AFC West and NFC East) that has no CPU-controlled teams, and it is the only division to have all four teams in the division ranked in the JFF Power Rankings. As of the Mid-Season Report Card, all four teams in the division are still mathematically eligible to earn a playoff berth in the AFC Conference playoffs.

2) NFC South
Number of Human Users in division: 3 / 4
Record among Human Users: 18-9 (.667)
Overall record: 19-17 (.528)
Record against teams outside the division (Human Users Only): 11-6 (.647)

Comment: Talk about a log jam at the top? All three teams in the NFC South Division that have Human Users as an Owner / Coach are currently 6-3-0. All three teams are in strong contention to earn a playoff berth in the NFC Conference playoffs. The Fall 2014 JFF Super Bowl Champion hails from this division (The Natural / JFF Carolina Panthers) and the Fall 2013 JFF Super Bowl Runner-Up has residence in this division as well (Top Dawgg / JFF Tampa Bay Buccaneers).

3) AFC North
Number of Human Users in division: 3 / 4 **
Record among Human Users: 21-14 (.600)
Overall record: 21-15 (.583)
Record against teams outside the division (Human Users Only): 14-7 (.667)

** The JFF Pittsburgh Steelers actually had a Human User as an Owner / Coach for their first eight games

Comment: Prior to the recent departure of the JFF Pittsburgh Steelers’ Owner / Coach, the AFC South Division was one of the strongest divisions in the league with as many as three teams with a .500 record or better. During the Fall 2014 season, Kory G’s JFF Cleveland Browns finished with the best Regular Season record in the league at 15-1-0.

4) NFC North
Number of Human Users in division: 3 / 4
Record among Human Users: 16-10 (.615)
Overall record: 16-19 (.457)
Record against teams outside the division (Human Users Only): 10-7 (.588)

Comment: The NFC North features two new league members that at the midway point of the season, have only lost four games between them and only three outside of the division. As many as three teams are still mathematically eligible to earn a playoff berth in the NFC Conference playoffs, and two of those three teams (Chicago and Portland) have a very strong possibility of earning a playoff berth.

5) AFC West
Number of Human Users in division: 4 / 4
Record among Human Users: 16-18 (.471)
Overall record: 16-18 (.471)
Record against teams outside the division: 10-12 (.455)

Comment: The AFC West is one of two teams in the AFC Conference to boast four Human Users, and one of three divisions in the entire league (the AFC East and NFC East are the other two). Three of the four teams are still mathematically eligible to earn a playoff berth in the AFC Conference playoffs (Denver, Kansas City, and Oakland). San Diego has not officially been mathematically eliminated, but the team is very close to that point.

6) NFC West
Number of Human Users in division: 3 / 4 **
Record among Human Users: 16-11 (.593)
Overall record: 16-18 (.471)
Record against teams outside the division (Human Users Only): 10-12 (.455)

** The JFF St. Louis Rams actually had a Human User as an Owner / Coach for their first two games

Comment: The NFC West started out the season with as many as four Human Users, but starting with Week Three, the roster of Owner / Coaches in the division dwindled down to three. The division has at least two teams that have a very strong possibility of earning a playoff berth in the NFC Conference playoffs (San Francisco and Seattle), and another team that is still mathematically alive (Arizona). Cadillac, Owner / Coach of the JFF San Francisco 49ers, was the Fall 2004 JFF Super Bowl Champion when he was the Owner / Coach of the JFF New York Giants.

7) NFC East
Number of Human Users in division: 4 / 4
Record among Human Users: 16-19 (.457)
Overall record: 16-19 (.457)
Record against teams outside the division: 12-15 (.444)

Comment: The NFC East is the only division in the NFC Conference that has as many as four Human Users as a team’s Owner / Coach, and one of three divisions in the league along with the AFC East and AFC West. At least three of the four teams currently have a legitimate chance to earn a playoff berth (Dallas, Philadelphia, and Washington). Cliff, the current Owner / Coach of the JFF Dallas Cowboys, was the Fall 2013 JFF Super Bowl Champion when he was the Owner / Coach of the JFF Baltimore Ravens.

8) AFC South
Number of Human Users in division: 3 / 4
Record among Human Users: 13-14 (.482)
Overall record: 13-23 (.361)
Record against teams outside the division (Human Users Only): 4-11 (.267)

Comment: The AFC South currently has three teams that are mathematically eligible to earn a playoff berth in the AFC Conference playoffs, but two of those teams are probably two or three losses away from being eliminated (Houston and Indianapolis). Barring a total collapse in the second half of the season, it looks as though the JFF Tennessee Titans will be the sole representative of the AFC South Division in the AFC Conference playoffs. Air Attack, Owner / Coach of the JFF Indianapolis Colts, was the Fall 2014 JFF Super Bowl Runner-Up with the JFF Colts, and he was also the Spring 2003 JFF Super Bowl Runner-Up with the JFF St. Louis Rams.

A few “Miscellaneous” Awards for the First Half of the Regular Season

I always like to offer a few entertaining, random awards under various categories … so here they are . . .

“Most Balanced Offense”

Winner: JFF Buffalo Bills (55.7% of their total offensive yards come from rushing and 44.3% comes from passing)
Runner-Up: JFF Baltimore Ravens (55.8% of their total offensive yards come from rushing and 44.2% comes from passing)

“Most Pass Heavy Offense”

Winner: JFF New England Patriots (85.2% of their total offensive yards comes from passing the ball)
Runner-Up: JFF Jacksonville Jaguars*** (79.9% of their total offensive yards comes from passing the ball)

*** The JFF Jacksonville Jaguars are a CPU-controlled team

“Most Run Heavy Offense”

Winner: JFF Indianapolis Colts (70.2% of their total offensive yards comes from running the ball)
Runner-Up: JFF Baltimore Ravens (55.8% of their total offensive yards comes from running the ball)

“Best ‘Triple Threat’ – Quarterback-Running Back-Receiver Combo”

Winner: JFF Carolina Panthers (QB Cam Newton has 2,668 passing yards; HB Darren McFadden has 987 rushing yards; and WR Kelvin Benjamin has 910 receiving yards)
Runner-Up: JFF Buffalo Bills (QB E.J. Manuel has 2,065 passing yards; HB C.J. Spiller has 1,479 rushing yards; and WR Sammy Watkins has 920 receiving yards)

“Best ‘Dynamic Duo’ – Receiving”

Winner: JFF Washington Redskins (TE Jordan Reed has 62 receptions for 725 receiving yards and WR Khari Walton has 54 receptions for 554 receiving yards)
Runner-Up: JFF Kansas City Chiefs (TE Travis Kelce has 50 receptions for 557 receiving yards and WR Dwayne Bowe has 44 receptions for 677 receiving yards)

“Best ‘Dynamic Duo’ – Rushing”

Winner: JFF Baltimore Ravens (HB Bernard Pierce has ran the ball 134 times for 815 rushing yards and HB Jeff Demps has ran the ball 112 times for 809 yards)
Runner-Up: JFF Indianapolis Colts (HB Trent Richardson has ran the ball 233 times for 1,333 rushing yards and QB Terrelle Pryor has ran the ball 47 times for 238 rushing yards)

“We can stop the run … but we cannot stop the pass!!”

Winner: JFF Seattle Seahawks (The JFF Seahawks have only allowed an average of 59.1 rushing yards per game, but they have allowed an average of 227.6 passing yards per game)
Runner-Up: JFF Pittsburgh Steelers*** (The JFF Steelers have only allowed an average of 74.2 rushing yards per game, but they have allowed an average of 213.8 passing yards per game)

*** The JFF Pittsburgh Steelers are now a CPU-controlled team

“We can stop the pass … but we cannot stop the run!!”

Winner: JFF Miami Dolphins (The JFF Dolphins have only allowed an average of 185.2 passing yards per game, but they have allowed an average of 112.3 rushing yards per game)
Runner-Up: JFF Carolina Panthers (The JFF Panthers have only allowed an average of 187.7 passing yards per game, but they have allowed an average of 106.4 rushing yards per game)

“Best Overall Defensive Line”

Winner: JFF Oakland Raiders (LE Chris Long has 19 tackles [including 10 for a loss of yardage] and 9 sacks; DT Damon Harrison has 17 tackles [including 14 for a loss of yardage] and 9 sacks; RE Henry Hoag has 28 tackles [including 12 for a loss of yardage] and 7 sacks)
Runner-Up: JFF Seattle Seahawks (LE Michael Bennett has 17 tackles [including 13 for a loss of yardage] and 11 sacks; DT Nick Fairley has 26 tackles [including 11 for a loss of yardage] and 8 sacks; RE Bruce Irvin has 16 tackles [including 8 for a loss of yardage] and 5 sacks)

“Best Overall Linebacker Group”

Winner: JFF New England Patriots (LOLB Jamie Collins has 28 tackles [including 10 for a loss of yardage], 5 sacks, and 1 interception; MLB Jerod Mayo has 55 tackles [including 9 for a loss of yardage] and 4 sacks; MLB Sean Hale has 33 tackles [including 9 for a loss of yardage], 3 sacks, and 2 interceptions; and ROLB Dont’a Hightower has 33 tackles [including 12 for a loss of yardage], 1 sack, and 1 interception)
Runner-Up: JFF Chicago Bears (LOLB Jabaal Sheard has 21 tackles [including 8 for a loss of yardage] and 6 sacks; MLB Lance Briggs has 40 tackles [including 8 for a loss of yardage] and 6 sacks; and ROLB Jamar Chaney has 34 tackles [including 7 for a loss of yardage] and 3 sacks)

“Best Overall Defensive Backfield”

Winner: JFF Buffalo Bills (CB Corey Graham has 30 tackles [including 1 for a loss of yardage] and 7 interceptions; CB Stephon Gilmore has 25 tackles and 4 interceptions; FS Duke Williams has 24 tackles and 2 interceptions; and SS Aaron Williams has 23 tackles [including 3 for a loss of yardage] and 6 interceptions)
Runner-Up: JFF Cleveland Browns (CB Joe Haden has 30 tackles [including 1 for a loss of yardage] and 7 interceptions; CB Justin Gibert has 21 tackles [including 1 for a loss of yardage] and 4 interceptions; FS Tashaun Gipson has 40 tackles [including 1 for a loss of yardage] and 5 interceptions; and SS Emilio Curtis has 14 tackles [including 3 for a loss of yardage], 1 sack, and 2 interceptions)

Playoffs … did you say … Playoffs??

Normally, I don’t start my “If the Playoffs started Today” feature until after Week Thirteen games have been completed, but this season, I am going to start a few weeks early.

CLICK HERE to view my first installment of If The JFF Playoffs started TODAY!

And now, without further ado, CLICK ON THE PHOTO BELOW to view the fifth installment of The JFF Power Rankings!

JFF Power Rankings - Installment #5