Welcome to the eleventh 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 Regular 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 Summer 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) NFC West
Number of Human Users in division: 2 / 4 **
Record among Human Users: 7-6 (.539)
Record against human users outside the division: 6-5 (.546)
Overall record: 19-13 (.594)

** The JFF San Francisco 49ers actually had a Human User as an Owner / Coach for their first seven games

Comment: The NFC West was the only division in the league during the Summer 2015 season that initially had as many as three human users, but former league member Pasadena Soldier, who was the Owner / Coach of the JFF San Francisco 49ers, abruptly quit after suffering his fourth loss to a human opponent in Week Seven. Even without Soldier, the NFC West would have to arguably be considered the toughest division in the league at the midway point of the season.

2) AFC West
Number of Human Users in division: 2 / 4
Record among Human Users: 6-3** (.667)
Record against human users outside the division: 5-2** (.714)
Overall record: 15-18 (.455)

** The Week One contest between the JFF Denver Broncos and the JFF Indianapolis Colts happened before the current Owner / Coach of the JFF Colts purchased the ownership rights to the team

Comment: Some in the league might argue that the AFC West is full of just as much talent as the NFC West, although both the JFF Seahawks and JFF Cardinals defeated the JFF Broncos. Both teams, barring a complete collapse in the second half of the season, are virtually locks for a playhoff berth in the AFC Conference playoffs.

3) NFC North
Number of Human Users in division: 2 / 4
Record among Human Users: 4-2 (.667)
Record against human users outside the division: 3-1 (.750)
Overall record: 17-16 (.515)

Comment: The NFC North record features one very “misleading” record, because technically, the JFF Green Bay Packers LOST to the JFF Seattle Seahawks, but the Connected Franchise Mode (CFM) system recorded the game as a victory for Green Bay. So, you can say that so far, Green Bay has ‘stolen’ a victory away from Seattle. Nonetheless, both teams in the NFC North Division are prime candidates to claim a playoff berth in the NFC Conference playoffs.

4) NFC East
Number of Human Users in division: 2 / 4
Record among Human Users: 4-5 (.444)
Record against human users outside the division: 3-4 (.429)
Overall record: 17-17 (.500)

Comment: The Week Eight contest between the JFF Dallas Cowboys and JFF Washington Redskins experienced the same “weird incident” that took place in the Week One game between the JFF Green Bay Packers and JFF Seattle Seahawks. Technically, the JFF Cowboys defeated the JFF Redskins, but the CFM system registered the game as a victory for Washington. As a result, now both teams are in close competition for the NFC East Division title. If the playoffs began today, the JFF Washington Redskins would be the one team left out of the NFC Conference playoffs.

5) AFC North
Number of Human Users in division: 2 / 4
Record among Human Users: 2-3** (.400)
Record against human users outside the division: 2-3** (.400)
Overall record: 19-15 (.559)

** The Week Seven contest between the JFF Cincinnati Bengals and the JFF Indianapolis Colts happened while the JFF Bengals were on Auto Pilot

Comment: The AFC North is one of six divisions that currently have two human users in the division, and at the midway point, the JFF Steelers lost two very close games to human users (a total of 4 points) and the one loss the JFF Bengals suffered was while they were on Auto Pilot. Both teams are solid candidates to earn a playoff berth in the AFC Conference playoffs.

6) AFC South
Number of Human Users in division: 2 / 4
Record among Human Users: 4-5 (.444)
Record against human users outside the division: 3-3** (.500)
Overall record: 17-18 (.486)

** The Week One contest between the JFF Denver Broncos and the JFF Indianapolis Colts happened before the current Owner / Coach of the JFF Colts purchased the ownership rights to the team; Also, the Week Seven contest between the JFF Cincinnati Bengals and the JFF Indianapolis Colts happened while the JFF Bengals were on Auto Pilot

Comment: The JFF Indianapolis had one game go against them (Week One) and one game work in their favor (Week Seven) in two games that were supposed to be human user vs. human user, but that never materialized. The JFF Houston Texans are struggling right now, and could end up missing the playoffs unless they win their last two games against human competition (JFF Bengals in Week Twelve and the JFF Colts in Week Fifteen).

7) NFC South
Number of Human Users in division: 1 / 4
Record among Human Users: 1-0 (1.000)
Record against human users outside the division: 1-0 (1.000)
Overall record: 15-18 (.455)

Comment: The NFC South currently is the only division in the league that has less than the league minimum of two human users in the division. This means that the JFF Tampa Bay Buccaneers are guaranteed to win the NFC South Division and they are guaranteed to earn one of the Top Four Seeds in the NFC Conference playoffs. In the second half of the Regular Season, the JFF Buccaneers are matched up against four human user opponents (JFF Redskins in Week Eleven, JFF Bears in Week Twelve, JFF Bengals in Week Thirteen, and JFF Packers in Week Sixteen).

8) AFC East
Number of Human Users in division: 2 / 4
Record among Human Users: 2-6 (.250)
Record against human users outside the division: 1-5 (.167)
Overall record: 15-19 (.441)

Comment: The AFC East has to be classified at the midway point as the least competitive division of the eight in the league. The JFF Buffalo Bills have only won one game against human competition, which was a 14-13 victory against the JFF Houston Texans in Week Four. The JFF New England Patriots have also only won one game against human competition, and that was a 13-7 victory over their AFC East Division rival JFF Bills in Week Six. The JFF Patriots are 0-4 against human users outside the AFC East Division, losing to the JFF Kansas City Chiefs in Week Four, the JFF Bengals in Week Five, the JFF Bears in Week Eight, and the JFF Broncos in Week Nine. New England lost those four contests by a combined margin of 158-75. The “good” news is, at least one of these two teams are guaranteed to earn one of the Top Four Seeds in the AFC Conference playoffs.

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 Chicago Bears (60.2% of their total offensive yards come from passing and 39.8% comes from rushing)
Runner-Up: JFF Arizona Cardinals (62.1% of their total offensive yards come from passing and 37.9% comes from rushing)

“Most Pass Heavy Offense”

Winner: JFF Tampa Bay Buccaneers (87.9% of their total offensive yards comes from passing the ball)
Runner-Up: JFF New England Patriots (83.6% of their total offensive yards comes from passing the ball)

“Most Run Heavy Offense”

Winner: JFF Buffalo Bills (66.7% of their total offensive yards comes from running the ball)
Runner-Up: JFF Chicago Bears (39.8% of their total offensive yards comes from running the ball)

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

Winner: JFF Dallas Cowboys (QB Tony Romo has 2,557 passing yards; HB Lance Dunbar has 1,104 rushing yards; and WR Dez Bryant has 1,388 receiving yards)
Runner-Up: JFF Houston Texans (QB Ryan Mallet has 2,451 passing yards; HB Arian Foster has 922 rushing yards; and WR Jaelen Strong has 840 receiving yards)

“Best ‘Dynamic Duo’ – Receiving”

Winner: JFF Tampa Bay Buccaneers (WR Mike Evans has 72 receptions for 2,337 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns, and WR Vincent Jackson has 40 receptions for 840 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns)
Runner-Up: JFF New England Patriots (TE Rob Gronkowski has 88 receptions for 1,360 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns, and WR Brandon LaFell has 43 receptions for 771 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns)

“Best ‘Dynamic Duo’ – Rushing”

Winner: JFF Buffalo Bills (HB Jamaal Charles has ran the ball 201 times for 1,405 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns, and HB Bryce Brown has ran the ball 56 times for 309 yards and 6 touchdowns)
Runner-Up: JFF Arizona Cardinals (HB LeSean McCoy** has ran the ball 170 times for 1,043 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns, and HB Andrew Ellington has ran the ball 70 times for 407 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns)

** McCoy was traded from the JFF Kansas City Chiefs to the JFF Arizona Cardinals during JFF Week Two competition

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

Winner: JFF Seattle Seahawks (The JFF Seahawks have only allowed an average of 72.5 rushing yards per game, but they have allowed an average of 234.6 passing yards per game)
Runner-Up: JFF Green Bay Packers (The JFF Packers have only allowed an average of 82.6 rushing yards per game, but they have allowed an average of 232.6 passing yards per game)

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

Winner: JFF Washington Redskins (The JFF Redskins have only allowed an average of 166.6 passing yards per game, but they have allowed an average of 91.4 rushing yards per game)
Runner-Up: JFF Tampa Bay Buccaneers (The JFF Buccaneers have only allowed an average of 221.3 passing yards per game, but they have allowed an average of 128.0 rushing yards per game)

“Best Overall Defensive Line”

Winner: JFF Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LE Jacquies Smith has 15 tackles [including 6 for a loss of yardage] and 6 sacks; DT Gerald McCoy has 43 tackles [including 17 for a loss of yardage] and 12 sacks; DT Henry Melton has 20 tackles [including 7 for a loss of yardage] and 3 sacks; RE Tommy Kelly has 23 tackles [including 9 for a loss of yardage] and 3 sacks)
Runner-Up: JFF Minnesota Vikings** (LE Brian Robison has 15 tackles [including 3 for a loss of yardage], 2 sacks, and 1 interception; DT Sharrif Floyd has 23 tackles [including 8 for a loss of yardage] and 5 sacks; DT Linval Joseph has 22 tackles [including 6 for a loss of yardage] and 1 sack; RE Everson Griffen has 26 tackles [including 8 for a loss of yardage] and 6 sacks)

** The JFF Minnesota Vikings is a CPU-controlled team

“Best Overall Linebacker Group”

Winner: JFF Detroit Lions** (LOLB Kyle Van Noy has 17 tackles; MLB Stephen Tulloch has 73 tackles [including 1 for a loss of yardage], 1 sack, and 3 interceptions; MLB Tahir Whitehead has 43 tackles [including 1 for a loss of yardage], 1 sack, and 1 interception; and ROLB DeAndre Levy has 48 tackles [including 9 for a loss of yardage], and 7 sacks)
Runner-Up: JFF Cleveland Browns** (LOLB Barkevious Mingo has 33 tackles [including 8 for a loss of yardage] and 6 sacks; MLB Karlos Dansby has 75 tackles [including 6 for a loss of yardage], 3 sacks, and 1 interception; MLB Craig Robertson has 30 tackles; and ROLB Paul Kruger has 25 tackles [including 6 for a loss of yardage] and 3 sacks)

** The JFF Detroit Lions and JFF Cleveland Browns are both CPU-controlled teams

“Best Overall Defensive Backfield”

Winner: JFF Pittsburgh Steelers (CB Champ Bailey has 18 tackles and 6 interceptions; CB William Guy has 24 tackles and 4 interceptions; FS Mike Mitchell has 34 tackles [including 1 for a loss of yardage] and 1 interception; and SS Troy Polamalu has 32 tackles and 4 interceptions)
Runner-Up: JFF Oakland Raiders** (CB D.J. Hayden has 34 tackles [including 1 for a loss of yardage] and 4 interceptions; CB Keith McGill has 30 tackles [including 2 for a loss of yardage] and 6 interceptions; FS Tevin McDonald has 32 tackles [including 2 for a loss of yardage], 1 sack and 2 interceptions; and SS Larry Asante has 26 tackles [including 1 for a loss of yardage], 1 sack, and 1 interception)

** The JFF Oakland Raiders is a CPU-controlled team

Playoffs … did you say … Playoffs??

This week, I will introduce my first edition of the “If the Playoffs started Today” feature:

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