Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Brady, Watkins snag midseason ESPN awards


The NFL season's hit the halfway point, and a pair of division rivals is being recognized for their efforts through the first eight games.

With Sunday's emphatic victory over the Broncos adding the icing on the cake, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was voted the league's MVP at this point of the season by ESPN.com's 32 NFL Nation reporters. The 37-year-old received half the votes and two of the four from beat writers within the division (Mike Rodak and Rich Cimini).

Brady is currently ranked fifth in passing yards, third in touchdowns and sixth in passing rating.

Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray received the second-most votes (7), and Pats tight end Rob Gronkowski garnered the division's only other nod.

Buffalo Bills rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins also received some accolades Tuesday, as he was deemed the league's offensive rookie of the year through eight weeks by ESPN's "NFL Live" show. In the nationwide poll, Watkins dominated, earning the biggest vote tally in all but two states.

The former Clemson star has 38 receptions, 590 receiving yards and five touchdowns thus far, nearly identical stats to fellow Carolina Panthers rookie wideout Kelvin Benjamin, who snagged the most votes in the two states -- North Carolina and Hawaii -- where Watkins came up short.

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