Dear Varsity 2021,
Here we go again. Thanks to a new tradition created by Rampage Quarterback, Junior Teixeira, it’s time for MY midseason individual awards. Get ready, cuz I’m gonna blow your mind…and you’re probably gonna hate me.
Let’s start with the most important position on the field…the center. You thought I was gonna say Quarterback huh? Nope cuz without a good center, a great quarterback is reduced to mediocre at best.
Here are my nominations for top three centers midway through the season (in no particular order):
- Britton Doyle, Raiders: This guy has racked up 17 receptions and 2 touchdowns. Yes the numbers aren’t phenomenal by receiver standards, but he is what makes this team move. From protecting his QB and not allowing a single sack, it’s hard to think of the Ironman award without him in the conversation.
- Moose, Shake n’ Bake: Think about a center with the name “Moose.” That says it all, the guy has been a bulldozer up front. From protecting his QB’s under durress and being available for dump offs that he will then take for 10+ yards. Also joins Doyle with 14 receptions and zero sacks allowed.
- Michael Vinagro/Biggie Small, Rampage: Wait what? Two guys for one award? Yea why not. They have been trading off situationally and the substitution pattern has been working beautifully. The two have combined for 23 receptions and four touchdowns with only one sack allowed. Biggie gets the long field and Vinagro gets the goal line work. Dangerous pairing gets a single nod.
Now that the big boys are done, we’re gonna take a look at the best Quarterbacks (IMO) thus far:
- Dane Schindler, Shake n’ Bake: Dane is a former MVP and QB award winner in the past, so he’s no stranger here. He has been slinging at an impressive clip this session. Connecting on 70% of his passes and compiling a BQR of 32 (Blitz Quarterback Rating [TD passes x games played – Interceptions x games played – sacks x games played + rushing TD’s x games played).
- Junior Teixeira, Rampage: I mean, this guy inspired this article so I feel obligated to put him on this list…kidding. He would be on here regardless of his accolades. Despite being called a “B division Quarterback” online by the haters, he has proven them all wrong. His BQR is 48 and has yet to throw an interception this session.
- Mike Howe, Raiders: Ok, BQR through the roof of 64! That’s due to him being second in touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown helps that score a bit too. However, aside from the Raiders tough couple losses, they are the highest scoring A team in the league. Without, the Raiders would crumble.
- BONUS ALERT! B DIVISION QB ENTRY: Devon Collier, Raw Talent: Some say B division quarterbacks should be in the B division awards. But what if the league’s highest scoring team is undefeated and beat an A team? Would he count then? I think so. Devon has been on a tear this session, with a whopping BQR of 85. There’s no way this guy shouldn’t be in the conversation. Raw Talent is a real problem this season thanks to arm of Mr. Collier.
What’s next? Hmmm…Ok, let’s go finish the offensive category now. Here’s my look at the offensive juggernauts so far:
- Jerry Brown, Flagnado: I know what you’re thinking, “this guy is on an 0-4 team.” Well that doesn’t matter in his case, he’s the reason the train has had any steam at all. With 24 receptions for 2 touchdowns, he’s amassed well over 100 yards per game, if we kept track of yards. He gets statistically older, but not physically, still burning kids half his age every play.
- Brian Pacheco, Raiders: This is a tough one for me. I’m on the Pacheco bandwagon for the A Division Rookie of the year, but his numbers and performance has been so good, it’s hard to not put him in the conversation. He’s the deep threat that the Raiders have been looking when teams focus all their attention on last year’s offensive player of the year, Baldwin. With 18 receptions and 6 touchdowns, his 3:1 ratio is ridiculous for a guy his size. Vote him, or go and watch him play, he’ll amaze ya.
- Jamaal Woods, LOD: Weird right? Jamaal for Offensive player? No this isn’t a joke. He’s always belonged in this category but his specialty has been defense. This year with the rotational patterns of LOD, Jamaal has been thrust into the number one receiver role and he has excelled thus far. His catch rate is 97% and his catch radius is to that of DeAndre Hopkins and Julio Jones. Woods is the man on all sides of the ball…even offense.
So now you’ve read and either love or hate my guys on the offensive side of the ball, so now let’s switch to defense. Everyone likes to look at the stats for this award but the defensive player of the year award isn’t based on stats as much as the others, because if you’re doing your job on D, then you won’t get Flags to pull or the ball thrown in your direction. Here you go people, here are my list of midway defensive players of the year:
- Jason Grace, Shake n’ Bake: Grace isn’t lighting the world on fire statistically but he is defensively period. When in man to man coverage, he engulfs the defender and has yet to allow a catch in his direction. In zone, he swarms to the ball and either gets a pass deflection or a pick. He does have one pick six to his credit this season but it’s the start of many more to come.
- Melvin Bonilla, LOD: Melvin and Jamaal should be swapped I know, but Mel is tearing it up on defense. Of the balls thrown in his direction, only 25% of them are completed. When he’s not out on an island with his receiver, he’s delivering pressure to the QB via corner blitz or because he shook the center as the blitzer. Two INT’s and one pick six speak volumes for a guy that doesn’t see many balls thrown his way.
- James Tanguay, Rampage: When you talk about a blanket at safety, this guy is always in the convo. Whether you send one or two guys his way, he’ll find which one is getting the ball and get the pick. Sure he’s loud and a little boisterous, but so too were Deion Sanders and Darrelle Revis (Hall of Famers).
Now for the youngin’s… the Rookies. There are a ton; and I mean a ton of standout rookies this year so it’s hard for to choose just a few but I’ll try. Here we go:
- Brian Pacheco, Raiders: Yes, I said his name earlier but how can I not have him in here? With 18 receptions, 6 touchdowns and an interception, he’s putting the league on notice with his short resume.
- Andy Geffard, America’s Children: There’s not much this kid can’t do. With 7 touchdowns and 4 interceptions in his first four career games, it’s hard to think what he’ll do when he gets the rules all figured out.
- Jeremy Beland, Take Over: 19 receptions, 6 touchdowns, 110 ypg, 3 interceptions, 1 sack. He catches it deep, he catches it short. He runs out of the backfield. He plays corner, safety and linebacker. No matter what he’s got a knack for the ball in his hands. Guy is a stud and is dominating the game right now.
- Edwin Rodriguez, Tribe: Three sacks in three games. Pure animal on the dancefloor. You can’t block him, you can only hope to contain him. His presence at linebacker just strikes fear into the opposing quarterbacks. Single season sack record beware.
Lastly let’s talk about the one that you kinda forgot about cuz we started at the center position. This is the T-Shirt guy! The MVP. The guy who does it on both sides of the ball and without them the team wouldn’t be where it is. Let’s go get some people upset:
- Andrew Duval, Rampage: The reigning MVP is at it again. With 22 receptions, 4 touchdowns, 3 interceptions and a pick six, he’s putting himself in the conversation of an all-time great already. Some MVP’s are flukes, Duval appears to be here for good.
- Chris Rocker, Shake n’ Bake: Yea yea yea, you’re like wait..what? Listen. Rocker doesn’t put up the numbers he used to when winning rookie of the year and defensive player of the year when he was young. However, in four games this year, he has made at least one big game changing play. Not every play makes the stat sheet, but his “play” in general puts him on my list. Kid is nails. Comes out every game and balls out. Every play. Every drive. Every game.
- JJ Lopez, Raw Talent: Second in the league in receptions and touchdowns, 11th in tackles, second in interceptions and league leader in pick sixes. His resume speaks for itself. Don’t sleep on him being on a B team, he’s the MVP on any team.
And there we go. Do you think you belong? You still have 3 weeks left to prove it and work your way up this list.
‘Til next week, G’luck and godspeed to all you Blitzers out there.
“don’t be offended, I’m just a fictitious reindeer with a keyboard”