The Falcons have not yet played eight games, but today’s theme for SB Nation is midseason MVP, and we still have a very obvious choice.
In a year where the offense has scuffled mightily at times, you could still make a strong case for Alex Mack or Devonta Freeman, who have been consistently excellent. You could push on the defensive side for De’Vondre Campbell, who is in the midst of a breakout campaign, or perhaps tone-setting safety Keanu Neal. But the team’s best, most valuable player to this point has been Grady Jarrett. I’m stating that as a fact, rather than an opinion, even if I expect some of you to quibble with me.
Minus one back-breaking penalty that wiped out an interception of Jay Cutler against Miami, Jarrett has been one of the team’s most dominant players. He’s done well as a pass rusher, but his bread and butter has been stopping the run, and he’s among the league leaders in tackles for loss and running backs helplessly slaughtered at the line of scrimmage. With Dontari Poe beside him and in the midst of his third year in Dan Quinn’s scheme, Jarrett has become a dominant presence, and one of the primary reasons this defense has fared better on balance than it did a year ago.
In my mind, his consistent excellence in an inconsistent season makes him the team’s MVP. Who would be your choice?