Yeah, it’s not easy to find things to be positive about this season. But some players have found ways to shine.
We’ve covered the offensive and defensive players of the year; here are our midseason picks for MVP.
Without a doubt, Austin Hooper is the midseason MVP. If we ignore the team and their record, and look specifically at the record, nobody is playing better than Austin Hooper for the Falcons. Entering week 9, this is where Hooper ranks among NFL tight ends:
- Receiving Touchdowns: Tied for 1st (5)
- Receptions: 1st (52)
- Receiving Yards: 2nd (591)
- Yards Per Game: 3rd (73.9)
- 1st Downs: 2nd (30)
- Yards After Catch: 3rd (250)
It’ll be determined this offseason if Hooper will remain a Falcon going into 2020. He’s been one of the few bright spots this season, and I hope the new Falcons’ GM can find a way to sign him long-term now that Matt Ryan has his best tight end since Tony Gonzalez.
It is difficult to truly glance at the season so far for the Falcons and not be impressed by Matt Ryan’s numbers. Especially when you account for the running game not existing, the offensive line blocking whenever they feel, and the defense giving up touchdowns to literally any and everybody who wants to score. Despite those circumstances, Ryan is ninth in the NFL in yards, third in completion percentage, and tied for fifth in passing touchdowns. When things went right for the Falcons on offense, it was probably because of Ryan somehow, someway. - Eric Robinson
Matt Ryan, reluctantly
It feels beyond bizarre to give this to Ryan, who has missed one game and got off to a pretty rocky start to the season. The dearth of compelling options—Julio Jones and Austin Hooper have been great but perhaps not most valuable, and Grady Jarrett has been stellar but the defense is still failing, etc.—makes it the right choice. Ryan has nearly piloted the team to a couple of comeback wins and has still been largely terrific in a lost year. When everything is going wrong, that’s enough for the most asterisk-scarred half-season MVP in recent memory.
Let it be said that the real MVP remains the fan at home or in the stadium, who don’t have to do this but do regardless. - Dave Choate