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Raiders 2017 midseason awards

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NFL: Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, during the actual midseason mark, we named the Raiders MVP. With the Raiders bye this week, we move onto the rest of our team awards. Let’s get right to it.

Offensive rookie of the midseason

N/A

There are just two Raiders rookies on the offensive side of the ball on the team. They are 4th round tackle David Sharpe and 7th round tackle Jylan Ware. Neither of them has played a single snap on offense. Can’t recall the last time this happened.

Defensive rookie of the midseason

Nicholas Morrow

Outdoing his drafted counterparts, this undrafted rookie out of Division III Greenville has stepped in and played a good bit of outside linebacker. His 25 combined tackles (17 solo) leads the rookies, including 5th round rookie middle linebacker, Marquel Lee (18 combined tackles).

Top newcomer

Jared Cook

From the moment he signed with the team, he was the highest rated tight end the team has had since 2010 when former second round pick Zach Miller was still leading the team in receiving. Now through nine games this season, the Raiders once again have a tight end leading the team in receiving.

Cook is sitting at 499 yards and a touchdown. He is coming off a week in which he had 8 catches for 126 yards and has put up over 100 yards in two of the past three weeks -- both wins. He’s on pace to have more yards this season than Zach Miller ever had in his 8-year NFL career.

Breakout player

Mario Edwards Jr

After two injury shortened seasons, Edwards is finally healthy and has been lights out along the defensive line. His 3.5 sacks has surpassed his career total prior to this season (2.0). He also has more run stops (17) than all of the Raiders other 3-tech and 5-tech defensive linemen combined (15) according to Pro Football Focus.

Most disappointing addition

Marshawn Lynch

We can’t exactly put Todd Downing here, because he’s not technically an addition. I mention Downing, because he is probably more to blame for Marshawn’s down numbers due to the change in Oline scheme and lack of carries. But in terms of the hopes and expectations from having Marshawn in the Raiders backfield, what they have gotten out of him has been immensely disappointing.

Also see: Marshawn had more yards after contact than actual rushing yards vs Dolphins

The expectations were for Lynch to approach and even surpass 1000 yards this season. Right now he is getting around 10 carries per game and averaging 3.8 yards per carry. If that continues, he won’t get anywhere near those numbers. Getting ejected from a game and suspended for the next for making contact with an official doesn’t help either.

Surprise player

Giorgio Tavecchio

It isn’t often a journeyman ‘camp leg’ who has never played an NFL game steps in the day before the season opener and plays like one of the best kickers in the league. His one missed extra point was because of a high snap and one of his two missed field goals was blocked from 53 yards out. He’s also made two 52-yarders and last week hit a 53-yard field goal before the half.

Best position group

Kick squad

Tavecchio and punter Marquette King have played very well. That being said, this selection really speaks more to the overall disappointing play of every other position group. Last season’s winner was the offensive line and they’ve been a wreck this season. They aren’t opening holes in the run game and the tackles aren’t protecting well for Derek Carr.

Supposed number one receiver Amari Cooper leads the league with ten drops, Clive Walford has not been a viable number two option at tight end, the secondary hasn’t intercepted a ball and is setting a new NFL record every week that continues, the linebackers continue to be in flux, the 13 sacks from the defense is second fewest in the league.

Best game

Week 7 vs Chiefs

A shootout in Oakland led to a 2017 NFL high 8 lead changes with the Raiders driving for a game-winning touchdown. At the end, Derek Carr threw for the end zone five times. The final two of which were untimed due to penalties. The game winner went to Michael Crabtree at the left pylon and the Raiders broke a 4-game losing streak on the season and a 5-game losing streak to the Chiefs with a 31-30 victory. Derek Carr threw for 417 yards and three touchdowns while Amari Cooper had a career high 210 yards on 11 catches with 2 touchdowns.

Special teams player of the midseason

Marquette King

Tavecchio is the feel good story, but it’s still King who is among the league’s best. Even with a groin strain limiting his effectiveness the past two weeks, he is averaging 50.3 yards per punt and 45.5 net yards per punt. Before the groin straing, he was on pace to break an NFL record that has stood for 77 years. When they return to action after the bye week, King’s groin will hopefully be back to normal and he will get back on track for that record. If he does, it could also result in his first trip to the Pro Bowl.

Defensive player of the midseason

Khalil Mack

He is having a down season along with the rest of the Raiders’ defense. But Mack’s down season is better than most players’ best seasons. He still leads the team in sacks (4.5), QB hits (12) and tackles for loss (9). He isn’t just the team’s Defensive Player of the Midseason, he’s the MVP.

Offensive player of the midseason

Michael Crabtree

Crabtree doesn’t lead the team in receiving yards. That’s Jared Cook. But that’s because Crabtree has played one less game. His yards per game is the highest on the team (56.5) and he leads the team with 6 touchdowns. That means nearly half of Derek Carr’s 13 touchdown passes have gone to Crabtree, including three of them in the team’s 45-20 win over the Jets in week 3.