BOSTON (CBS) — It’s the Patriots’ bye week, which is a great time to have a little fun.
WBZ-TV’s Levan Reid joined WBZ NewsRadio’s Adam Kaufman on Friday to hand out some midseason, as the Patriots enjoy their bye at 7-1 and atop the AFC.
Here’s the hardware that Reid and Kaufman would hand out, and be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section:
“I know he only played four games, but those four games were fantastic,” Reid said of quarterback Tom Brady.
Kaufman ran a different route, giving his midseason MVP to running back LeGarrette Blount.
Reid went with tight end Martellus Bennett, who had 31 receptions, four touchdowns and 404 receiving yards in the first half of the season.
“They needed someone outside of Gronk to kind of toe the line, and we talked about how the offensive line and Blount got better. The first game of the season you got a blocking tight end, and from then on out, you could say ‘if you’re going to double Gronk, we have another threat.'”
Kaufman again went with Blount and his eight rushing touchdowns: “He was that important to the run game and the team’s success over the first four weeks.”
The award goes to linebacker Dont’a Hightower, who had 33 tackles, 1.5 sacks and two safeties in his six games in the first half.
“When he’s hitting guys, he’s just crushing them. And he’s setting the tone early in the game,” said Reid. “When have you seen someone get safeties in two straight games? That’s crazy. What he did to Cody Kesller in Week 5, we’re still talking about it.”
Rookie of the Year
Rookie guard Joe Thuney has been consistent along the offensive line, worthy of his starting role.
Most Important Player(s)
Reid says this award belongs to two players: Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski
“Both of those guys, if you have 12 and 87, getting rid of Jamie Collins doesn’t make a difference. They get rid of your ills, so to speak. [The defense] will ‘bend don’t break’ regardless, but can you score 35 points on them?”
“If Brady doesn’t have Gronkowski, the offense doesn’t look like this,” added Kaufman.
Another multi-player award, but this one goes to any corner playing opposite of Malcolm Butler (Logan Ryan/Eric Rowe/Justin Coleman).
“What are they doing over there? [Teams are] not throwing to Malcolm’s side, and the other side, they’re just lighting it up,” said Reid.
Kaufman went with rookie Cyrus Jones, who has been bad in the secondary and special teams.
“You’re a second-round pick at a position that is important. Whether he was going to be the guy to emerge as the second or third corner, at least hold on to the football when you’re returning kicks,” he said.
Biggest Story (non-DeflateGate)
Reid stayed away from the trade of Jamie Collins that made this bye week so interesting, and looked ahead to the return of Dion Lewis.
Kaufman went with all the players who will need a new contract at the end of the season, a list that includes Hightower, Butler and Bennett.
Reid and Kaufman brought up the Week 4 loss to the Bills, with Rex Ryan acting like he won the Super Bowl, and Stephen Gostkowski’s struggles. But losing Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 2 got their vote.
Final Record Prediction
Levan Reid: 13-3 — with losses in Denver and Miami (because the Week 17 in Miami won’t count).
Kaufman 14-2 — “I think they’ll beat Miami and I think they’ll beat Denver. Their loss will be a surprising loss, but it won’t be Seattle after the bye, because we know Bill Belichick after the bye.”
Listen to all of Levan Reid and Adam Kaufman’s thoughts in the podcast below: