The regular NFL is halfway over. Who on offense has been the best in their position so far?
QB – Peyton Manning
This was the toughest position to pick on this team. Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Andrew Luck are all in contention. In the end though the Denver Broncos QB edged them all out. Peyton has thrown for over 2000 yards, 22 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions. Also along the way he broke the NFL's touchdown record. For comparison Luck has thrown also thrown for 22 touchdowns this season but along with those TD's came 9 interceptions. Manning has been as close to perfect as a QB can be.
RB – DeMarco Murray
The choice for quarterback may have been a close one but at running back the clear choice is DeMarco Murray. Murray averages 131.8 yards per game that is 22 more than the second placed running back Arian Foster. Murray also has already clocked up over 1000 rushing yards. That is a massive 288 more yards than any other running back in the NFL.
More importantly though Murray's ability to eat up the clock has been the foundation of the Cowboy's awesome first half to the season. By control possession of the ball
Murray keeps the defense off the pitch and whilst the defense may be better than everyone thought it was going to be it still isn't going force many three and outs.
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Center – Alex Mack
Injury has brought Alex Mack's season to a end but his first half of the season has been exceptional. It is not much of an exaggeration to say that the center's run blocking ability was the key to the Cleveland Browns strong season so far.
The Browns offense is based about the running game. Whilst Mack was fit the Browns seemed to be able to run on any team in the NFL. This strong run game then allowed the Browns to based the passing game around Brian Hoyer and the play action pass.
In the games up the Mack's injury in week six the Browns had rushed for over 150 yards on 3 out of five occassions and had only dipped below 100 once against a tough Ravens defense. Key to this success was Mack and we know this was the case
because, since Mack was injured Cleveland have played the Jaguars and the Raiders and rushed for 69 and 39 yards respectively.
Guard – Todd Herremans
The Eagles line has been decimated by injuries this season. Despite, this though team ranks number one in pass protection on profootballfocus.com after so far giving away only seven sacks. A constant throughout this run has been Todd Herremans as guard.
Guard – Mike Pouncey
The Miami Dolphins offenseive line has gone from being truly abysmal last season to being ranked 13th in pass protection and 4th in run protection this season. Perhaps the stat that best reflects this is the average yards before contact figures for this season that placed Lamar Miller as the best in the league with 3.98 yards.
A big part of the credit for this has got to go to right guard Mike Pouncey who usually a center and so is playing out of position.
Right Tackle – Jermey Parnell
The Cowboys running game has been the best in the league this season a lot of the credit for this needs to go to the Cowboys power right tackle Jermey Parnell. The 6'6'' 315 pound offensive tackle is more than deserving of his place in this list.
Left Tackle – Terron Armstead
Despite, the New Orleans Saints struggles this season the offensive line has actually been one of the best units in the league. In his second season in the NFL former third round draft pick Armstead had been a key part of this muted success.
TE - Antonio Gates
I strongly suspect that were this list being written a the end of the regular season the standout candidate will be Patriot's tight end Robert Gronkowski. Gronkowski may be coming off the back of a couple of great weeks but he started the season as a slowly as the rest of the Patriots.
You can't accuse Antonio Gates of starting off slow though. In week one he had 81 yards off six receptions and then in week two he had three touchdown receptions as the Chargers shocked the World Champion Seahawks. By the end of week 8 Gates has amassed nine touchdowns. That's the joint most in the NFL.
All this is even more impressive when you consider that it seemed likely that this would be the season where Ladarius Green would become the Chargers number one tight end. Aged 35 and Gates is still going strong.
WR - Antonio Brown
Antonio Brown is a passing catching machine he leads wide receivers in both receptions and targets. Only T.Y. Hilton passes Brown for receiving yards and 25% of Hilton's yards come from one game against the Houston Texans. Game in game out Antonio Brown is the most reliable wide receiver in the NFL.
WR – DeSean Jackson
Jackson is the best vertical threat in the NFL. Even playing in a Washington teams with Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy throwing to him Jackson has been good for a couple of big plays a game. He averages 20.8 yards per receptions that is the most in the league.
WR – Steve Smith Snr
You've got to love a athlete that says what he is going to do and then does it. Steve Smith told the Panthers he was going to make them regret cutting him and in his own words he “ran around” the Panthers “like they were schoolyard kids”. Smith finished the game against Carolina with 139 yards and two touchdowns. Already this season he has accumulated 675 yards last season he only had 745.
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