With the Chiefs halfway to a perfect 16-0 regular season, its time to hand out some unofficial awards.
By RANDY COVITZ
The Kansas City Star
RB Jamaal Charles: While quarterback Alex Smith has fulfilled expectations by operating a near-mistake free offense, its Charles who makes it go. He has handled the ball on 194 of the Chiefs 542 plays, or 38 percent, plus hes carried out dozens of play-action fakes. Charles, the clubs leading rusher (635 yards) and receiver (41 catches for 383 yards) has accounted for 38 percent of the Chiefs offensive yards and eight of the teams 15 offensive touchdowns.
LB Derrick Johnson: Its not all about sacks. Johnson has been the complete playmaker in the Chiefs dynamic defense, whether hes stopping the run, rushing the quarterback or defending the pass. The Chiefs may have the NFLs best corps of linebackers, including outside linebackers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston, but its Johnson who calls the defensive signals, gets the players in the right spots and still makes plays from sideline to sideline.
Rookie of the year
CB Marcus Cooper: Cooper, claimed on waivers during the week of the opener, has solidified the defense and has been a key special-teams player. Cooper has started three games, twice when Brandon Flowers was out because of a knee injury, and has been such an effective shutdown corner, he has enabled Flowers to move inside and defend the slot receiver. Cooper has two interceptions, 11 passes defensed and recovered a muffed punt for a touchdown at Tennessee.
Comeback player of the year
C Rodney Hudson: Hudson has bounced back from a gruesome broken leg suffered in the third game of the 2012 season. He has been a rock inside and has handled every snap this season except for a kneel-down at Jacksonville, while taking on some nasty nose tackles. Hudson isnt just a straight-ahead blocker. He gets out on stretch runs and screens. He threw a key block on Anthony Shermans touchdown catch and run against Cleveland.
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