Red Zone

The Chiefs and NFL by beat writers Randy Covitz and Terez Paylor

Jamaal Charles, Derrick Johnson lead our Chiefs midseason awards

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10/28/2013 2:44 PM

05/16/2014 10:34 AM

With the Chiefs halfway to a perfect 16-0 regular season, it’s time to hand out some unofficial awards.

Offensive MVP

RB Jamaal Charles:

While quarterback Alex Smith has fulfilled expectations by operating a near-mistake free offense, it’s Charles who makes it go. He has handled the ball on 194 of the Chiefs’ 542 plays, or 38 percent, plus he’s carried out dozens of play-action fakes. Charles, the club’s 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 team’s 15 offensive touchdowns.

Defensive MVP

LB Derrick Johnson:

It’s not all about sacks. Johnson has been the complete playmaker in the Chiefs’ dynamic defense, whether he’s stopping the run, rushing the quarterback or defending the pass. The Chiefs may have the NFL’s best corps of linebackers, including outside linebackers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston, but it’s 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 isn’t just a straight-ahead blocker. He gets out on stretch runs and screens. He threw a key block on Anthony Sherman’s touchdown catch and run against Cleveland.

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