With the Ravens enjoying their bye week atop the AFC North at 6-3, it's time to hand out some midseason hardware.
Here are my picks for the Midseason Ravens Awards:
QB Lamar Jackson
Jackson is in the NFL MVP race once again as the focal point of Baltimore's one-of-a-kind offense. He got out of the gates hot with 10 touchdown passes over the Ravens' first three games. While Jackson is averaging less than 200 passing yards per game, he's eighth in the NFL in rushing yards (635), is making his customary jaw-dropping plays, and hasn't turned the ball over once during the Ravens' three-game winning streak.
CB Marlon Humphrey
Humphrey has played 372 coverage snaps this season and allowed zero touchdowns. In man-to-man coverage, he has the second-best grade in the league, according to Pro Football Focus. Humphrey's elite 89.0 grade is second only to Jets rookie cornerback Sauce Gardner. Humphrey has the third-most tackles on the team (35), five passes defensed, two interceptions, and one sack. Justin Houston gets heavy consideration for this award, but he missed three games with a groin injury.
OLB Justin Houston
Houston is tied for the second-most sacks in the league (8.5) with former Raven Za'Darius Smith and 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa. At 33 years old, Houston is on pace for his best season since his monster 2014 campaign with 22 sacks. The Ravens figured the veteran would provide some juice to complement Odafe Oweh and bridge the gap until Tyus Bowser and rookie David Ojabo took the field. Instead, Houston has led the charge.
Rookie of the First Half
C Tyler Linderbaum
Linderbaum has started every game and played all but two snaps so far this season, helping the Ravens become one of the best offensive lines in the league. Linderbaum's mobility to climb to the second level has added another spear to Baltimore's No. 2-ranked rushing attack, and he's more than held his own against bigger defensive linemen. Several Ravens rookies have flashed so far this season with top pick Kyle Hamilton coming on strong in recent weeks, defensive tackle Travis Jones taking on a bigger share in the trenches, Isaiah Likely stepping up big with Mark Andrews out, and Pepe Williams getting a lot of snaps in the secondary. But the most consistent performer has been Linderbaum.
Devin Duvernay's 103-Yard Kickoff Return TD
On the opening kickoff of the Ravens' Week 2 game against the Miami Dolphins, Devin Duvernay hit a gap and went 103 yards for a touchdown. It was an electric start to a game with a bitter end, but Duvernay's big play was still an epic moment. In his third season, Duvernay has been one of the team's biggest stars of the first half of the season, both as a receiver now in the No. 1 role and as a the league's best returner.
LT Ronnie Stanley
Stanley was patient with his return and that approach has paid off. He missed the first four games, but has played in five since, including 100% of the snaps for the first time against the Saints. Now, after nearly two years sidelined and multiple ankle surgeries, Stanley is the highest-graded offensive tackle in the league in pass blocking, per Pro Football Focus. The former All-Pro is back to playing at an elite level, and it's made a big difference for Baltimore's offense.