Halfway through the 2011 season the Denver Broncos are sitting at 3-5 and just one game back in the AFC West. This week seems like a good time to hand out mid-season awards.
We asked fans on our Facebook page who they thought was the Broncos Most Valuable Player through the first eight games and the vote was almost unanimous. Broncos veteran running back Willis McGahee received nearly 64% of the votes. Receiver Eric Decker and rookie linebacker Von Miller came in second with approximately 13% each.
Here's a quick look at each of the players nominated:
Oakland Raiders defense on Sunday for 163 yards on the ground Sunday and scored two touchdowns in the process. Heading into this week's game in Kansas City, McGahee has rushed 123 times for 623 yards (5.1 average) and scored four touchdowns on offense this season.
Those were the nominations, here are the results in the voting:
"He gives the offensive side of the ball a ground game that none of the other RB's on the roster can seem to supply in his absence," said Broncos fan Paul Hesketh. The stats verify Hesketh's comments, as third year running back Knowshon Moreno has only been able to produce outputs of 22 and 69 yards in two games McGahee has missed this season.
"McGahee's currently 9th in the league in rushing yards, and I think if he can stay healthy might even crack the top five when the regular season is over," noted Hesketh. McGahee is on pace for 1,246 yards this season, which would make him the first Broncos running back to rush for 1,000 yards or more in a single season since Tatum Bell did it in 2006.
"No one saw this kind of performance coming," added Edgar Luna, a member of the U.S. Army. Though many fans may not have foreseen Willis' productive season, McGahee did. Before signing with the club in the offseason, McGahee told his agent that he saw Denver as a place where he could re-emerge as a starting running back again. Seven starts and over 600 yards later, McGahee is making fans "glad Denver got him!"
Stephanie Krizman commented that with the addition of McGahee, the Broncos running game is making a comeback, and Jose' Archuleta added that McGahee has been the most consistent player on offense each week.
"I haven't seen a smooth running back like McGahee in a long time here in Denver," said Nik Persons. "He has great balance and patience, and even at 30 years old, still has that speed that NFL running backs need." The Raiders defense can certainly attest to that.
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