INDIANAPOLIS – We have reached the mid-way point of the NFL season.
It’s time to hand out some awards to the Colts (3-5) as they get ready to play Game 9 of their 17-game schedule, with the bye week coming after next week’s game against the Panthers.
Here are a handful of mid-season Colts awards for the 2023 season:
1. MVP: Zaire FranklinSource:Getty
MVP: Zaire Franklin
What a career ascent it has been for Zaire Franklin. From a 7th round pick to earning a roster spot, to earning a core special teams role, to becoming a starter, to now being one of the best players on the football team. Franklin has earned this mid-season role by being a consistent presence, who has upped his playmaking in 2023, too.
Others receiving votes: Michael Pittman Jr., Kenny Moore
2. Offensive Player of the Year: Michael Pittman Jr.Source:Getty
Offensive Player of the Year: Michael Pittman Jr.
This has been the best to Michael Pittman Jr.’s career, and in true MPJ fashion he has to once again do it with more than one quarterback. Pittman has been reliable and consistent in his contract season. Now, Zack Moss has a very strong case for this OPOY award, too. Moss delivered early on in the year when the Colts really needed some run-game life as Jonathan Taylor was on the PUP list. I could probably be talked into giving this award to Moss.
Others receiving votes: Zack Moss, Josh Downs
3. Defensive Player of the Year: Kenny MooreSource:Getty
Defensive Player of the Year: Kenny Moore
The emergence of more and more recent playmaking from Kenny Moore gives him this honor. Moore’s disruption has been near and behind the line of scrimmage, as he has an eye-popping 7 tackles for loss (which is already a career-high for Moore).
Others receiving votes: DeForest Buckner
4. Rookie of the Year: Josh DownsSource:Getty
Rookie of the Year: Josh Downs
This is a no brainer. Josh Downs has been a historically good Colts rookie wideout. Downs was probably viewed as the rookie most likely to make an immediate, positive impact, and he’s followed that up with his actions.
Others receiving votes: Anthony Richardson
5. Breakout Player: Zack MossSource:Getty
Breakout Player: Zack Moss
Based off the 3-year career resume of Zack Moss, he fits the definition of ‘breakout’ with what he has done this season. Bernhard Raimann was one seriously thought about, but a couple of hiccups (albeit against some great rushers) in the last few weeks gives Moss this honor.
Others receiving votes: Bernhard Raimann
6. Most Disappointing: CornerbackSource:Getty
Most Disappointing: Cornerback
Honestly, you could call this the “cornerback plan” more than just blaming the youth and vast inexperience across this position. Chris Ballard’s idea for a youth movement at cornerback has not gone well. The answers moving forward are very much up in the air, with some injuries playing into that, too. And some of this is because such a bad season last year had a guy like Stephon Gilmore not wanting to be in Indy any longer. The defensive line is a group I thought about including here, especially with the investments in it, but I thought they had some timely moments earlier in the season.
Others receiving votes: Tight ends, Timely pass rush