Kicker: Matt Bryant, Falcons. The guy has not missed a field-goal attempt this season. Over last season and this one, Bryant is 40-of-43.
Punter: Thomas Morstead, Saints. This was a very tough call because Tampa Bay’s Michael Koenen also is having a very nice year. But Morstead has better numbers. He has a 49.7-yard gross average and a 43.7-yard net average with five punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line.
Return man: Darren Sproles, Saints. He already made the team as a running back. But, if anyone deserves to be on the team twice, it’s Sproles. He’s doing a little bit of everything for the Saints.
Coach of the midseason: Sean Payton, Saints. He endured a sideline crash that caused major damage to his knee and leg. But Payton has the Saints at 6-3 and atop the NFC South.
Assistant coach of the midseason: Rob Chudzinski, offensive coordinator, Panthers. After years of watching John Fox keep handcuffs on coordinators Dan Henning and Jeff Davidson, Carolina fans are finally getting to see an offense that’s fun to watch.
MVP of the midseason: Drew Brees, quarterback, Saints. If you were hoping to see something outside the box, you’re not getting it. Brees is on pace to set the record for yards passing in a season. He also is making a strong case to take over Derrick Brooks’ place as the best player in the history of the NFC South.
Rookie of the midseason: Cam Newton, quarterback, Panthers. Several rookies, like Tampa Bay’s Adrian Clayborn and Mason Foster, Atlanta’s Julio Jones and New Orleans’ Cameron Jordan, are playing well. But none of them have come in and, on their own, changed the climate of a franchise. That’s what Newton has done.
General manager of the midseason: Marty Hurney, Panthers. He took what many thought was a huge risk when he drafted Newton with the top overall draft pick. Maybe it was a gamble, but Hurney won because he got a franchise quarterback.