EARTH CITY, Mo. -- It's that time of year where midseason all-pro teams, awards and grades are being handed out. With that in mind, let's give out some hardware to the St. Louis Rams.
At 3-6 with plenty of disappointments, most of these choices were pretty easy.
MVP: DE Robert Quinn -- This is pretty much a no-brainer. Quinn's 10 sacks in nine games is first in the NFC and fourth in the NFL. The pass-rushing production is no surprise given his athleticism. What's helped Quinn take the next step is his vast improvement against the run. No, he's not perfect but he's been far more effective and Rams coaches have credited him with 10 tackles for loss in addition to the pass-rushing numbers. Sooner than later, the rest of the league will be talking about Quinn as one of the league's most unblockable defensive ends.
Offensive player of the midseason: RB Zac Stacy -- Although his body of work doesn't go through the full first nine games, Stacy has been a revelation to a running game that was among the worst in the league through the season's first few weeks. In just five starts, Stacy has two 100-yard games, and since becoming the starter, he's second in the NFL in rushing among all backs with 471 yards on the ground. There's no doubt this job is his.
Defensive player of the midseason: Quinn -- See above.
Rookie of the year: Stacy -- See above.
Best free agent addition: OT Jake Long -- Aside from rough outings against Dallas and San Francisco, Long has been as advertised and, at times, dominant. The Rams' recent surge in the run game has been largely credited to Stacy (and for good reason) but Long has been responsible for opening his share of holes. He's also provided leadership on the line to help that entire group improve after some early-season struggles. After some injury-plagued final seasons in Miami, Long seems to be rounding back into form.