NBA First Half Awards
With the season just over halfway done, let's look at the major awards. Feel free to disagree but it's James Hardens world right now and we're just living in it.
The Saints rallied from a 14-3 halftime deficit in Tampa Bay, scoring 25 unanswered points in the second half to secure the NFC South title. The Saints have won consecutive division championships for the first time in franchise history.
Patrick Mahomes strengthened his case for MVP in the Chiefs' comeback victory, throwing a clutch 48-yard completion to Tyreek Hill on fourth-and-9 with 90 seconds left (and the Chiefs trailing 24-17) that later led to a five-yard, game-tying TD pass to Damien Williams.
Hill caught eight passes for 139 yards, including three in overtime to set up the eventual 36-yard winning field goal for Harrison Butker.
Travis Kelce caught seven passes for 77 yards and a TD for the Chiefs, who clinched a playoff berth.
Jared Goff imploded on Sunday Night Football, throwing more incompletions (24) than completions (20) with four interceptions. The Rams failed to score a touchdown.
Todd Gurley was held to 28 yards rushing and 30 yards receiving in his worst game of the season.
The Chargers barely squeaked by the slumping Bengals, who entered the contest with the league's worst statistical defense and were forced into starting second-string QB Jeff Driskel.
The offense was not sharp (288 total yards), but Keenan Allen was able to reach the end zone for the fifth straight game.
Michael Badgley connected on both PATs and all four of his field goal attempts in a perfect showing, which included a franchise record 59-yard field goal to end the first half.
The Patriots lost in the worst way imaginable, allowing the Dolphins to score a TD on the last play of the game.
Tom Brady is 7-10 in his career in Miami. The Patriots squandered an opportunity to clinch the AFC East for the tenth consecutive season.
The Bears' defense held the Rams' offense, which ranks second in the NFL in scoring, to six points. The best defense in football logged four interceptions, three sacks and one safety—the latter courtesy of defensive tackle Eddie Goldman.
Chicago won in spite of Mitchell Trubisky—who returned to action after missing the past two contests with a shoulder injury—as the QB completed 16 of 30 passes for 110 yards with a touchdown and three ugly interceptions.
The Texans' nine-game winning streak was halted by the rival Colts. Houston was held to 89 yards rushing and punted the ball eight times in the defeat.
The Seahawks rushed for 214 yards versus the Vikings on Monday Night Football, led by Chris Carson, who accounted for 90 yards and a TD.
Russell Wilson threw for a career-low 72 yards passing with an atrocious pick before the end of the first half, but the Seahawks found a way to win their fourth straight game.
Seattle's defense rose to the occasion in the 21-7 win. Defensive ends Frank Clark and Dion Martin had a sack apiece, Bobby Wagner blocked a Dan Bailey field goal attempt and Justin Coleman scooped up a fumble and returned it 29 yards for a touchdown.
Pete Carroll is 16-2 at home in primetime games since taking over Seattle's head coaching duties.
Amari Cooper cannot be contained. The mid-season acquisition put together a performance for the ages, catching 10 passes for a career-high 217 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winning 15-yard score in overtime to beat the Eagles.
Cooper leads the NFL with 642 yards receiving since Week 9, his first game with the Cowboys.
Two of Cooper's touchdowns came in the fourth quarter, before he scored his third in overtime.
After scoring one touchdown in six games with the Oakland Raiders, Cooper already has six touchdowns in six contests with the Cowboys. Looks like he was well worth the first-round pick Jerry Jones forked over to acquire the wide receiver.
Dak Prescott threw two interceptions and lost a fumble, but recorded career-bests in completions (42) and passing yards (455) in a three-TD outing. Ezekiel Elliott registered 193 total yards (114 rushing, 79 receiving). The Cowboys have won five straight.
Ben Roethlisberger fell to 0-4 all-time in Oakland after losing to the hapless Raiders on Sunday afternoon. The Steelers have lost three straight and now must face the Patriots, an annual thorn in their side.
Chris Boswell missed both of his field goal attempts, including a potential game-tying kick that would have sent the game to overtime.
The Ravens held the Chiefs to 24 points in regulation, their lowest total in a game (excluding overtime) all season.
Lamar Jackson lost for the first time in his NFL career. The rookie QB finished with 147 passing yards and two touchdowns with 71 yards on the ground. But he completed only 13 of 24 passes and lost a fumble. Still, Jackson may have seized the starting job from former Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco after posting a 3-1 record as a starter with the lone defeat an overtime loss to the AFC-leading Chiefs.
The visiting Colts handed the Texans their first loss in three months, sacking Deshaun Watson five times.
Andrew Luck threw for 399 yards and two touchdowns with an interception. 199 of those yards went to T.Y. Hilton, who caught nine passes.
Eric Ebron corralled his 12th receiving touchdown of the season, a Colts franchise record for tight ends. Ebron, who managed a rushing touchdown earlier this season, has a whopping 13 scores in his first year with the Colts. In four seasons with the Detroit Lions, Ebron accumulated 11 touchdown receptions and one rushing score.
Following Monday's defeat to the Seahawks, the Vikings are now 0-5-1 against teams that enter the contest .500 or better this season. Kirk Cousins dropped to 0-7 on Monday Night Football and is 4-24 in his career versus teams with a winning record.
It was the Derrick Henry show in Nashville on Thursday Night Football as the bruising tailback rushed for 238 yards and four touchdowns, highlighted by a 99-yard TD run. Henry's touchdown dash tied Cowboys Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett for the longest run in NFL history.
The Dolphins pulled off the 'Miami Miracle' in one of the most improbable plays in league history to capture a 34-33 win. The victory kept the Dolphins afloat in the AFC Wild Card race.
Former Patriot Brandon Bolden—primarily a special teams player who spent six years in New England where he won two Super Bowls—turned two carries into 60 yards and two touchdowns.