Lots of new faces on the midseason All-Pro team, and lots of tough choices. Hard to leave off Adrian Peterson, because I believe he's the best running back in football, hands down. Hard to leave off defensive end Trent Cole of the Eagles, middle linebacker Curtis Lofton of the Falcons and Owen Daniels of the Texans, too; Daniels had six terrific games before going out for the season. But I tried to recognize some new men playing very well, and I look forward to hearing your nominations.
WR Vincent JacksonChargersAt 6-foot-5, he plays jump ball with cornerbacks and wins.
LT Ryan CladyBroncosFranchise tackle is Mike Shanahan's gift to Josh McDaniels.
LG Chris KemoeatuSteelersFeisty steamroller. Pittsburgh needs more like him.
C Nick MangoldJetsTechnically excellent leader for top NFL running game.
RG Jahri EvansSaintsUnderrated and adaptable to multiple New Orleans schemes.
RT Michael OherRavensRookie who can't be intimidated. Quick feet. Will get stronger.
TE Dallas ClarkColtsIndy G.M. Bill Polian: "I'd argue he's our MVP."
WR Andre JohnsonTexansMatt Schaub's go-to guy dominates with speed and muscle.
QB Peyton ManningColtsFirst QB ever with 300-plus yards in seven of first eight games.
RB Chris JohnsonTitansMore explosive than Adrian Peterson through season's first half.
FB Heath EvansSaintsSledgehammer for New Orleans' run game until injured in Week 7.
DE Jared AllenVikingsNFL's most disruptive defender had 71/2 sacks in two games against Pack.
DT Kevin WilliamsVikingsThink of a better DE-DT combo in last 10 years.
NT Aubrayo Franklin49ersDoes NT's job: occupies two blockers every week.
DE Dwight FreeneyColtsCareer year? Eight straight games with at least one sack.
OLB Elvis DumervilBroncosGood move having him drop weight, move to OLB.
M/ILB Patrick Willis49ersRay Lewis's closest heir among young crop of MLBs.
M/ILB David HarrisJetsThe kind of sideline-to-sideline force that Rex Ryan loves.
CB Darrelle RevisJetsErased Andre Johnson, Randy Moss in first two weeks.
CB Nnamdi AsomughaRaidersHighest-paid corner in history is playing like it.
FS Darren SharperSaintsAs many interceptions (seven) as 17 teams.
SS Brandon MeriweatherPatriotsStarting to play with the instinct of Rodney Harrison.
KR Percy HarvinVikingsSupplanted Devin Hester as league's most dangerous WR/KR.
PR Josh CribbsBrownsBest special-teamer in football is best player in Cleveland.
K Stephen GostkowskiPatriotsNo one in New England is pining for Adam Vinatieri.
P Shane LechlerRaiders52.3-yard average leads league by 4.0 yards.
MVP Peyton ManningColtsDrew Brees has a superb running game, Manning does not.
Offensive player Matt SchaubTexansUpset special: leads NFL in yards, AFC in TD passes.
Defensive player Jared AllenVikingsDevastating edge player has 10 1/2 sacks, three forced fumbles.
Offensive rookie Percy HarvinVikingsFlorida product has three touchdown catches, two returns for scores.
Defensive rookie Brian CushingTexansLike rookie DeMeco Ryans in '06, making a mega impact at LB in Houston.
Comeback Brett FavreVikingsFrom May arm surgery to phenomenal 16-to-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
Coach Josh McDanielsBroncosThe biggest surprise of the season's first half is Denver atop the AFC West.
Coordinator Gregg WilliamsSaints Defensive improvement has given New Orleans much-needed balance.
Assistant coach Aaron KromerSaintsBehind his rebuilt O-line, New Orleans has jumped from 28th to seventh in rushing.
Executive Bill PolianColtsDraft savvy is paying off with '09 fourth-rounder Austin Collie, '08 sixth-rounder Pierre Garçon.
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