Tuesday November 10th, 2009

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.

OFFENSE

WR Vincent Jackson Chargers At 6-foot-5, he plays jump ball with cornerbacks and wins.

LT Ryan Clady Broncos Franchise tackle is Mike Shanahan's gift to Josh McDaniels.

LG Chris Kemoeatu Steelers Feisty steamroller. Pittsburgh needs more like him.

C Nick Mangold Jets Technically excellent leader for top NFL running game.

RG Jahri Evans Saints Underrated and adaptable to multiple New Orleans schemes.

RT Michael Oher Ravens Rookie who can't be intimidated. Quick feet. Will get stronger.

TE Dallas Clark Colts Indy G.M. Bill Polian: "I'd argue he's our MVP."

WR Andre Johnson Texans Matt Schaub's go-to guy dominates with speed and muscle.

QB Peyton Manning Colts First QB ever with 300-plus yards in seven of first eight games.

RB Chris Johnson Titans More explosive than Adrian Peterson through season's first half.

FB Heath Evans Saints Sledgehammer for New Orleans' run game until injured in Week 7.

DEFENSE

DE Jared Allen Vikings NFL's most disruptive defender had 71/2 sacks in two games against Pack.

DT Kevin Williams Vikings Think of a better DE-DT combo in last 10 years.

NT Aubrayo Franklin 49ers Does NT's job: occupies two blockers every week.

DE Dwight Freeney Colts Career year? Eight straight games with at least one sack.

OLB Elvis Dumervil Broncos Good move having him drop weight, move to OLB.

M/ILB Patrick Willis 49ers Ray Lewis's closest heir among young crop of MLBs.

M/ILB David Harris Jets The kind of sideline-to-sideline force that Rex Ryan loves.

CB Darrelle Revis Jets Erased Andre Johnson, Randy Moss in first two weeks.

CB Nnamdi Asomugha Raiders Highest-paid corner in history is playing like it.

FS Darren Sharper Saints As many interceptions (seven) as 17 teams.

SS Brandon Meriweather Patriots Starting to play with the instinct of Rodney Harrison.

SPECIAL TEAMS

KR Percy Harvin Vikings Supplanted Devin Hester as league's most dangerous WR/KR.

PR Josh Cribbs Browns Best special-teamer in football is best player in Cleveland.

K Stephen Gostkowski Patriots No one in New England is pining for Adam Vinatieri.

P Shane Lechler Raiders 52.3-yard average leads league by 4.0 yards.

MVP Peyton Manning Colts Drew Brees has a superb running game, Manning does not.

Offensive player Matt Schaub Texans Upset special: leads NFL in yards, AFC in TD passes.

Defensive player Jared Allen Vikings Devastating edge player has 10 1/2 sacks, three forced fumbles.

Offensive rookie Percy Harvin Vikings Florida product has three touchdown catches, two returns for scores.

Defensive rookie Brian Cushing Texans Like rookie DeMeco Ryans in '06, making a mega impact at LB in Houston.

Comeback Brett Favre Vikings From May arm surgery to phenomenal 16-to-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

Coach Josh McDaniels Broncos The biggest surprise of the season's first half is Denver atop the AFC West.

Coordinator Gregg Williams Saints Defensive improvement has given New Orleans much-needed balance.

Assistant coach Aaron Kromer Saints Behind his rebuilt O-line, New Orleans has jumped from 28th to seventh in rushing.

Executive Bill Polian Colts Draft savvy is paying off with '09 fourth-rounder Austin Collie, '08 sixth-rounder Pierre Garçon.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.