November 18, 2016
L.A. Rams Midseason Awards: Aaron Donald, Jeff Fisher, Jared Goff, And More

The L.A. Rams (4-5) are in midseason form after playing more than half of their season. Fresh off a 9-6 win over the New York Jets, the Rams have shown glimpses of success and failure. Here are individual awards for the L.A. Rams.

MVP: Defensive tackle Aaron Donald

Before Sunday's win over the Jets, Aaron Donald was among the leaders in the NFL for quarterback pressures with 49.

He has two games with multiple sacks, which gives the inside defender five sacks on the year.

His defensive coordinator, Greg Williams, says Donald does things that cannot be coached. Williams praised Donald's blend of size, athleticism, and instincts.

Pro Football Focus consistently grades him as one of the top defensive players in the league.

Clearly, Aaron Donald is the Ram's most valuable player.

It is not even close. The Rams would not be in the top-10 for defensive yards per game or the bottom-10 for points per game without Donald. His ability to disrupt the interior makes the entire defense better. Therefore, he is also the Defensive MVP of this team.

The only other player in the discussion for this award is the Rams punter. Johnny Hekker helps the team with booming punts.

Still, Donald takes the Rams' Defensive MVP and MVP awards. He is a definite bright spot on the team. In fact, Donald has a good argument for Defensive MVP of the entire NFL.

Offensive MVP: Wide receiver Kenny Britt

Kenny Britt grabbed 10 catches for 109 yards against the New York Jets. That puts him on pace for 1,232 yards and 6 touchdowns for the year. Those numbers would make Britt the Rams' first receiver over 1,000 yards since Torry Holt, per Today's Pigskin.

This is pretty solid considering that he has been playing with a quarterback that ranks towards the bottom of the league in most categories.

Britt's catches of 40-plus yards are some of the few big plays for L.A. His 6-foot-3 frame makes him one L.A.'s most reliable pass catchers. Here is an example from Sunday's game.

Again, Britt has been the biggest spark on the Rams offense.

Running back Todd Gurley should win this award, but he is barely averaging 3.1 yards per carry for the season. Instead, he is a candidate for biggest bust.

Biggest Bust: Head coach Jeff Fisher

There are lots of candidates for the award, including last season's first-rounder Todd Gurley and this year's No. 1 pick, Jared Goff. However, one could argue that Fisher is the reason for both of their disappointing seasons.

Fisher is the one who has found every reason to not play his rookie quarterback Goff. Fisher is part of a regime who failed to get any offensive weapons or linemen to help Todd Gurley.

Granted, Fisher did have his entire team and organization uprooted and relocated to Los Angeles. However, Fisher is the head coach with experience in relocation from his days with the Tennesse Titans. He is also an L.A. native. Hence, he was supposed to weather this relocation storm.

Fisher barely keeps this team mediocre with a sub-.500 record. The Rams head coach infamously said his team was too talented to go 8-8 before the season, in an episode of HBO's Hard Knocks.

Therefore, Fisher is the biggest disappointment. He has no one to blame but himself. His team would need a 4-3 finish just to reach a.500 win-loss percentage, which he claimed was not good enough.

Most Improved Player: Lance Kendricks

Lance Kendricks is on pace to eclipse 600 yards receiving for the first time in his career, even after getting zero yards versus the Jets.

When you compare that to the 245 receiving yards Kendricks tallied over the entire 2015 season, you can see the improvement. The 28-year-old had already proved himself as a blocker in prior seasons, and he has improved his passing ability this season.

Kendricks could have a better season with a better quarterback too.

Rookie of the Year: Jared Goff

The Rams have not had much production from any rookie this season. Some of that comes from the huge gamble they took by trading up for Goff.
Nonetheless, Goff could start for the Rams this upcoming week, according to multiple reports. ESPN's Adam Schefter writes that Goff could play in front of a welcoming home crowd versus the Miami Dolphins.

More importantly, Goff says he is ready to start, per Pro Football Talk. Hence, Goff should earn this award at some point. He has seven more games to prove his worth as the starter for the L.A. Rams.

The entire L.A. Rams roster has seven games to turn their season around.

[Featured Image by Ryan Kang/AP Images]