New England Patriots Midseason Awards: MVP, Least Valuable Player, ROTY & more

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Most Valuable Offensive Player (so far): Kendrick Bourne

It may be hard to believe for some, given how disorderly the offense has looked for half the season, but there is one clear MVP on the offensive roster: Kendrick Bourne.

After being kept in the coach's doghouse last season despite his importance to Mac Jones and the team as a whole, the resurgence of Bourne has been a thing of beauty through nine games. The explosive and productive receiver we saw during his first year in New England was back, and like others on this list, he was on his way to having a career season.

In need of a bounce-back year, Bourne opened the season with a bang, making six catches for 64 yards and two touchdowns in the game against the Eagles.

He would remain one of Mac Jones' go-to targets, continuing the chemistry they built during the quarterback's rookie season until Bourne went down with a season-ending injury in Week 8.

It was a significant blow to an already underperforming offense, and there isn't a single player on the roster capable of filling the void Bourne will inevitably leave behind.

Like Jabrill Peppers for the defense, Bourne brings the energy and optimism that fuels his offensive teammates to thrive during games. His infectious vibe is one of his best attributes and inevitably translates onto the field through his production.

Now that he will not return this year due to an ACL tear, his presence is already missed in the one game he has been absent. Last week's game against the Commanders was a tough watch, with the offense going 3-for-12 on 3rd down and big drops by the receivers who were playing,
including the potential game-winner by JuJu Smith-Schuster, made most yearn for Bourne's return even more.

On top of that comes the hit of reality that he is only signed with New England through the end of the 2023 season. Because he has become such an essential part of the offense and team overall, most fans hope Belichick will make the right decision to re-sign Bourne for seasons to come.

No matter the decision regarding who will be the head coach/general manager or who will be named the quarterback next year, Bourne should be part of the plans moving forward. He has earned his spot on the roster and then some and could be a solid veteran piece within an inevitably evolving receiving corps.

Honorable mention: Pharaoh Brown

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