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Miami Dolphins Midseason Awards: The Phinsider staff chooses team MVP, OPOY, DPOY and more!

Which players take home the imaginary hardware for the Dolphins at the midway point in 2023?

New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins Photo by Perry Knotts/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins have had quite a memorable first half to the 2023 season and now enter their bye week with a record of 6-3. It has been a fun run for the guys in aqua and orange and as a result, they sit atop the AFC East standings, just ahead of the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets.

Since the season is over halfway gone, we at The Phinsider conducted an internal poll to determine who the winners of our midseason awards would be if the season ended today.

Who took home the imaginary hardware? Let’s find out!

MVP - Tua Tagovailoa

Josh Houtz:

Before we start, this is what Dictionary.com refers to as an MVP:

MVP: an accolade or award, originally used in team sports to recognize one player for game-changing excellence, and also used outside of sports to recognize excellence in the contributions of an individual to a group effort.

Tyreek Hill has been incredible this season — no one can argue that. But when I think about what’s been different for the Miami Dolphins this season – despite how let down we all feel after Week 9’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs – I can only think of one thing — quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa.

Tua is healthy this year and has been putting up career numbers in year two of Mike McDaniel’s offense. TBQH, he’s been putting up league-leading numbers throughout the first nine weeks of the season. Currently, Tua ranks first in passing yards with 2,609 yards. And his 19 touchdown passes also lead the league.

If the Dolphins didn’t have Tua – as we saw last season and the season before that – this team wouldn’t be 6-3. The offense wouldn’t be humming along at a record pace, and Tyreek Hill wouldn’t legitimately have 2,000 yards in front of him. Tua Tagovailoa is the Miami Dolphins MVP. Without him, the entire operation comes crashing down.

#InTuaWeTrust

Offensive Player of the Year - Tyreek Hill

Marek Brave:

What can I say about Tyreek Hill that hasn’t already been said by any football fan with a working set of eyeballs this season?

Hill has been electric all year long for the Miami Dolphins, and as a result, is on pace to break the NFL’s single-season receiving yards mark held by Hall of Fame wide receiver, Calvin Johnson.

Through Miami’s first nine games, Hill has 69 receptions for 1,076 yards (a good full season for most wideouts) and eight touchdowns. If he keeps this pace up, he’ll finish the season with 130 catches for 2,038 yards and 15 touchdowns — which would arguably be the greatest season any wide receiver has ever had in the history of the National Football League.

They might as well begin fitting him for his own gold jacket right now, because when Hill does eventually leave Miami, his next stop will be Canton, Ohio.

Defensive Player of the Year - Bradley Chubb

Scott Hearon:

There are certainly some solid candidates here. Andrew Van Ginkel had some excellent games early while filling in for Jaelen Phillips. Phillips himself has been coming on strong since his return a few games back. Christian Wilkins and Zack Seiler have been a pair of run-stuffing bulldozers in the middle. But this all came down to two guys for me.

My runner-up by a nose is Jevon Holland, who has been a ninja — one of the very best free safeties in the NFL this season — and is in line for not only his first Pro Bowl berth, but probably even an All-Pro selection.

As great as Jevon has been, I’m awarding Bradley Chubb with the mid-season award as the Dolphins’ Defensive Player of the (Mid-)Year. The former Denver Bronco, added just before the trade deadline last year, has been a terror this season. He leads the team in sacks (6) and forced fumbles (4, which also ties him for the NFL lead). He’s also tied with fellow OLB Van Ginkel for both the team lead in tackles for loss (7) and for third on the team in QB hits (10). He’s made a serious impact in nearly every game this year, and he’s been as big a reason that his former head coach Vic Fangio’s vaunted defensive scheme has been taking root in recent weeks. Chubb has been flat-out brilliant thus far, and so is more than worthy of the DPO(M)Y Award.

Game of the Year - Miami Dolphins defeat Denver Broncos 70-20

James McKinney:

Just like last season's first-half game of the year would have easily been the thrilling comeback win over the Baltimore Ravens, the 50 point blowout win over the Denver Broncos was the easy and obvious choice this year. In the game, Miami set multiple records and posted numbers that have not been seen in the modern/Super Bowl era of the NFL.

The game saw the team score 10, that’s TEN, touchdowns from scrimmage while also having at least 350 yards both through the air and on the ground, both also records. Miami additionally posted a record with two players having four touchdowns in the same game. With head coach Mike McDaniel showing mercy to their opponent they narrowly missed an additional record of topping 70 points for the first time since 1966 by having backup quarterback Mike White take a knee in the final seconds of the game. The kneel-down also cost the Dolphins the record for the most yards per play in a game over the last 50 years as it resulted in a one-yard loss.

The Dolphins averaged 10.23 yards per play, second only to the 2017 Kansas City Chiefs who averaged 10.3 yards per play in a 31 to 38 loss to the New York Jets. When all was said and done the Dolphins had 376 yards passing, and 350 yards rushing for a total of 726 yards of offense on the day, ranking second all-time to the 735 yards put up by the 1951 Los Angeles Rams in their victory over the New York Yanks. Although the Rams officially hold the record, had the 13-yard loss taken by quarterback Norm Van Brocklin that day via a sack been factored into the official yardage number, the Rams would have finished with 722 yards, four yards less than the Dolphins recorded.

Play of the Year - 3rd Down Bomb to Tyreek in SoFi

George Forder:

It’s important to set the stage before we look at this play. It is 3rd & 10 from their own 25-yard line and the Miami Dolphins are down by four points with 3:47 left to go in the game. The Dolphins are playing a Los Angeles Chargers team that embarrassed them in prime time last season. Tua Tagovailoa is facing off against the quarterback that everyone thinks Miami should have taken fifth overall, instead of him. This is a must-have play and if they don’t convert here it will bring up an impossibly difficult decision on 4th down with just under four minutes left in the game.

Tua’s eyes go to Waddle first, who’s running a ten-yard dig right at the first down marker. He slips and Khalil Mack (who has 9 sacks so far this year) starts to collapse the pocket from his left side. Before he can do anything, he has to step up to avoid Mack and buy enough time to get this pass off. Tyreek took an outside release and was just starting to separate when Tagovailoa saw him. Tua avoids Mack and hits Tyreek in-stride, off-platform, 45 yards down the field. Five plays later they score on a beautiful fade in the end zone and hold onto that lead, winning 36-34 to open the season.

Newcomer of the Year - De’Von Achane

Sumeet Jena:

On a pure production basis, it’s hard to argue against giving this award to rookie running back De’Von Achane.

Achane’s numbers this season are video-game level. On just 38 carries in four games, Achane has racked up an incredible 460 rushing yards, averaging 12.1 yards per rushing attempt (yes, you read that right). Achane also has the 2nd-longest run in the NFL this year, a 76-yard scamper for a touchdown against the Denver Broncos in Week 3. Speed, vision, big-play ability. The rookie has it all, and by some distance, he’s been Miami’s best newcomer this season.