Welcome to the halfway point of one of the strangest NFL seasons we've ever seen.

It is the year of the haves, have-somes and the have-nots, where you are either Awesome (a record four teams at 7-0 or better), Average (15 teams with three or four wins) or Awful (nine teams with only one or two wins).

Two divisions -- the AFC South and NFC East -- don't have a single team with a winning record. Figuring out which teams will emerge from the gigantic blob of mediocrity and reach the playoffs would challenge any modern-day Nostradamus.

Here's a look at our first-half award winners:

MVP: Tom Brady, quarterback, Patriots. He didn't know whether he'd even be playing the first four games because of a looming suspension. But after federal judge Richard Berman overturned the Deflategate sanction, Brady responded with an in-your-face performance featuring some of his best work ever. At age 38. He has 20 touchdown passes and just one -- one! -- interception.

Offensive player of the year: Brady. There's really no one else playing at his level.

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Defensive player of the year: Von Miller, LB, Broncos. He's the most impactful player on the NFL's best defense. Miller leads the Broncos with four sacks, although he also is the beneficiary of some terrific play from cornerback Aqib Talib and inside linebacker Brandon Marshall.

Coach of the year: Marvin Lewis, Bengals. After coming up empty yet again in the playoffs last season, Lewis has the Bengals off to the best start in franchise history.

Comeback player of the year: Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals. He had the Cardinals off to an 8-1 start last year before suffering a torn ACL, and Palmer has returned with more fine play in leading Arizona to a 6-2 record and fueling legitimate hopes of winning the NFC West.

Offensive rookie of the year: Todd Gurley, RB, Rams. His brilliant play is already drawing comparisons to some of the all-time greats in NFL history, including Adrian Peterson. Like the Vikings' All-Pro tailback, Gurley is performing brilliantly a year after undergoing ACL surgery. The two face off on Sunday. Close second: Amari Cooper, WR, Raiders.

Defensive rookie of the year: Leonard Williams, DL, Jets. The Jets knew they were getting a steal when Williams fell to them with the sixth overall pick, and the former USC star has transitioned quite well to the pro game.

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Most improved: Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals. He has a 111.0 rating, more than 20 points higher than his previous best. With 18 touchdown passes and onlyust four interceptions, Dalton is playing like an elite quarterback. Now, about that 0-4 playoff record.

General manager of the year: Mike Maccagnan, Jets. He inherited a 4-12 team with a boatload of salary-cap room carved out by his predecessor, John Idzik. Maccagnan went out and bought a top-flight secondary, traded for Brandon Marshall and Ryan Fitzpatrick, and drafted Leonard Williams when he fell to No. 6.

A year of impatience

It used to be a rarity to see NFL teams replace a coach during the season, but only eight weeks in, two head coaches (Joe Philbin in Miami and Ken Whisenhunt in Tennessee) were fired and two offensive coordinators (Joe Lombardi in Detroit and Pep Hamilton in Indianapolis) were dismissed.

And now a team president and general manager have received pink slips, as Lions owner Martha Ford canned president Tom Lewand and general manager Martin Mayhew this week. Embattled coach Jim Caldwell, who led the Lions to the playoffs last season, received a reprieve but is not expected to remain the coach in 2016.

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Impatience is at an all-time high in the NFL, and this almost certainly won't be the end of the firings. Others on the coaching hot seat: Jim Tomsula, San Francisco; Gus Bradley, Jacksonville; Chuck Pagano, Indianapolis, and Mike Pettine, Cleveland. Others could join that list based on what happens the second half of the season, which means there could be as eight or more new head coaches in 2016.

Among the GMs who could be in trouble: Ryan Grigson, Indianapolis; Dave Caldwell, Jacksonville, and Ruston Webster, Tennessee.

More records for PeytonPeyton Manning visits his former team when the Broncos take on the Colts in Indianapolis, and he the chance to set two major passing records.

He needs 284 passing yards to surpass Brett Favre (71,838) for the most passing yards in NFL history. Favre achieved his record in 302 games; Manning will be playing in his 264th career game. Dan Marino is next at 61,361, then Drew Brees (58,409) and Tom Brady (55,668).

Manning can also set the NFL record for most career regular season wins of any quarterback in league history. The two are tied with 186. That record might not stand for very long, however. Brady already has 167 wins, and with Brady's stated intention of playing 10 more years and Manning possibly playing his last, the Patriots' quarterback could get the record.

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Record start for Denver 'D' The Broncos are one of four remaining undefeated teams this year, and there's no secret to what's gotten them to 7-0. Hint: It's not Peyton Manning.

Denver, under longtime coordinator Wade Phillips, who replaced Jack Del Rio this season, leads the NFL in total defense, allowing just 261.1 yards per game. More importantly, the Broncos lead the NFL in scoring defense, allowing just 16.0 points per game. Denver's 7-0 start is its first since 1998, when the Broncos started off 13-0 in their second straight Super Bowl winning season.

The Broncos are coming off a brilliant performance against the previously unbeaten Packers, as Denver held Aaron Rodgers' offense to only 140 total net yards.

Two more stats of note: The Broncos lead the NFL with 29 sacks, and they haven't allowed a first-quarter point all season. They're one of just nine teams since the 1970 merger to hold opponents scoreless in the first quarter of their first seven games. The record is nine, set by the 1974 Los Angeles Rams.

Since the start of the 2010 season, teams are a combined 670-358-2 when shutting out their opponents in the first quarter.

Gurley looks great

How good is Todd Gurley, the Rams' first-round rookie?

"Guys like Todd come around once every 10 years," Rams coach Jeff Fisher said.

Sure looks that way.

Gurley has been sensational since being carefully worked into the lineup after a remarkably fast recovery from ACL surgery last year. In four starts, Gurley has rushed for at least 125 yards, including a 20-carry, 133-yard, one touchdown effort against the 49ers last Sunday.

Gurley's 566 yards are the most by any player in his first four starts since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.

Quick hits Since 2000, 35 teams that got to the halfway mark at or below .500 have gone on to reach the playoffs, including at least one each season. Through eight weeks so far this year, there are 21 teams at or below .500, including every team in the AFC South and NFC East . . . Philip Rivers has passed for at least 300 yards and two touchdowns in five straight games. One more in Monday's game against the Bears and Rivers would become only the fourth player in NFL history to produce those numbers in six straight games. Drew Brees (eight), Peyton Manning (seven) and Steve Young (six) are the only quarterbacks to pass for 300 yards and two touchdowns in at least six straight games.