Texans' mid-season honors

**

**Defensive Rookie

"1. DeMeco Ryans, middle linebacker, Houston; 2. Donte Whitner, strong safety, Buffalo; 3. Ernie Sims, outside linebacker, Detroit. Through five weeks, Ryans was the leading tackler in football; now he's tied for fourth. Instinctive and ferocious, Ryans might end up having more impact on the Texans than Mario Williams, though Williams has played much better the last couple of weeks."

DE Mario Williams

LB DeMeco Ryans

TE Owen Daniels

DE Mario Williams

LB DeMeco Ryans

WR Andre Johnson – "The big Texans receiver is having a breakout year."

Top defensive rookie

"1. DeMeco Ryans — A tackling machine, brilliant run stuffer, and playing middle linebacker, the first pick in the second round has become the leader of the Texans defense. My preseason choice for the award hasn't fallen to the 'Adam Schein curse' like J.J. Arrington."

"Most underrated players

  1. Andre Johnson — Quietly having an all-pro season. Did you know he's the leading receiver in the NFL at the half with 752 receiving yards?"

MVPs: WRs: Torry Holt, St. Louis; Andre Johnson, Houston; Darrell Jackson, Seattle

Top surprises: Wide receiver: Andre Johnson

Top Rookies: Tight end: Owen Daniels

WR Andre Johnson

Defensive rookie: LB DeMeco Ryans*– *Ryans has had an excellent season thus far, with 73 tackles. He's a mainstay for the Texans.

ESPN's Jeremy Green's Midseason Awards

Defensive rookie: LB DeMeco Ryans

Overlooked Story of the First Half:

Tom Curran: Mario Williams, the No. 1 overall pick, has 4.5 sacks for Houston and is outperforming preseason lovefest centerpiece Reggie Bush.

Jimmy Spencer: Andre Johnson, Texans. The Texan is quietly on pace for 130 receptions this season, which would be second-best in NFL history. **

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