NFL Honors Hands Out Awards

Haddon Shively

This week marked the annual celebration of the National Football League’s best and brightest stars at the NFL Honors award show. It is at this ceremony that awards such as, most notably, the Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year, Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year, Walter Payton Man of the Year award and NFL MVP are given out to those deserving. It is a night of celebration of the league players and those worthy of winning each of the illustrious awards. 

The night started out with announcement of the NFL’s Associated Press Offensive Player of the Year award, whose finalists were Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen and Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill. Jefferson won the awards with 35 of the 50 first place votes, ending the season with a league leading 128 receptions and 1,809 yards, also reeling in eight touchdowns. 

Up next was the Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year award, which ended in landslide fashion as 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa won with 46 of the 50 first place votes, with Eagles Defensive End Haason Reddick receiving two votes, New York Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams and Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle both receiving one vote and Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker Micah Parsons receiving none. Bosa ended the season with a league-leading 18.5 sacks this season, well deserving of these honors with an impressive season. 

The New York Jets were one of the big winners of the night with both of their rookies, cornerback Ahman “Sauce” Gardner and wide receiver Garrett Wilson winning Defensive and Offensive Rookie of the Year, respectively, with Garner taking the award over Seattle Seahawks defensive back Tariq Woolen and Detroit Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson. Wilson took home OROTY honors over Seattle Seahawks runningback Kenneth Walker, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy, and New Orleans Saints wide receiver Chris Olave. 

New York Giants rookie head coach Brian Daboll took Coach of the Year honors, winning over San Francisco’s Kyle Shanahan, Buffalo’s Sean McDermott, Philadelphia’s Nick Sirianni, Jacksonville Jaguars Head coach Doug Pederson, Kansas City’s Andy Reid, Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell and Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell.

Comeback Player of the Year, awarded to the player with the best bounce back season from the previous, was Geno Smith, passing for an NFL leading 69.8 completion percentage, 4,282 yards and 30 touchdowns and making the Prow Bowl for the first time in his 10th season in the league. 

The Walter Payton Man of the Year award honors a player’s commitment to philanthropy and community impact, as well as his excellence on the field. Each team is able to nominate one player for this award, with this year’s winner being Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Dak Prescott. 

Finally, the award for the NFL’s Most Valuable Player was announced, with Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes winning for the second time in his career, earning 48 of the first place votes, with Eagles quarterback and Bills quarterback Josh Allen both receiving one vote each, ending our night of award ceremonies for our current NFL stars of this season.