With the Super Bowl ready to resolve the 2019 Season, it was also time for the to celebrate the best of the past year. So to kick off the biggest weekend in the NFL, those who shined brightest were recognized at the NFL Honors. In addition, the five remaining members of the 20 man Centennial HOF class were announced. Here is a breakdown of the winners.
Pepsi Rookie of the Year
San Francisco 49ers end Nick Bosa. No surprise here as Bosa was dominant from the start. Bosa compiled nine regular-season sacks, 47 tackles, two passes defended, and one interception for his rookie campaign. He also added to those totals in two postseason games, gobbling up three additional sacks and another pass defended. By winning he joins his brother Joey Bosa as a past winner of this award.
FedEx Air and Ground Players of the Year
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (Air) and Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry(Ground). Again, not surprising as Jackson was a top contender for a number of awards. Henry lead the league in rushing.
AP Defensive Player of the Year
New England Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore. Gilmore helped to lead a statistically dominant defense and he played especially well against the top receivers he faced.
Salute To Service Award Presented by USAA
Former Chargers LB Donnie Edwards. This award was created by the NFL to acknowledge the exceptional works by members of the NFL community to honor and support members of the military community. Edwards worked tirelessly in that endeavor.
AP Offensive Rookie of the Year
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray. This one was a bit of a surprise, especially to fans of Oakland Raider’s rookie running back Josh Jacobs.
AP Offensive Player of the Year
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas. Another minor surprise as many thought Ravens QB Lamar Jackson would win this award. Thomas had a great year however and was worthy. He broke Indianapolis Colts legend Marvin Harrison’s single-season reception record (143 in 2002) with 149 catches for a league- and career-best 1,725 yards receiving. Thomas won by two votes over Jackson. Don’t fell too bad for Jackson though.
Anything But Ordinary Player of the Year presented by Microsoft Surface
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Another award that shouldn’t surprise anyone for the ultra popular long time Cardinals Wide Receiver.
AP Defensive Rookie of the Year
San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa. Another win for the talented rookie DE who is concentrating on a slightly more important endeavor tomorrow.
Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020
Some long time members of the so close but no cigar class were selected. Inductees include Denver Safety Steve Atwater along with wide receiver Isaac Bruce, guard Steve Hutchinson, running back Edgerrin James and safety Troy Polamalu. They will join the 15 members of the Centennial Class.
Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award
Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson. No one has ever accused the long time Viking and now Redskins running back of being anything but classy so no shock here.
AP Comeback Player of the Year
Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill won for his efforts in relieving starter Marcus Mariota and leading them to the AFC Championship game. This one was another surprise as there were other candidates who seemed more worthy. For example Jimmy Garapolo of the 49ers or Travis Frederick of the Cowboys.
AP Assistant Coach of the Year
Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman. No surprise here as the Ravens were the number one seed in the AFC and exploded offensively under QB Lamar Jackson.
Bridgestone Clutch Performance Play of the Year
Miami Dolphins’ “Mountaineer Shot,” as punter Matt Haack threw a trick play shovel pass touchdown to kicker Jason Sanders. Who says kickers aren’t athletes? Still just about every other football player.😏
The Deacon Jones Award
Tampa Bay Buccaneers DE Shaquil Barrett. Led the league with 19.5 sacks. Nuff Said.
Bud Light Celly of the Year
Seattle Seahawks wide receiving corps for NSYNC “Bye Bye Bye” dance. Tells you the place social media and showmanship has taken in the NFL. Have to admit though, it was well done.
Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award
Matt Land, Dalton High School (Dalton, Ga.). This award, named for the winningest coach in NFL history, was created to honor exemplary high school football coaches. They are recognized for their character and integrity, leadership and dedication to the community. This in addition to their commitment to player health and safety and on-field success.
Courtyard Unstoppable Performance of the Year
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes in Week 2 vs. Raiders. Mahomes was kind of unstoppable in many of his games. However, 4 TD’s and 443 yards passing versus the Raiders will win these kinds of awards.
AP Coach of the Year
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh. Just like Roman, a no brainer for coach of the year. Too bad the Ravens failed to advance past their first game.
Daily Fantasy Player of the Year presented by Draft Kings
Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey. Over 1000 yards rushing and 1000 yards receiving would make any fantasy player happy.
AP Most Valuable Player
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson. This was pretty much a given. In fact if anyone else had won it would be a major upset. But he joins Tom Brady as the only unanimous choice for NFL MVP.
Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year presented by Nationwide
Jacksonville Jaguars defensive lineman Calais Campbell. This one is always the hardest as all those nominated are extremely worthy. Campbell has been extremely active in his community for those in need. Well deserved.
So now that the awards have all been handed out, it’s time to see who gets the BIG award. This will be revealed tomorrow evening. Who you got for the Super Bowl? Good luck to both teams.
I am a 50 something child of the 70’s who admits to being a Star Trek/Star Wars/Comic Book junkie who once dove head first over a cliff (Ok, it was a small hill) to try to rescue his Fantastic Four comic from a watery grave. I am married to a lovely woman who is as crazy as I am and the proud parent of a 15 year old boy with autism. My wife and son are my real heroes.