NFL AWARDS RECAP
In Week 8, many people were making their NFL awards predictions. Now let’s see if those predictions have come true.
Ryan Fox --- @Spider_Fox87
On the eve of Super Bowl XLVIII, the NFL presented players and coaches awards for the 2013-14 NFL Season. There were names that were floated around all season on who would receive what award. But when the time came, only one would win. Now without further ado, here are your 2013-14 NFL season award winners.
NFL MVP Award Winner: QB Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos. It’s no shocker that Manning won the NFL MVP Award. Manning essentially had the best season a quarterback could have. He finished the year completing 450 of 659 passes (68.29% completion) for 5,477 yards, 55 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. His 5,477 yards passing and 55 touchdowns are both new NFL records for the season as well as he tied the NFL record for most touchdown passes thrown in a single game (7) in Week 1 against the Baltimore Ravens. Fun fact, this is Manning’s 5th MVP award. He won it in 2003, 2004, 2008, and 2009 and was runner up to Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson last year.
Offensive Player of the Year: QB Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos. Manning took some more hardware back home, winning his second Offensive Player of the Year award (first time was back in 2004). He was able beat out running backs LeSean McCoy of the Philadelphia Eagles and Jamaal Charles of the Kansas City Chiefs for the award after being last year’s runner up to none other Peterson again.
Defensive Player of the Year: LB Luke Kuechly of the Carolina Panthers. Patriots fans only remember Kuechley for his ‘game-clinching’ play against tight end Rob Gronkowski in a 24-20 W against their team in Week 10. However Kuechly was the anchor of a Carolina Panthers defense that ranked 2nd in overall defense (301.2 yards allowed per game), rushing defense (86.9 yards allowed per game), and scoring defense (15.1 points allowed per game). He finished the season with 156 total tackles (93 solo, 63 assisted) to go with his 2.0 sacks and 4 interceptions. Not a bad way to cap of his 2012 campaign where he won Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: RB Eddie Lacey of the Green Bay Packers. You could see how Eddie Lacey could have easily won this award. His 284 rushing attempts, 1,178 yards rushing, and 11 rushing touchdowns were top in rookie running backs. In fact his 1,178 yards rushing placed him 8th overall and his 11 rushing touchdowns placed him 3rd overall among NFL running backs. Not to mention the impact he had on his team. In 2012, the Green Bay Packers were ranked 20th in rushing offense at 106.4 yards per game. Then the Packers used their 2nd round pick to draft RB Eddie Lacey out of Alabama. In 2013, the Packers ranked 7th in rushing offense at 133.5 yards per game.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: DT Sheldon Richardson of the New York Jets. Out of all the races, this was by far the closest one. Richardson beat out fellow defensive rookie LB Kiko Alonso from Buffalo by a margin of 23 to 19 first place votes. Richardson posted some impressive stats, considering the position he was playing. His 78 total sacks (42 solo, 36 assisted) were the most for a rookie defensive linemen and 7th overall among defensive rookies to go along with his 3.5 sacks (3rd among rookie defensive linemen and tied for 5th overall among defensive rookies). Because he played the DT position, Richardson was subjugated to double teams ever week. However he still helped the Jets in shutting down the run, placing them 3rd overall against the run (allowing 88.2 yards per game).
Coach of the Year: Ron Rivera of the Carolina Panthers. Patriots fans probably feel that Darth Hoodie should have deserved this award. Some could make the case why Kansas City’s Chiefs head coach Andy Reid should have won, turning the 2-14 Chiefs into playoff contenders. However Rivera was able to transform the 7-9 Carolina from 2012 into 12-4 NFC South Divisional winners and the #2 playoff seed in the NFC. He was able to establish a hard-nosed defensive culture, turning the Panthers into the 2nd best overall defense in both yards (301.2 yards allowed per game), scoring (15.1 points allowed per game), and against the run (86.9 yards per game). Not to mention that after the Panthers started the season 1-3, they then went 11-1 the rest of the way. This included an 8-game winning streak where they beat teams like the San Francisco 49ers and the New England Patriots, two of the top 10 NFL teams in 2013.
Comeback Player of the Year: QB Phillip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers. This was a widespread category with 5 players, included Rivers, getting 3 votes or more. To those who doubt that Rivers did not deserve this award look at his numbers. In 2012, Rivers had a 64.1 % completion, 3,606 yards passing, and 26 touchdowns but also had 15 interceptions and fumbled the ball 15 times while losing it 7 times. In 2013, Rivers had a 69.5% completion and flirted with the 70% mark nearly the entire season. He also threw for 4,478 yards and 32 touchdowns but the big difference was in turnovers. Rivers threw only 11 interceptions and fumbled 3 times while losing it 2 times. You could also see his growth, how he was able to read defenses and make pre-snap audibles that would rival Peyton Manning. Not bad for somebody who many people had written off going into this season.
Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year: CB Charles Tillman of the Chicago Bears. For those who are not familiar with this award, this award is given to an NFL player for not only his performance on the field but his humanitarian work off the field. This year’s award went to Charles Tillman of the Bears. As well as playing cornerback for the Chicago Bears, Tillman has been giving back to the Chicago community since 2005 through various charitable works. He’s also the founder of the CornerStone 33 Foundation, an organization that has donated to hospital patients to help in their stay in the hospital as well as distribute over $1 million to over 300 Chicago families in need. Not to mention that Tillman took part in USO tour to Iraq this year and also volunteered with their Illinois branch on Thanksgiving to serve meals to local troops and provide tickets to Bears home games this past season.
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