The Westfield Voice

The Student News Site of Westfield State University

The Westfield Voice

The Westfield Voice

NFL Honors Recap

By Chandler Hutchison

In the world, specifically our little subsection of sports, there are three things that are certain: death, taxes, and arguing over who deserves late season awards from each respective league. On Saturday, February 3rd, with the Super Bowl looming overhead, the NFL hosted the 6th annual NFL Honors where the seasons’ most prestigious awards were handed out to the most deserving players. The NFL awarded every major award to the right person. There should be no fuss, ifs, ands, or buts about who received each respective reward.

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints.

Kamara was an absolute steal with the 67th overall pick of this past draft. He posted unbelievable numbers after the Saints traded away Adrian Peterson, all while sharing snaps with his pro bowl running mate and former Heisman winner Mark Ingram. Kamara averaged a staggering six yards per carry and 10 yards per catch, accumulating 1,554 total yards on the ground and in the air this season. A Pro Bowl nod, to go along with a kick returned for a touchdown this season had Kamara at 14 total touchdowns on the year, making him the clear choice for rookie of the year.

Honorable Mentions: Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City Chiefs.

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Marshon Lattimore, CB, New Orleans Saints.

Lattimore had lofty expectations coming out of Ohio State University this year and that is why he was drafted 11th overall. Lattimore started, and dominated in all 13 games that he was healthy. Lattimore intercepted five balls this season, returning one for a touchdown, and he also forced and recovered a fumble on the season. It is not often that a rookie is such an outspoken leader on defense, but Lattimore walked the walk and talked the talk leading his team on the defensive side of the ball.

Honorable Mention: Tre’Davious White, CB. Buffalo Bills.

Offensive Player of the Year: Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams.

In his third year, Todd Gurley snuck his way into the MVP conversation with 19 total touchdowns and 2093 total offensive yards, while also ranking 2nd in rushing yards. The numbers speak for themselves. Other than Tom Brady and Carson Wentz, Gurley was the most consistently dominant offensive player in the league (sorry Antonio Brown and Carson Wentz, you guys missed a few games.) Brady could have been given this award, but MVP is too similar and the same guy shouldn’t win both. Gurley had a great bounce back year due to his great Coach Sean McVay and his new Left Tackle Andrew Whitworth, but he was very deserving of this offensive player of the year award.

Honorable Mention: Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots.

Defensive Player of the Year: Aaron Donald, DT, Los Angeles Rams.

Aaron Donald is the kind of guy that you get out of the way of, because after he routinely breaks through double teams, he is on a quarterback or a running back faster than you can say grandma. He is small for his position, being outweighed by his counterparts by 20-50 pounds, but he led the league in sacks for interior pass rushers with 11 on the season. Donald is the ultimate team player and was deserving of his first defensive player of the year. If JJ Watt wasn’t in the NFL, Donald would have a few more of this award.

Honorable Mention: Calais Campbell, DE, Jacksonville Jaguars.

Comeback Player of the Year: Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers.

Keenan Allen ranked third in the NFL in receiving yards this year with 1393 yards as well as hauling in 102 catches and 6 touchdowns. Philip Rivers’ number one target was sidelined last year with a torn ACL but came back stronger than ever and had the best season of his career, reminding the entire league that he is an elite wide out and he is here to stay.

Honorable Mention: Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots.

Coach of the Year: Sean McVay, HC, Los Angeles Rams.

This award was an absolute no brainer. McVay, younger than two of the players on his roster, left the Washington Redskins to pursue his head coaching dream. The Rams received unbelievable amounts of scrutiny for hiring someone so young at 31 years old, but they made a great decision. McVay made Jared Goff into a respectable NFL quarterback, as well as turning the team from a 4-12 mess to a 11-5 Super Bowl contender. McVay proved himself and is here to stay in the NFL as one of the best young minds in coaching.

Honorable Mention: Doug Pederson, HC, Philadelphia Eagles.

Most Valuable Player: Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots.

All apologies Eagles fans, but Carson Wentz was hurt for the final three games which removed him from the MVP conversation, which he would have probably won if he did not get hurt. Brady, at the ripe old age of 40, had one of his best seasons ever, without his second-best target Julian Edelman. Brady had 4577 passing yards along with 32 touchdowns and just 8 interceptions. Brady is the cog that makes the Patriots turn, and he won this award fair and square. Eagles fans should be content with the Super Bowl win, and not worry about the MVP award because it looks like Wentz, or maybe even Nick Foles has some in their future!

Honorable Mention: Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles.

Play of the Year: The Minnesota Miracle.

Nothing that happened in the NFL this year came close to the magic on this play. Minnesota’s Case Keenum essentially closed his eyes and threw up a prayer to Stefon Diggs, who came down with the ball, and much to his surprise, was wide open with room to run because of a missed tackle by Saints DB Marcus Williams. This Hail Mary led the Vikings to a time expiring, game winning touchdown that sent them to the NFC Championship and immediately placed two players in NFL folk lore for a very long time.

No Honorable Mention.

Walter Payton Man of the Year: JJ Watt, DE, Houston Texans.

If you ask the majority of NFL players, this award is the most prestigious award of them all. People hold the winner of the WPMOY award in higher regards than they hold the MVP. The award goes to the player who benefits and contributes the most to their communities or society in general. JJ Watt had a goal to raise $200,000 for Hurricane Harvey relief in his city, Houston. JJ Watt led fundraising of over $37,000,000 for the city of Houston. Watt went above and beyond his call of duty as a professional athlete and role model, and is helping to reshape the lives of those who lost everything due to Hurricane Harvey.

Honorable Mentions: Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers. Benjamin Watson, TE, Baltimore Ravens.

All in all, it was another successful night for the NFL as the stars of the game rolled out onto the red carpet and were presented with their awards. It will be interesting to see how the awards shake out next year with the potential for some repeat winners.

Donate to The Westfield Voice

Your donation will support the student journalists of Westfield State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Westfield Voice