From 9:00 PM to 11:00 PM EST tonight, CBS will air the second annual edition of it's NFL Honors program, where awards from the Associated Press will be announced for the 2012-2013 NFL season. Although the Cleveland Browns didn't have anyone up for the traditional "big-name" awards, left tackle Joe Thomas is one of three finalists for the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.
UPDATE: Sadly, Thomas did not win the award. Nonetheless, we congratulate Cowboys TE Jason Witten for being named the Walter Payton Man of the Year and taking home $100,000 for his charity. Thomas was still looking good in style at the ceremony, though:
NFL Associated Press Awards
He may still be recovering from an injury, but the Redskins' RGIII, accompanied by his girlfriend, is accepting the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Here are the awards for the NFL, as announced by the Associated Press.
- Offensive Rookie of the Year: The winner is Redskins QB Robert Griffin III, who had 29 votes. The other people who got votes were Colts QB Andrew Luck (11) and Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (10).
- Defensive Rookie of the Year: The winner is Panthers LB Luke Kuechly, who had 28 votes. The other people who got votes were Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner (11), Packers CB Casey Hayward (6), Rams CB Janoris Jenkins (3), and Buccaneers LB Lavonte David (2).
- Coach of the Year: The winner is Colts interim head coach (now with the Cardinals) Bruce Arians, who had 36.5 votes. The other people who got votes were the Colts' Chuck Pagano (5.5), Seahawks' Pete Carroll (5), and Vikings' Leslie Frazier (3). This is the first time an interim head coach has won the award.
- Defensive Player of the Year: The winner is Texans DL J.J. Watt, who had 49 votes. The only other vote went to the Broncos' Von Miller (1). Well, I wonder if that one voter feels foolish for not making it unanimous.
- Offensive Player of the Year: The winner is Vikings RB Adrian Peterson, who had 36 votes. The other people who got votes were Broncos QB Peyton Manning (8), Patriots QB Tom Brady (2), Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (2), and Lions WR Calvin Johnson (2).
- Comeback Player of the Year: The winner is Broncos QB Peyton Manning, who had 31.5 votes. The other people who got votes were Vikings RB Adrian Peterson (17.5) and Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (1).
- Most Valuable Player: The winner is Vikings RB Adrian Peterson, who had 30.5 votes, beating out Broncos QB Peyton Manning, who got 19.5 votes. Tough call.
Pokorny's Initial Ballot
Here was my ballot for the league's awards when the SB Nation NFL bloggers got together to vote:
MVP: Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos
Offensive Player of the Year: Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings
Defensive Player of the Year: J.J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans
Rookie of the Year: Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins
Comeback Player of the Year: Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos
Coach of the Year: Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks
Executive of the Year: John Elway, Denver Broncos
The only one I ended up differing on from the rest of my colleagues; 11 voters picked Bruce Arians, while only 5 went with Pete Carroll.
Overall, I felt like this was an unfair race between two players in three categories: NFL MVP, Offensive Player of the Year, and Comeback Player of the Year. Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson deserve each of those awards three awards. Ultimately, I favored the quarterback, but Peterson's final regular season game against the Packers almost changed my mind.
Someone deserves credit for the Seahawks being dominant at home, scoring 50+ points in two straight games, and securing a playoff berth with a third-round rookie quarterback. For me, the credit went to Pete Carroll. John Elway lured Peyton Manning. Anyone who has watched Peyton knows that he instantly turns a team into a Super Bowl contender. Beyond that, though, the Broncos had a team that is playing lights out on offense, defense, and special teams, until they met the Ravens.
Feel free to discuss the awards as they are being announced, or some of your predictions, in the comments section below. Let's hope Thomas wins the Man of the Year Award too!