The NFL’s top players and coaches came together on Thursday night for the 12th annual NFL Honors, headlined by Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes winning his second Most Valuable Player Award in five years.
Here’s everyone who left downtown Phoenix’s Symphony Hall with a new addition to their trophy cabinet.
Most Valuable Player: Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes
Mahomes takes home his second MVP award in just his fifth season as the Chiefs’ starting quarterback, further cementing his status as the league’s top QB. The 27-year-old is the 10th player ever to win the award twice, and the third-quickest to reach two MVP wins (Jim Brown, Kurt Warner).
Coach of the Year: Giants HC Brian Daboll
Daboll had to fend off worthy candidates in 49ers HC Kyle Shanahan and Jaguars HC Doug Pederson to take home COTY in his first-ever season as a head coach. The former Bills OC led the Giants – who were 4-13 in 2021 – to a 9-7-1 record and the franchise’s first playoff win since 2012.
Comeback Player of the Year: Seahawks QB Geno Smith
In one of the most surprising stories of the NFL season, Geno went from starting five games in six seasons to thriving as Seattle’s QB1. Smith led the Seahawks to an unlikely playoff berth and earned his first career Pro Bowl invite.
Offensive Player of the Year: Vikings WR Justin Jefferson
Mahomes won MVP, but Jefferson may have been the most valuable player in the NFL this season. He didn’t miss a game and led the NFL in receptions (128) and receiving yards (1809).
Stats and game logs aside, the third-year WR’s impact on the Vikings’ success and league culture as whole – whether it be his incredible one-handed snags or patented celebrations – was unmatched this season.
Defensive Player of the Year: 49ers DE Nick Bosa
A year after noted little brother T.J. Watt won DPOY, another ‘smaller bear’ was crowned as the league’s best defensive player on Thursday night. Bosa was the best player on the NFL’s best defense, and, if not for his team having zero healthy QBs in the NFC Championship, he might’ve been playing for his first ring on Sunday.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Jets WR Garrett Wilson
In a season that had several exceptional rookie performers on offense, Wilson was the standout. The Ohio State product caught 83 passes for 1,103 yards this year, and looked like a threat to find the end zone most every time he touched the ball. Keep in mind he had three different quarterbacks throwing passes to him this year, too.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Jets CB Sauce Gardner
An overall positive year for the Jets ends with both of their top-10 picks receiving NFL Honors. Sauce wasn’t just the best rookie defender this season, but one of the best cornerbacks in all of football. New York may have another ‘Revis Island’ on their hands for the foreseeable future.
Walter Payton Man of the Year: Cowboys QB Dak Prescott
Considered the NFL’s highest acclaim, Prescott became the fourth Cowboys player in history to receive this honor. Dak’s charitable ventures have spanned areas including colon cancer research, mental health and suicide prevention, as well as law enforcement and systemic reform.
More awards & award winners:
Moment of the Year: Justin Jefferson’s catch vs. the Bills
Salute to Service Award: Commanders HC Ron Rivera
Air & Ground Players of the Year: Bengals QB Joe Burrow & Raiders RB Josh Jacobs
Celly of the Year: Bengals defense vs. Ravens
Assistant Coach of the Year: 49ers DC DeMeco Ryans
Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award: Ravens DE Calais Campbell
Angry Run of the Year: Texans RB Dameon Pierce