NFL Honors: Peyton Manning wins a record fifth MVP
With the final NFL game of the 2013-14 season to be played in less than 24 hours, we now know who won the NFL postseason awards.
It was a record-setting campaign for Manning as he threw for 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns, both of which broke single-season records, and only 10 interceptions. Manning threw multiple touchdowns in all but one game this year and even more impressively, he threw four (or more) touchdowns in nine games this season. Nearly every week, it seemed as the Broncos could score at will as they put up an NFL-record 606 points in the process.
Given a choice, I'm sure that Manning would prefer a Super Bowl MVP over an MVP award if he had to pick one since it would almost certainly mean that he got his second ring. In many ways, I root for the Broncos to win on Sunday (even though I'm not specifically a fan of either team) mostly to shut up the idiots that immediately disqualify Manning from the conversation of greatest of all-time since he has only one Super Bowl ring.
Offensive Player of the Year (past winners): Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
As is often the case, Manning won both the MVP and OFFPOY award.
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One year after winning Defensive Rookie of the Year, Kuechly wins Defensive Player of the Year. After leading the NFL in tackles last season, Kuechly ranked fourth in the NFL in tackles (156) and added two sacks and four interceptions this year.
Despite slipping to late part of the second round, Lacy finished eighth in the NFL in rushing (1,178 yards) and was only one rushing touchdown off the league lead with a total of 12. Sustaining a concussion on his first carry in Week 2 that also led him to miss the following week, Lacy's season didn't get going in earnest until Week 5 (after the team's Week 4 bye). Excluding the first three weeks of the season, the only back with more rushing yards than Lacy (1,127) was LeSean McCoy (1,212).
Richardson edged Buffalo's Kiko Alonso for the award and both would have been worthy choices. Richardson had 77 tackles and 3.5 sacks plus two rushing scores.
Rivers finished fifth in the NFL in passing yards (4,478) and fourth in quarterback rating (105.5) while posting a 32:11 TD-to-INT ratio. Last year, he threw for only 3,606 yards with 26 TDs and 15 INTs to go along with a passer rating of 88.6.
After a 1-3 start, Ron Rivera led the Panthers to a 12-4 regular-season as they won the NFC South and earned a first-round bye. The team had the league's second-best defense (in both yards and points), but they could use more weapons on offense to take that next step forward.