Today may be Super Bowl Sunday, but the NFL was still very active the night before. Not with games, mind you, but with accolades. Let’s take a look at who got what and why.
Adrian Peterson headlines end-of-season award winners with MVP and Offensive Player of the Year trophies
In what must not have been a big surprise for most considering the huge season he had, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson took home the MVP and Offensive Player of the Year awards last night, beating out Peyton Manning as the runner-up for each. Peterson is the first running back to win MVP since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006, and the first player to win MVP and OPY since Tom Brady in 2010. With the year Peterson had, though, it should have come as no surprise. The back rushed for 2,096 yards on 6.0 yards per carry and 12 touchdowns in leading the Minnesota Vikings to the playoffs this year.
Elsewhere, Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt won Defensive Player of the Year with 49 of 50 first-place votes. Watt finished the season with 20.5 sacks, 81 tackles, and 16 passes blocked. The only other player to receive a first-place vote was Denver’s Von Miller. Ironically, Miller won Defensive Rookie of the Year last season with Watt nowhere near contention.
Bruce Arians won Coach of the Year for his success coaching the Indianapolis Colts this season, helping them come back from a 2-14 season last year to go 11-5 this season, including 9-3 with him at the helm. Arians is the first interim head coach to win the award; he was filling in for Chuck Pagano, who missed most of the season receiving treatment for leukemia. Arians has since been hired by the Arizona Cardinals.
Catch up on the other award winners, including Comeback Player of the Year and the Rookies of the Year on ESPN.com.
Parcells, Sapp, and Carter headline 2013 NFL Hall of Fame inductees
The inductees for this year’s class of Hall of Famers was announced, and the list did not disappoint. There are seven inductees this year: coach Bill Parcells, defensive lineman Warren Sapp, receiver Cris Carter, offensive linemen Jonathan Ogden and Larry Allen, and a pair of senior selections, Curley Culp and Dave Robinson.
Parcells coached the New York Giants, New York Jets, New England Patriots, and Dallas Cowboys over 19 years in the NFL, winning Super Bowls with the Giants in 1987 and 1991 and taking the Patriots to one in 1996. He finishes his career with a record of 172-130-1.
Sapp recorded 96.5 sacks over his 13-year career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders. He also won the 1999 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award after helping lead Tampa Bay to its first division title in 18 years. Sapp also won a Super Bowl with Tampa Bay in 2002 over Oakland before actually joining the Raiders two seasons later.
Carter played 16 seasons for Philadelphia, Minnesota, and Miami, becoming only the second player in NFL history to reach 1,000 receptions in a career, finishing with 1,101 for 13,899 and 130 touchdowns. Although he never made it to a Super Bowl, his pairing with Randy Moss in Minnesota during the late ’90s/early ’00s created one of the most dangerous receiving duos in NFL history.
Allen played 203 games over 14 seasons, all but two seasons of his career with the Dallas Cowboys, with whom he won a Super Bowl in 1995. He played every position on the offensive line except center and was a first-team All-Pro seven straight seasons. He was also inducted into the Cowboys’ Ring of Honor in 2011.
Ogden played all 12 seasons of his career with the Baltimore Ravens, winning a Super Bowl with them in 2001. Ogden was a six-time All-Pro and was voted to 11 Pro Bowls.
Not much info is available about Culp and Robinson, so I’ll let ESPN handle their descriptions:
Culp was a defensive stalwart for the Kansas City Chiefs in the 1960s and ’70s, and also played for the Houston Oilers and Detroit Lions. He started at tackle in Kansas City’s Super Bowl win over Vikings in 1970 and was selected to six Pro Bowls.
“Curley was a dominating force on the defensive line for the Super Bowl IV championship team and one of many great players that helped build the tradition and foundation of the Kansas City Chiefs,” the team’s chairman and CEO, Clark Hunt, said in a statement. “We look forward to seeing him take his rightful place in Canton.”
Robinson played on the powerhouse Green Bay teams of the 1960s, starting at outside linebacker on coach Vince Lombardi’s two Super Bowl champions. He closed his 12-year career with the Washington Redskins.
“He was such a vital part of those great defenses in the 1960s,” said Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy. “Dave’s contributions to the Packers have not been limited to the field, as he has also been a great ambassador for the organization over the years. We are thrilled that he received this honor.”