Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III and Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly were awarded the Associated Press' NFL's Offensive and defensive Rookie of the Year awards on Saturday.
According to the Associated Press, RG3 won by a comfortable margin as he received 29 votes to beat out Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and his 11 votes and Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who received 10 votes.
On the other side of the ball, Kuechly won by a similarly large margin. The Associated Press reports that the Panthers 'backer picked up 28 votes.
Neither winner was a big shock and both were deserving of their respective awards. That said, the debate for offensive rookie of the year was a hot topic nearly all season.
Griffin and Luck entered the NFL as the league's top two draft picks and then spent the season justifying their lofty selections.
To make this race an even hotter (and more hotly contested) topic, as the season progressed, quarterback Russell Wilson, the Seahawks' third-round selection, made it unavoidably clear that this needed to be a three-horse race, as all three quarterbacks led their teams to the playoffs.
In the end, Griffin edged out his two competitors and rightfully so.
While all three led their teams to the playoffs and were clearly deserving of the award, it is Griffin that stands out in one key area: consistency.
In Weeks 10-14, Luck chucked ten interceptions to eight touchdowns, par for the course in a year that saw Luck throw just five more touchdowns than interceptions. Meanwhile, Wilson got off to a slow start as he grew into the Seahawks' offense.
Griffin was dynamic from the first week and throughout. While he missed Week 15 with a knee injury and that injury slowed him for the remainder of the season, he still finished the season with a rating of 102.4 with 20 touchdowns and just five interceptions. He also added another 815 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground and guided the Redskins to the NFC East crown.
As for the top defensive newcomer, he impressed all season. Kuechly is not the most physically gifted player in the NFL, but his instincts and smarts are off the charts.
He led the NFL in tackles at 164 in his rookie season. This is especially impressive given that he started the year on the outside, but took over in the middle after Jon Beason was lost for the season due to injury.
Kuechly is a force in both the run and pass game. He finished with eight passes defensed and 11 stuffs.
Both of these young award winners turned in stellar seasons and were the committee made an excellent choice to pick them as Rookies of the Year.