Nothing truly gets fans more excited for the Super Bowl than a recap of the entire season the night before. That is what the NFL Honors are able to do, with recognition of the best players, plays and moments of the 2013 season.
A year after Adrian Peterson took the major awards as MVP and Offensive Player of the Year, we will likely see plenty of new faces at the 2013 event.
Besides the awards, this night will also feature plenty of memorable moments from the athletes and entertainers in attendance at the ceremony, hosted by Alec Baldwin. Additionally, this year's class of nominees to the Pro Football Hall of Fame will be announced during the show.
The third annual event just keeps getting better, so check out this guide about what to expect from the night.
When: Saturday, Feb. 1
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Where: Radio City Music Hall, New York
Red Carpet Event: 7 p.m. ET on NFL Network
Host: Alec Baldwin
|AP Most Valuable Player||Pepsi NEXT Rookie of the Year|
|AP Coach of the Year||Don Shula NFL HS Coach of the Year|
|AP Offensive Player of the Year||GMC Never Say Never Moment of the Year|
|AP Defensive Player of the Year||FedEx Air and Ground Players of the Year|
|AP Offensive Rookie of the Year||Greatness on the Road|
|AP Defensive Rookie of the Year||Bridgestone Performance Play of the Year|
|AP Comeback Player of the Year||Salute to Service Award|
|Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year||NFL.com Fantasy Player of the Year|
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Kiko Alonso, LB, Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills got an absolute steal in the second round with a player who could be a leader on defense for more than a decade. Kiko Alonso finished the season third in the NFL in tackles (159) and was excellent in coverage, totaling four interceptions.
This helped him stay on the field for every down, as noted by Gil Brandt of NFL.com:
There were certainly other worthy candidates, starting with defensive tackles Sheldon Richardson and Star Lotulelei. However, Alonso was a monster from Day 1 and he was clearly the best rookie on that side of the ball.
Who was the best rookie in the NFL this year?
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers
This appears to be a two-man race between Eddie Lacy and Keenan Allen.
Allen was certainly a bright spot for the San Diego Chargers this season and finished with 1,046 receiving yards and eight touchdowns as Philip Rivers' favorite receiver. Anyone who played fantasy football was certainly happy to pick up the young player off waivers.
However, Lacy was one of the best in the league at his position, finishing eighth in the NFL with 1,178 rushing yards and third in touchdowns (11) despite missing a few games with a concussion. He ran hard whenever he got the ball and helped the Packers survive when Aaron Rodgers went down.
The former Alabama running back truly was the best rookie in football this season and deserves this honor.
Defensive Player of the Year: Luke Kuechly, LB, Carolina Panthers
There are many ways to look at this award. Voters can select players who posted numbers, like Vontaze Burfict or Robert Mathis. They can select someone who was the most dominant at his position in J.J. Watt or Richard Sherman.
Additionally, many will choose someone like NaVorro Bowman, who was somewhat of an MVP for an extremely talented defense.
However, Luke Kuechly fills all of these categories and should win the award himself. He finished fourth in the league with 156 tackles while leading the Panthers to a division title. He was one of the best players in all of football this season and would make a great Defensive Player of the Year.
Offensive Player of the Year: Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos
A lot of players had good seasons in 2013, but none of them will live on forever the way Peyton Manning's will. Bleacher Report's Matt Miller discusses how good of a year it was:
Peyton Manning with the best statistical season ever. Single season yardage and touchdown records are his.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) December 29, 2013
The quarterback was the best at his position, and he helped the Broncos offense score the most points in NFL history while also claiming the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoff picture.
If that is not worth Offensive Player of the Year, I don't know what is.
Coach of the Year: Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs
A lot of people are giving Bill Belichick credit for his best coaching job of his career in helping an injured lineup reach the AFC title game. Ron Rivera also brought a squad of unheralded players to the No. 2 seed in the NFC.
However, you cannot overlook the job that Andy Reid did in his first year in Kansas City. The squad was the worst in the NFL last season, finishing with a 2-14 record. This year, the Chiefs finished 11-5 and were the last undefeated team at 9-0.
Obviously, the finish to the year was disappointing, but that is only because Reid raised expectations so high in the first half of the season. This alone makes him the 2013 Coach of the Year.
MVP: Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos
There really should not be any question about this prestigious award. Manning, 37, was statistically the best player in the NFL this year and he was the reason the squad was able to finish with a 13-3 record and are now set to compete in the Super Bowl.
Sure, the Broncos had a lot of weapons for the quarterback to take advantage of on the field. However, Manning was the one that spread the ball around and allowed five different players to finish with double-digit touchdowns.
No one else in the NFL could have done what Manning did this year regardless of who else was on the team, and he is well-deserving of his fifth MVP award.
Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for the latest breaking news and analysis.