NFL Honors 2017: Award Winners, Voting Results and Twitter Reaction

Joe Pantorno@@JoePantornoFeatured ColumnistFebruary 5, 2017

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 02:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons addresses the media during the Super Bowl LI press conference on February 2, 2017 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Tim Warner/Getty Images

Less than 24 hours before he has to take the field for Super Bowl LI, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan won his first-ever MVP award during the NFL Honors award show on Saturday night from Houston. 

The Falcons passer became the first player in franchise history to win an MVP award, which headlined an evening in which he was recognized for three different honors.

Here is a look at all the night's winners:

2017 NFL Honors Award Winners
FedEx Air Player of the YearMatt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons
FedEx Ground Player of the YearEzekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys
Walter Payton Man of the YearEli Manning, QB, New York Giants and Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals
Castrol EDGE Clutch Performer of the YearDerek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders
Bridgestone Performance Play of the YearMike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Built Ford Tough Offensive Line of the YearDallas Cowboys
Salute to Service AwardDan Quinn, Atlanta Falcons
Courtyard's Greatness on the Road AwardLe'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Art Rooney AwardFrank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts
AP Assistant Coach of the YearKyle Shanahan, Atlanta Falcons
AP Comeback Player of the YearJordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers
AP Defensive Rookie of the YearJoey Bosa, DE, Los Angeles Chargers
AP Offensive Rookie of the YearDak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys
AP Defensive Player of the YearKhalil Mack, DE/LB, Oakland Raiders
AP Offensive Player of the YearMatt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons
AP Coach of the YearJason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys
AP Most Valuable PlayerMatt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons


Ryan Hauls In The Hardware

NFL MVP Voting
Matt RyanAtlanta Falcons25
Tom BradyNew England Patriots10
Ezekiel ElliottDallas Cowboys6
Derek CarrOakland Raiders6
Aaron RodgersGreen Bay Packers2
Dak PrescottDallas Cowboys1

Ryan edged his Super Bowl LI foe and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for the MVP award after the best season of his career:

He posted a career-high 69.9 completion percentage, 4,944 yards and 38 touchdowns with a career-low seven interceptions:

NBA TV's Rick Kamla had trouble keeping his emotions in check:

Atlanta Braves legend Chipper Jones also sent his well wishes:

Even the NBA's Atlanta Hawks got in on the congratulating:

However, good things don't necessarily happen to MVPs who played in the Super Bowl, as ESPN Stats & Info noted:

On top of his MVP award, Ryan also won the FedEx Air Player of the Year and the AP Offensive Player of the Year.

But he has bigger fish to fry come Sunday as the Boston College product will look to defeat his former college town's pro team and deliver the first Super Bowl title to the Falcons.


Defensive Player of the Year: Khalil Mack

NFL Defensive Player of the Year Voting
Khalil MackOakland Raiders18
Von MillerDenver Broncos17
Landon CollinsNew York Giants9
Aaron DonaldLos Angeles Rams3
Sean LeeDallas Cowboys2
Eric BerryKansas City Chiefs1

Oakland Raiders pass-rushing extraordinaire Khalil Mack took advantage of three-time winner J.J. Watt's absence in 2016 by winning his first career Defensive Player of the Year Award on Saturday:

His win ended a 37-year drought for the Raiders, as pointed out by Eddie Paskal of the team's official website:

Mack's teammate Bruce Irvin took a moment to congratulate him:

With just three professional seasons under his belt, Mack has blossomed into a force coming off the edge. In 48 career games, he already has 30 sacks and 225 total tackles.


Offensive Rookie of the Year: Dak Prescott

NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Voting
Dak PrescottDallas Cowboys28.5
Ezekiel ElliottDallas Cowboys21.5

It was a two-horse race for the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year Award, and both competitors resided in Dallas. 

But it was Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott who edged his teammate and running back Ezekiel Elliott for the award:

Prescott though brought his teammate up with him while accepting his trophy, via Joe Trahan of WFAA-TV:

While his numbers were exceptional for a rookie, it was his ability to win games that might have put him over the top, as ESPN Stats & Info pointed out:

And the fourth-round pick out of Mississippi State didn't pass up the chance to send a message to the teams that passed on him during the 2016 draft, via Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News:

Prescott was pushed into an imposing position upon his arrival to Dallas. With longtime starter Tony Romo out with injury issues for a second straight year, he was thrust into the starting position and ran away with it. 

He managed to stay cool under pressure, perform despite the drama that came with Romo's return to health and led the Cowboys to one of their most successful regular seasons in franchise history.


Defensive Rookie of the Year: Joey Bosa

NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Voting
Joey BosaLos Angeles Chargers37
Jalen RamseyJacksonville Jaguars10
Deion JonesAtlanta Falcons3

Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa might have played in only 12 games this year, but there was little disputing that he was the top defensive rookie in the NFL:

It's not often that a rookie comes around and can provide so much pressure on a quarterback, especially in an abbreviated season, via the Chargers:

His teammate, Casey Hayward, saw this as only the beginning:

An uncertain future awaits the Chargers after their move from San Diego to Los Angeles, but Bosa is the kind of talent the organization can build around. 


Comeback Player of the Year: Jordy Nelson

NFL Comeback Player of the Year Voting
Jordy NelsonGreen Bay Packers36
Cameron WakeMiami Dolphins11
Dennis PittaBaltimore Ravens2
Le'Veon BellPittsburgh Steelers1

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson didn't miss a beat after missing the entire 2015 season due to a torn ACL:

His teammate and offensive lineman T.J. Lang didn't think anyone else should have been considered:

Nelson even caught the attention of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker:

Continuing his role as Aaron Rodgers' go-to receiver, Nelson helped orchestrate the midseason turnaround that saw the Packers win their last six games and clinch the NFC North division title. 

As long as Nelson is lining up beside Rodgers, the Packers offense will continue to be a formidable unit. 


Coach of the Year: Jason Garrett

NFL Coach of the Year Voting
Jason GarrettDallas Cowboys25
Bill BelichickNew England Patriots14
Adam GaseMiami Dolphins6
Jack Del RioOakland Raiders4
Andy ReidKansas City Chiefs1

Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, with a reloaded team and gifted rookies by his side, helped lead a complete overhaul of his team to take Coach of the Year honors:

But it was an award he wanted to share with the rest of his team, via George:

A lot of Garrett and the Cowboys' success was owed to the team's offensive line, which was recognized as the unit of the year by the NFL:

They allowed Prescott to stay comfortable in the pocket while Elliott led the league in rushing.

For a team that went 4-12 last year, Garrett's Cowboys won the NFC East in 2016 with a 13-3 record. It tied a franchise record for most wins in the regular season and brought the franchise's second division title since 2010.


Walter Payton Man of the Year: Eli Manning and Larry Fitzgerald

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald split the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, something that has only happened three times in 47 years, to end Saturday night's festivities: 

Both have been invested in their communities as Manning's worked with the New York March for Babies, American Red Cross, Make-A-Wish Foundation and Wounded Warrior Project. 

His work has earned the admiration of Patricia Traina of the Sports Xchange:

Fitzgerald has worked with the American Cancer Society as a spokesman for the Crucial Catch Campaign during Breast Cancer Awareness Month along with Lenovo and Riddell, where he donated tablets and new football helmets to schools in the Minneapolis and Phoenix area, via

The Cardinals took a deeper look at what he's done:

As one of the most prestigious awards of the night, it was only fitting for the final honor to highlight the good that is done off the field for ESPN's Mike Greenberg:

Now it is on to Super Bowl LI on Sunday night to put the exclamation point on a weekend that has celebrated the very best of the 2016 NFL season.


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