The National Football League (NFL) has been the most celebrated league in American sports for decades. Every year, the NFL Honors awards recognize the best players and coaches from around the league. This year, NFL Honors 2023 is set to be especially competitive, as many of the best players and teams in the league have had tremendous success over the past year.
From the outstanding quarterback play of reigning MVP Lamar Jackson, to the defensive dominance of the San Francisco 49ers, many of the league’s best players have put together remarkable seasons. But the 2023 NFL Honors awards will also recognize the many unsung heroes from around the league. Coaches, trainers, and front office personnel who work tirelessly behind the scenes are all in the running for awards. The 2023 NFL Honors will also feature awards for the best rookie and rookie coaches in the league.
Here is the complete list of NFL Honors 2023 Winners.
NFL Honors 2023 Award Winners List
1. AP Most Valuable Player presented by Invisalign: Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs quarterback
Patrick Mahomes was named the 2022 NFL Most Valuable Player by the Associated Press on Thursday. He won the award with 48 out of 50 first-place votes and got 490 total points. Mahomes had an incredible season, setting a new record for total yards and leading the NFL in touchdown passes. Despite not having a key player, he led the Kansas City Chiefs to the top of the league in total yards and points scored. The Chiefs had a great season and reached the Super Bowl where they will play against the Philadelphia Eagles. Mahomes is now considered the best quarterback in the NFL and has two MVP awards in just six years of playing.
2. AP Coach of the Year: Brian Daboll, Giants
Brian Daboll was named the 2022 NFL Coach of the Year by the Associated Press. He led the Giants to their first winning record in six years and their first playoff win in over 10 years. He beat out other coaches, including Kyle Shanahan and Doug Pederson, for the award. Daboll turned around the Giants team which had a poor record for the past three seasons. He brought balance to the team and helped the running back Saquon Barkley have a great season. The Giants also had a successful season with their quarterback, Daniel Jones, having career-high numbers. Despite losing in the Divisional Round, Daboll has brought excitement to the Giants and is a key reason to keep the core players together.
3. AP Comeback Player of the Year: Geno Smith, Seahawks quarterback
Geno Smith was named the NFL Comeback Player of the Year after seven years without being a full-time starter. He played for three teams and had a limited number of passes. Despite the initial doubts, Smith became the starting quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks and had a great season, leading the team to the playoffs and earning a place in the Pro Bowl. He completed a high percentage of his passes and threw for a career-high number of yards and touchdowns. His head coach, Pete Carroll, and the general manager, John Schneider, both want Smith to return to the team. Smith is set to become a free agent in March and is reflecting on his successful 2022 season.
4. AP Offensive Player of the Year presented by Microsoft Surface: Justin Jefferson, Vikings wide receiver
Justin Jefferson won the AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year award in 2022. He had an amazing season with 128 catches, 1,809 yards, and 8 touchdowns. He broke records set by Randy Moss and Cris Carter. He is young and could achieve even more in the future. The Vikings will likely have to pay him a lot of money soon because he is eligible for a long-term contract. The team is excited about his future and is not worried about the cost. Jefferson is happy to be on the team and wants to beat double teams in the future. He is likely to achieve even more in 2023.
5. AP Defensive Player of the Year: Nick Bosa, 49ers defensive end
Nick Bosa of the San Francisco 49ers was named the 2022 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He received 46 first-place votes and was the leader in sacks with 18.5. He led the 49ers to become the top-ranked defense in the league. Bosa has been productive since coming back from an injury, recording 34 sacks over the last two seasons. He is 25 years old and is expected to be a top-tier edge rusher for the next few years. The 49ers have already picked up his fifth-year option and plan to keep him as a key part of the organization’s future.
6. AP Offensive Rookie of the Year: Garrett Wilson, Jets wide receiver
Garrett Wilson, a wide receiver for the New York Jets, won the 2022 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award. He led all rookies in receiving yards and catches and was a bright spot for the Jets despite quarterback struggles. Another Jets rookie, Sauce Gardner, won the top defensive rookie honors. Wilson has the potential to help the Jets become a stronger team in 2023.
7. AP Defensive Rookie of the Year: Sauce Gardner, Jets cornerback
The New York Jets did very well with their new players, adding important pieces on both offense and defense. Two of their players, Garrett Wilson and Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, won the awards for top offensive and defensive rookies. Gardner won by a big margin and showed he was ready to live up to his nickname from the start of the season. He was a strong defender, leading the league in passes defended and intercepts. He also played well in coverage, allowing only two touchdowns and being named first-team All-Pro and a Pro Bowler. Gardner is now considered one of the best young corners in the NFL.
8. Next Gen Stats Moment of the Year: Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson’s catch versus Bills
Justin Jefferson made a memorable catch in a football game and was named the Next Gen Stats Moment of the Year. He also won Offensive Player of the Year. He thanked his team, coaches, and fans for the recognition. The catch was replayed many times and became popular in pop culture. The catch was a team win and was made possible by good protection and a good throw from the quarterback. The Vikings had a low chance of winning but the catch increased their chances. The quarterback also sang at the Super Bowl festivities.
9. Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year presented by Nationwide: Dak Prescott, Cowboys quarterback
Dak Prescott, a quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, was awarded the 2022 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year. This award is the highest honor in the NFL and recognizes players for their exceptional work off the field, as well as their success on the field. Dak has established the Faith Fight Finish Foundation which focuses on various causes including colon cancer research, mental health, and suicide prevention. He has also made significant donations to improve police training and address systemic racism. Dak is the fourth Cowboys player to receive this award and is honored to join previous recipients including Hall of Fame quarterbacks Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman. Upon receiving this award, Dak also received a $250,000 donation for the charity of his choice.
10. Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2023: Ronde Barber; Darrelle Revis; Joe Thomas; Zach Thomas; DeMarcus Ware; Don Coryell (coach/contributor); Chuck Howley (senior); Joe Klecko (senior); Ken Riley (senior)
The 2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame class was announced at the NFL Honors ceremony three days before the Super Bowl. The inductees include players Ronde Barber, Darrelle Revis, Joe Thomas, Zach Thomas, and DeMarcus Ware, and coaches/contributors Don Coryell and seniors Chuck Howley, Joe Klecko, and Ken Riley.
11. FedEx Air & Ground Players of the Year: Joe Burrow, Bengals quarterback; Josh Jacobs, Raiders running back
Joe Burrow, quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals, won the FedEx Air Player of the Year award at the NFL Honors event. He helped lead the team to two division victories and threw for over 4,000 yards and 35 touchdowns. He had a good completion rate and a low number of interceptions. During the final seven games of the season, he threw for almost 2,000 yards and 17 touchdowns. He was ranked high in the league for passing yards, touchdowns, attempts, and completions. The FedEx Ground Player of the Year was awarded to Josh Jacobs, a running back for the Las Vegas Raiders.
12. Salute to Service Award presented by USAA: Ron Rivera, Commanders head coach
Washington Commanders’ coach Ron Rivera was chosen as the winner of the NFL and USAA’s Salute to Service Award. The award honors people in the NFL who support and show respect for the military community. Rivera will receive this award on February 9th at the NFL Honors ceremony. USAA will donate $25,000 to a military charity, which will be matched by the NFL Foundation.
13. Bud Light Celly of the Year: Bengals roller-coaster celebration in Week 18
The Cincinnati Bengals won an award at the NFL Honors show on Thursday. They won the “Celly of the Year” award for the best celebration of the season. This award was given to them for their “rollercoaster celebration” during a game against the Baltimore Ravens. The Bengals players acted like they were riding a rollercoaster after an interception. Some Bengals players were also nominated for other awards. Quarterback Joe Burrow is a candidate for MVP and Sam Hubbard is a candidate for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award.
14. NFL Fan of the Year presented by Captain Morgan: Larry Bevans, Seahawks
A man named Larry Bevans, who is a huge fan of the Seattle Seahawks and a kind person, was chosen as the 2022 Fan of the Year for the team. Later, he was also named the 2022 NFL Fan of the Year at a big awards show called NFL Honors. This show is for players who did really well during the season and is picked by 50 sports journalists. Three Seahawks players were also nominated for awards. Tyler Lockett was there for a special award for being a good man. The NFL Fan of the Year award is for fans who show love for their team and help their community. Larry is the first fan from the Seattle Seahawks to win this award and only the third fan ever.
15. Deacon Jones Sack Leader Award: Nick Bosa, 49ers defensive end
Nicholas Bosa is a football player for the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL. He went to Ohio State for college and was chosen 2nd in the NFL Draft in 2019. He won a prize for being the best new player in his first year and helped his team go to the Super Bowl. His dad and brother also play in the NFL.
16. AP Assistant Coach of the Year: DeMeco Ryans, 49ers defensive coordinator
The San Francisco 49ers defense was the best in the NFL in 2022. For the first time in the team’s history, they ranked first in both points and yards allowed. The defense’s success led to the coordinator, DeMeco Ryans, winning the NFL Assistant Coach of the Year award. Ryans received the most votes and was named on 48 out of 50 ballots. This was his second year as a coordinator and his last in San Francisco. He was recently hired as the head coach of the Houston Texans. The defense was led by players like Nick Bosa, Tashaun Gipson, and Talanoa Hufanga. Despite some struggles with passing yards, Ryans used his expertise to fortify the defense and stop the run game. The defense was dominant throughout the season, even when the quarterback position changed due to injury. The 49ers had a winning streak of 12 games, but the season came to an end in the NFC Championship Game. Ryans will now be the head coach of the team that drafted him as a player back in 2006.
17. Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award: Calais Campbell, Ravens defensive lineman
The 2022-2023 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award was given to Calais Campbell of the Baltimore Ravens. The award is given to a football player who shows good sportsmanship and fairness during games. It’s named after Art Rooney Sr., a famous football owner.
18. Angry Run of the Year: Dameon Pierce, Texans running back versus Jaguars
Dameon Pierce was a powerful and fast running back for the Texans in his rookie year. He won an award for his amazing run against the Jaguars and was considered for Rookie of the Year before an injury ended his season. New coach DeMeco Ryans likes his tough, physical style and he will be a key player for the Texans again this year. Ryans wants a strong running game and plans to use Pierce to help establish an aggressive and productive style, just like he did with the 49ers’ top-ranked defense.
19. Jim Brown Award (Rushing Leader): Josh Jacobs, Raiders running back
Josh Jacobs, a running back for the Las Vegas Raiders, won the first ever Jim Brown Award from the NFL. The award will be given every year to the best rushing player. Jacobs was the top rusher in the 2022 season with 1,653 yards.
20. Head and Shoulders Never Not Working Protection Play of the Year: 49ers tight end George Kittle versus Cowboys
San Francisco 49ers player George Kittle won an award for his protection play in a game against the Dallas Cowboys. His key block and catch helped the 49ers win the game and advance to the NFC Championship Game.