NFL announces finalists for MVP, Coach of the Year, more honors

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Full list of finalists for NFL MVP, more awards originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Four teams are left fighting for the Lombardi Trophy, but there will be additional hardware handed out before the Super Bowl.

The NFL announced the finalists for eight AP awards on Wednesday. The winners will be announced during the NFL Honors on Feb. 9, and some of the league’s biggest stars will have a chance to take the stage.

Here is the full list of finalists for NFL MVP, Coach of the Year and six more awards:

2022 NFL MVP finalists

This year’s MVP finalists include one former winner, and that player is the front runner to take home the honor once again.

Patrick Mahomes guided the Chiefs to the top record in the AFC while leading the NFL in passing yards (5,250) and passing touchdowns (41). He was named NFL MVP in 2018, and he could hear his name called out once again ahead of the Super Bowl.

If Mahomes wants to play in the Super Bowl, he will need to beat another MVP candidate in Joe Burrow, who threw for 4,475 yards and 35 touchdowns for the Bengals. Burrow will face Mahomes’ Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday after beating Josh Allen’s Bills in the divisional round.

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In the NFC, Jalen Hurts led a high-flying Eagles offense with his dual-threat mastery. On top of 3,701 passing yards and 22 passing touchdowns, Hurts tied for second in the NFL with 13 rushing touchdowns.

Justin Jefferson is the lone non-QB among this year’s MVP finalists. The Vikings wideout led the league with 128 catches and 1,809 receiving yards while reeling in eight touchdowns.

2022 NFL Offensive Player of the Year finalists

  • Tyreek Hills, WR, Miami Dolphins

  • Jalen Hurts, QB, Philadelphia Eagles

  • Justin Jefferson, WR, Minnesota Vikings

  • Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs

Three of the MVP finalists also double up as finalists for NFL Offensive Player of the Year. While Mahomes is the leading candidate for MVP, Jefferson and Hurts have the best shot as this award.

Tyreek Hill is also in the mix for Offensive Player of the Year. The speedy wide receiver went off for 119 catches, 1,710 receiving yards and seven receiving touchdowns in his first season with the Dolphins.

2022 NFL Defensive Player of the Year finalists

NFL Defensive Player of the Year has long been seen as a two-man race this season, and like Sunday’s divisional round game, it appears the 49ers star will beat the Cowboys star.

Nick Bosa finished the year with 18.5 sacks, 2.5 more than any other player, and continued to ascend among the NFL’s most menacing defenders. Micah Parsons ended the season with 13.5 sacks while playing several roles in Dallas’ defense.

Chris Jones had the best year of his career with the Chiefs in 2022, finishing with 15.5 sacks, 29 QB hits and 17 tackles for loss.

2022 NFL Comeback Player of the Year finalists

Two Comeback Player of the Year finalists overcame past injuries in 2022, while the other silenced his doubters.

Saquon Barkley was the driving force of the Giants’ offense, while Christian McCaffrey excelled in Carolina and played even better once getting traded to San Francisco. Geno Smith got his first full-time starting role in almost a decade and turned it into a playoff berth and a Pro Bowl selection.

2022 NFL Coach of the Year finalists

This year’s NFL Coach of the Year finalists include one who spent his first year as an NFL head coach, one who was in his first year with his new team and one who is in his third conference championship game in four seasons.

Brian Daboll and Doug Pederson led impressive turnarounds for the Giants and Jaguars, respectively, with each team winding up in the divisional round of the playoffs. Kyle Shanahan, meanwhile, navigated the 49ers to another NFC West title, the conference’s No. 2 seed and has the team on the verge of another Super Bowl appearance – even after his first two starting quarterbacks suffered season-ending injuries.

2022 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year finalists

Brock Purdy has been one of the most remarkable stories in the NFL this season. He stepped in for the 49ers following major injuries to Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo and has yet to lose, going 8-0 since taking over in December.

While Purdy only got going in the second half of the season, the other two Offensive Rookie of the Year nominees thrived the whole year. Kenneth Walker III led all rookie running backs with 1,050 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground, while Garrett Wilson led all rookie pass catchers with 1,103 yards through the air.

2022 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year finalists

The Jets and Seahawks each got another representative on the defensive side of the ball. Sauce Gardner quickly asserted himself as one of the NFL’s top shutdown corners in his first season with the Jets. Tariq Woolen also shined in the Seahawks’ secondary, tying the league lead with six interceptions as a rookie.

Aidan Hutchison, the No. 2 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, added a new element to the Lions’ defense with a team-high 9.5 sacks, 15 QB hits and nine tackles for loss.

2022 NFL Assistant Coach of the Year finalists

  • Ben Johnson, OC, Detroit Lions

  • DeMeco Ryans, DC, San Francisco 49ers

  • Shane Steichen, OC, Philadelphia Eagles

Two of the Assistant Coach of the Year finalists will begin a head-to-head chess match on Sunday. DeMeco Ryans is in charge of a San Francisco defense that shut down the Cowboys in the divisional round last weekend, while Shane Steichen runs a Philadelphia offense that rolled past the Giants. Their respective units will now face off at Lincoln Financial Field for the NFC Championship Game.

Ben Johnson helped lead an offensive turnaround in his first season with the Lions and will remain in Detroit despite being among the top head coaching candidates this offseason.