• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

NFL awards: T.J. Watt, Cooper Kupp are big winners during annual awards show

·5 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. — T.J. Watt didn't get the NFL single-season sack record all to himself, but he got the NFL defensive player of the year award.

The Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker, who was close to winning DPOY a season ago, won the award with a monster 22.5-sack season, which tied Michael Strahan's NFL record. Watt was announced as the NFL defensive player of the year on Thursday during NFL Honors, the league's annual awards show.

Watt's brother J.J. has three NFL defensive player of the year awards, and he was the presenter for the defensive player of the year award. He and T.J. shared a long hug after the announcement.

"I've been to this awards show five or six times and never came home with hardware," T.J. Watt said when he accepted the award. "Every time I left more motivated than the time I got here. I promise, this only motivates me more."

Watt has led the NFL in sacks two straight seasons. He had 15 last season and didn't win NFL defensive player of the year, but he became the clear favorite late this season as he passed 20 sacks. Watt beat out Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett.

Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt (90) had 22.5 sacks this season. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt (90) had 22.5 sacks this season. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Here are the rest of the NFL award winners from the NFL Honors show in Los Angeles:

Offensive rookie of the year: Bengals WR Ja'Marr Chase

Chase got a nice honor a few days before Super Bowl LVI, as he was named NFL offensive rookie of the year. Chase was the fifth pick of the draft and had a huge season, including a 266-yard game that broke the record for a rookie. He finished with 1,455 yards.

Chase beat out New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones. The Bengals had a team viewing party and Chase got the award there. Chase made a reference to criticism in the preseason that he was dropping too many passes in training camp and preseason.

"It wasn't shattering me, it just made me stronger," Chase said as he accepted the award.

Defensive rookie of the year: Cowboys LB Micah Parsons

Parsons won unanimously after picking up 13 sacks during an incredible rookie season. Parsons was drafted in the first round as an off-ball linebacker but the Cowboys tried him at pass rusher due to injuries and he was a force. Parsons was one of the NFL's biggest playmakers on defense and a big reason the Cowboys won the NFC East.

"This is all incredible," Parsons said after getting the award.

Comeback player of the year: Bengals QB Joe Burrow

Dak Prescott's 2020 season finished with a broken ankle. Burrow's rookie season ended when he tore his ACL and had other ligament damage. Both players came back and played very well. Either would have been deserving of the comeback player of the year award, but Burrow beat out Prescott.

Prescott was the favorite to win most of the year but Burrow had a great finish and kept that momentum going into the postseason. Burrow accepted the award from the Bengals' watch party.

"I'd like to thank our people that helped throughout the entire process," Burrow said.

Coach of the year: Tennessee Titans' Mike Vrabel

Vrabel beat out Packers coach Matt LaFleur and others due to his work guiding the Titans to the No. 1 seed in the AFC. Tennessee had some key injuries, most notably to running back Derrick Henry, but kept winning under Vrabel's leadership. The Titans went 12-5, though they lost their first playoff game to the Bengals.

Offensive player of the year: Rams WR Cooper Kupp

Jonathan Taylor and Kupp both had remarkable seasons and great arguments to be offensive player of the year. The award went to Kupp, who had a dominant 145-catch, 1,947-yard, 16-touchdown season. He has continued his dominance in the postseason and helped the Rams reach Super Bowl LVI.

Taylor had a case after 1,811 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns, but Kupp was deserving. He ranks No. 2 in NFL history for receptions and receiving yards in a single season. Kupp got 35 first-place votes, Taylor got 10, Tom Brady got three and Aaron Rodgers got two.

NFL MVP: Packers QB Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers won his fourth MVP and second in a row. Rodgers won this award during a season in which he turned 38 years old. Now a lot of attention will turn to what is next for Rodgers and his future with the Packers.

Walter Payton Man of the Year: Rams OT Andrew Whitworth

The NFL waits until the end of NFL Honors to give out the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, which recognizes players for their charitable work. Whitworth helps the Los Angeles community in multiple areas.

"I never forget the moments spent out in the community and I've appreciated the Rams and the job they have done to be my partner in making a difference for people who deserve our support. To me, one of the longest-lasting things we can do and one of the greatest impacts we can have is not only to win football games, but to win in the communities where we live. That's how you create a culture that expands outside your building," Whitworth told the Rams' website in December.