For the 44th year, "The Committee of 101" in Kansas City will host the 101 Awards, in which 101 members of the national media who cover the National Football League vote to select the Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Coach of the Year in the National and American Football Conferences. Each winner will be presented with a trophy at the 44th Annual 101 Awards Gala, presented by ECCO Select, in Kansas City on March 1.
The Offensive Player of the Year in the NFC is the Philadelphia Eagles' own LeSean McCoy. The running back had a career year and earned his second Pro Bowl selection, leading the NFL in rushing and setting a franchise single-season record with 1,607 yards, as he helped the team achieve a remarkable turnaround from 4-12 in 2012 to 10-6 and the NFC East crown in 2013. His 2,146 yards from scrimmage also set an Eagles' franchise record, and he added 11 total touchdowns. At just 25 years of age, McCoy remains in the midst of his prime, and with head coach Chip Kelly's emphasis on the run, it is not outlandish to think even better seasons could be ahead.
McCoy is the fourth Eagle to win this honor following quarterbacks Randall Cunningham (1990), Donovan McNabb (2004) and Michael Vick (2010).
The Offensive Player of the Year in the AFC is Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who broke the NFL's single season mark for passing yards, 5,477, and touchdowns, 55, and led the AFC with a 115.1 passer rating. The 16-year veteran and future Hall of Famer enjoyed the best season of his career in 2013 and led the Broncos to a 13-3 record, the best in the NFL. He was selected to the Pro Bowl for the 13th time in his career and won Sports Illustrated's 2013 Sportsman of the Year. Manning and the Broncos will play Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Denver on Sunday, January 19, for the right to advance to the Super Bowl.
Indianapolis Colts defensive end Robert Mathis won the AFC Defensive Player of the Year award after leading the NFL with a career-high 19.5 sacks and eight forced fumbles on 59 total tackles. He was the AFC's Defensive Player of the Month for October and December and was selected to the Pro Bowl for the sixth time, as he helped the Colts to an 11-5 record and AFC South title.
Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly won the NFC Defensive Player of the Year award after ranking first in the conference with 156 total tackles. It was quite the follow-up to his Defensive Rookie of the Year season, as the second-year pro notched four interceptions and emerged as the leader of a Panthers defense that was among the NFL's elite units. Kuechly was also selected to his first Pro Bowl in 2013.
Hall of Fame defensive end Reggie White won this award as an Eagle in 1987.
Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera won NFC Coach of the Year honors, while Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid won AFC Coach of the Year honors. In his third season, Rivera led the Panthers to a 12-4 record and AFC South title. Reid, in his first year with the Chiefs, orchestrated the league's biggest turnaround, leading his team to an 11-5 record and a playoff berth.
Eagles coaches have taken home this honor four times - twice by Dick Vermeil (1978-79) and once by Ray Rhodes (1995) and Reid (2002).