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2001 NFL season

2001 NFL season

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The 2001 NFL season was the 82nd regular season
Regular season (NFL)
The National Football League regular season begins the weekend after Labor Day. Each team plays 16 games during a 17-week period. Traditionally, the majority of each week's games are played on Sunday afternoon, with weekly games on Sunday night and Monday night, and occasional games on Thursday...

 of the National Football League
National Football League
The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

.

Following a pattern set in 1999
1999 NFL season
The 1999 NFL season was the 80th regular season of the National Football League. The Cleveland Browns returned to the field for the first time since the 1995 season...

, the first week of the season was permanently moved to the weekend following Labor Day
Labor Day
Labor Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September that celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers.-History:...

. With Super Bowls XXXVI
Super Bowl XXXVI
Super Bowl XXXVI was an American football game played on February 3, 2002 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana to decide the National Football League champion following the 2001 regular season. The American Football Conference champion New England Patriots won their first Super...

-XXXVII
Super Bowl XXXVII
Super Bowl XXXVII was an American football game played on January 26, 2003 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California to decide the National Football League champion following the 2002 regular season...

 already scheduled for fixed dates, the league initially decided to eliminate the Super Bowl bye weeks for those two years to adjust.

In the wake of the September 11 attacks, the games for September 16 – September 17 were postponed and re-scheduled to the weekend of January 6 – January 7. In order to retain the full playoff format, all playoff games, including the Super Bowl
Super Bowl XXXVI
Super Bowl XXXVI was an American football game played on February 3, 2002 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana to decide the National Football League champion following the 2001 regular season. The American Football Conference champion New England Patriots won their first Super...

 were re-scheduled one week later. The season-ending Pro Bowl
Pro Bowl
In professional American football, the Pro Bowl is the all-star game of the National Football League . Since the merger with the rival American Football League in 1970, it has been officially called the AFC–NFC Pro Bowl, matching the top players in the American Football Conference against those...

 was also moved to one week later. This was the last season in which each conference had 3 divisions, as the conferences were realigned to 4 divisions for the 2002 NFL Season
2002 NFL season
The 2002 NFL season was the 83rd regular season of the National Football League.The league went back to an even number of teams, expanding to 32 teams with the addition of the Houston Texans. The clubs were then realigned into eight divisions, four teams in each...

.

Canceling the games scheduled for Sept. 16–17 was considered and rejected. That would have canceled a home game for half the teams of the league, and also would have resulted in an unequal number of games played (Sept. 16–17 was to have been a bye for the San Diego Chargers
San Diego Chargers
The San Diego Chargers are a professional American football team based in San Diego, California. they were members of the Western Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

, so that team would still have played 16 games that season and each of the other teams would have played only 15 games; the Chargers ultimately finished 5-11, making any competitive advantages to playing an extra game moot).

As a result of rescheduling Week 2 as Week 17, the ESPN Sunday Night Football
ESPN Sunday Night Football
ESPN Sunday Night Football is the ESPN cable network's weekly television broadcasts of Sunday evening National Football League games. The first ESPN Sunday night broadcast occurred on November 8, 1987, while the last one aired on January 1, 2006....

 game for that week was changed. It was originally scheduled to be Cleveland
Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns are a professional football team based in Cleveland, Ohio. They are currently members of the North Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

 at Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional football team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The team currently belongs to the North Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League . Founded in , the Steelers are the oldest franchise in the AFC...

, but it was replaced with Philadelphia
Philadelphia Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles are a professional American football team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They are members of the East Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

 at Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a professional American football franchise based in Tampa, Florida, U.S. They are currently members of the Southern Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League – they are the only team in the division not to come from the old NFC West...

, which was seen as a more interesting matchup (it was the only night game the Browns had on the schedule, whereas the Steelers had a few others; so 2000 and 2001 marked the first back-to-back seasons for the Browns without a primetime game since 1974–76; the Browns would finally play in Heinz Field at night in 2003). Ironically, the Eagles and the Buccaneers would both rest their starters that night, and they would meet one week later in the playoffs. In recognition of this, when NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

 began airing Sunday Night Football
NBC Sunday Night Football
NBC Sunday Night Football is a weekly television broadcast of Sunday evening National Football League games on NBC that began airing on Sunday, August 6, 2006 with the pre-season opening Hall of Fame Game. Al Michaels serves as the play-by-play announcer, with Cris Collinsworth as the color...

 in 2006
2006 NFL season
The 2006 NFL season was the 87th regular season of the National Football League.Regular season play was held from September 7 to December 31, 2006...

, there would be no game initially scheduled for weeks 11–17 – a game initially scheduled in the afternoon would be moved to the primetime slot, without stripping any teams of a primetime appearance. This way of "flexible scheduling" would not be utilized at all in 2007
2007 NFL season
The 2007 NFL season was the 88th regular season of the National Football League.Regular-season play was held from September 6 to December 30....

, and since 2008
2008 NFL season
The 2008 NFL season was the 89th regular season of the National Football League, themed with the slogan "Believe in Now."Super Bowl XLIII, the league's championship game, was at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on February 1, 2009, with the Pittsburgh Steelers coming out victorious over the...

, it is only utilized in the final week.

The games that eventually made up Week 17 marked the latest regular season games to be played during what is traditionally defined as "NFL season" (under the current format, the regular season cannot end later than January 3 in any given year).

Also, this was the only NFL season where every jersey had a patch to remember those to die in 9/11, and the NY Jets and NY Giants wore a patch to remember the fire fighters who died.

The season ended with Super Bowl XXXVI when the New England Patriots
New England Patriots
The New England Patriots, commonly called the "Pats", are a professional football team based in the Greater Boston area, playing their home games in the town of Foxborough, Massachusetts at Gillette Stadium. The team is part of the East Division of the American Football Conference in the National...

 defeated the St. Louis Rams
St. Louis Rams
The St. Louis Rams are a professional American football team based in St. Louis, Missouri. They are currently members of the West Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The Rams have won three NFL Championships .The Rams began playing in 1936 in Cleveland,...

.

Major rule changes

  • Fumble recoveries will be awarded at the spot of the recovery, not where the player's momentum carries him. This change was passed in response to two regular season games in 2000, Atlanta Falcons
    Atlanta Falcons
    The Atlanta Falcons are a professional American football team based in Atlanta, Georgia. They are a member of the South Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

    Carolina Panthers
    Carolina Panthers
    The Carolina Panthers are a professional American football team based in Charlotte, North Carolina. They are currently members of the South Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The Panthers, along with the Jacksonville Jaguars, joined the NFL as expansion...

     and Oakland Raiders
    Oakland Raiders
    The Oakland Raiders are a professional American football team based in Oakland, California. They currently play in the Western Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

    Seattle Seahawks
    Seattle Seahawks
    The Seattle Seahawks are a professional American football team based in Seattle, Washington. They are currently members of the Western Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The team joined the NFL in 1976 as an expansion team...

    , in which a safety was awarded when a defensive player's momentum in recovering a fumble carried him into his own end zone.
  • Taunting rules will be strictly enforced.
  • Roughing the passer will be strictly enforced.

2001 NFL Season Changes

  • New Orleans Saints
    New Orleans Saints
    The New Orleans Saints are a professional American football team based in New Orleans, Louisiana. They are members of the South Division of the National Football Conference of the National Football League ....

     – Replaced their gold pants with black pants.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers
    Pittsburgh Steelers
    The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional football team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The team currently belongs to the North Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League . Founded in , the Steelers are the oldest franchise in the AFC...

     – New stadium: Heinz Field
    Heinz Field
    Heinz Field is a stadium located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It primarily serves as the home to the Pittsburgh Steelers and University of Pittsburgh Panthers American football teams, members of the National Football League and National Collegiate Athletic Association respectively...

  • San Diego Chargers
    San Diego Chargers
    The San Diego Chargers are a professional American football team based in San Diego, California. they were members of the Western Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

     – White pants with road uniforms.
  • Denver Broncos
    Denver Broncos
    The Denver Broncos are a professional American football team based in Denver, Colorado. They are currently members of the West Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

     – New stadium: Invesco Field.
  • St.Louis Rams – New font for uniform numbers.
  • Philadelphia Eagles
    Philadelphia Eagles
    The Philadelphia Eagles are a professional American football team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They are members of the East Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

     – New hard turf field, due to a cancelled preseason game scheduled against the Baltimore Ravens
    Baltimore Ravens
    The Baltimore Ravens are a professional football franchise based in Baltimore, Maryland.The Baltimore Ravens are officially a quasi-expansion franchise, having originated in 1995 with the Cleveland Browns relocation controversy after Art Modell, then owner of the Cleveland Browns, announced his...

     in which then Ravens' coach Brian Billick
    Brian Billick
    Brian Harold Billick is a National Football League game analyst for Fox, and is also an analyst for the network's Bowl Championship Series coverage. He was previously an NFL coach, most recently with the Baltimore Ravens from January 19, 1999 to December 31, 2007...

     told officials of the NFL that he refused to have his team play on a slippery and bouncy turf field which he deemed unsafe.

Coaching changes

  • Buffalo Bills
    Buffalo Bills
    The Buffalo Bills are a professional football team based in Buffalo, New York. They are currently members of the East Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

     – Gregg Williams
    Gregg Williams
    Gregg Williams is the defensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints and the former head coach of the Buffalo Bills. Considered one of the most respected defensive minds in the game, Williams is known for running aggressive, attacking 4-3 schemes that put heavy pressure on opposing...

    ; replaced Wade Phillips
    Wade Phillips
    Wade Allen Phillips is the defensive coordinator for the Houston Texans and former head coach for the National Football League's Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, and Buffalo Bills. He was also an interim head coach for the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons...

     who was fired following the 2000 season
  • Cleveland Browns
    Cleveland Browns
    The Cleveland Browns are a professional football team based in Cleveland, Ohio. They are currently members of the North Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

     – Butch Davis
    Butch Davis
    Paul Hilton "Butch" Davis, Jr. is an American football coach and former player in the United States. He was the head coach at the University of Miami from 1995 to 2000, the Cleveland Browns of the NFL from 2001 to 2004, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 2007 to 2011.-Early...

    ; replaced Chris Palmer who was fired following the 2000 season
  • Detroit Lions
    Detroit Lions
    The Detroit Lions are a professional American football team based in Detroit, Michigan. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League , and play their home games at Ford Field in Downtown Detroit.Originally based in Portsmouth, Ohio and...

     – Marty Mornhinweg
    Marty Mornhinweg
    Marty Mornhinweg is the offensive coordinator with the Philadelphia Eagles, having joined the Eagles in 2003 as the assistant head coach. He was named offensive coordinator on January 6, 2006, after the Eagles previous offensive coordinator Brad Childress was hired as the head coach of the...

    ; replaced interim Head Coach Gary Moeller
    Gary Moeller
    Gary O. Moeller is an American football coach best known for being head coach at the University of Michigan from 1990 to 1994. During his five seasons at Michigan, he won 44 games, lost 13 and tied 3 for a winning percentage of .758...

     who replaced Bobby Ross
    Bobby Ross
    Robert Joseph Ross is a former American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at The Citadel , the University of Maryland, College Park , the Georgia Institute of Technology , and the United States Military Academy , compiling a career college football record of 103–101–2...

     who resigned during the 2000 season.
  • Kansas City Chiefs
    Kansas City Chiefs
    The Kansas City Chiefs are a professional American football team based in Kansas City, Missouri. They are a member of the Western Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League . Originally named the Dallas Texans, the club was founded by Lamar Hunt in 1960 as a...

     – Dick Vermeil
    Dick Vermeil
    Richard Albert "Dick" Vermeil is a former American head coach for the National Football League's Philadelphia Eagles , St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs...

    ; replaced Gunther Cunningham
    Gunther Cunningham
    Gunther Cunningham is an American football defensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions. Cunningham has presided over some of the most successful defenses in NFL history , typically ranking at the top of the league in many statistical categories.Cunningham was born in 1946 in war-torn Munich,...

     who was fired following the 2000 season
  • New York Jets
    New York Jets
    The New York Jets are a professional football team headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, representing the New York metropolitan area. The team is a member of the Eastern Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

     – Herman Edwards
    Herman Edwards
    Herman "Herm" Edwards, Jr. is an American football analyst who most recently coached in the National Football League for the Kansas City Chiefs. He was fired from this position on January 23, 2009. Since then, he has been hired as a football analyst for ESPN...

    ; replaced Al Groh
    Al Groh
    Al Groh is the defensive coordinator of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team. He is also a former head coach of the University of Virginia football team, a former head coach of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons football team and the former head coach of the New York Jets of the NFL...

     who resigned to become the Head Coach of the University of Virginia
    University of Virginia
    The University of Virginia is a public research university located in Charlottesville, Virginia, United States, founded by Thomas Jefferson...

    .
  • Washington Redskins
    Washington Redskins
    The Washington Redskins are a professional American football team and members of the East Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The team plays at FedExField in Landover, Maryland, while its headquarters and training facility are at Redskin Park in Ashburn,...

     – Marty Schottenheimer
    Marty Schottenheimer
    Martin Edward "Marty" Schottenheimer is the current head coach of the Virginia Destroyers of the United Football League. Over his career, he has served as head coach of the Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, Washington Redskins, and San Diego Chargers. He has the most wins of any NFL coach...

    ; replaced interim Head Coach Terry Robiskie
    Terry Robiskie
    Terry Robiskie is a former American football player and current wide receivers coach for the Atlanta Falcons.-Playing career:...

     who replaced Norv Turner
    Norv Turner
    Norval Eugene Turner is the head coach for the National Football League's San Diego Chargers. He also has served as head coach of the Washington Redskins and the Oakland Raiders, and as offensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys, San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins, and San Francisco 49ers...

     who was fired during the 2000 season

Final regular season standings


W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, PCT = Winning Percentage, PF= Points For, PA = Points Against

Clinched playoff seeds are marked in parentheses and shaded in green



Tiebreakers

  • New England finished ahead of Miami in the AFC East based on better division record (6–2 to Dolphins' 5–3).
  • Cleveland finished ahead of Tennessee in the AFC Central based on better division record (5–5 to Titans' 3–7).
  • Jacksonville finished ahead of Cincinnati in the AFC Central based on head-to-head sweep (2–0).
  • N.Y. Giants finished ahead of Arizona in the NFC East based on head-to-head sweep (2–0).
  • New Orleans finished ahead of Atlanta in the NFC West based on better division record (4–4 to Falcons' 3–5).
  • Baltimore was the second AFC Wild Card based on better record against common opponents (3–2 to Jets' 2–2).
  • Green Bay was the first NFC Wild Card based on better conference record (9–3 to 49ers' 8–4).

AFC

  • Wild-Card playoffs: OAKLAND 38, N.Y. Jets 24; Baltimore 20, MIAMI 3
  • Divisional playoffs: NEW ENGLAND 16, Oakland 13 (OT); PITTSBURGH 27, Baltimore 10
  • AFC Championship: New England 24, PITTSBURGH 17 at Heinz Field
    Heinz Field
    Heinz Field is a stadium located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It primarily serves as the home to the Pittsburgh Steelers and University of Pittsburgh Panthers American football teams, members of the National Football League and National Collegiate Athletic Association respectively...

    , Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Pittsburgh is the second-largest city in the US Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the county seat of Allegheny County. Regionally, it anchors the largest urban area of Appalachia and the Ohio River Valley, and nationally, it is the 22nd-largest urban area in the United States...

    , January 27, 2002

NFC

  • Wild-Card playoffs: PHILADELPHIA 31, Tampa Bay 9; GREEN BAY 25, San Francisco 15
  • Divisional playoffs: Philadelphia 33, CHICAGO 19; ST. LOUIS 45, Green Bay 17
  • NFC Championship: ST. LOUIS 29, Philadelphia 24 at Edward Jones Dome
    Edward Jones Dome
    The Edward Jones Dome The Edward Jones Dome The Edward Jones Dome (more formally known as the Edward Jones Dome at America's Center, and previously known as The Trans World Dome (from 1995–2001) is a multi-purpose stadium in St. Louis, Missouri, and home of the St. Louis Rams of the NFL. It was...

    , St. Louis, Missouri
    St. Louis, Missouri
    St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

    , January 27, 2002

Super Bowl

  • Super Bowl XXXVI: New England (AFC) 20, St. Louis (NFC) 17 at Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana, February 3, 2002

Milestones


The following teams and players set all-time NFL records during the season:
Record Player/Team Previous Record Holder
Most Sacks, Season* Michael Strahan
Michael Strahan
Michael Anthony Strahan is a former National Football League defensive end who played his entire career for the New York Giants; a career where he set the record for the most sacks in a single season and won a Super Bowl in his final year. He is currently a football analyst on Fox NFL Sunday, and...

, New York Giants (22.5)
Mark Gastineau
Mark Gastineau
Marcus Dell Gastineau is a former American football player who was a leading defensive end for the New York Jets from 1979 to 1988. A five-time Pro Bowler, his 100½ quarterback sacks in only his first 100 starts in the NFL made him one of the quickest and most feared pass rushers of his generation...

, New York Jets, 1984 (22.0)
Most Consecutive Games Lost, Season Carolina (15) Tied by 4 teams (14)

* – Sack statistics have only been compiled since 1982
1982 NFL season
The 1982 NFL season was the 63rd regular season of the National Football League. A 57-day long players' strike reduced the 1982 season from a 16-game schedule per team to an abbreviated nine game schedule...

.

Team

Points scored St. Louis Rams (503)
Total yards gained St. Louis Rams (6,930)
Yards rushing Pittsburgh Steelers (2,774)
Yards passing St. Louis Rams (4,903)
Fewest points allowed Chicago Bears (203)
Fewest total yards allowed Pittsburgh Steelers (4,504)
Fewest rushing yards allowed Pittsburgh Steelers (1,195)
Fewest passing yards allowed Dallas Cowboys (3,019)

Individual

Scoring Marshall Faulk
Marshall Faulk
Marshall William Faulk is a former American football running back who played in the National Football League. He is currently an analyst for NFL Total Access, Thursday Night Football, and NFL GameDay Morning on the NFL Network...

, St. Louis (128 points)
Touchdowns Marshall Faulk, St. Louis (21 TDs)
Most field goals made Jason Elam
Jason Elam
Jason Elam is a retired American football placekicker. He was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the third round of the 1993 NFL Draft. He played college football at Hawaii....

, Denver (31 FGs)
Rushing Priest Holmes
Priest Holmes
Priest Anthony Holmes is a former American football running back of the National Football League. He was originally signed by the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent in 1997. He played college football at Texas.Holmes earned a Super Bowl ring with the Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV...

, Kansas City (1,555 yards)
Passing Kurt Warner
Kurt Warner
Kurtis Eugene "Kurt" Warner is a retired American football player. He played quarterback for three National Football League teams: the St. Louis Rams, the New York Giants, and the Arizona Cardinals. He was originally signed by the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent in 1994 after playing...

, St. Louis (101.4 rating)
Passing touchdowns Kurt Warner, St. Louis (36 TDs)
Pass receiving Rod Smith, Denver (113 catches)
Pass receiving yards David Boston
David Boston
David Byron Boston is a professional football wide receiver who is currently a free agent. He was originally drafted by the Arizona Cardinals eighth overall in the 1999 NFL Draft...

, Arizona (1,598)
Punt returns Troy Brown
Troy Brown
Troy Fitzgerald Brown is a former NFL wide receiver, cornerback and punt returner in the National Football League. He was drafted by the New England Patriots in the eighth round of the 1993 NFL Draft. He played college football at Marshall...

, New England (14.2 average yards)
Kickoff returns Ronney Jenkins, San Diego (26.6 average yards)
Interceptions Ronde Barber
Ronde Barber
Jamael Orondé "Rondé" Barber is an American football cornerback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League. He was drafted in the third round of the 1997 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers...

, Tampa Bay and Anthony Henry, Cleveland (10)
Punting Todd Sauerbrun
Todd Sauerbrun
Todd Scott Sauerbrun is an American football punter who is currently a free agent. He was originally drafted by the Chicago Bears in the second round of the 1995 NFL Draft...

, Carolina (47.5 average yards)
Sacks Michael Strahan, New York Giants (22.5)

Awards

Most Valuable Player Kurt Warner, Quarterback
Quarterback
Quarterback is a position in American and Canadian football. Quarterbacks are members of the offensive team and line up directly behind the offensive line...

, St. Louis
Coach of the Year
NFL Coach of the Year Award
The National Football League Coach of the Year Award is presented annually by various news and sports organizations to the NFL head coach who has done the most outstanding job of working with the talent he has at his disposal. Currently, the most widely recognized award is presented by the...

Dick Jauron
Dick Jauron
Richard Manuel Jauron is the defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League. He was the head coach for the Buffalo Bills from 2006 until November 2009. Jauron has previously held head coaching positions with the Chicago Bears and, on an interim basis, with the...

, Chicago
Offensive Player of the Year
NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award
The NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award is given annually by the Associated Press to the offensive player of the National Football League believed to have had the most outstanding season...

Marshall Faulk, Running back
Running back
A running back is a gridiron football position, who is typically lined up in the offensive backfield. The primary roles of a running back are to receive handoffs from the quarterback for a rushing play, to catch passes from out of the backfield, and to block.There are usually one or two running...

, St. Louis
Defensive Player of the Year
NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award
The NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award is given by the Associated Press to the league's most outstanding defensive player at the end of every NFL season since 1971. Multiple-award winners include Lawrence Taylor, who won it three times, and Joe Greene, Mike Singletary, Bruce Smith, Reggie...

Michael Strahan, Defensive End
Defensive end
Defensive end is the name of a defensive position in the sport of American and Canadian football.This position has designated the players at each end of the defensive line, but changes in formations have substantially changed how the position is played over the years...

, New York Giants
Offensive Rookie of the Year
NFL Rookie of the Year Award
Since 1967, the Associated Press has given two annual Rookie of the Year Awards to National Football League players: one for an offensive player and one for a defensive player. These two are often regarded as the "official" awards...

Anthony Thomas
Anthony Thomas (American football)
Anthony Jermaine Thomas is an American football coach and former player. He is currently the running backs coach at at West Virginia Wesleyan College. Thomas was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the second round of the 2001 NFL Draft...

, Running Back, Chicago
Defensive Rookie of the Year Kendrell Bell
Kendrell Bell
Kendrell Alexander Bell is a former American football linebacker. He was originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round of the 2001 NFL Draft. He played college football at Georgia...

, Linebacker
Linebacker
A linebacker is a position in American football that was invented by football coach Fielding H. Yost of the University of Michigan. Linebackers are members of the defensive team, and line up approximately three to five yards behind the line of scrimmage, behind the defensive linemen...

, Pittsburgh
NFL Comeback Player of the Year
NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award
The NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award has been given out after every season since 1972 by Pro Football Weekly. The player named Comeback Player of the Year shows perseverance in overcoming adversity, in the form of not being in the NFL the previous year, a severe injury, or simply poor...

Garrison Hearst
Garrison Hearst
Gerard Garrison Hearst is a former National Football League running back who last played for the NFL's Denver Broncos in 2004. He had previously played for the Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals, and San Francisco 49ers...

, Running Back, San Francisco

External Links