Two quarterbacks who direct the league's most high-powered offenses will join two of the most formidable defensive players and two coaches who guided their teams to playoff appearances as the 2011 winners of the annual NFL 101 Awards – the nation's premier awards event dedicated exclusively to professional football.
The 2011 season award winners will be presented with trophies at the 42nd Annual NFL 101 Awards gala in Kansas City Saturday, March 3, 2012, at the Westin Crown Center. The prestigious black-tie awards event was founded in 1969 and has evolved into what many sports insiders consider the finest awards event of its kind. This year's event is presented by Perfect Output and ECCO Select.
Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been selected as the NFC Offensive Player of the Yearafter engineering one of the greatest offensive seasons ever recorded in the NFL. A first-time 101 Award winner, Rodgers established the best single-season passer rating in NFL history at 122.5. He passed for 4,643 yards with a 68.3 completion percentage and an incredible 45-6 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Rodgers led the Packers to an NFL-best 15-1 record and the NFC North Division title. For the second consecutive year and third time in his career, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Bradyhas been selected as the AFC Offensive Player of the Year. Brady led the Patriots to a 13-3 record and the AFC East Division title. He led the conference in passing attempts (611), completions (401), completion percentage (65.6), yards (5,235), touchdowns (39) and passer rating (105.6).
San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaughhas been named the NFC Coach of the Year in just his first year as an NFL head coach. Harbaugh guided the 49ers to a 13-3 record and the NFC West Division title after inheriting a team that finished 6-10 the previous year. Harbaugh, who was the AFC Offensive Player of the Year in 1995 as quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts, becomes the first person ever to win 101 awards as both a player and coach. Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiakis the AFC Coach of the Year. Overcoming season-long adversity including the loss of his top two quarterbacks to injuries, Kubiak led his team to a 10-6 regular season record, the AFC South Division championship and the first playoff appearance in Texans franchise history.
Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allenhas been selected the NFC Defensive Player of the Year. Allen finished the regular season with a league-leading 22 sacks – one-half sack shy of the NFL single-season sack mark. He is 20th on the NFL's all-time career sack list. The former Kansas City Chiefs player was selected to the Pro Bowl for the fourth time in his eight seasons. Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggsis the AFC Defensive Player of the Year. Suggs recorded an AFC-best 14 sacks and forced a team-high seven fumbles. He holds the franchise record for sacks with 81.5. He was selected to the Pro Bowl for the fifth time in nine seasons.
A national media committee, comprised of 101 sportswriters and broadcasters who cover the NFL, selected the winners in each award category in a nationwide vote at the conclusion of the regular season.
In addition to these award winners, the Committee of 101 also selects the Lamar Hunt Award for Professional Football, which was created in 2007 to honor the life and legacy of the founder of the Kansas City Chiefs and given in recognition of visionary leadership that has helped the NFL become the preeminent pro sports league in America. This year's Lamar Hunt Award for Professional Football award winner will be announced in February.
The awards show hosts for the evening will be NFL Network sportscaster Paul Burmeisterand CBS football analyst Rich Gannon, a former NFL Most Valuable Player and two-time 101 Award winner.
Event proceeds this year will be directed to the Truman Medical Center Charitable Foundation through the Chiefs Children's Fund, a 501(c)3 foundation that distributes funds to various children's charities throughout the Kansas City area. TMC joined the Chiefs as the official Community Health Partner in September 2010. The Chiefs and TMC are working together to provide wellness education and promote healthier living for the people of Kansas City. Both TMC and the Chiefs play a vital role in the Kansas City community and this partnership capitalizes on two well-established brands for the common goal of improving the health status of the community in general, and of the citizens in the urban core particularly.
THE 2011 NFL 101 AWARD WINNERS
NFC Offensive Player of the Year, Aaron Rodgers, Quarterback, Green Bay Packers
Leads the league in passer rating (122.5), setting a new single-season NFL record
Led the Packers to a 15-1 record, winning the NFC North Division
Spearheads a high-powered offense that is first in the league in touchdowns scored (70) – 51 through the air – and is third in total offense and passing yards
Selected to the Pro Bowl for the second time in his seven-year career – the first time as a starter
AFC Offensive Player of the Year, Tom Brady, Quarterback, New England Patriots
Second in the league in passing yards (5,235) and third in passer rating (105.6)
Twice named the AFC's Offensive Player of the Month this season
Has thrown 39 touchdowns this year and is the sixth player in league history to throw for at least 300 career touchdowns
Selected to the Pro Bowl for the seventh time in his 12 years
Led the Patriots to a 13-3 record and the AFC East Division title
NFC Defensive Player of the Year, Jared Allen, Defensive End, Minnesota Vikings
Led the league with 22 sacks this season, missing a share of the single-season record by half a sack
Has 105 career sacks – 20th on the career sack list
Recorded 66 tackles and four forced fumbles this year, recovering four fumbles as well to lead the NFL
Selected to the fourth Pro Bowl in his eight seasons
AFC Defensive Player of the Year, Terrell Suggs, Outside Linebacker, Baltimore Ravens
Led the AFC with 14 sacks, recorded 70 tackles, forced seven fumbles and intercepted two passes
His seven forced fumbles is a team single-season high
Holds the franchise record for career sacks with 81.5
Selected to the Pro Bowl for the fifth time in his nine seasons
Part of a Ravens defense that allowed only 16.6 points per game (third in the league)
NFC Coach of the Year, Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco 49ers
In his first year as a head coach in the NFL, guided the 49ers to a 13-3 record and the NFC West Division title after finishing 6-10 in 2010
Entered the league with seven years of head coaching experience at the college level – four at Stanford and three at San Diego
Turned around a Stanford program that was 16-40 in the five years before he took over, leading the Cardinal to a record 12-1 slate his final year with the program
A 15-year veteran NFL quarterback
Won the 101 Award for AFC Offensive Player of the Year in 1995 as the Indianapolis Colts quarterback
AFC Coach of the Year, Gary Kubiak, Houston Texans
Guided his team to a 10-6 record, the AFC South Division championship and the franchise's first-ever playoff appearance
His team is second in the NFL in rushing (153 yards per game)
Served as the offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos for 11 years and was part of two Super Bowl teams
Played quarterback for the Denver Broncos for nine years and was part of three teams to reach the Super Bowl