NFL Awards: No hardware for Brady, Patriots


NFL Awards: No hardware for Brady, Patriots

Turns out missing the first four games of the season proved to big a hurdle for Tom Brady in his bid for NFL MVP, with Matt Ryan winning the league’s highest individual honor Saturday night.

Ryan was also named the AP Offensive Player of the Year after throwing 38 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. The Falcons quarterback had a 69.9 completion percentage and totaled 4,944 passing yards. Ryan is the first Falcons player to win honors. Brady finished second in the voting.

Khalil Mack upset Von Miller, earning AP Defensive Player of the Year. Mack finished with 73 tackles for the Raiders, 11 sacks, five forced fumbles and three pass deflections. The defensive end also had one interception and one touchdown.

Dak Prescott beat out his Cowboys teammate Ezekiel Elliot, being named AP Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. Prescott finished the season with 3667 yards in the air, completing 67.8 of his passes, chucking 23 touchdowns and only four interceptions. In addition to his passing, Prescott ran for 282 yards, averaging 4.95 yards per carry, scrambling the end zone six times.

Prescott wasn’t the only Cowboy to take home hardware. Jason Garrett was named the AP coach of the Year after leading Dallas to a 13-3 regular season record.

Joey Bosa of the San Diego Chargers took home AP Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. Of the defensive end’s 41 tackles, he had 10.5 sacks.

Jordy Nelson won the AP Comeback Player of Year award. He scored a league-high 14 TDs and had 1,257 yards, bouncing back from his torn ACL.

Larry Fitzgerald and Eli Manning earned Walter Payton Man of the Year honors.

Atlanta’s Kyle Shanahan won the Assistant Coach of the Year award.

Frank Gore won the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award.

The Dallas Cowboys offensive line earned top billing.

Report: Slater returning to Patriots

Report: Slater returning to Patriots

Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater has signed a two-year deal to return to the team, according to an ESPN's Mike Reiss.

Slater had made a free-agent visit to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday. The seven-time Pro Bowl special teams ace, who turns 33 in September, has spent the past 10 seasons in a New England. Slater, one of the veteran leaders in the locker room, signed a one-year, $1.8 million contract extension in 2016.

The Patriots traded with the Oakland Raiders for kick returner/wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson earlier this week to bolster their special teams.


Report: New catch rule coming to NFL

Report: New catch rule coming to NFL

A new catch rule is coming to the NFL.

So, controversies such as the Jesse James' touchdown reversal in the Steelers' loss to the Patriots in December and the Kelvin Benjamin call in the Bills-Pats game a week later likely would have resulted in upheld TDs under the new rule.

According to the Washington Post, Troy Vincent, the NFL VP of football operations, said competition committee members plan to propose getting rid of portions of the rule related to a receiver going to the ground while making a catch and to slight movement of the football while it’s in the receiver’s hands. Vincent also said the committee also intends to raise the bar by which an on-field ruling of a catch could be overturned via replay review.

That apparently was what was done in Super Bowl 52, when the Eagles' Corey Clement's juggling TD catch was not overturned via replay. 

“We worked backward,” said Vincent told the Post. “We looked at plays and said: Do you want that to be a catch? And then we applied that to the rule.”

The rule modifications could be approved by the competition committee as early Tuesday, the Post reported, and owners will meet next week in Orlando to vote on it. Rule changes must be approved by at least 24 of the 32 franchises. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has been pushing for the catch rule to be modified.