Despite an impressive rookie season, Eagles running back Miles Sanders was not named AP Offensive Rookie of the Year at NFL Honors on Saturday night.
Instead, the honor went to Kyler Murray.
Had Sanders won the award, he would have been the first Eagles player to do so since tight end Charlie Young back in 1973. Even though he didn’t win it, Sanders was thought to be a candidate.
While he wasn’t the Eagles’ lead back for the entire 2019 season, Sanders took over when Jordan Howard went down with an injury and was a key part of the Eagles’ late-season surge into the playoffs.
In the final four games of the regular season — all wins — Sanders averaged 112.0 yards from scrimmage per game. He finished sixth in the NFL among all players in scrimmage yards in December.
“I think I have a pretty good shot,” Sanders said about his chances to win Rookie of the Year last month on FS1. “With the other guys that's being nominated, there's Josh Jacobs, [he] had a good year too and Kyler Murray too. All had great rookie years. But I got a lot of confidence in myself based on the type of production that I gave, basically, I think, in half of a season, with (Darren) Sproles going down, going on IR, and Jordan Howard going down for the rest of the half of the season.”
Had Sanders won, he also would have followed his Penn State teammates Saquon Barkley, who won the award in 2018 after his impressive rookie season for the New York Giants.
Earlier this week, Nick Bosa won the 2019 Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year award but that one doesn’t split it into offensive and defense.
Here’s a look at how Sanders’ resume stacked up against the other players he was presumably competing with to win the award:
RB Miles Sanders (Eagles): Finished with 818 rushing yards, 509 receiving yards, 6 touchdowns, led all rookies with 1,327 yards from scrimmage, added 314 return yards earlier in the season
QB Kyler Murray (Cardinals): Led rookie quarterbacks with 3,722 passing yards and 544 rushing yards, threw for 20 touchdowns (12 INTs) and rushed for 4 more. Led a bad Cardinals team to a 5-10-1 record.
RB Josh Jacobs (Raiders): Led all rookies with 1,150 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns, finished second with 1,316 scrimmage yards, had five 100-yard games
WR A.J. Brown (Titans): Finished with 1,051 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns to lead all rookies, averaged 20.2 yards per reception, team is in AFC Championship Game
Sanders didn’t win the Rookie of the Year award but his future is very bright. It seems like the Eagles absolutely nailed that pick.
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