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Old 02-02-2013, 07:37 PM   #1
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Breaking RG III is top offensive rookie; AP top offensive player; Kuechly Defensive Rookie

ESPN.com news services

Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins has won The Associated Press 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award, beating out two other sensational first-year quarterbacks.

Griffin, whose thrill-a-minute combination of running and passing skills led Washington to its first NFC East title in 13 years, pulled away from Andrew Luck of the Colts and Russell Wilson of the Seahawks in a lopsided vote announced Saturday.

RG III earned 29 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league. Luck was next with 11 and Wilson got 10.

All three led their teams to the playoffs.

Griffin, who severely injured his right knee in a wild-card loss to the Seahawks, set the NFL record for best passer rating by a rookie QB.

He accepted his award at the "2nd Annual NFL Honors" awards show on CBS saluting the NFL's best players, performances and plays from the 2012 season.

Griffin, who underwent knee surgery last month, says, "It's truly a blessing to be up there -- to be able to stand, first and foremost."


Defensive Rookie of the Year
Linebacker Luke Kuechly, Carolina's tackling machine, has won the Associated Press 2012 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

Kuechly, a first-round pick from Boston College, led the league with 164 tackles. He began the season on the outside but moved to middle linebacker five games into the season and the Panthers went from 24th in the league in overall defense to 10th.

He earned 28 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league. That easily outdistanced Seattle LB Bobby Wagner with 11.

Green Bay cornerback Casey Hayward got six votes, while St. Louis CB Janoris Jenkins got three. Tampa Bay LB Lavonte David got the other two votes.

He is the second Panther to win the award; DE Julius Peppers got it in 2002.

Kuechly accepted his award Saturday night.


Coach of the Year
Bruce Arians has become the first interim coach to win the top NFL award from The Associated Press, taking the honors for his work with the Indianapolis Colts.

Arians now is head coach in Arizona.

Arians took charge of the Colts in late September after head coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia. The Colts, 2-14 the previous season, went 9-3 under Arians and made the playoffs.

Pagano coached the final game of the regular season and a wild-card playoff match.

Arians earned 36 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the NFL. Pagano finished second with 5, while Pete Carroll of Seattle received five and Leslie Frazier of Minnesota got three.

Arians spent only one season in Indy before landing the Cardinals job.


Offensive Player of the Year
Adrian Peterson has won The Associated Press 2012 NFL Offensive Player of the Year award just one year after major knee surgery.

The Minnesota Vikings running back rushed for 2,109 yards, 9 short of Eric Dickerson's record. He dominated voting, getting 36 ballots to eight for runner-up QB Peyton Manning of Denver.

Quarterbacks Tom Brady of New England and Aaron Rodgers of Green Bay, and receiver Calvin Johnson of Detroit each got two votes.

Even more startling is that Peterson's remarkable year followed major knee surgery at the end of 2011. He led the Vikings' turnaround from a 3-13 record to 10-6 and a wild-card playoff berth, scoring 12 touchdowns rushing and averaging 6.0 yards per carry.


Defensive Player of the Year
Houston Texans end J.J. Watt won The Associated Press 2012 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award, missing a perfect ballot by one vote.

The NFL's sacks leader with 20 and a pass-blocking fiend, Watt earned 49 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league. Denver linebacker Von Miller received the other vote.

Watt, a versatile second-year player with a tremendous burst off the line, also forced four fumbles and recovered two in helping the Texans to their second straight AFC South title. With his long wingspan, he blocked a stunning 16 passes.

Watt is the first Texans player to win the award. Last year, Miller ran away with the top defensive rookie award while Watt was not in contention.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:02 PM   #2
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:29 PM   #3
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:42 AM   #4
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