The Kansas City Chiefs announced on Saturday that quarterback Alex Smith and safety Eric Berry were named the winners of the club's Derrick Thomas Award and cornerback Marcus Peters earned the team's Mack Lee Hill Award for the 2015 season. This marks Berry's second postseason recognition as he was awarded the Mack Lee Hill Award after his rookie season in 2010. This is the first time that the team's MVP award has been given to two players. Both honors were voted on by Chiefs players and will officially be presented at the 46th annual 101 Awards this evening.
Smith (6-4, 217) came in second in NFL history and set a Chiefs record with 312 consecutive pass attempts without an interception in 2015. Smith's streak started in the third quarter of Week Three at Green Bay and continued through the second quarter of Week 14 versus San Diego. Smith's 312 straight attempts were 79 more than the previous record holder in Chiefs history. Smith's 2015 was one of the best of his 10-year career, completing 307 of 470 passes with 20 touchdowns to just seven interceptions as well as rushing 84 times for 498 yards, both career highs and Chiefs quarterback records. Additionally, Smith threw for 3,486 yards, which was also a career high. In his three seasons in Kansas City, Smith has won 30 games, the most for a Chiefs quarterback in his first three seasons in franchise history.
The 11th-year standout is a La Mesa, Calif., native, who just completed his third season in Kansas City. Smith has a 92.5 passer rating in his first three seasons as a member of the Chiefs, as well as a 63.66 completion percentage and a 1.39 interception percentage, with all three marks ranking first in franchise history.
Berry (6-0, 212) had one of the greatest comeback stories in NFL history in 2015. After being diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma midway through the 2014 season, Berry was a participant in the very first practice of training camp in 2015. Berry finished third on the team in tackles, with 61, as well as intercepting two passes and breaking up 10 passes on the season. Berry's amazing season carried over into the playoffs, where he tied for first on the team in total tackles in the club's two postseason contests with 10, as well as intercepting a Brian Hoyer pass on Houston's second drive of the Wild Card Playoff game.
The sixth-year safety was honored with the AP's Comeback Player of the Year Award as well as being the recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award following the season and was named a Pro Bowler for the fourth time in his career. The former University of Tennessee standout has amassed 384 total tackles, 5.5 sacks – the fifth-most among defensive backs in Chiefs history – and 10 interceptions in his NFL career. Kansas City originally selected him with the fifth overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Peters (6-0,197) was Kansas City's first round draft pick (18th overall) in the 2015 NFL draft. In his first professional season, Peters tied the Chiefs rookie interception record with eight, set the club's franchise record for passes defensed, with 26; his two interception returns for touchdowns tied a Chiefs rookie record. Additionally, his 280 interception return yards were the ninth-most in NFL history and the most in Chiefs franchise history. Peters' career had a fortuitous beginning, as he intercepted the first pass he saw. He followed up that feat by intercepting Broncos' QB Peyton Manning in his second game and retured it 55 yards for a touchdown. Following a two-interception game at Baltimore, Peters was named the AFC's Defensive Player of the Week for Week 15. His Week 15 performance also helped Peters earn AFC Defensive Rookie of the Month for December. Peters' efforts helped him become just the fourth Chiefs player to be named AP Defensive Rookie of the Year, as well as being named to his first Pro Bowl following the season.