DeMeco Ryans and Dan Campbell capture Coach-of-the-Year honors while T.J. Watt, Micah Parsons, Lamar Jackson and Christian McCaffrey earn Player-of-the-Year recognition in national balloting.
ESPN's Chris Berman Named 16th Recipient of the Lamar Hunt Award for Professional Football.
Continuing its 54-year tradition of celebrating the top achievements of each NFL season, The Committee of 101 announced today the 2023 recipients of the annual 101 Awards honoring the top players and coaches in the American Football Conference and National Football Conference.
The lineup of award winners includes Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson as AFC Offensive Player of the Year, San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey as NFC Offensive Player of the Year, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt as AFC Defensive Player of the Year, Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons as NFC Defensive Player of the Year, Houston Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans as AFC Coach of the Year and Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell as NFC Coach of the Year.
The 101 has saluted the outstanding performers each full season since the AFL-NFL merger, making it the nation's longest-running awards event dedicated exclusively to the National Football League. Award winners are selected in nationwide balloting of 101 sportswriters and broadcasters who cover the NFL throughout the season.
The honorees for the 2023 season will be presented with their awards at the 54th Annual 101 Awards Gala, scheduled for Friday, March 22, 2024 at the Loews Kansas City Hotel.
Jackson put together a spectacular 2023 regular season, passing for a career-high 3,678 yards and leading the Ravens to a league-best 13-4 record. He tossed 24 touchdown passes with only seven interceptions while achieving a QB rating of 102.7, the second-highest of his career. His dual-threat mobility added 821 rushing yards and another five touchdowns. In the AFC Divisional Playoff Game against Houston, Jackson became the first quarterback to record four total touchdowns, 100+ rushing yards and no interceptions in a playoff game in NFL history. He has led Baltimore to the AFC Championship Game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
McCaffrey led the NFL with 1,459 rushing yards and surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark in seven games during the 2023 regular season. He also topped all NFL players with 2,023 all-purpose yards, averaging 126.4 yards per game. The multi-dimensional running back scored 21 touchdowns, including a career-high seven receiving TDs to go along with his 14 rushing TDs. He accounted for an astonishing 83 rushing first downs, which smashed his previous season-best total of 59. In his first full season in San Francisco, McCaffrey helped lead the 49ers to the NFC West Division title with a 12-5 record and a trip to the NFC Championship Game.
Watt, who earned Steelers MVP honors for the fourth time, led the NFL with 19.0 sacks and 39 quarterback hits this season. He is the first player since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic, to lead the league in sacks three times (2020, 2021 and 2023). Watt's remarkable '23 season ranked in the top-five in the NFL in sacks, quarterback hits, tackles for loss (19, 5th), forced fumbles (four, t-5th) and fumble recoveries (three, t-3rd). He has now won the 101's NFC Defensive Player of the Year Award three of the past four seasons. Combining with his brother, J.J., the Watt family has garnered seven of the last 12 such awards.
Parsons, the Cowboys first-round draft choice in 2021, has clearly established himself as one of the most dominant defensive players in the NFL after a third straight sterling season. He set a career high in 2023 with 14 quarterback sacks and was a leading figure in Dallas capturing the NFC East Division title with a 12-5 record. A model of consistency, Parsons has posted sack totals of 13.0, 13.5 and now 14.0 in his three NFL seasons. He joins the legendary Reggie White as the only players in NFL history to record 12 or more sacks in each of their first three seasons since sacks became an official stat in 1982. Parsons earned the 101 NFC Defensive Player of the Year Award as a rookie in 2021.
Ryans engineered a remarkable turnaround with the Texans as a first-year NFL head coach, inheriting a last-place 3-13-1 team from 2022 and quickly producing an AFC South championship with a 10-7 record in 2023. He then guided Houston to a 45-14 Wild Card win over Cleveland before losing to Baltimore in the Divisional round. A former linebacker who played six of his 10 NFL seasons with the Texans and still ranks second on the franchise's all-time tackles chart, Ryans returned to Houston as head coach after six years as an assistant coach with the 49ers. His Texans became the fourth team in NFL history to make the playoffs with a rookie head coach and rookie starting quarterback (C.J. Stroud).
Campbell has built the best Detroit Lions team in decades. In 2023, his Lions tied a franchise record with 12 wins in the regular season, claimed their first division title since the 1993 season and earned a berth in the NFC Championship Game for the first time since the 1991 season. Their 8-2 start to the season was Detroit's best since 1962. Campbell has made notable strides on a year-by-year basis since taking the helm, starting with three wins in 2021, nine in 2022 and 12 in 2023. In the 54-year history of the 101 Awards, Campbell is only the second Lions head coach to win NFC Coach of the Year, joining Wayne Fontes (1991).
In addition to the annual player and coach honors, the 101 Awards event will also present the prestigious Lamar Hunt Award for Professional Football, which was created in 2008 to honor the life and legacy of the Chiefs founder. This award recognizes an individual or group that has made significant contributions to the NFL and its status as the preeminent pro sports league in America. The 16th recipient is longtime ESPN broadcaster Chris Berman, who has become one of America's most respected and popular sportscasters. For more than four decades, Berman has been instrumental in ESPN's rise and influence in sports media. Berman's name is synonymous with the NFL for his many years of knowledgeable and entertaining coverage, including his signature delivery of game highlights.
The beneficiary of the 101 Awards is The University of Kansas Health System, a not-for-profit organization that receives no state or local funding, relying instead on philanthropy and sound fiscal management.