The National Football League Comeback Player of the Year Award refers to a number of awards that are given to a National Football League (NFL) player who has shown perseverance in overcoming adversity, in the form of not being in the NFL the previous year, a severe injury, or simply poor performance. The awards have been presented by several organizations, including the Associated Press (AP), Pro Football Weekly/Pro Football Writers Association (PFW/PFWA), Sporting News, and United Press International (UPI).
From 1972 to 1991, the Comeback Player of the Year award was presented by Pro Football Weekly (PFW) only. PFW and the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA) combined their awards from 1992–2012.
|1972||Earl Morrall||Miami Dolphins||Quarterback|
|1973||Roman Gabriel||Philadelphia Eagles||Quarterback|
|1974||Joe Namath||New York Jets||Quarterback|
|1975||Dave Hampton||Atlanta Falcons||Running back|
|1976||Greg Landry||Detroit Lions||Quarterback|
|1977||Craig Morton||Denver Broncos||Quarterback|
|1978||John Riggins||Washington Redskins||Running back|
|1979||Larry Csonka||Miami Dolphins||Fullback|
|1980||Jim Plunkett||Oakland Raiders||Quarterback|
|1981||Ken Anderson||Cincinnati Bengals||Quarterback|
|1982||Lyle Alzado||Los Angeles Raiders||Defensive end|
|1983||Billy Johnson||Atlanta Falcons||Wide receiver|
|1984||John Stallworth||Pittsburgh Steelers||Wide receiver|
|San Francisco 49ers
|1987||Charles White||Los Angeles Rams||Running back|
|1988||Greg Bell||Los Angeles Rams||Running back|
|1989||Ottis Anderson||New York Giants||Running back|
|1990||Barry Word||Kansas City Chiefs||Running back|
|1991||Jim McMahon||Philadelphia Eagles||Quarterback|
|1992||Randall Cunningham||Philadelphia Eagles||Quarterback|
|1993||Marcus Allen||Kansas City Chiefs||Running back|
|1994||Dan Marino||Miami Dolphins||Quarterback|
|1996||Jerome Bettis||Pittsburgh Steelers||Running back|
|1997||Robert Brooks||Green Bay Packers||Wide receiver|
|1998||Doug Flutie||Buffalo Bills||Quarterback|
|1999||Bryant Young||San Francisco 49ers||Defensive tackle|
|2000||Joe Johnson||New Orleans Saints||Defensive end|
|2001||Garrison Hearst (2)||San Francisco 49ers||Running back|
|2002||Tommy Maddox||Pittsburgh Steelers||Quarterback|
|2003||Jon Kitna||Cincinnati Bengals||Quarterback|
|2004||Willis McGahee||Buffalo Bills||Running back|
|2005||Steve Smith||Carolina Panthers||Wide receiver|
|2006||Chad Pennington||New York Jets||Quarterback|
|2007||Randy Moss||New England Patriots||Wide receiver|
|2008||Chad Pennington (2)||Miami Dolphins||Quarterback|
|2009||Tom Brady||New England Patriots||Quarterback|
|2010||Michael Vick||Philadelphia Eagles||Quarterback|
|2011||Matthew Stafford||Detroit Lions||Quarterback|
|2012||Adrian Peterson||Minnesota Vikings||Running back|
|2013||Philip Rivers||San Diego Chargers||Quarterback|
|2014||Rob Gronkowski||New England Patriots||Tight end|
|2015||Eric Berry||Kansas City Chiefs||Safety|
|2016||Jordy Nelson||Green Bay Packers||Wide receiver|
|2017||Keenan Allen||Los Angeles Chargers||Wide receiver|
|2018||Andrew Luck||Indianapolis Colts||Quarterback|
In 1962, United Press International (UPI) chose a comeback player for the first time. The winner, Frank Gifford, had made a comeback from a devastating injury from a hit by Chuck Bednarik. The following year, the Associated Press (AP) established a similar award. UPI discontinued the award after 1963, with the exception of 1969. The AP did not give out the award from 1967 to 1998, when the award was reinstituted and given to Doug Flutie.
The 1997 Green Bay Packers season was their 79th season overall and their 77th in the National Football League. The season concluded with the team winning its second consecutive NFC championship, but losing in a 31–24 upset to John Elway's Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXII. The team narrowly missed its opportunity to post back-to-back Super Bowl wins.
After a dominating 1996 campaign which ended with a victory in Super Bowl XXXI, many expected the Packers to repeat as champions in 1997. During training camp, star safety LeRoy Butler, among others, said that the Packers had the chance to run the table and go 19–0. This opinion drew increased coverage from the media as the Packers notched impressive victories in all five preseason games. The undefeated hype ended quickly, however, when Green Bay lost week 2 in Philadelphia.
Following a relatively slow 3–2 start, the Packers caught fire in the second half of the season, finishing with a 13–3 regular season record and 8–0 home record for the second consecutive year. In the playoffs, Green Bay defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Lambeau Field in the divisional round, and San Francisco 49ers at 3Com Park in the NFC Championship. Some in the media dubbed the NFC title game as "the real Super Bowl" because of the 49ers' and Packers' league dominance, and the relative inferiority of the AFC in recent Super Bowls. Green Bay's win marked the third consecutive year the team had defeated San Francisco in the playoffs.
The Packers entered Super Bowl XXXII as 11 1/2-point favorites. The point spread was likely determined by Green Bay's victory in the previous Super Bowl, the AFC's string of 13 consecutive Super Bowl losses, and Denver's losses in four previous Super Bowls. The game itself was a seesaw battle, and one of the most exciting Super Bowls in history. The Broncos won the thriller 31–24, earning John Elway his first Super Bowl victory at the age of 37, and the first championship in franchise history. Years later, Brett Favre said the Broncos were far underrated, and credited Denver's innovative blitz packages and strategies, foreign to the league at that time, for confusing the Packers.
Packers' quarterback Brett Favre was named the league's MVP for the third year in a row in 1997. Favre was the first player in the history of the award to win three MVPs, and remains the only player to have won three MVPs consecutively. The Packers became the first team to have six NFL MVP award winners.The 1997 Packers are one of only two teams in NFL history to win seven games against teams that would go on to make the playoffs.Andrew Luck
Andrew Austen Luck (born September 12, 1989) is an American football quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Stanford, where he won the Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Award as college football's player of the year and was twice recognized as an All-American. He was the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy in both 2010 and 2011. He was named the Offensive Player of the Year in the Pac-12 Conference in both 2010 and 2011. CBS Sports draft analyst Rob Rang called Luck the best prospect he had ever scouted, while the Kansas City Star put him in line with LeBron James and Bryce Harper as "the most hyped amateurs in recent sports memory."Although widely projected as the first overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft, Luck decided to return to Stanford for his redshirt junior season. A year later, he was selected first overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. In his first three professional seasons, Luck led the Colts to three playoff appearances including two AFC South division titles in 2013 and 2014, also earning a Pro Bowl selection in each season. In the 2013–14 NFL playoffs, he led the Colts to the second largest playoff comeback in NFL history. During the 2016 season, Luck suffered an injury to his throwing shoulder but continued to play. That offseason he got surgery on the shoulder, forcing him to miss the entire 2017 season. The next year he returned to playing, finishing second in the league in touchdown passes and setting career-highs in several categories, as well as leading the Colts to 10 wins and their first playoff appearance since 2014. For his play he was named to the fourth Pro Bowl of his career and was named the Comeback Player of the Year. Primarily known for his passing, Luck has also established himself as a mobile threat.Associated Press NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award
The Associated Press NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award is presented annually by the Associated Press (AP) to a player in the National Football League (NFL). While the criteria for the award is imprecise, it is typically given to a player who has overcome adversity from the previous season—such as an injury or poor performance—and performed at a high level. The winner is selected by a nationwide panel of media personnel. Since 2011, the award has been presented at the NFL Honors ceremony held the day before the Super Bowl. In 2017 the award was presented by McDonald's.The AP first recognized an NFL comeback player of the year from 1963 to 1966, but these players are typically not included in overall lists of winners. The AP did not give the award again until the 1998 season. The only player to be recognized multiple times is quarterback Chad Pennington, who received the award in 2006 with the New York Jets and again in 2008 with the Miami Dolphins.Comeback Player of the Year Award
The Comeback Player of the Year Award can refer to:
CPBL Most Progressive Award – Chinese Professional Baseball League (Taiwan; Republic of China)
Major League Baseball Comeback Player of the Year Award – Major League Baseball
Players Choice Award (Players Choice Awards Comeback Player) – Major League Baseball
Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year Award – Major League Baseball
MLS Comeback Player of the Year Award – Major League Soccer
National Football League Comeback Player of the Year Award
Nippon Professional Baseball Comeback Player of the Year Award (Japan)
John Cullen Award - International Hockey League
National Basketball Association Comeback Player of the Year Award, later renamed NBA Most Improved Player AwardList of Indianapolis Colts seasons
The Indianapolis Colts, formerly the Baltimore Colts, are an American football team playing in the National Football League (NFL). This list documents the season-by-season records of the Colts franchise from 1953 to present, including postseason records and league awards for individual players or head coaches. In 1953, a Baltimore-based group led by Carroll Rosenbloom gained the rights to a new Baltimore franchise. Rosenbloom was granted an NFL team, and was awarded the holdings of the defunct Dallas Texans organization. The new team was named the Colts after the previous team that folded after the 1950 NFL season. After 31 seasons in Baltimore, Colts owner Robert Irsay moved the team to Indianapolis, Indiana.The Colts have won two Super Bowl championships (Super Bowl V and Super Bowl XLI). They also played in and lost Super Bowl III and Super Bowl XLIV. Before the AFL and NFL merged in 1970, they won three NFL Championships (1958, 1959, and 1968). By winning Super Bowl XLI the Colts became the first team that played its home games in a domed stadium to win a Super Bowl held in an outdoor stadium.After the Colts owner Jim Irsay hired Tony Dungy in 2002, the Colts made the playoffs for nine straight seasons. They won five straight AFC South titles from 2003 to 2007 and had seven consecutive seasons of 12 or more victories from 2003 to 2009, the first time that has been achieved in the NFL's 90-year history. Much of the team's success throughout the 2000s was attributed to the trio of general manager Bill Polian, coach Dungy, and quarterback Peyton Manning.In the 2013 season, the Colts secured their first division championship since Manning's departure and first under quarterback Andrew Luck and head coach Chuck Pagano.List of New England Patriots seasons
The New England Patriots are an American football team based in Foxborough, Massachusetts. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) East division. Originally called the Boston Patriots, the team was founded as one of eight charter members of the American Football League (AFL) in 1960 under the ownership of Billy Sullivan. The team became part of the NFL when the two leagues merged in 1970. The following year, they moved from Boston to nearby Foxborough, and changed their name to the New England Patriots.The modern NFL championship game, the Super Bowl, was founded in the 1966 season; the first four were contested between the champions of the AFL and the NFL. After the merger, the Super Bowl became the united league's championship. The Patriots made the 1963 AFL Championship Game, but struggled severely in the early years of the united league, not making the postseason until 1976. After a few good seasons including a Super Bowl appearance against a champion Bears outfit, the Patriots reached a nadir between 1989 and 1993 when they won only 19 of 80 games.
Since Bill Belichick was hired as the team's head coach in 2000, the Patriots have finished first or second in the AFC East every year except Belichick's first season, with both second-place finishes caused by tiebreakers. Over that time, they have won six Super Bowls, nine AFC Championship Games, and sixteen AFC East titles, while amassing a regular season record of 201–71. The team's quarterback over that same period, Tom Brady, has been awarded the NFL Most Valuable Player (MVP) three times, and the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player four times; he is one of only five players named Super Bowl MVP more than once, and the only one named 4 times.The Patriots have won six Super Bowl championships (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLIX, LI, and LIII). They also played in and lost Super Bowls XX, XXXI, XLII, XLVI, and LII. During the 2007 regular season, the Patriots became the only NFL team in history to win 16 games, and the first since the 1972 Miami Dolphins (in a 14-game season) to complete the regular campaign undefeated. Belichick's Patriots are one of only two teams to win three Super Bowls in four years (the other being the Dallas Cowboys from 1993 to 1996).Overall, the Patriots have made 24 playoff appearances, one of which was before the merger. Since the merger, they have played fourteen AFC Championship Games, winning eleven of them to advance to the Super Bowl. In the Patriots' 56-year history, they have an overall regular season record of 476 wins, 383 losses, and 9 ties, plus an overall postseason record of 33 wins and 19 losses. In the 2018 NFL season, the Patriots reached their 11th Super Bowl, breaking their own record for most Super Bowl appearances by any organization of all time.List of New York Giants seasons
The New York Giants are an American football team based in East Rutherford, New Jersey. They are a member of the National Football League (NFL) and play in the NFL's National Football Conference (NFC) East division. In 94 completed seasons, the franchise has won eight NFL championships, including four Super Bowl victories. The Giants have won more than 600 games and appeared in the NFL playoffs 32 times. Though the Giants play home games in East Rutherford, they draw fans from throughout the New York metropolitan area. In 2010, the team began playing in MetLife Stadium, formerly New Meadowlands Stadium.After Tim Mara paid $500 for the franchise, the Giants joined the NFL in the 1925 season and won their first championship two years later. In 1934, the team won its second title, defeating the Chicago Bears in the NFL Championship Game. The Giants won another championship four years later, and made four appearances in the NFL Championship Game from 1939 to 1946, losing each time. New York won its fourth NFL title in 1956, with a 47–7 win over the Bears in the championship game. From 1958 to 1963, the Giants reached the NFL Championship Game five times, but were defeated on each occasion. Following the 1963 season, the franchise did not return to the playoffs until 1981, only finishing .500 or better five times during the postseason drought.
Thirty years after the team's previous NFL title, the Giants were victorious in Super Bowl XXI, winning against the Denver Broncos 39–20 to end the 1986 season. The Giants won their second Super Bowl four years later, defeating the Buffalo Bills 20–19 in Super Bowl XXV. In the 2000 season, New York returned to the Super Bowl, but lost to the Baltimore Ravens 34–7. The 2007 season saw the Giants win their seventh NFL championship at Super Bowl XLII, where they defeated the previously unbeaten New England Patriots 17–14 in a game that is widely considered to be one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history. The Giants made four consecutive appearances in the playoffs from 2005 to 2008, before an 8–8 record in 2009 caused them to miss the postseason. After missing the playoffs in 2010, they defeated the Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, and San Francisco 49ers in the 2011 playoffs to reach Super Bowl XLVI, where they defeated the Patriots 21–17. In the most recent season, 2018, the Giants went 5–11 and did not qualify for the postseason.Peyton Manning
Peyton Williams Manning (born March 24, 1976) is a former American football quarterback who played 18 seasons in the National Football League (NFL), primarily with the Indianapolis Colts. Considered to be one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time due to his numerous career achievements, he spent 14 seasons with the Colts and was a member of the Denver Broncos in his last four seasons. Manning played college football for the University of Tennessee, leading the Tennessee Volunteers to the 1997 SEC Championship in his senior season. He is the second son of former NFL quarterback Archie Manning and older brother of New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning.
Manning was selected by the Colts as the first overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. From 1998 to 2010, he improved the fortunes of the struggling Colts franchise and helped transform them into consistent playoff contenders. During his tenure as starting quarterback, Manning led the team to eight division championships, two AFC championships, and one Super Bowl title, the franchise's first in over three decades, as well as their first since relocating to Indianapolis.
After undergoing neck surgery that forced him to miss the entire 2011 season, Manning was released by the Colts and signed with the Broncos. Serving as the team's starting quarterback from 2012 to 2015, he contributed to the Broncos reaching the top of their division each year and his playing career concluded with a victory in Super Bowl 50.
Manning holds many NFL records, including touchdown passes (539), AP MVP awards (5), Pro Bowl appearances (14), 4,000-yard passing seasons (14), single-season passing yards (5,477 in 2013), single-season passing touchdowns (55 in 2013), tied for most First-Team All Pros for a quarterback with 7, and is second in career passing yards (71,940). A two-time Super Bowl winner and the most valuable player of Super Bowl XLI, Manning is also the only quarterback to start the Super Bowl for two franchises more than once each, with different coaches at each Super Bowl start (Dungy, Caldwell, Fox, Kubiak), and the only starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl with two franchises. At 39 years of age, Manning was the oldest quarterback to start in and win a Super Bowl until Tom Brady surpassed him by winning a Super Bowl at 41.During a 2009 Monday Night Football game, Manning received the nickname "The Sheriff" from color commentator Jon Gruden due to his tendency to audible prior to the snap, and he was one of the most recognizable and parodied players in the NFL. Teams led by Manning typically utilized the hurry-up offense in place of the standard huddle.
PFW/PFWA NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award