National Football League Defensive Player of the Year Award

Several organizations give out NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards that are listed in the NFL Record and Fact Book and Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. The Associated Press (AP) has been giving the award since 1972; Pro Football Writers of America/Pro Football Weekly since 1970; and Sporting News has announced winners since 2008. The Newspaper Enterprise Association was the originator of the award in 1966. However, it became defunct after 1997. Also going defunct was the United Press International (UPI) AFC-NFC Defensive Player of the Year Awards that began in 1975.

Associated Press

The AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award is given by the Associated Press to the league's most outstanding defensive player at the end of every NFL season since 1971.

Year Player name NFL team Position
1971 Alan Page Minnesota Vikings Defensive tackle
1972 Joe Greene Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive tackle
1973 Dick Anderson Miami Dolphins Safety
1974 Joe Greene (2) Pittsburgh Steelers (2) Defensive tackle
1975 Mel Blount Pittsburgh Steelers (3) Cornerback
1976 Jack Lambert Pittsburgh Steelers (4) Linebacker
1977 Harvey Martin Dallas Cowboys Defensive end
1978 Randy Gradishar Denver Broncos Linebacker
1979 Lee Roy Selmon Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defensive end
1980 Lester Hayes Oakland Raiders Cornerback
1981 Lawrence Taylor-R New York Giants Linebacker
1982 Lawrence Taylor (2) New York Giants (2) Linebacker
1983 Doug Betters Miami Dolphins (2) Defensive end
1984 Kenny Easley Seattle Seahawks Safety
1985 Mike Singletary Chicago Bears Linebacker
1986 Lawrence Taylor (3) New York Giants (3) Linebacker
1987 Reggie White Philadelphia Eagles Defensive end
1988 Mike Singletary (2) Chicago Bears (2) Linebacker
1989 Keith Millard Minnesota Vikings (2) Defensive tackle
1990 Bruce Smith Buffalo Bills Defensive end
1991 Pat Swilling New Orleans Saints Linebacker
1992 Cortez Kennedy Seattle Seahawks (2) Defensive tackle
1993 Rod Woodson Pittsburgh Steelers (5) Cornerback
1994 Deion Sanders San Francisco 49ers Cornerback
1995 Bryce Paup Buffalo Bills (2) Linebacker
1996 Bruce Smith (2) Buffalo Bills (3) Defensive end
1997 Dana Stubblefield San Francisco 49ers (2) Defensive tackle
1998 Reggie White (2) Green Bay Packers Defensive end
1999 Warren Sapp Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2) Defensive tackle
2000 Ray Lewis Baltimore Ravens Linebacker
2001 Michael Strahan New York Giants (4) Defensive end
2002 Derrick Brooks Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3) Linebacker
2003 Ray Lewis[1] (2) Baltimore Ravens (2) Linebacker
2004 Ed Reed[2] Baltimore Ravens (3) Safety
2005 Brian Urlacher[3] Chicago Bears (3) Linebacker
2006 Jason Taylor[4] Miami Dolphins (3) Defensive end
2007 Bob Sanders[5] Indianapolis Colts Safety
2008 James Harrison[6] Pittsburgh Steelers (6) Linebacker
2009 Charles Woodson[7] Green Bay Packers (2) Cornerback
2010 Troy Polamalu Pittsburgh Steelers (7) Safety
2011 Terrell Suggs Baltimore Ravens (4) Linebacker
2012 J. J. Watt Houston Texans Defensive end
2013 Luke Kuechly Carolina Panthers Linebacker
2014 J. J. Watt (2) Houston Texans (2) Defensive end
2015 J. J. Watt (3) Houston Texans (3) Defensive end
2016 Khalil Mack Oakland Raiders (2) Linebacker
2017 Aaron Donald Los Angeles Rams Defensive tackle
2018 Aaron Donald (2)[8] Los Angeles Rams (2) Defensive tackle

Pro Football Writers of America

The Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA) is made up of sportswriters who cover the NFL and the 32 teams on a daily basis.

From 1969 to 1991, the Pro Football Writers Association NFL Defensive Player of the Year was presented by Pro Football Weekly only. PFW and the Professional Football Writers of America combined their awards in 1992. In 2013, the award was presented by PFWA alone.

Season Player Team Position College
1969 Bobby Bell Kansas City Chiefs Outside linebacker Minnesota
1970 Dick Butkus Chicago Bears Middle linebacker Illinois
1971 Alan Page Minnesota Vikings Defensive tackle Notre Dame
1972 Joe Greene Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive tackle North Texas State
1973 Alan Page Minnesota Vikings Defensive Tackle Notre Dame
1974 Joe Greene Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive tackle North Texas Stats
1975 Jack Ham Pittsburgh Steelers Outside Linebacker Penn State
1976 Jack Lambert Pittsburgh Steelers Middle Linebacker Kent State
1977 Harvey Martin Dallas Cowboys Defensive End North Texas Stats
1978 Randy Gradishar Denver Broncos Inside Linebacker Ohio State
1979 Lee Roy Selmon Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defensive end Oklahoma
1980 Lester Hayes Oakland Raiders Cornerback Texas A&M
1981 Joe Klecko New York Jets Defensive end Temple
1982 Dan Hampton Chicago Bears Defensive tackle Arkansas
1983 Bob Baumhower Miami Dolphins Defensive tackle Alabama
1984 Kenny Easley Seattle Seahawks Safety UCLA
1985 No Award
1986 Lawrence Taylor New York Giants Outside Linebacker North Carolina
1987 Reggie White Philadelphia Eagles Defensive End Tennessee
1988 Mike Singletary Chicago Bears Middle linebacker Baylor
1989 Keith Millard Minnesota Vikings Defensive tackle Washington State
1990 Bruce Smith Buffalo Bills Defensive End Virginia Tech
1991 Reggie White Philadelphia Eagles Defensive End Tennessee
1992 Cortez Kennedy Seattle Seahawks Defensive Tackle Miami
1993 Bruce Smith Buffalo Bills Defensive End Virginia Tech
1994 Deion Sanders San Francisco 49ers Cornerback Florida State
1995 Bryce Paup Buffalo Bills Outside Linebacker Northern Iowa
1996 Bruce Smith Buffalo Bills Defensive End Virginia Tech
1997 Dana Stubblefield San Francisco 49ers Defensive tackle Kansas
1998 Reggie White Green Bay Packers Defensive end Tennessee
1999 Warren Sapp Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defensive Tackle Miami
2000 Ray Lewis Baltimore Ravens Middle Linebacker Miami
2001 Michael Strahan New York Giants Defensive End Texas Southern
2002 Derrick Brooks Tampa Bay Buccaneers Outside linebacker Florida St
2003 Ray Lewis Baltimore Ravens Middle Linebacker Miami
2004 Ed Reed Baltimore Ravens Safety Miami, FL
2005 Brian Urlacher Chicago Bears Middle linebacker New Mexico
2006 Jason Taylor Miami Dolphins Defensive End Akron
2007 Bob Sanders Indianapolis Colts Safety Iowa
2008 James Harrison Pittsburgh Steelers Outside Linebacker Kent State
2009 Charles Woodson Green Bay Packers Cornerback Michigan
2010 Clay Matthews III Green Bay Packers Outside linebacker USC
2011 Terrell Suggs Baltimore Ravens Outside linebacker Arizona State
2012 J. J. Watt Houston Texans Defensive End Wisconsin
2013 Robert Quinn St. Louis Rams Defensive End North Carolina
2014 J. J. Watt Houston Texans Defensive End Wisconsin
2015 J. J. Watt Houston Texans Defensive End Wisconsin
2016 Khalil Mack Oakland Raiders Defensive End Buffalo
2017 Calais Campbell Jacksonville Jaguars Defensive End Miami

Newspaper Enterprise Association

Beginning in 1966, the Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA) annually awarded the George S. Halas Trophy to the NFL's outstanding defensive player (Newspaper Enterprise Association Defensive Player of the Year Award). (The George S. Halas Trophy should not be confused with the Pro Football Writers Association's George S. Halas Courage Award or the National Football League's George Halas Trophy that is awarded to the NFC champion.) The winner was released via the NEA news service and also appeared in the World Almanac, which was an NEA publication. The award ran through 1996. It was considered one of the major awards and as included in the NFL Record and Fact Book and its winners still appear in the NFL's Official Encyclopedia, Total Football II. In his book, A Thinking Man's Guide to Pro Football, sportswriter Paul Zimmerman touted the NEA for its All-Pro team and its awards, since they involved polling the players, rather than being a sportswriter's poll like the AP, UPI, and the PFWA.

Winners are awarded George S. Halas Trophy
1966Larry Wilson, S, St. Louis Cardinals
1967Deacon Jones, DE, Los Angeles Rams
1968— Deacon Jones, DE, Los Angeles Rams
1969Dick Butkus, MLB, Chicago Bears
1970— Dick Butkus, MLB, Chicago Bears
1971Carl Eller, DE, Minnesota Vikings
1972Joe Greene, DT, Pittsburgh Steelers
1973Alan Page, DT, Minnesota Vikings
1974— Joe Greene, DT, Pittsburgh Steelers
1975Curley Culp, DT, Houston Oilers
1976Jerry Sherk, DT, Cleveland Browns
1977Harvey Martin, DE, Dallas Cowboys
1978Randy Gradishar, ILB, Denver Broncos
1979Lee Roy Selmon, DE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1980Lester Hayes, CB, Oakland Raiders
1981Joe Klecko, DE, New York Jets
1982Mark Gastineau, DE, New York Jets
1983Jack Lambert, MLB, Pittsburgh Steelers
1984Mike Haynes, CB, Los Angeles Raiders
1985Howie Long, DE, Los Angeles Raiders/ Andre Tippett, OLB, New England Patriots (tie)
1986Lawrence Taylor, OLB, New York Giants
1987Reggie White, DE, Philadelphia Eagles
1988Mike Singletary, MLB, Chicago Bears
1989Tim Harris, OLB, Green Bay Packers
1990Bruce Smith, DE, Buffalo Bills
1991Pat Swilling, OLB, New Orleans Saints
1992Junior Seau, LB, San Diego Chargers
1993Bruce Smith, DE, Buffalo Bills
1994Deion Sanders, CB, San Francisco 49ers
1995Bryce Paup, OLB, Buffalo Bills
1996Kevin Greene, OLB, Carolina Panthers
1997Dana Stubblefield, DT, San Francisco 49ers

United Press International

NFC winners

Season Player Team Position
1975 Jack Youngblood Los Angeles Rams Defensive End
1976 Wally Chambers Chicago Bears Defensive Tackle
1977 Harvey Martin Dallas Cowboys Defensive Tackle
1978 Randy White Dallas Cowboys Defensive Tackle
1979 Lee Roy Selmon Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defensive End
1980 Nolan Cromwell Los Angeles Rams Safety
1981 Fred Dean San Francisco 49ers Defensive End
1982 No Award
1983 Lawrence Taylor New York Giants Linebacker
1984 Mike Singletary Chicago Bears Linebacker
1985 Mike Singletary Chicago Bears Linebacker
1986 Lawrence Taylor New York Giants Linebacker
1987 Reggie White Philadelphia Eagles Defensive End
1988 Mike Singletary Chicago Bears Linebacker
1989 Keith Millard Minnesota Vikings Defensive Tackle
1990 Charles Haley San Francisco 49ers Linebacker
1991 Reggie White Philadelphia Eagles Defensive End
1992 Chris Doleman Minnesota Vikings Defensive End
1993 Eric Allen Philadelphia Eagles Cornerback
1994 Charles Haley Dallas Cowboys Defensive End
1995 Reggie White Green Bay Packers Defensive End
1996 Kevin Greene Carolina Panthers Linebacker

AFC winners

Season Player Team Position
1975 Mel Blount Pittsburgh Steelers Cornerback
1976 Jack Lambert Pittsburgh Steelers Linebacker
1977 Lyle Alzado Denver Broncos Defensive End
1978 Randy Gradishar Denver Broncos Linebacker
1979 Jack Lambert Pittsburgh Steelers Linbebacker
1980 Lester Hayes Oakland Raiders Cornerback
1981 Joe Klecko New York Jets Defensive End
1982 No Award
1983 Rod Martin Los Angeles Raiders Linebacker
1984 Mark Gastineau New York Jets Defensive End
1985 Andre Tippett New England Patriots Linebacker
1986 Rulon Jones Denver Broncos Defensive End
1987 Bruce Smith Buffalo Bills Defensive End
1988 (tie) Bruce Smith Buffalo Bills Defensive End
Cornelius Bennett Buffalo Bills Linebacker
1989 Michael Dean Perry Cleveland Browns Nose Tackle
1990 Bruce Smith Buffalo Bills Defensive End
1991 Cornelius Bennett Buffalo Bills Linebacker
1992 Junior Seau San Diego Chargers Linebacker
1993 Rod Woodson Pittsburgh Steelers Cornerback
1994 Greg Lloyd Pittsburgh Steelers Linebacker
1995 Bryce Paup Buffalo Bills Linebacker
1996 Bruce Smith Buffalo Bills Defensive End

Football Digest

1992 - Junior Seau, MLB, San Diego Chargers
1993 - Deion Sanders, CB, Atlanta Falcons
1994 - Charles Haley, DE, Dallas Cowboys
1995 - Merton Hanks, S, San Francisco 49ers
1996 - Bruce Smith, DE, Buffalo Bills
1997 - Dana Stubblefield, DT, San Francisco 49ers
1998 - Junior Seau, MLB, San Diego Chargers
1999 - Warren Sapp, DT, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2000 - Ray Lewis, MLB, Baltimore Ravens
2001 - Brian Urlacher, MLB, Chicago Bears
2002 - Derrick Brooks, OLB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2003 - Ray Lewis, ILB, Baltimore Ravens
2004 - Ed Reed, S, Baltimore Ravens

Sporting News

2008 - Albert Haynesworth, DT, Tennessee Titans
2009 - Charles Woodson, CB, Green Bay Packers
2010 - Clay Matthews, LB, Green Bay Packers
2011 - Jared Allen, DE, Minnesota Vikings
2012 - J. J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans
2013 - Luke Kuechly, LB, Carolina Panthers
2014 - J. J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans
2015 - J. J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans
2016 - Khalil Mack, DE, Oakland Raiders
2017 - Calais Campbell, DE, Jacksonville Jaguars

Sports Illustrated

2008 - DeMarcus Ware, OLB, Dallas Cowboys
2009 - Darrelle Revis, CB, New York Jets
2010 - Julius Peppers, DE, Chicago Bears
2011 - Justin Smith, DE, San Francisco 49ers
2012 - J. J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans
2013 - Robert Quinn, DE, St. Louis Rams
2014 - J. J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans

Pro Football Focus

2011 - Justin Smith, DE, San Francisco 49ers
2012 - J. J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans
2013 - J. J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans
2014 - J. J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans
2015 - Aaron Donald, DT, St. Louis Rams
2016 - Aaron Donald, DT, Los Angeles Rams
2017 - Aaron Donald, DT, Los Angeles Rams

Kansas City Committee of 101

Began in 1969, the "101" is 101 of the top NFL sportswriters who have been voting on awards, such as the Defensive Player of each Conference since 1969.

NFC Defensive Player of the Year
1969— Carl Eller, Minnesota Vikings
1970— Alan Page, Minnesota Vikings
1971— Alan Page, Minnesota Vikings
1972— Chris Hanburger, Washington Redskins
1973— Lee Roy Jordan, Dallas Cowboys
1974— Alan Page, Minnesota Vikings
1975— Jack Youngblood, Los Angeles Rams
1976— Jack Youngblood, Los Angeles Rams
1977— Harvey Martin, Dallas Cowboys
1978— Randy White, Dallas Cowboys
1979— Lee Roy Selmon, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1980— Nolan Cromwell, Los Angeles Rams
1981— Fred Dean, San Francisco 49ers
1982— No award due to players strike
1983— Dave Butz, Washington Redskins
1984— Lawrence Taylor, New York Giants
1985— Mike Singletary, Chicago Bears
1986 —Lawrence Taylor, New York Giants
1987— Reggie White, Philadelphia Eagles
1988— Mike Singletary, Chicago Bears
1989— Keith Millard, Minnesota Vikings
1990— Charles Haley, San Francisco 49ers
1991— Pat Swilling, New Orleans Saints
1992— Wilber Marshall, Washington Redskins
1993— Deion Sanders, Atlanta Falcons
1994— Deion Sanders, San Francisco 49ers
1995— Reggie White, Green Bay Packers
1996— Kevin Greene, Carolina Panthers
1997— Dana Stubblefield, San Francisco 49ers
1998— Reggie White, Green Bay Packers
1999— Warren Sapp, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2000— La'Roi Glover, New Orleans Saints
2001— Michael Strahan, New York Giants
2002— Derrick Brooks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2003— Michael Strahan, New York Giants
2004— Julius Peppers, Carolina Panthers
2005— Brian Urlacher, Chicago Bears
2006— Brian Urlacher, Chicago Bears
2007— Patrick Kerney, Seattle Seahawks
2008— DeMarcus Ware, Dallas Cowboys
2009— Charles Woodson, Green Bay Packers
2010— Clay Matthews, Green Bay Packers
2011— Jared Allen, Minnesota Vikings
2012— Aldon Smith, San Francisco 49ers
2013— Luke Kuechly, Carolina Panthers
2014— Richard Sherman, Seattle Seahawks
2015— Aaron Donald, St. Louis Rams
2016— Landon Collins, New York Giants
2017— Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams

AFC Defensive Player of the Year
1969— Bobby Bell, Kansas City Chiefs
1970— Mike Curtis, Baltimore Colts
1971— Willie Lanier, Kansas City Chiefs
1972— Joe Greene, Pittsburgh Steelers
1973— Dick Anderson, Miami Dolphins
1974— Joe Greene, Pittsburgh Steelers
1975— Mel Blount, Pittsburgh Steelers
1976— Jack Lambert, Pittsburgh Steelers
1977— Lyle Alzado, Denver Broncos
1978— Randy Gradishar, Denver Broncos
1979— Mike Reinfeldt, Houston Oilers
1980— Lester Hayes, Oakland Raiders
1981— Joe Klecko, New York Jets
1982— No award due to players strike
1983— Doug Betters, Miami Dolphins
1984— Kenny Easley, Seattle Seahawks
1985— Andre Tippett, New England Patriots
1986— Deron Cherry, Kansas City Chiefs
1987— Bruce Smith, Buffalo Bills
1988— Cornelius Bennett, Buffalo Bills
1989— Michael Dean Perry, Cleveland Browns
1990— Bruce Smith, Buffalo Bills
1991— Derrick Thomas, Kansas City Chiefs
1992— Cortez Kennedy, Seattle Seahawks
1993— Rod Woodson, Pittsburgh Steelers
1994— Greg Lloyd, Pittsburgh Steelers
1995— Bryce Paup, Buffalo Bills
1996— Bruce Smith, Buffalo Bills
1997— Carnell Lake, Pittsburgh Steelers
1998— Junior Seau, San Diego Chargers
1999— Jevon Kearse, Tennessee Titans
2000— Ray Lewis, Baltimore Ravens
2001— Ray Lewis, Baltimore Ravens
2002— Jason Taylor, Miami Dolphins
2003— Ray Lewis, Baltimore Ravens
2004— Ed Reed, Baltimore Ravens
2005— Dwight Freeney, Indianapolis Colts
2006— Jason Taylor, Miami Dolphins
2007— Bob Sanders, Indianapolis Colts
2008— James Harrison, Pittsburgh Steelers
2009— Darrelle Revis, New York Jets
2010— Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh Steelers
2011— Terrell Suggs, Baltimore Ravens
2012— J. J. Watt, Houston Texans
2013— Robert Mathis, Indianapolis Colts
2014— J. J. Watt, Houston Texans
2015— J. J. Watt, Houston Texans
2016— Khalil Mack, Oakland Raiders
2017— Calais Campbell, Jacksonville Jaguars

See also

References

  1. ^ "Ray Lewis goes from murder suspect to NFL's Defensive Player of Year". Batesville Daily Guard website. Associated Press. January 3, 2001. Retrieved January 5, 2009.
  2. ^ "First safety in 20 years to win defensive award". Associated Press. January 7, 2005. Retrieved January 5, 2009.
  3. ^ "Urlacher named AP Defensive Player of the Year". ESPN.com. Associated Press. January 6, 2006. Retrieved January 5, 2009.
  4. ^ Wilner, Barry (January 5, 2007). "Taylor takes home AP Defensive Player of the Year honor". USAToday.com. Associated Press. Retrieved January 5, 2009.
  5. ^ "AP picks Colts' Sanders as top defensive player". ESPN.com. Associated Press. January 7, 2008. Retrieved January 5, 2009.
  6. ^ Wilner, Barry (January 5, 2009). "Steelers' Harrison is AP Defensive Player of Year". google.com. Associated Press. Retrieved January 5, 2009.
  7. ^ "CB Woodson voted AP's top defensive player". nfl.com. Associated Press. January 12, 2010. Retrieved October 27, 2010.
  8. ^ "Complete list of 'NFL Honors' award winners". NFL.com. Retrieved 2019-03-13.

External links

1974 Pittsburgh Steelers season

The 1974 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the franchise's 42nd in the National Football League. They impoved to a 10-3-1 record and culminated in a Super Bowl championship. The team became the first in the Steelers' 42-year history to win a league title following the franchise's greatest playoff run to that point.

1975 Pittsburgh Steelers season

The 1975 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the franchise's 43rd in the National Football League. They would be the second championship team in club history. This Steelers team entered the beginning of the season as defending champions for the first time in their 40-year history. The team was led by a dominating defense and a quick offense, and won Super Bowl X over the Dallas Cowboys, 21-17. The team posted their best defensive numbers since 1946, and scored more points than any other Steelers team to that point.

1979 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season

The 1979 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season was the franchise's 4th season in the National Football League the 4th playing their home games at Tampa Stadium and the 4th under head coach John McKay. After having won just seven games in the previous three seasons combined, the 1979 Buccaneers won ten games making this their first winning season. They finished as NFC Central division champions, and won the first playoff game in franchise history.

The Buccaneers added offensive threats to complement their solid defense; a healthy Doug Williams played his first full season and Ricky Bell became the team's first 1,000-yard back, rushing for a career-high 1,263 yards.The 1979 team not only posted their first winning record, but earned a playoff spot by winning the NFC Central division title. The playoff spot was secured in the final week in a rain-sodden game against the Kansas City Chiefs, with the only score being a 19-yard field goal by Neil O'Donoghue. They then recorded their first-ever playoff win by defeating the Philadelphia Eagles behind Bell's 142 yards rushing. Tampa Bay hosted the 1979 NFC Championship Game the following week, but lost 9–0 to the Los Angeles Rams.

1985 Chicago Bears season

The 1985 Chicago Bears season was their 66th regular season and 16th post-season completed in the National Football League (NFL). The Bears entered 1985 looking to improve on their 10–6 record from 1984 and advance further than the NFC Championship Game, where they lost to the 15–1 San Francisco 49ers. Not only did the Bears improve on that record, they put together one of the greatest seasons in NFL history.

The Bears won fifteen games, as the 49ers had the year before, and won their first twelve before losing. The Bears' defense was ranked first in the league and only allowed 198 total points (an average of 12.4 points per game). The Bears won the NFC Central Division by seven games over the second place Green Bay Packers and earned the NFC's top seed and home field advantage throughout the playoffs at Soldier Field. In their two playoff games against the New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams, the Bears outscored their opponents 45–0 and became the first team to record back-to-back playoff shutouts. Then, in Super Bowl XX in New Orleans against the New England Patriots, the Bears set several more records. First, their 46 points broke the record that had been set by the Los Angeles Raiders in 1984 with 38 and tied by the 49ers the following year. Their 36-point margin of victory topped the 29-point margin of victory that the Raiders had put up in Super Bowl XVIII and stood as a record until the 49ers won Super Bowl XXIV, also in New Orleans, by 45 points over the Denver Broncos. It was the Bears' first NFL World Championship title since 1963.

The 1985 Chicago Bears are one of the few teams to consistently challenge the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins for the unofficial title of the greatest NFL team of all time. In 2007, the 1985 Bears were ranked as the second greatest Super Bowl championship team on the NFL Network's documentary series America's Game: The Super Bowl Champions, ranking behind the 1972 Dolphins. Other sources rate the 1985 Chicago Bears as the greatest NFL team ever.

1994 San Francisco 49ers season

The 1994 San Francisco 49ers season was the team's 49th season in the National Football League, and was highlighted by a victory in Super Bowl XXIX. The championship made San Francisco the first team to win five Super Bowls. After losing to the Dallas Cowboys in the previous two conference championship games, the 49ers made significant acquisitions in the 1994 free agent market. This included the signing of two-sport star Deion Sanders and Cowboys linebacker Ken Norton, Jr.. Sanders had a major impact on the team's success, winning the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award and recording six interceptions.

Quarterback Steve Young had his best NFL season and won his second MVP award. Steve Young set what was, at the time, the NFL record for highest passer rating in a season – 112.8. Cold Hard Football Facts states that Young's 1994 season is the second greatest passing season in NFL history.For the third consecutive season, the 49ers met the Cowboys in the NFC Championship Game. From the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, the AFC was widely regarded as the NFL's inferior conference. Thus, this meeting between the NFC's perennial powerhouses was dubbed by many as "the real Super Bowl." The contest was one of the highest rated non-Super Bowl games in NFL history.

The 49ers would go on to defeat the Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX. Young was named the game's MVP with a record six touchdown passes.

1998 Green Bay Packers season

The 1998 Green Bay Packers season was their 80th season overall and their 78th in the National Football League. It ended with a 30–27 loss in the NFC Wild Card Game to the San Francisco 49ers, with Steve Young throwing a 25-yard touchdown pass to Terrell Owens with three seconds left. The season marked the end of an era in many ways for Green Bay; this was the last season for which both head coach Mike Holmgren and Hall of Fame defensive end Reggie White would find themselves on the Packers' sideline. This was the first time the Packers had not won the division in four years. In addition, the Minnesota Vikings brought an end to the Packers 25 game home winning streak in Week 5.

1998 was the final season that the Packers would qualify for the postseason during the 1990s. They would not return to the playoffs until 2001.

Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award

The Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award is given by the Associated Press (AP) to the league's most outstanding defensive player at the end of every National Football League (NFL) season. It has been awarded since 1971. The winner is decided by votes from a panel of 50 AP sportswriters who regularly cover the NFL. Since 2011, the award has been presented at the annual NFL Honors ceremony the day before the Super Bowl, along with other AP awards, such as the AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award, AP NFL Most Valuable Player Award, and AP NFL Rookie of the Year Award.

Lawrence Taylor and J. J. Watt are the only three-time winners of the award. Joe Greene, Mike Singletary, Bruce Smith, Reggie White, Ray Lewis, and Aaron Donald have each won it twice. Taylor is the only player to win the award as a rookie, doing so in 1981. In 2008, James Harrison became the only undrafted free agent to win the award. White is the only player to win the award with two different teams, winning in 1987 with the Philadelphia Eagles and again with the Green Bay Packers in 1998. Watt is the only player to win the award unanimously, receiving 50 out of 50 first place votes in 2014. He was also a near-unanimous winner in 2012 as he earned 49 out of 50 votes.As of the end of the 2018 NFL season, linebackers have won the award 16 times, more than any other position. A defensive end has won thirteen times, followed by nine defensive tackles, five cornerbacks, and five safeties. Only two winners of the AP Defensive Player of the Year Award have also won the AP's Most Valuable Player Award for the same season: defensive tackle Alan Page in 1971 for the Minnesota Vikings and linebacker Lawrence Taylor in 1986 for the New York Giants. Aaron Donald is the incumbent holder of the award, winning it for the second consecutive year following the 2018 NFL season.

Defensive Player of the Year Award

Defensive Player of the Year is the name of an award given in sports for outstanding defensive play by a single player over the course of a season. Many sports leagues award this type of award. A listing of the league awards for Defensive Player of the Year is included below:

American football:

National Football League Defensive Player of the Year Award

AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year AwardBasketball:

NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award

NBA Development League Defensive Player of the Year Award

NABC Defensive Player of the Year

List of Arizona Cardinals seasons

This is a list of seasons completed by the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals are an American football franchise competing as a member of the West division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The list documents the season-by-season records of the Cardinals' franchise from 1920 to present, including postseason records, and league awards for individual players or head coaches.

List 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.

Team
Individual
One-time only
Annual presentation
Awards organizations
Retired trophies
and awards

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