It was a big night for the Carolina Panthers at Saturday's NFL Honors show. Cam Newton swept the top two awards, while Ron Rivera walked away with Coach of the Year once again. Meanwhile, J.J. Watt continued to build on what's already turning into a Hall of Fame legacy.
The NFL seems determined to make this red-carpet extravaganza an annual tradition, but once again the show was pre-taped, leading to all the winners being revealed early on Twitter. Still, Conan O'Brien was the host for the night, and he brought the jokes early on.
"Tonight’s show is being produced by the Cincinnati Bengals, so we’re going to start strong and completely unravel" - Conan on NFL Honors— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) February 7, 2016
"There are rumors the Raiders might relocate to Vegas. But fans are worried it might ruin the reputation … of Las Vegas." - Conan on fire— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) February 7, 2016
"The 49ers offensive unit says they’re excited to adopt [Chip] Kelly’s fast paced style of losing." Seriously Conan is killing this— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) February 7, 2016
Without further ado, here's the list of the major award winners
MVP: Cam Newton
No surprises or close race this year: Newton takes home the top individual prize. Newton enjoyed his best-ever season in 2015, leading the Panthers to a 15-1 record despite having limited weapons at wide receiver. He looks to achieve even greater things when he takes the field at Super Bowl 50 on Sunday. Newton was oh-so-close to being a unanimous winner -- he had 48 of the 50 votes, with Tom Brady and Carson Palmer getting one apiece.
Offensive Player of the Year: Cam Newton
Newton doubled up on awards, becoming the fourth player in eight years to win both MVP and Offensive Player of the Year. The Panthers' star became the first quarterback to have 35 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing touchdowns in the same season. Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown finished second in the voting.
Defensive Player of the Year: J.J. Watt
Watt wins it for the second year in a row and third time in four years. He joins Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor as the only players to win this award three times. Watt had yet another dominant season, leading the league with 17.5 sacks despite playing with a broken hand for part of the season.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Todd Gurley
Gurley ran away with this honor after already establishing himself as one of the league's best running backs. After getting eased into a full-time role at the start of the year, Gurley exploded with 125 rushing yards in four straight games, becoming the first rookie in NFL history to reach that milestone.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Marcus Peters
Ball-hawking cornerback Peters takes home the award after tying for the league lead with eight interceptions. He was also tied for first in the NFL with 26 passes defended. A first-round pick out of the University of Washington, Peters' eight interceptions are the most by a rookie since Jairus Byrd in 2009.
Coach of the Year: Ron Rivera
Rivera wins for the second time in three years. It was a rather easy choice for the voters to make after Rivera guided the Panthers to a 15-1 season, making the most out of a depleted wide receiver corps that lost Kelvin Benjamin in training camp. Newton, Josh Norman, Kawann Short and Ted Ginn all had career years under Rivera's watch in 2015.
Comeback Player of the Year: Eric Berry
In another landslide vote, Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry won after beating cancer over the offseason. Berry was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphona in late 2014, leaving not only his NFL career but his life in doubt. But his treatment was a success, and he returned to the field in training camp and had a strong season, reaching the Pro Bowl.
In addition to the awards, the Pro Football Hall of Fame revealed its class of 2016. Brett Favre and Marvin Harrison headline this year's class, along with Tony Dungy, Kevin Greene, Orlando Pace and Eddie DeBartolo Jr. Ken Stabler and Dick Stanfel were posthumous inductions.
There were also a handful of smaller awards handed out. Anquan Boldin won Walter Payton Man of the Year, Charles Woodson took home the Art Rooney Award, and Antonio Brown was Fantasy Player of the Year.
Aaron Rodgers' Hail Mary won Play of the Year, and because everybody needs to watch it again, here it is.
2015 Play of the Year?— NFL (@NFL) February 7, 2016
Four words: Aaron. Rodgers. Hail. Mary. #NFLHonors https://t.co/rOnDM0m4Yi