COLTS AND BEARS DOMINATE 2005 SELECTIONS FOR NFL 101 AWARDS TO BE PRESENTED IN KANSAS CITYJan 12, 2006, 1:00:00 PM
For corporate sponsorship or to order tickets call 816-920-4409
Indianapolis sweeps all three AFC Awards; Manning becomes first person in award’s 36-year history to win three consecutive years
The Indianapolis Colts swept all three AFC categories and the Chicago Bears captured two of three NFC honors in balloting for the prestigious NFL 101 Awards, the nation’s only awards event dedicated exclusively to the National Football League. The Committee of 101 announced the winners today at a news conference in Kansas City.
The Colts, who won their first 13 games and finished the regular season at 14-2, landed Tony Dungy as AFC Coach of the Year, quarterback Peyton Manning as AFC Offensive Player of the Year and defensive end Dwight Freeney as AFC Defensive Player of the Year. The Bears, whose worst-to-first turnaround of 5-11 to 11-5 captured the NFC North title, are represented by Lovie Smith as NFC Coach of the Year and linebacker Brian Urlacher as NFC Defensive Player of the Year. NFL rushing champion Shaun Alexander was voted as NFC Offensive Player of the Year.
A national media committee, comprised of 101 sportswriters and broadcasters who cover the NFL, selected the top offensive player, defensive player and coach in the AFC and NFC.
The Colts trio of Dungy, Manning and Freeney marks the first time in 22 years that one team claimed all three award categories in their conference. The last team to do it was the 1983 Washington Redskins when coach Joe Gibbs, quarterback Joe Theismann and defensive end Dave Butz combined for all three NFC awards.
Manning has now captured the AFC Offensive Player of the Year award for three consecutive years, becoming the first person – player or coach – to accomplish the feat in the 36-year history of the awards. Having also won in 1999, Manning joins Dan Marino as the only players to have been selected four times. Only Dan Reeves, who has won five coach-of-the-year honors, has claimed more 101 awards than Manning.
The six recipients will be presented with trophies at the 36th Annual NFL 101 Awards gala, presented by Legacy Investment Partners. The prestigious, multi-media awards show is scheduled for Saturday, March 4, 2006 at the Westin Crown Center Hotel in Kansas City. This civic salute to professional football is a black-tie event that was founded in 1969.
“Our city is proud to host this prestigious awards event,” said Bill Nelson, Chairman of the Committee of 101. “The 101 Awards have become synonymous with the National Football League since the AFL-NFL merger. We salute the 2005 award winners – six individuals who have been selected from a league filled with players and coaches who are the best in the world at what they do.”
In addition to the six national winners, the awards dinner will recognize the Chiefs 2005 Derrick Thomas MVP recipient, running back Larry Johnson, and the Mack Lee Hill Award winner, linebacker Derrick Johnson. Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt will also induct the 36th member into the team’s Hall of Fame.
A limited number of tickets at $165 are available for this year’s Salute to Professional Football. Ticket information should be directed to Annette Teson at (816) 920-4409. The 101 Awards are sponsored by the Committee of 101 and serves as a benefit for the Chiefs Children’s Fund, a 501(c)3 Foundation that distributes funds to various children’s charities throughout the Kansas City area.
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Kansas City Chiefs
To Order tickets call (816) 920-4408 or (816) 920-4409.
ABOUT THE 2005 NFL AWARD WINNERS
AFC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Peyton Manning; Quarterback; Indianapolis Colts
- Led the NFL for the second straight year with a 104.1 QB rating.
- Completed 305-of-453 passes for 3,747 yards, a 67.3 completion percentage and 28 touchdowns with just 10 interceptions.
- Has started 128 consecutive games, the longest career-opening streak of any QB in NFL history.
- Has completed more passes (2,769) for more yards (33,189) and has the most TD passes (244) of any NFL quarterback through the first eight seasons of a career.
- Has won 10+ games in a season six times, and his 14 wins in 2005 was a career and club best.
NFC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Shaun Alexander; Running Back; Seattle Seahawks
- The NFL’s 2005 rushing champion with 1,880 yards.
- Set the NFL’s all-time, single-season record for touchdowns with 28.
- Was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player by Associated Press.
- Averaged 5.1 yards per carry on 370 rushes.
- Led Seahawks to the NFC West title with a 13-3 record, which included an 11-game win streak.
AFC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Dwight Freeney; Defensive End; Indianapolis Colts
- Earned third consecutive Pro Bowl berth in 2005 with 11 sacks and 6 forced fumbles.
- Leader of vastly improved Colts defense, which led the AFC in scoring defense by giving up only 15.4 points per game.
- One of NFL’s top sack artists since entering the league in 2002; in just four years, has become the Colts all-time leader with 51.0 career sacks.
- Was the NFL sack champion in 2004 by recording a franchise record 16.
NFC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Brian Urlacher; Linebacker; Chicago Bears
- Regarded as the best player on the NFL’s best defense.
- Ringleader of NFL’s top-ranked defense in points allowed, which permitted just 61 points in 8 home games, the fewest in league history since advent of 16-game schedule in 1978.
- Posted 121 tackles, 6 sacks and 1 fumble recovery.
- Becomes just fifth player in NFL history to win Defensive Rookie of the Year and later Defensive Player of the Year, joining Joe Greene, Jack Lambert, Lawrence Taylor and Dana Stubblefield.
AFC COACH OF THE YEAR
Tony Dungy; Indianapolis Colts
- In 2005, led the Colts to a franchise-record 14 wins, including a 13-0 start to the season, and a third consecutive divisional title.
- Has directed the Colts to 10-6, 12-4, 12-4 and 14-2 records, becoming the only coach in club history to produce 10+ victories and playoff berths in the first four seasons with the team.
- Is only the sixth coach to win 100+ regular-season games in the first 10 years as a head coach (113, George Seifert; 105, Don Shula; 103, John Madden; 102, Dungy; 101, Joe Gibbs; 101, Mike Ditka).
- Is the NFL’s winningest head coach from 1999-05 with a mark of 78-34.
NFC COACH OF THE YEAR
Lovie Smith, Chicago Bears
- Second-year head coach who led Bears to an 11-5 record and NFC North title.
- Guided Bears to 8 straight wins following a 1-3 start, all after losing starting QB Rex Grossman to broken ankle during preseason.
- Was named Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year.
- Molded team that was ranked by Sports Illustrated as NFL’s worst before season into legitimate Super Bowl contender.