On Wednesday morning, the NFL Honors finalists for the 2022 season were announced. Within the selection of finalists, five members of the San Francisco 49ers were selected, between the coaches and players. Here is the list of members of the 49ers selected as NFL Honors finalists, and who they are up against.
NFL Honors Finalists: Coach of the Year
This year, San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was announced as one of the finalists for the Coach of the Year award. The 49ers began the season with a 3-4 record. Since then, they ended the regular season with a 13-4 record. The ten straight wins made the 49ers end in first place in the NFC west, as well as end the season with the second seed in the NFC. The 49ers will also be playing in the NFC Championship Round this weekend.
Another obstacle that Kyle Shanahan was able to overcome, and a reason he is an NFL Honors finalist, is due to playing with their third-string quarterback. The 49ers began their season with the second-year quarterback, Trey Lance as the starter. In week two of the regular season against the Seattle Seahawks, Lance went down with a broken ankle. This brought them to start their former starter, Jimmy Garoppolo. After a rocky start, the team began a winning streak starting with a win against the Los Angeles Rams in week eight.
By week 13 of the season, Garoppolo went down with a broken foot, forcing the team to start rookie quarterback Brock Purdy. Purdy was the last pick in the 2022 NFL draft, and it seemed as though the team’s season could be over. Despite these injuries, the team has not lost a game since playing the Kansas City Chiefs in week seven. Through all the adversities Kyle Shanahan is one of the NFL Honors Finalists for Coach of the Year.
Nick Siriani, Philadelphia Eagles
Brian Daboll, NY Giants
Sean McDermott, Buffalo Bills
Doug Pederson, Jacksonville Jaguars
NFL Honors Finalists: AP Assistant Coach of the Year
Another award that will be presented at the NFL Honors is the AP Assistant Coach of the year. San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator, DeMeco Ryans is another member of the team that is an NFL Honors finalist. Ryans is a top head coach candidate, currently coaching the number one defense in the league.
The 49ers’ defense only allowed 277 points in the regular season, according to ESPN. They also averaged 16.3 points per game. The defense has also allowed 85 third-down conversions out of 218 attempts, according to the 49ers website. The 49ers have the number one defense in the league, and that is thanks to Ryan’s coaching, enforcing disciplined. Ryan’s also played as a linebacker in the NFL, and the 49ers may have the best linebacker core in the league.
Ben Johnson, Detroit Lions Offensive Coordinator
Shane Steichen, Philadelphia Eagles Offensive Coordinator
NFL Honors Finalists: Defensive Player of the Year
Of the NFL Honors Finalists, this one may come as no surprise. San Francisco 49ers defensive end, Nick Bosa is one of the finalists for the Defensive Player of the Year award. Bosa has had one of the best seasons of his career and is a big reason the 49ers are where they are now.
In the regular season, Bosa has had a total of 51 combined tackles, 41 of them solo, and 19 tackles for loss, according to ESPN. Bosa has also had 18.5 sacks, just one away from tying the franchise record. Bosa has also had two forced fumbles and a pass deflection. Bosa being one of the NFL Honors finalists is no surprise.
When Bosa is not playing, it is heavily felt by the team. Bosa missed one game this year, which was against the Atlanta Falcons. The team lost that game, 14-28. When Bosa came back, he still was not yet all the way healthy, and that was the worst defeat for the team this year. They lost the game 44-23 against the Chiefs. The way Bosa’s presence makes such an impact is why he is one of the NFL Honors finalists.
Micha Parsons, Dallas Cowboys
Chris Jones, Kansas City Chiefs
NFL Honors Finalists: Offensive Rookie of the Year
Despite not playing a full season, San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Brock Purdy is one of the NFL Honors Finalists for Offensive Rookie of the Year. Purdy was thrown into the fire when Garoppolo went down with an injury, yet he still ended the regular season undefeated. The other finalists have more stats to go by, but Purdy winning the remainder of the regular season games after entering in week 13 is the reason the team won the NFC West and ended as the second seed in the NFC.
In the regular season, Purdy completed 114 passes out of 170 attempts for 1,374 yards, according to ESPN. He averaged 8.1 yards per pass and 152.7 yards per game. The rookie quarterback also had 13 passing touchdowns, compared to just four interceptions. Purdy also scored one rushing touchdown. Although Purdy has not played as many games as the other NFL Honors Finalists, he has done enough to be considered for the award.
Kenneth Walker III, Seattle Seahawks
Garrett Wilson, NY Jets
NFL Honors Finalists: Comeback Player of the Year
One of the NFL Honors finalists for Comeback Player of the Year is 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey. McCaffrey only played seven games in 2021 and three in 2020. This season he did not miss a game due to injuries and has had a strong season making him a great candidate for Comeback Player of the Year.
This season, between both the Carolina Panthers and the 49ers, McCaffrey rushed the ball 244 times for 1,139 yards and scored eight rushing touchdowns according to Pro Football Reference. McCaffrey is also a strong receiver, having 85 receptions for 741 yards and five touchdowns. The running back also has one passing touchdown this season.
Ever since McCaffrey became a starter for the 49ers, the team has only won. He became a top target for Purdy, a young quarterback thrown into the fire. McCaffrey has been a game-changer for the team, and a strong candidate as one of the NFL Honors finalists.
Saquon Barkley, NY Giants
Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks
The NFL Honors will take place Thursday, February 9th on NBC. Be sure to tune in to see if any of the San Francisco 49ers who are NFL Honors finalists will win.
For More NFL Content:
Check out my most recent article on the history of the 49ers vs Eagles in the playoffs. Check out this article on the top 49ers players in their win over the Dallas Cowboys. Also, check out this article on where defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans will coach in the 2023 season.