NFL MVP, other award finalists named as season winds down

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Sunday’s conference championship games will determine which two teams earn the right to play in this year’s Super Bowl.

The Ravens host the defending champion Chiefs and the Lions travel to San Francisco to take on the 49ers, which will mark just the second time in franchise history that Detroit will appear in a conference title game.

Just ahead of this weekend’s highly anticipated matchups, the finalists for eight of the Associated Press’ 2023 NFL awards were revealed. Players from three of the four teams remaining in the NFL playoffs are featured in one or more of the categories.


NFL logo on field

The 13th annual NFL Honors ceremony is scheduled for Feb. 8, 2024. (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images/File)

The AP notably altered its voting system. Voters are now required to rank their top five choices for the Most Valuable Player category while the other awards ask them to list their top three players.


A total of five players are in contention for the league’s highly coveted MVP award.

AP Most Valuable Player

Lamar Jackson and Nelson Agholor

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, left (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)

  • Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen
  • Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson
  • San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey
  • Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott
  • San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy

AP Defensive Player of the Year

Micah Parsons vs Bills

Micah Parsons of the Dallas Cowboys (Rich Barnes/Getty Images)

Cowboys star Micah Parsons, who was named the 2021 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, is one of five finalists in this year’s Defensive Player of the Year category. Parsons finished the season with 14 sacks. Meanwhile, five-time Pro Bowler Myles Garrett matched Parsons’ 2023 sack total.

  • Dallas Cowboys cornerback DaRon Bland
  • Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby
  • Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett
  • Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons
  • Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt

AP Offensive Player of the Year

Tyreek Hill makes a catch

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

On the offensive side of the football, Tyreek Hill put together another prolific season and led the league in receiving yards. Lamar Jackson returned to his 2019 MVP form and CeeDee Lamb racked up 1,749 yards on 135 receptions.

  • Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill
  • Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson
  • Dallas Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb
  • San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey
  • Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott

AP Offensive Rookie of the Year

CJ Stroud throws

C.J. Stroud of the Houston Texans (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

C.J. Stroud, the No. 2 overall pick in last year’s draft, took the NFL by storm in 2023. The former Ohio State standout helped lift the Texans to a wild-card round playoff win over the Cleveland Browns.

  • Detroit Lions running back Jahmyr Gibbs
  • Detroit Lions tight end Sam LaPorta
  • Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Puka Nacua
  • Atlanta Falcons running back Bijan Robinson
  • Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud

AP Comeback Player of the Year

Damar Hamlin plays in a preseason game

Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills (Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

Damar Hamlin returned to football just months after he suffered cardiac arrest during a game on Jan. 2, 2023.

  • Cleveland Browns quarterback Joe Flacco
  • Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield
  • Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford
  • Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa

AP Coach of the Year

Dan Campbell in Detroit

Dan Campbell of the Detroit Lions (Mike Mulholland/Getty Images)

  • Detroit Lions Dan Campbell
  • Baltimore Ravens John Harbaugh
  • Houston Texans DeMeco Ryans
  • San Francisco 49ers Kyle Shanahan
  • Cleveland Browns Kevin Stefanski


The winners will be announced in Las Vegas at the 13th annual NFL Honors ceremony on Feb. 8.

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