By John Boyle
The NFL announced its year-end awards Saturday, and while the Seahawks had two rookies who were worthy candidates for offensive and defensive rookie of the year honors, both Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner came up short in the voting.
Offensive rookie of the year honors went to Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III, who received 29 votes. Colts QB Andrew Luck was second with 11 votes, and Wilson, who tied the rookie record with 26 touchdown passes, was third with 10 votes. Seahawks fans are no doubt upset by what they perceive to be a snub, but it is worth noting that the vote took place after the regular season, and Griffin did have some impressive numbers, establishing a rookie record with a 102.4 passer rating (Wilson’s rating of 100.0 was the second best ever for an NFL rookie) while passing for 20 touchdowns with just 5 interceptions. Griffin also rushed for 815 yards and seven scores. And voters weren’t able to consider the playoffs, which featured a hobbled Griffin doing very little in a loss, Andrew Luck struggling in a loss, and Wilson playing well in a road win over Washington, then having a phenomenal game in the loss at Atlanta. Were the voting held after the playoffs ended, Wilson would have certainly gotten more votes and may well have won the award. I’m not pointing that out to say Wilson didn’t deserve to win, just that it wasn’t some huge injustice to give the award to Griffin.
Wilson did, however, win the Pepsi Max NFL Rookie of the Year Award, which was decided by a fan vote.
Wagner, who set a Seahawks rookie record with 140 tackles and also had 3 and 2.0 sacks while playing middle linebacker for the league’s No. 1 scoring defense, was second in the defensive ROY voting to Carolina’s Luke Kuechly, who led the NFL with 164 tackles. Kuechly received 28 votes while Wagner received 11.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll also finished third in coach of the year voting behind both Indianapolis coaches. Bruce Arians, who took over the job when Chuck Pagnano was diagnosed with cancer, won in a landslide with 36.5 votes, while Pagnano, who returned to the sideline late in the season, received 5.5, putting him half a vote ahead of Carroll. Arians was recently hired as the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals.