For the first time in several years, I don’t think anyone was too upset with any of the award recipients during the NFL Honors ceremony last night. Sure, some salty Packers fans might be upset that Tennessee’s Mike Vrabel won Coach of the Year — just as I predicted I might add — but aside from that, the NFL Honors ceremony went over pretty well.
You may not like him as a person, but Aaron Rodgers deserved the MVP award for his play on the field this year. Cooper Kupp may not have set any records, but came damn close in nearly every receiving category — well-deserving of the offensive player of the year award. T.J. Watt did set a record, and that almost guaranteed him DPOY recognition. Ja’Marr Chase was an obvious pick for OROY with how he finished the regular season. Micah Parsons as Defensive Rookie of the Year was the most obvious pick for any award in the last decade, and Joe Burrow winning Comeback Player of the Year makes sense. The emergence of Joe Shiesty less than a year after suffering a season-ending injury was marvelous to watch.
That’s not what I want to talk about though. I’m not here to change your mind on any of the award recipients. I like them all. I just want to point out the absence of one specific player in the voting for several of these categories.
Aside from that time he got caught urinating on high school bleachers, 49ers’ edge rusher Nick Bosa had a phenomenal season. He finished fourth in sacks, third in pressures, and tied for fifth in quarterback knockdowns. Bosa was also the most double-teamed edge rusher in the NFL for a good chunk of the season. He was a menace on the defensive line, and an absolute stud in the 49ers’ front seven. What he did in 2021 was nothing short of phenomenal. Even more impressive, Bosa accomplished all the above after a year where he was limited to only two games played with a torn ACL.
Given everything I’ve just stated, as well as the fact that advanced metrics love Bosa, you’d think that Bosa would be a contender for Defensive Player of the Year and a favorite for Comeback Player of the Year, right?
HAHAHAHA! The awards’ voters laugh at your hubris for thinking such a ridiculous idea! Bosa didn’t receive a single vote in either category. Now, I understand not receiving a vote for Defensive Player of the Year. Watt set the sack record, and Aaron Donald and Parsons each had terrific seasons in their own right, but zero votes for Comeback Player of the Year? What are the voters on? Bosa was one of the main reasons that the 49ers reached the NFC Championship Game. He was a driving force in that team’s bounce back from a 3-5 start to the season.
I understand Burrow winning the award. He was awesome this year after tearing his ACL and MCL in Week 11 of last year, but why on Earth did the guy that Bosa’s 49ers beat in the playoffs, Dak Prescott, receive 21 votes and Bosa none? Sure, a compound ankle fracture is more serious an injury than Bosa’s torn ACL, but both were season-ending and Bosa actually missed more games last season than Prescott. I know it’s not a competition to see who had the worst injury, but how does Bosa get completely overlooked in that category. Chargers’ safety Derwin James also received a vote for CPOY. That’s fine, but still, Bosa should’ve received at least one stinkin’ vote.
The disrespect toward Bosa didn’t start with the NFL Honors ceremony though. It started with the All-Pro voting almost a month ago. Despite all the accomplishments I’ve mentioned, Bosa was not named an All-Pro, first or second team. Bosa received only five All-Pro votes, finishing behind Watt, Myles Garrett, Robert Quinn, and Maxx Crosby in All-Pro voting. Maxx...Crosby. I’m not denying how great Crosby was for the Raiders this year. He’s a big reason Vegas made the playoffs. However, you can’t sit here and tell me that Crosby was more deserving of an All-Pro nod than Bosa.
In what category did Crosby have a better season than Bosa, hmm? I’ll be fair. Crosby did record more quarterback knockdowns than Bosa. In fact, Crosby led the league in that category, but what else? Come on. Hit me with it. I like Crosby, but let’ss be real here.
Of course, the All-Pro snub would’ve been fine had Bosa gotten the recognition he deserved for the NFL Honors ceremony, but Bosa didn’t receive that recognition. He didn’t receive any recognition at all. Maybe it’s just the salty 49ers’ fan in me, but man...Bosa’s 2021 season deserves way more love than it got.