The Pro Football Writers of America named their 2013 Comeback Player of the Year Award on Friday, and the recipient may not be who many expected. Despite an impressive comeback by Tampa Bay Buccaneers CB Darrelle Revis and an even more impressive, and highly improbable comeback by New York Giants CB Terrell Thomas, the award was given to San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers.
The reason Rivers was given the award, says PFWA, was the following:
"Rivers, with the help of head coach Mike McCoy, offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, who won the PFWA’s 2013 Assistant Coach of the Year award, and position coach Frank Reich, improved his completion percentage to a career-high and NFL-leading 69.5 percent (378 of 544) for 4,478 yards, 32 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions. The 32 TDs was his second-highest total in a season, and the 4,478 passing yards was the third-highest of his career. He set a club record with 378 completions and tied the club record for passer rating with 105.5."
Although Rivers deserved credit for a quality season, the real question is: what did he come back from? Yes, 2012 was not kind to Rivers statistically, nor his team based on record, but he still played average football in 2012 with his team (a group accomplishment that should not play into an individual award) only improving by two games.
Thomas, meanwhile, had not played football in two seasons following two separate ACL tears and a microfracture surgery. His comeback, which the award is named for, was unprecedented. He is the only person in NFL history to ever return from both a microfracture surgery and three career ACL tears. The next closest person to accomplish such a feat is Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis, who also returned from three ACL tears.
By definition alone, Thomas' incredible bounce-back season warranted the award. The fact that he even played in 16 games is remarkable, let alone winning a Defensive Player of the Week Award during the season and then ending the year by leading the Giants in both tackles and defensive stops in two of their final three games.
It is worth noting however, that the PFWA award is not the official NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award. So, as foolish as their decision may appear to be, Thomas still has hope of winning the official award that he not only deserved, but has absolutely earned.
- Be sure to like Giants 101 on Facebook, follow Giants 101 on Twitter & +1Giants 101 on Google+
- Be sure to “like” Sports Media 101 on Facebook and to follow Sports Media 101 on Twitter
- Subscribe to Sports Media 101 using Google Currents
- New York Giants’ Terrell Thomas a Serious 2013 Comeback Player of the Year Candidate
- New York Giants’ Terrell Thomas Named NFC Defensive Player of the Week
- San Diego Chargers Destroy New York Giants 37-14; Big Blue Eliminated from Playoffs
- New York Giants’ Eli Manning “Forgot” Why He Didn’t Want to Play for San Diego Chargers
Short URL: http://sport-ne.ws/16v3