The Los Angeles Rams took center stage at the annual NFL Honors award ceremony on Saturday, February 3. The Associated Press named Rams running back Todd Gurley as the NFL Offensive Player of the Year. Defensive tackle Aaron Donald took home AP Defensive Player of the Year honors as well. Finally, Sean McVay topped off the night for the Rams. He garnered the 2017 AP Coach of the Year award.
It was a banner day for Gurley, who also picked up the 2017 FedEx Ground Player of the Year award. Gurley stormed back after a dismal 2016 season and served as the catalyst for a reborn Rams offense. He rushed for 1,305 yards and 13 touchdowns, but that wasn’t all he did. Gurley emerged as one of the NFL’s best receivers out of the back. He caught 64 passes for 788 yards and six touchdowns, which took him to 2,093 yards from scrimmage this season.
Donald started the year on the bench while he held out for a new contract. It took him some time to get back into game shape, but when he did, Donald turned in his most dominant year as a pro. He compiled 11 sacks, 52 tackles, and five forced fumbles in only 14 games. More importantly, Donald commanded so much attention that opposing offenses consistently adjusted away from their normal game plans.
McVay became the NFL’s youngest head coach (31) when he took over the Rams a year ago. No one expected the team to compete for a playoff berth, let alone win the NFC West. Instead, the Rams rose from worst to first in scoring, finishing with 478 points scored. They also improved from 4-12 to 11-5, which earned the Rams their first division title since 2003.