With Jared Allen nearly breaking the sack record and DeMarcus Ware and Jason Pierre-Paul not far behind, Terrell Suggs takes the prize as the top defensive player of 2011.
It seemed impossible that the 49ers would win 13 games, that they'd get a bye in the playoffs, that Alex Smith would turn his career around. But under coach of the year Jim Harbaugh, it all happened.
Aldon Smith takes home the PFW/PFWA Defensive Rookie of the Year award over Von Miller. Why? It might have something to do with the end of the regular season in which Smith far outplayed Miller.
The San Francisco 49ers had a rags to riches season thanks to GM Trent Baalke, the PFW/PFWA Executive of the Year, whose hiring of Jim Harbaugh proved to be an overwhelming success.
Victor Cruz went from zero receptions in 2010 to a Giants franchise record for receiving yards in 2011. Teammate Jason Pierre-Paul showed a similar jump, but Cruz is the Most Improved player of '11.
Five times, Wade Phillips has joined a non-playoff team as their defensive coordinator. And for the fifth time this season, he turned them into a playoff team, this year with the Houston Texans.
The PFW/PFWA All-NFL offense is filled with no-big-surprise players, but the amount of talent left off the roster is stifling, including Brees, Brady, Rice and Graham.
Wade Phillips was honored as the PFW/PFWA Assistant Coach of the Year at the Ed Block Courage Awards for reviving the Texans "D". He did much of it without Mario Williams, and that could continue.
Adrian Peterson, the 2012 PFW/PFWA MVP, won the award not just for nearly breaking the single-season rushing record, but for leading a team to the playoffs who wouldn't have been close without him.
There was little question that the debate over who should win the PFW/PFWA Defensive MVP should start and end with Texans DE J.J. Watt, who dominated opponents in every fashion this season.
It came down to AP and Manning in the Comeback Player of the Year vote for the PFW/PFWA Awards. Peterson won, largely because of the daunting precedent he set for future ACL recoveries.