New York Giants coach Brian Daboll and running back Saquon Barkley are finalists for 2022 NFL Associated Press awards. Daboll is one of three Coach of the Year finalists, while Barkley is one of three finalists for Comeback Player of the Year.
As a rookie head coach, Daboll guided the Giants to a 9-7-1 record and their first playoff berth since 2016. The Giants then beat the Minnesota Vikings in the Wild-Card round for their first playoff victory since the 2011 season.
In his first year in Jacksonville, Pederson guided the Jaguars to a 9-8 record and an AFC South title. Jacksonville defeated the Los Angeles Chargers in the Wild-Card round before losing to the Kansas City Chiefs. In 2021, Jacksonville had gone 3-14.
Shanahan led the 49ers to a 13-4 record and an NFC West title despite going through three quarterbacks, ending up using rookie Brock Purdy, the last player selected in the 2022 NFL Draft, over the final portion of the season and into the playoffs.
The 2022 season was Barkley’s best since his 2018 rookie year. Barkley finished with career-high totals of 295 carries for 1,312 yards — the NFL’s fourth-highest total — and scored 10 touchdowns. He also caught 57 passes for 338 yards, finishing with 1,650 total yards from scrimmage. That total was seventh in the NFL, and basically double the 856 yards he accumulated in 2021.
Other Comeback Player of the Year finalists are Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith and San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey.
AP award winners will be announced at the 12th annual NFL Honors ceremony on Feb. 9, 2023.