ESPN’s NFL Nation Reporters of the NFC West settled on the division’s award winners on Wednesday.
The four reporters picked defensive tackle Aaron Donald as the division’s Defensive MVP and running back Todd Gurley as the Offensive MVP. Donald and Gurley join the NFC West’s Rookie of the Year, 49ers offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey, and the division’s Coach of the Year, Seattle’s Pete Carroll to round out the awards.
Here’s what Rams NFL Nation reporter Lindsey Thiry said about each MVP:
Defensive MVP — Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald: Despite dealing with double-teams on an overwhelming majority of snaps, Donald recorded 20.5 sacks to set a new NFL single-season record for a defensive tackle, since sacks became an official individual stat in 1982. His 20.5 sacks also set a new Rams franchise record.
Offensive MVP – Rams running back Todd Gurley: Despite sitting out the final two regular-season games because of a sore knee, Gurley scored a league-best 21 touchdowns, ranked third with 1,251 rushing yards and caught 59 passes for 580 yards. Among players who started more than three games, Gurley ranked second in rushing yards per game, averaging 89.4.
For all of ESPN’s awards by division, click here.