Two main pieces of the Kansas City Chiefs defense drew recognition Saturday night from The Associated Press.
Safety Eric Berry was named the NFL Comeback Player of the Year, while cornerback Marcus Peters was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Berry’s return to football less than a year after being diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma proved one of the league’s best stories the past season.
The sixth-year pro appeared in all 16 regular-season games with 15 starts and totaled 61 tackles (55 solo), two interceptions and 10 passes defensed.
He drew 38 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 sports writers and broadcasters, according to the AP.
Berry previously earned a first-team All-Pro selection by the AP and All-NFL selection by the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) in the past month.
Peters became the first cornerback in 17 years to win the Defensive Rookie of the Year award, drawing 45 of 50 votes, according to the AP.
The Chiefs’ first-round pick (18th overall) out of Washington made an immediate impact, starting all 16 regular-season games and finishing the year with 60 (53 solo) tackles with eight interceptions and a franchise-record 26 passes defensed.
Peters’ eight interceptions tied for the NFL lead with Cincinnati Bengals free safety Reggie Nelson. Peters also led the NFL with 280 yards returned on interceptions, a total that marked the third-most for a rookie in NFL history.
Peters was previously named a second-team All-Pro selection by the AP and the Defensive Rookie of the Year by the PFWA in the past month.