Carson Wentz and Doug Pederson have been selected as the winners of the Maxwell Football Club’s top NFL awards.
Wentz won the Bert Bell Award, which goes to the player of the year. Pederson won the Greasy Neale Award, presented to the league’s top coach.
Wentz is the sixth Eagle to win the Bell award, joining Norm Van Brocklin (1960), Pete Retzlaff (1965), Ron Jaworski (1980), Randall Cunningham (1988 and 1990, and again in 1998 with the Minnesota Vikings), and Michael Vick (2010).
Pederson is the third Eagles coach to win the Neale award in the 29 years it has been presented. The first two were Andy Reid in 2010 and Chip Kelly in 2013.
The pair will be honored, along with other award winners, at the 81st Maxwell Club National Awards Gala on March 9 at the Tropicana Casino Resort in Atlantic City.
Wentz had an NFL-high 33 touchdown passes before he suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 14 against the Los Angeles Rams. The Eagles won 11 of his 13 starts. Even though Wentz missed the final three regular-season games, his TD total still ended up being the second highest in the league. Seattle’s Russell Wilson finished with 34.
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In just his second NFL season, Wentz finished fourth in the league in passer rating (101.9) and had the league’s fifth-best interception percentage (seven in 477 pass attempts).
But it was on third down and in the red zone that he really excelled. He led the league ratings in third-down passing (123.7) and red-zone passing (116.2). He threw an NFL-high 14 touchdown passes on third down. As a rookie, he threw three. Wentz threw 23 touchdown passes and had a 65.5 completion percentage in the red zone, and was the only quarterback in the league without an interception or sack in the red zone.
He also had 26 rushing first downs, which ranked second on the team.
Wentz is just the second player to win the Bell award in his second NFL season. The first was Hall of Fame running back Earl Campbell, who won the award in 1979.
Pederson has done a remarkable job of turning around the Eagles after replacing Kelly following the 2015 season. In his second season, he has the Eagles in the Super Bowl for only the third time in franchise history, one win over the New England Patriots away from hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.
He is the first Eagles coach to lead his team to an NFC title in just his second year. Including the playoffs, he has a 22-12 record, the best start of any coach in franchise history.
Some of the other award winners who will be honored at the March 9 banquet include University of Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield (Maxwell Award), Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (Chuck Bednarik Award) and Delaware Valley coach Duke Greco (tri-state coach of the year).
Tickets for the banquet can be purchased on the club’s website or by calling 215-643-3833.