The Kansas City Chiefs have announced their in-house player awards for the 2018 season. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes has won the Derrick Thomas Most Valuable Player award, and offensive lineman Andrew Wylie has won the Mack Lee Hill award, given annually to the best rookie on the team.
Chiefs players and coaches vote on these awards.
Mahomes, of course, was an obvious choice. In only his first season as a starter, in 2018 he became only the second quarterback in the NFL — and the youngest ever — to pass for 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in a season. That was just the beginning.
He also threw 31 touchdown passes in road games — surpassing an NFL record of 29 set by Tom Brady in 2007. He now holds the Chiefs single-season records for pass completions. touchdowns, and yards. He had 13 games where his passer rating was 100 or above in 2018 — also a franchise record. His season passer rating of 113.8 was the seventh-best in NFL history among starting quarterbacks, and he also became the youngest quarterback in NFL history to have a season passer rating above 110.
Wylie, 24, was signed by the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft. On and off the Colts roster and practice squad through training camp, he was cut for good in late September, and was then added to the Cleveland Browns practice squad. Cut again in December, he went to the Los Angeles Chargers practice squad, remaining through the end of the season. Last January, the Chiefs signed Wylie to a reserves/future contract, and he made the final 53-man roster in September. Our comment on Wylie making the team didn’t see what was coming.
The Chiefs kept nine offensive linemen, and they must have felt like they needed to in order to protect long-term offensive line project Kahlil McKenzie. Putting McKenzie on the practice squad would have made him eligible to be signed by any other team. Andrew Wylie makes the team in the “Zach Fulton” honorary sixth-man position, with Witzmann and Devey providing more depth.
With one injury after another on the offensive line, Wylie suddenly became an essential part of the Chiefs offense, becoming a starter in Week 7, and eventually settling in at right guard while Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was on injured reserve. He allowed just two sacks and 22 pressures on the season.
All-Time Derrick Thomas MVPs
|2015||Alex Smith & Eric Berry|
All-Time Mack Lee Hill Winners
|2003||Jimmy Wilkerson & Kawika Mitchell|