For the first time in NFL history, the Associated Press decided tofor the NFL's postseason awards and that led to a bizarre finish in one particular race on Thursday night.
Jets receiver Garrett Wilson was voted the NFL's offensive rookie of the year even though he didn't get the most first-place votes for the award. Wilson received 18 first-place votes, which was one less than Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker, who got 19.
In any season before 2022, Walker would have won the award -- because it was always given to the player with the most first-place votes -- but he didn't win the award this year because the AP changed the voting format.
In every season prior to 2022, the 50 voters were only allowed to put one name on their ballot. However, starting this year, each voter was allowed to rank their top-three candidates for rookie of the year, which is how Wilson was able win the award over Walker despite getting fewer first-place votes.
Under the new system, a player was given five points for a first-place vote, three points for a second-place vote and one point for a third-place voted.
Here's how things broke down between Walker and Wilson (via the AP):
|Player||First-place votes||Second-place||Third-place||Total points|
Assuming no one would have changed their ballot, Walker simply would have won rookie of the year in any other season for being named in the top spot on the most ballots.
When theto a ranking system back in September, one of its concerns was that something like this might happen, where a player wins an award even though that player didn't get the most first-place votes.
Here's what CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones wrote about the proposal five months ago:
"An inherent danger in all ranked-choice voting is that someone may have fewer first-place votes than a competitor but far more second-place votes that ultimately win them the award. How the Associated Press decides to weigh these votes will need to ensure that isn't a possibility," Jones wrote in September.
The fact that Walker would have won the award in any other season definitely makes this feels like one of the bigger snubs in the recent history of NFL Honors.