iUP Students Reflect on the 2021-2022 NFL Season

As the Super Bowl ends, the 2021-2022 football season comes to a close. We can reflect on all of the crazy comebacks and major events that happened this football year. First, the named GOAT of football, Tom Brady, retired after his amazing career and 22 seasons with the NFL. Also, the Los Angeles Rams were able to pull through and defeat the Cincinnati Bengals in the Super Bowl, and Aaron Rogers was able to get his 4th MVP title of his career. This article reflects on all of the amazing highlights of the 2021-2022 football season.


The highly anticipated Super Bowl 56 sure lived up to expectations as it not only capped off awesome playoffs but the careers of some game-changing players. The underdog Bengals, who came from a 4-11-1 record the previous year to the Super Bowl, came into this game with the dreams of winning it all. However, in their way stood the Rams defensive line now with the addition of Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller wreaked havoc on Joe Burrow. Tying a Super Bowl record of seven sacks, the Bengal’s offensive line wasn’t able to do anything. This prevented the Bengals from scoring in the fourth quarter and presented Mattew Stafford and Cooper Kupp all the time that they needed to win the game. This proved to be true as on a fade to the endzone Cooper Kupp came down with the game-sealing touchdown. Later, 3-time defensive player of the year, Aaron Donald, wrapped up Joe Burrow and forced him to make a terrible throw on fourth down to give the Rams a long overdue win.


Another major event in the NFL each season is when we get to reflect on the league’s best plays at a ceremony called the NFL Honors. This brings many popular awards like the MVP or Most Valuable Player, and other titles that recognize the players that went above and beyond. With no surprise, the MVP title went to Aaron Rogers with him claiming his 4th MVP title in his career. With a passer rating of 111.9, and a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 37-7, Aaron Rogers was able to get back-to-back MVP and beat Tom Brady for the award. Super Bowl MVP Copper Kupp was recognized as the Offensive Player of the Year. He had amazing statistics as he was first in the NFL in receptions, yards, and also receiving touchdowns. Overall, Copper Kupp played a historic season and was even voted to get MVP. With no surprise, T.J. Watt was awarded the Defensive Player of the Year as he tied the record for the most sacks in the regular season. This was an incredible feat as the record was set in 2001 by Michael Strahan. Another big honor is the Offensive Rookie of the Year where Ja’Marr Chase from the Cincinnati Bengals was awarded the title. He was a game-changer for the Bengal’s Offensive and was a key for them getting into the Super Bowl. He had 1,455 yards from 81 passes and 13 touchdowns scored. These are amazing statistics from a player never the less a rookie. With Offensive Rookie of the Year, also comes the Defensive Player of the Year which was awarded to Micah Parsons from the Dallas Cowboys. He made a big impact on the Cowboy’s defense and came up with 13 sacks, 64 tackles, and 3 forced fumbles. Micah Parsons is definitely an upcoming star and a force to be reckoned with in the future seasons. The player who won the title of Comeback Player of the Year was none other than Joe Burrow. Last year, the Bengals were 4-11-1 and Jow Burrow helped turn that around and was able to get them into Super Bowl. He put up an amazing performance and threw for 34 touchdowns, and was also the first in the NFL with an average of 8.9 yards each time that he threw the ball. Joe also had an incredible 70.4 completion rate, which is close to the record of 74.4% from Drew Brees in 2018. Andrew Whitworth was awarded the Walter Payton Man of the Year for his outstanding work on and off the field. He is not only a great player but his commitment to helping others won him this amazing honor. Last but certainly not least was the Moment of the Year. This was given to Justin Tucker when he kicked a 66-yard field goal for an NFL record. This was not only the longest made field goal kick in NFL history, but it was a game-winning kick against the Lions earlier this year in week 3.


With another NFL season in the books, comes another round of legends retiring including some game-changing players like Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Whitworth, and Eric Weddle. Two of these decided to hang up their cleats after winning their first Super Bowl with the LA Rams. Eric Weddle even came out of retirement to help the Rams make their journey to the Super Bowl. Ben Roethlisberger, 2-time Super Bowl Winner and Quarterback for the Steelers, decided to call it quits after age finally caught up with him after 18 seasons with Pittsburgh. Along with these players, the GOAT, Tom Brady, also retired this year after yet another playoff run, and if you want to read more about the greatest NFL player of all time, you can read this article: Tom Brady’s Retirement. Apart from retirements, another major event that also happened this season was the fact that fans came back to the stadiums and so players were able to yet again play in the awesome atmosphere of a fully-packed football stadium.


Throughout this NFL season, iUP students have responded to a multitude of polls regarding all the events happening in the NFL world. This has ranged from MVP to super bowl predictions and even though the Bucs or Cowboys didn’t win it all and Tom Brady didn’t win MVP as most students had predicted, many students were still right on the money with their guesses as some predicted that Aaron Rodger would run back the MVP award and that the LA Rams would win the Super Bowl. However, sports fans now stand with the whole offseason ahead of us, until football season comes around again. All of these just prove how unpredictable the game is, as any player or team is presented with the opportunity to win it all each season.


To conclude, the 2021-2022 NFL season has been quite the roller coaster ride with all the excitement that you could expect from these awesome games. Players are now given their time to recuperate and recover from their injuries and train to become their best selves by the time next season rolls around. However, now football fans like ourselves are going to have to wait for another offseason before returning to their Sunday traditions but there is no doubt that next season is only going to be even more awesome and action-packed than this previous one. That right there is the thing we love most about football and just as one season ends, the countdown to the next begins.