With long-time late night host and comedian Conan O’Brien serving as host, the NFL will hold its fifth annual “NFL Honors” award show Saturday night from the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco just hours before the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers duel in Super Bowl 50.
Following in the footsteps of previous hosts like actor Alec Baldwin and late-night host Seth Meyers, the loyal New England Patriots fan and host of TBS’ “Conan,” O’Brien makes his first appearance at the NFL’s awards show and will bring a slightly brighter level of star power to the event.
O’Brien’s most recently made hilarious waves among NFL circles with his viral videos featuring video-game competitions between some of the league’s top stars and participants in the last two Super Bowls. Last year, O’Brien pitted New England’s Rob Gronkowski against Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch in several rounds of “Mortal Kombat,” and this year he tapped Carolina’s Josh Norman and Denver’s Von Miller in bloody battles of “Doom.”
Expect O’Brien to bring the same kind of irreverent humor and lighthearted goofiness to the stage while the NFL doles out it top individual awards before crowning a new league champion.
The biggest awards of the evening are of course the league’s Most Valuable Player award, as well as Offensive, Defensive, Rookie, and Coach of the Year honors. And in almost every category there appear to be uncatchable frontrunners.
In terms of MVP, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is expected to win for the first time after scoring 45 total touchdowns and guiding the NFL’s highest scoring offense to a 15-1 record during the regular season. Newton could very well pull down Offensive Player of the Year honors as well.
The Defensive Player of the Year race could be the tightest of the bunch. Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt is favored to win the award for the third time overall and third in the last four seasons, however, St. Louis Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald could challenge Watt’s recent dominance of the award, while Carolina cornerback Josh Norman could help Newton sweep the major awards’ categories.
Both Rookie of the Year awards, one for offense and one for defense, appear to be one-horse races as well. Rams running back Todd Gurley, who returned to the field after sustaining a major knee injury during his final year in college, finished third in the NFL with 1,106 yards and scored 10 touchdowns.
Gurley’s main competition appears to be Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, who went No. 1 overall in the draft and largely lived up to expectations by keeping his team in the playoff race very late into the season and helped improve their record by four wins compared to last season.
And Kansas City Chiefs rookie cornerback Marcus Peters likely has Defensive Rookie of the Year honors locked up. Peters ranked tied for first with eight interceptions and led the NFL with 26 passes defensed while helping the Chiefs reach the postseason.
The television viewing info and a list of all the awards can be found below.
Start Time: Saturday, 9 p.m. ET
TV Channel: CBS
Live Stream: CBS All Access
Most Valuable Player
Offensive Player of the Year
Defensive Player of the Year
Offensive Rookie of the Year
Defensive Rookie of the Year
Coach of the Year
Comeback Player of the Year
NFL Sportsmanship Award
Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year
Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year
NFL.com Fantasy Player of the Year