Chiefs Name Mathieu MVP and Bolton Rookie of the Year
Two Chiefs players that helped the Kansas City Chiefs turn around their defensive play this year were named Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year according to an article on the Chiefs website.
Safety Tyrann Mathieu won the "Derrick Thomas Award" which recognizes the team's most valuable player. And the "Mack Lee Hill Award" which is presented to the team's top first-year player went to linebacker Nick Bolton.
According to the Chiefs website, these individual awards are significant because the awards are voted on by the team's players, which demonstrates the respect the players have for the winners while acknowledging their on-field accomplishment and locker room character.
It's Mathieu's second time winning the award, he also won it in 2019. The article on the Chiefs site cites him as one of the leaders of the Chiefs' defense this season and credits his leadership as igniting the Chiefs' midseason defensive turnaround.
The team's website credits first-year player Bolton as playing a major part in the team's defensive turnaround as well. Bolton racked up the most tackles for a rookie in 2021 with 112. And he's only one of three players this season to record 110 tackles and 10 tackles-for-loss. He's just the ninth rookie to hit each of those marks since 2000.
The Chiefs appeared in their fourth-straight AFC Championship Game this season losing to the Cincinnati Bengals 24-27 in overtime.