Roger Craig of the San Francisco 49ers, NFL leader in total yardage and key performer on the league's second-ranked offense, was named Offensive Player of the Year Friday by The Associated Press.
Craig rushed for 1,502 yards and nine touchdowns and caught 76 passes for 534 yards and one score. He ranked third in the NFL in rushing and eighth in receptions, but was tops in combined yardage with 2,036. He averaged 4.8 yards a run, best in the NFC.
"It's a great honor, not just for myself but for my teammates," said Craig, a six-year veteran. "Especially for my offensive linemen and the way they've played this year. And for the 49ers organization.
"It's a great honor and something I didn't expect. It'll probably take a couple of days for it to really set in. I'll say `Oh, I was chosen the offensive player throughout the whole league.' That's a phenomenal honor."
Craig's contributions to San Francisco's 10-6 season and NFC West title can not be minimized.
Craig had seven 100-yard rushing games. His best game was in a 24-21 victory over the Rams in Anaheim. He carried 22 times for 190 yards and three touchdowns, including a 46-yard run in which he broke a bunch of tackles. He also caught five passes in that contest.
There were four games in which he had at least 100 yards rushing and five receptions, and the 49ers won all four.
Craig edged Boomer Esiason of Cincinnati in the voting by writers and broadcasters in each of the 28 NFL cities. Craig finished with 32 votes, followed by Esiason with 29, Randall Cunningham of Philadelphia with five, Dan Marino of Miami and Eddie Brown of Cincinnati with two each, and Herschel Walker of Dallas with one.