Chiefs’ Justin Houston, De’Anthony Thomas receive PFWA honors

Dec 7, 2014; Glendale, AZ; Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston (50) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 7, 2014; Glendale, AZ; Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston (50) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston was named All-NFL, the Pro Football Writers of America announced Monday.

The All-NFL recognition from the professional organization composed of team beat writers and league-wide reporters marks a first for Houston.

He was previously named a first-team All-Pro by The Associated Press on Jan. 2, also the first such honor on his career.

Houston led the NFL in sacks with a team-record 22 sacks in a single season. He finished a ½ sack shy of tying the NFL’s single-season record of 22 ½ sacks set by Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end Michael Strahan in 2001.

Houston’s 22 sacks in 2014 broke the Chiefs’ previous single-season record of 20 established by the late Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Thomas in 1990.

Houston is one of 10 players in league history to record 20 or more sacks in a season since sacks became an official statistic in 1982.

The fourth-year pro was also selected All-AFC by the PFWA, marking the second straight year he received All-AFC honors.

Rookie running back/returner De’Anthony Thomas joined Houston on the All-AFC team as a punt returner.

Dec 14, 2014; Kansas City, MO; Chiefs running back De'Anthony Thomas (13) returns a punt for a touchdown against the Raiders in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 14, 2014; Kansas City, MO; Chiefs running back De’Anthony Thomas (13) returns a punt for a touchdown against the Raiders in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Thomas recorded 34 punt returns for 405 yards, averaging 11.9 yards per return in 2014.

The team’s fourth-round pick out of Oregon totaled 156 punt returns yards on eight attempts, including an 81-yard punt return for a touchdown, in Week 15 against the Oakland Raiders to earn an AFC Special Teams Player of the Week award.

The Chiefs have had returners on the annual PFWA awards in two straight years.

Then-Chiefs wide receiver Dexter McCluster was named All-NFL an All-AFC as a punt returner in 2013. Then-Chiefs safety Quintin Demps joined McCluster on the All-AFC as a kick returner.

LOCAL TIES

Kansas State landed two former players on the PFWA’s lists.

Philadelphia Eagles running back Darren Sproles was named All-NFL and All-NFC as a punt returner, while Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson was named All-NFC.

Former Kansas Jayhawks and current Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris was named All-AFC.

2014 PFWA ALL-NFL TEAM

Offense

QB: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
RB: Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers; DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys
WR: Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers ; Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys
TE: Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
C: Travis Frederick, Dallas Cowboys
G: Josh Sitton, Green Bay Packers; Marshal Yanda, Baltimore Ravens
T: Tyron Smith, Dallas Cowboys; Joe Thomas, Cleveland Browns*

Defense

DE: Mario Williams, Buffalo Bills; J.J. Watt, Houston Texans#
DT: Marcell Dareus, Buffalo Bills; Ndamukong Suh, Detroit Lions*
OLB: Justin Houston, Kansas City Chiefs; Von Miller, Denver Broncos
MLB: Luke Kuechly, Carolina Panthers*
CB: Darrelle Revis, New England Patriots; Richard Sherman, Seattle Seahawks#
S: Earl Thomas, Seattle Seahawks#; Eric Weddle, San Diego Chargers

Special Teams

PK: Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis Colts
P: Pat McAfee, Indianapolis Colts
KR: Adam Jones, Cincinnati Bengals
PR: Darren Sproles, Philadelphia Eagles
ST: Matthew Slater, New England Patriots

* – repeat selection from 2013
# – consecutive selections in 2012, 2013 and 2014

Click here to view the complete PFWA listings for the All-AFC and All-AFC teams.

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