The first annual Roaring Riot Awards, which are voted on by the most loyal and rabid fans of the Carolina Panthers, honors the performances of those Panthers who have gone above and beyond both on and off the field.
Roaring Riot members, which number over 6,000 and are located in over a dozen countries around the world, voted in multiple categories and collectively decided on their favorite players and moments from the 2020 Panthers season.
Robby Anderson was voted the 2020 Offensive Player of the Year and rookie Jeremy Chinn was voted Defensive Player of the Year by the Roaring Riot and his back-to-back scores against the Vikings were chosen as Play of the Year. The rest of the awards, including the Most Valuable Panther and Thomas Davis Panther of the Year Award, will be announced later this week.
While NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year may eventually evade his grasp, Jeremy Chinn has certainly made a huge impact on the young Carolina defense in his rookie season, already winning two Roaring Riot Awards and being voted 2020 Rookie of the Year with an incredible 94.5% of the votes cast by the Panthers fanbase.
In the NFL, Chinn finished first among rookies in both tackles and defensive touchdowns, second in fumble recoveries and defensive snaps while landing in the top ten in forced fumbles, passes defended and interceptions.
Chinn was also named to the Pro Football Focus All-Rookie Team.
“Chinn had no slow ramp up to a large role in the NFL,” said PFF. “His 967 defensive snaps rank third on the team behind only Tre Boston and Shaq Thompson, and he leads the defense in tackles while playing 200 or more defensive snaps in each of the box, slot and from a deeper alignment at free safety.”
“Chinn also produced most of his better games as a rookie toward the back half of the 2020 season. His overall grade jumped from 47.9 over the first five weeks of the season to 67.4 since Week 6.”
“The expectation coming into the season was that Chinn would be a project — an FCS prospect with elite athletic tools who was still learning how to read and react on defense. That showed at times in his rookie year, but the Panthers will certainly take the kind of production they got from him in his first season.”
His back-to-back scores in Week 12 provided the Roaring Riot’s favorite moment of the year as well.
On the Vikings opening drive of the second half, rookie hybrid safety/linebacker Jeremy Chinn scooped up a fumble by Vikings QB Kirk Cousins that had been forced by DT Zach Kerr and returned it 17 yards for a touchdown, dunking the ball over the goalpost as an exclamation. And the next play from scrimmage, Chinn ripped the ball from Vikings RB Dalvin Cook and ran it back 28 yards for the score.
The Panthers second-round pick became just the third player in NFL history, and first since 1948, to record 2+ fumble recoveries returned for touchdowns in a game, the first player in franchise history to have two defensive scores in a single game and the first player in NFL history to have defensive touchdowns on back-to-back plays.
In addition to that back-to-back insanity, Chinn led the team with a career-high 13 tackles on that day. Chinn finished with 117 tackles, five QB hits, one sack, five passes defenses, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and an interception while playing 91% of the snaps and starting 15 games in his rookie campaign as he played snaps across multiple levels of the defense.
To mark this occasion, the Roaring Riot designed a personalized Rookie Of The Year belt for Chinn, which was presented to Jeremy last week as the season wrapped up. Designed by Dennis Walsh, a different belt will be presented annually to the Roaring Riot’s Rookie of the Year and the Most Valuable Panther.