Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes wins his 2nd career NFL MVP award

Patrick Mahomes scored the first of what he hopes is two wins this week in Arizona. The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback was the clear winner of the Associated Press Most Valuable Player Award, announced on Thursday night’s NFL Honors program.

Mahomes received 48 of the 50 first-place votes; the other two went to Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Herts and Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen.

Overall, Mahomes scored 490 points in the voting. Hurts was second (193), Allen was third (151), and Cincinnati Bengals guard Joe Burrow was fourth (128).

It was the second MVP award in Mahomes’ six-year career, making him the 10th player to win the award twice. His other came in 2018; only Jim Brown and Kurt Warner won two MVPs in less time early in their careers.

Mahomes led the NFL this season in passing yards (5,250), touchdowns (41) and total QBR (77.5), and also led the Chiefs to a 14-3 record and a No. 1 seed in the AFC Playoffs. He set an NFL record with 5,614 season rushing yards, survived a high ankle sprain and a pair of postseason wins, and will start Sunday’s Super Bowl LVII game against the Eagles.

In a video message played after the award was announced, Mahomes thanked his family, the Kansas City organization, and his teammates.

“I would never be standing here today without all of you,” he said. “Every day we give everything we have to achieve the ultimate goal: the Super Bowl. Let’s keep moving towards that dream this weekend.”

The Mahomes award came in the first year of a new voting system used by the Associated Press that asked voters to nominate five finalists for MVP and three for other awards, rather than just voting for one in each case.

Earlier in the evening, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson won the AP Offensive Player of the Year award. In his first season with new Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell, Jefferson led the NFL with 128 receptions and 1,809 yards. Last year’s OPOY, Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp, played the same pattern that O’Connell brought to the Vikings after two seasons as the Rams’ offensive coordinator. The Kupp-Jefferson sequence marked the first time that two receivers won the award in consecutive seasons.

In a short but emotional acceptance speech, the 23-year-old Jefferson concluded by saying, “There’s still more to come. Even more”.

The NFL Defensive Player of the Year award went to San Francisco 49ers defenseman Nick Bose, who led the league with 18.5 sacks and ranked ninth among forwards in Sportzshala Pass Rush Win Rate (22%). The 49ers defense held off opponents to a league-high 16.3 points and 300.6 yards per game during the regular season, and its defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans was named AP Assistant Coach of the Year.

Ryans was hired last month as head coach of the Houston Texans.

Meanwhile, the New York Jets used two top-10 draft picks to become the third team in NFL history to win the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. Corner Sauce Gardner, selected 4th overall in the 2022 draft, led the NFL with 20 assists. And pick No. 10, Garrett Wilson led all NFL rookies in receiving yards (1,103).

Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III actually received more first place votes (19) than Wilson (18). But the new voting system, which gave five points for a first-place vote, three points for a second-place vote, and one point for a third-place vote, left Wilson with more points (156 to 129).

The only other teams to have received these honors were the 2017 New Orleans Saints (running back Alvin Camara and cornerback Marshawn Lattimore) and the 1967 Detroit Lions (running back Mel Farr and cornerback Lem Barney).

New York Giants coach Brian Daboll was named AP Rookie of the Year. In his first season with the team, Daball led the Giants to their first winning season and first playoff berth in six seasons, and he coaxed quarterback Daniel Jones into a career season. Daball beat the 49ers’ Kyle Shanahan, who closed at the Caesars as the favorite for the award after leading his team to 10 straight wins to end the regular season. Daball had 16 first-place votes to Shanahan’s 12.

The AP Returning Player of the Year was Seahawks quarterback Jeno Smith, who landed a full-time starting job for the first time since the 2014 season. He finished the season with a career-high 4,282 yards and 30 touchdown passes and finished 7th in the league in QBR (60.7). In the Seahawks’ first season, after trading franchise quarterback Russell Wilson, Smith led the Seahawks to a surprise winning season and a playoff berth.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Duck Prescott received the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award, in recognition of his work off the field, primarily due to his Faith Fight Finish (FFF) foundation. The focus is on research into the colon cancer that his mother Peggy contracted in 2013, as well as suicide prevention following the death of his brother Jace in 2020.

“Through adversity, we find strength within ourselves,” Prescott said as he accepted the award Thursday night.


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