Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was the runaway winner for NFL MVP in the end-of-year Associated Press awards, handed out Saturday night in Tampa at the NFL Honors ceremony.
Rodgers received 44 votes to earn his third career MVP award (2011, 2014) . Rodgers led the league with 48 touchdown passes, a 70.7 percent completion rate and a 121.5 rating.
“It is really special to have won it in my fourth year as a starter and now to win it in my 13th year as a starter in a new offense is pretty amazing and something I am very proud of,” Rodgers said. “To have sustained success and be able to play your best football at 37 in my 16th season is something I take a lot of pride in.”
Cleveland Browns rookie coach Kevin Stefanski was named Coach of the Year, Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry was named the Offensive Player of the Year, and Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald earned his third Defensive Player of the Year award.
Donald (2017, 2018) joins Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor and Houston Texans pass rusher J.J. Watt as the only three-time winners.
“You just named two great defensive players,” Donald said, “so any time your name is mentioned with greats, you will be honored — especially there’s only a few that have accomplished that. To be the third to do it that is truly a blessing. It shows the body of work that I have; anytime your hard work is rewarded you are going to be happy about that. It is just a blessing.”
Donald recorded 13 1/2 sacks, 28 quarterback hits and four forced fumbles on the season.
Stefanski led the Browns to an 11-5 record and a spot in the postseason to earn just the second-ever coach of the year in Browns history (Forrest Gregg 1976).
“We never concerned ourselves with the past, we are all about moving forward,” Stefanski said. “This season had its unique challenges and we focused on those each and every day and ultimately tried to put together a group of guys that would fight every single week, and I think we did that.”
Henry rushed for 2,027 yards, becoming the 8th player to pass the mark.
Washington edge rusher Chase Young was named Defensive Rookie of the Year and Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert earned Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Herbert becomes the second Charger to win it (Don Woods 1974), earning 41 votes to easily edge Minnesota WR Justin Jefferson.
Young led all rookies with 7 ½ sacks and received 42 ½ votes.
Young joined teammate Alex Smith, who was named Comeback Player of the Year after 17 surgeries to repair a broken leg culminated with him starting eight games this past season.
“You know obviously that was a big part of my initial part of my rehab when I wasn’t even really thinking about football at that point, way more concerned with everyday life and tasks, and things,” he said. “And obviously fortunate enough it did progress to the point where when I started to think about football, it still seemed distant for a long long time.”
Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll won the NFL Assistant Coach of the Year.
–Field Level Media