Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was only the sixth player to win the NFL’s “Most Valuable Player” award at least three times and win the runaway winner award at Saturday’s NFL Honors Awards show.
Rodgers, who received the award virtually, received 44 of the 50 votes cast by a national media group. Buffalo Bills Quarterback Josh Allen received four votes and Kansas City Chiefs Quarterback Patrick Mahomes have two.
Rodgers also won for the 2011 and 2014 seasons.
“It is an honor to win this award for the third time,” said Rodgers in a prepared video acceptance speech. “2020 was definitely a crazy year of change, growth, some amazing memorable moments, 180 straight days of getting the hair scratched and playing or not for very small fans [fans] all season. I got engaged and played one of the best football games of my career. “”
For Rodgers, it all started with an old movie clip and a roll at training camp that told Rodgers that he was back on track.
Over the course of the 2020 NFL season, he revealed the two things that made his 16th season his third MVP award: a route he called a “reading stop” Marquez Valdes-Scantling in the training camp combined with a 2010 clip of his throwing movement.
Forty-eight touchdowns and five interceptions later, Rodgers led the Packers to a 13-3 record.
Rodgers became the third player in NFL history to lead the league on touchdowns while, according to Elias, he made the fewest interceptions Tom Brady in 2010 and Johnny Unitas in 1958. Rodgers hit a career high with an overall QBR of 84.4, the third highest mark in a single season since ESPN began the metric 15 years ago.
He joined Brett Favre, Jim Brown, Brady, and Unitas as three-time winners – all second only to Peyton Manning’s five MVPs.
And it all started for Rodgers in August.
First, it was the throw against Valdes-Scantling that they’d worked on practically throughout the off-season as an integral part of Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur’s offensive, which never got off the ground in their first 2019 season together.
“That gave me a lot of confidence that the things that I was thinking about, that I was working on and that I was visualizing could come to fruition,” Rodgers said in December when he first revealed one of his secrets for this season. “Now you never know when the live balls will start playing, but I think it was an important day for me in terms of training camp. And a lot of things have changed for me in terms of my balance, my rhythm, mine Timing for the future. “
Rodgers also referred to the movie clip from the team’s Super Bowl season 10 years ago, but only after the NFC Championship Game was lost to the Visit Tampa Bay privateers that he finally revealed what he saw.
“The key I saw was just the rhythm in my towbar,” Rodgers said last month during an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show. “I realized that what I was working on so hard at the time was sinking into the towbar at the top of my waste. And that was an area that I thought was fundamentally missing due to my injury and some adjustments that I had dealing with a knee and a leg that just weren’t as strong as they used to be.
“And that’s part of the reason I really crouched down again because I wanted to build this thing up so I could put a lot of weight and pressure in that knee and those legs because the deeper I got into my knee problems , the more punctually I threw the ball. And all I really saw was how much I stressed that in 2010, 2009 and 2011, and what allowed me to do that was that I threw the ball on time. and all those games that I did saw my timing was very, very good. “
Henry won by 32 votes out of 50 and easily won Rodgers and Mahomes who each received five votes.
Donald received 27 votes, ousting Pittsburghs T.J. wattwho got 20 votes.
Henry turned the fifth highest rushing total in the NFL in a season at 2,027 yards. He also rushed for 17 touchdowns, becoming the sixth player in NFL history to directly lead the league in frenzied yards and touchdowns in consecutive seasons.
Henry is only the fourth to be Offensive Player of the Year since 2010 and the first since then Todd Gurley in 2017.
Donald was named Defensive Player of the Year for the third time in four years and also won the 2017 and 2018 seasons. He joined Lawrence Taylor and on J.J. watt as the only player to have won the award three times since it was first awarded in 1971.
According to ESPN Stats & Information Research, Donald led all players with 54 presses this season. He also led the league for the third straight season in pass rush win rate as a center-back (24.2%), despite double-teaming at 65.7% of his pass rushes (third highest rate in the league).
Herbert and Young were both clear winners in the rookie vote. Herbert got 41 votes while Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson finished second with nine votes. Young received 42.5 votes and Carolina Panthers security Jeremy Chinn was second with 4.5.
Herbert was the sixth overall winner in the 2020 NFL draft, throwing 4,336 yards and 31 touchdowns in 15 games – a rookie record for a season.
“Many thanks to the Chargers organization, the Spanos family, Tom Telesco and [former] Trainer Anthony Lynn for taking a risk on a child from Eugene, Oregon, “Herbert said in a taped video message.” Without it, none of this is possible. While it’s an incredible honor to be under discussion for this award, I know that it won’t be possible without my teammates. “
Young was the second pick in the draft, recording 7.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, and three fumble restorations, which Terrell Suggs has only done as a rookie as the defensive rookie of 2003 in the last 20 seasons.
“It was definitely not the rookie season I was expecting, just with the pandemic and everything going on,” said Young.
Also on Saturday Kevin Stefanski, who the Cleveland Browns For her first winning season since 2007 and her first playoff appearance since 2002 (and the first postseason win since 1994) she was named coach of the year.
Stefanski received 25 votes out of 50. Sean McDermott (7) from Buffalo finished second and Brian Flores (7) from Miami came third.
Washington quarterback Alex Smithwho suffered a broken fibula and tibia followed by 17 surgeries for infections that nearly cost him his right leg, was named Comeback Player of the Year.
Smith nearly won the vote and got 49 votes while Steeler’s quarterback Ben Roethlisberger got a vote.
Smith went 5-1 as a starter this season to help Washington with the playoffs.
“Two years ago, I was in a wheelchair and asked myself, ‘Had the life I known changed forever?'” Smith said in a taped acceptance speech. “Anger, pity, self-doubt, why me? Those were feelings I had at certain points during my career, but this time it wasn’t about football. It was bigger. It was about being a father to be with my kids play, a husband who walks with my wife and gets my life back despite my new limitations.
“My goal was football, not because I thought it was reality, but because I knew it would make my life better … It took 728 days, 728 small wins and big setbacks, countless hours of physiotherapy and justice like that many sleepless nights. “