LOS ANGELES (AP) — A four-time MVP, three Super Bowl players and the start of a brother number.
The Associated Press 2021 NFL Awards had a bit of everything, starting with Aaron Rodgers becoming the fifth player to repeat as Most Valuable Player.
“It’s kind of surreal sitting here,” Rodgers said. “Being four times MVP is crazy.
“They are all different. They are all unique in their own way and this one is the sweetest.
Despite the turmoil of training camp and the headlines created by the Green Bay quarterback when he misled the public about his COVID-19 vaccination, Rodgers’ play on the court was superb. So much so that he got 39 votes from a national panel of 50 members of the media who regularly cover the NFL. Not even one of Tom Brady’s best performances – in his senior season – has come close to the MVP race, with the Buccaneers quarterback earning 10 votes.
Only Peyton Manning with five MVP awards is ahead of Rodgers, who said no announcement on his NFL future is imminent.
“There was something about how I felt coming off the pitch,” he said. “I had great conversations with the Packers before I left town. There have been changes in personnel. It just comes down to weighing where I am mentally and what the commitment is.
“I’m not afraid of retirement and moving on. I’m very proud of what I’ve accomplished being in Green Bay for 17 years. Also still a very competitive and bitter taste of NFC gaming. I was frustrated with things in the offseason and I feel like there is so much growth. Some things have been expressed privately, and I’m grateful for the response. Some things were done to make me feel special and important.
Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp earned an MVP vote, but he easily earned MVP honors. Kupp and Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow (comeback player) and wide Ja’Marr Chase (rookie offense) will face off in Sunday’s Super Bowl.
Kupp led the NFL with 138 receptions, 1,829 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns while leading Los Angeles to the NFC West title. A unanimous All-Pro, he garnered 35 votes, far ahead of Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (10).
Kupp was so productive working with a new setter, Matthew Stafford, that he had 14 games with at least 10 catches, no games with less than seven. Although he wasn’t the fastest or the strongest, he had 100 yards in 11 games.
Steelers rusher TJ Watt, a unanimous All-Pro like Kupp, led the NFL in sacks with a record 22 1/2. He joined his brother JJ, a three-time Defensive Player of the Year winner.
“I’m not a big fan of individual awards,” said Watt of Pittsburgh, “but it’s hard not to want that when I saw my brother at the peak of his career win this award three times. And I always said to myself why can’t I do that? »
You have, TJ
“Some moments are just special. Couldn’t be prouder of you,” older brother JJ tweeted after announcing the winner on stage.
Dallas linebacker Micah Parsons, who came second to Watt for best defensive player — but 37 votes behind — was a unanimous pick for Defensive Rookie of the Year. Parsons not only helped the Cowboys turn around their defensive performance this season, but he was so dynamic that he helped coordinator Dan Quinn win the assistant coach award.
Parsons promised he would then get what Watt has now.
“It’s an honor, and I’m still hungry, you know what I mean?” he said. “I’m coming for it next year. …but I guess that will be something for me to have…for next year.
In the worst of the Bengals’ early AFC North ascents and then deep into the playoffs, Chase was a major contributor. The fifth overall pick in the draft last April despite skipping the 2020 season at LSU due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chase had 81 receptions for 1,455 yards with 13 touchdowns.
His quarterback, of course, was Burrow, two years after helping LSU win the national championship. Burrow’s rookie season was cut short by a knee injury in his 10th game with a 2-7-1 record. The Bengals quarterback has certainly made up for that in 2021. He broke single-season franchise records for passer rating (108.3), yards (4,611), touchdown passes and 300 games. yards (six). His passing accuracy ranked first in the league with a completion percentage of 70.4%, and despite being sacked a league-high 51 times, Burrow had 8.9 yards per attempt which also led the NFL.
Mike Vrabel’s work with the Titans earned him Coach of the Year. Despite using a strike-free season record of 91 players and losing their best, running back Derrick Henry, for half the schedule, Vrabel led Tennessee to the AFC South crown and at the top of the conference.
“It’s a reflection of our football team and our staff,” Vrabel explained. “They make a connection with our players. Players come and go, I played for 14 years. You can still make a connection and take care of your guys.
“I’m excited about it because we’ve had adversity and we’ve been able to persevere through it.”
Veteran Rams tackle Andrew Whitworth, who also played for the Bengals, won the league’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award.
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