Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was the overwhelming pick for NFL MVP while also winning Offensive Player of the Year in the end-of-year Associated Press awards, handed out Saturday night in Atlanta at the NFL Honors ceremony.
Los Angeles Rams standout Aaron Donald repeated as AP Defensive Player of the Year.
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley won AP Offensive Rookie of the Year, and AP Defensive Rookie of the Year went to Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard.
Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy won AP Coach of the Year, and Colts quarterback Andrew Luck received the AP Comeback Player of the Year honor.
Mahomes threw for 50 touchdowns and 5,097 yards in his first season as the Chiefs’ starting quarterback. The second-year player led Kansas City to the AFC Championship Game. He averaged 318.6 yards per game passing and completed 66 percent of his passes.
Mahomes got 41 votes from the writers, far outdistancing New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees, who got just nine votes.
“I’m so humbled,” Mahomes said. “This is just the beginning. We’ve got a long ways to go.”
Mahomes also became the second Chief to win offensive POY, joining running back Priest Holmes, who won in 2002.
Mahomes earned 30 of 50 votes for offensive POY, again beating out Brees, who garnered 16.
Donald registered a league- and career-high 20 1/2 sacks this season and 41 quarterback hits. His 25 tackles for loss were also a career high. Donald received 45 out of 50 votes for defensive POY, with Chicago’s Khalil Mack securing the other five.
Barkley, the second overall draft pick in the 2018 draft, lived up to his billing by rushing for 1,307 yards and 11 touchdowns in his first pro season.
Barkley’s 2,028 total yards from scrimmage were the third most from a rookie in NFL history, trailing only Eric Dickerson (2,212) and Edgerrin James (2,139). Barkley’s 91 catches were the more than any rookie running back in NFL history.
Barkley edged out Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield, 26.5 votes to 21.5.
Leonard, who inexplicably missed out on the Pro Bowl, took home rookie defensive honors after leading the league in total tackles (163) and solo tackles (111). Further, his seven sacks ranked second in the league among rookies.
Nagy was the runaway winner for Coach of the Year after leading the Bears to a 12-4 record and the NFC North division title in his debut season. Nagy got 24 votes. Anthony Lynn of the Los Angeles Chargers came in a distant second with just 10.
Luck, too, was an easy winner for Comeback Player of the Year. He finished second in the league in touchdown passes (39) after missing the entire 2017 season with a shoulder injury. Luck threw for 4,593 yards in leading the Colts to 10-6 record and a wild-card playoff berth. Luck got 44 votes, and Houston’s J.J. Watt was second with four votes.
Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long was named the 2018 Walter Payton Man of the Year, which honors community service. Long donated a quarter of his salary this season to a literacy cause, and he heads a foundation that assists in clean-water projects and helps military veterans, homeless people and youth.
“I am incredibly thankful that football has provided me with a platform to give back and I am proud that so many of my colleagues have decided to use this stage to create positive and impactful change in our local communities and around the world,” Long said in a statement.
Brees did win some hardware on Saturday night, taking home the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award.
Nagy’s former defensive coordinator, Vic Fangio, earned AP Assistant Coach of the Year honors. Fangio accepted a head-coaching position with the Denver Broncos in the offseason.
Other awards handed out Saturday night:
Salute to Service Award: Falcons G Ben Garland
Game Changer Award: Seattle Seahawks LB Shaquem Griffin
Offensive Line of the Year: Los Angeles Rams
Moment of the Year: Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers’ comeback against the Bears in Week 1
Clutch Performance Play of the Year: The Miami Miracle by the Dolphins in their end-of-game series of laterals to score and defeat the New England Patriots
Touchdown Celebration of the Year: Seattle Seahawks
Deacon Jones Award: Rams DT Aaron Donald
Unstoppable Performance of the Year: Rams QB Jared Goff
—Field Level Media