The NFL held its first NFL Honors show tonight, with all of the major awards being announced. The highlight of the night was, of course, the NFL MVP award, which was given to the Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers won with 48 votes, while New Orleans Saints' quarterback Drew Brees picked up the other two votes.
Rodgers is the first Green Bay Packers player to be named MVP since 1997. That year was the end of three straight MVP awards for Brett Favre. The award was presented to Rodgers by four-time MVP Peyton Manning. Rodgers told Manning, "We're all really excited to see you back on the field next year."
Since 2007, the NFL MVP has gone to a quarterback, with the New England Patriots' Tom Brady winning the award in 2007 and 2010, while Manning won it in 2009 and 2010.
Brees was not shut out of the awards, however. He walked away with the league's Offensive Player of the Year award, after breaking Miami Dolphins legendary quarterback Dan Marino's 27-year-old single season passing yardage record. Brees finished the season with 5,476 yards passing, along with 468 completions - breaking Manning's 2010 mark of 450. He also broke his own completion percentage record, set back in 2009, moving up one percentage point from 70.6% to 71.6%.
Other awards presented tonight included:
- Offensive Rookie of the Year - Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
- Defensive Rookie of the Year - Von Miller, Denver Broncos
- Coach of the Year - Jim Harbaugh
- Defensive Player of the Year - Terrell Suggs, Baltimore Ravens
- Comeback Player of the Year - Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
- Walter Payton Man of the Year - Matt Birk, Baltimore Ravens
- Moment of the Year - Tim Tebow's Week 14 Fourth Quarter and Overtime Performance
During his acceptance speech for the MVP award, Rodgers stated:
"It means a lot to be recognized as a consistent player and contributing on my team. I think it's an award that relies on a player having the support of his teammates, obviously, guys blocking, guys running, guys catching, guys making plays. But I'm very honored to receive the award.
"People really count on me to be consistent each week, to play well. Knowing that my performance, the fact that I touch the ball every play, I have a direct impact on the game, the way I play. And if I'm playing consistent and doing things I know I'm supposed to do, we've been able to have some success because of it."
Rodgers led the league in passer rating this season, with a 122.5 season mark. He threw for 4,643 yards and 45 touchdowns, on 68.3% completion rate. He only had six interceptions on the year, leading the Packers to a league best 15-1 record.