Chiefs ace Mahomes named NFL MVP
By Agence France-Presse
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player, becoming the youngest recipient of the award in 35 years following a dazzling breakthrough season.
At a ceremony in Atlanta on the eve of the Super Bowl, the 23-year-old signal-caller became the youngest winner of the MVP Honors since Miami Dolphins legend Dan Marino in 1984.
Mahomes’ season was made all the more remarkable given his limited experience. Prior to 2018 he had made just one start as a rookie for the Chiefs.
Yet the Chiefs quarterback showed a maturity beyond his years with a series of scintillating displays that carried his team to the brink of the Super Bowl.
The Chiefs ultimately came up short in the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots, losing in overtime at Arrowhead Stadium on January 20.
Mahomes’ stunning season also saw him pick up Offensive Player of the Year honours.
The Texan made multiple touchdown passes in 14 games and finished the year with 50 touchdowns to top the league, with only 12 interceptions.
He averaged more than 318 passing yards per game in a total of 5,097 yards.
Los Angeles Rams tackle Aaron Donald meanwhile was named the Defensive Player of the Year after a season that saw him post a league-best 20.5 sacks.
On Sunday, Donald will attempt to add to that tally when the Rams face the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
The Rams offense also earned recognition, winning the Offensive Line of the Year award.
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley was earlier named Rookie of the Year after a dazzling debut season which saw him amass 2,028 total scrimmage yards.
Only two other rookies in NFL history — Eric Dickerson in 1983 and Edgerrin James in 1999 — had broken the 2,000-yard barrier.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was named Comeback Player of the Year after successfully returning to the sport following an 18-month injury layoff.
Luck missed the entire 2017 season and it had been feared he may be forced to retire with a shoulder problem.
However the 29-year-old came back to throw 4,953 yards and 39 touchdown passes to lead the Colts into the playoffs.
Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy was named Coach of the Year after overseeing a dramatic reversal in fortunes for the NFC North outfit.
The Bears finished 5-11 in 2017 at the foot of the division.
However Nagy’s arrival following the departure of John Fox marked an upturn in the team’s fortune, with the Bears topping the division at 12-4.
Chicago reached the playoffs only to be beaten in the wild card round by the reigning Super Bowl champions the Philadelphia Eagles.