Even before the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots faced off in the Super Bowl 51 at the NRG Stadium on February 5, the MVP race was already decided with the Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan running away with the win with a convincing 25 votes.
Coming in at a distant second is the Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady, whose 10 votes would have increased had the voters seen his play during the Super Bowl 51 where he led his team to a come-from-behind victory over the Falcons en route to their fifth Super Bowl.
The biggest surprise for the MVP race was the fact that the third place in the MVP race in terms of votes received went to the six of Dallas Cowboys’ rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott and Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, who also got six votes.
Everyone was expecting that the third spot would fall into the hands of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers who also had a sensational 2016 NFL season. But he only got two votes, just one vote better than Dak Prescott, the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, details CBS Sports.
Right there with the best
Eliott was right there with Brady in terms of MVP votes and lost one vote because Dak Prescott received a single vote, which could have also gone to him.
Rodgers was a guy that people were pumping up to win the award. After the Packers fell to 4-6, Rodgers said he believed Green Bay could run the table and he wasn’t kidding.
The Packers would rip off six straight wins to close out the season, beating the Lions in Week 17 to secure the NFC North title.
He had a fantastic season, completing more than 65 percent of his passes, throwing for 4,428 yards and leading the league with 40 passing touchdowns. That six-game stretch to close out the year featured Rodgers playing the quarterback position in a way that one won’t often see as he was locked in like only Rodgers can be.
The Packers nearly parlayed it into a Super Bowl run, beating the Giants handily at home and upsetting the Cowboys on the road before falling to the Falcons in the NFC Championship Game in Atlanta.
The run would, many believed, get him some serious MVP consideration. But it turns out that he was less of a candidate in the voters’ minds than the Cowboys rookie running back.
His first MVP award
Matt Ryan received his first-ever MVP award during the NFL Honors award show on the night of February 4 in Houston, less than 24 hours before the Super Bowl 51.
The Falcons passer became the first player in franchise history to win an MVP award, which headlined an evening in which he was recognized for three different honors, points out the Bleacher Report.
Ryan was officially named as the FedEx Player of the Year. Ezekiel Elliott was named as the FedEx Ground Player of the Year.
Meanwhile, Eli Manning, quarterback of the New York Giants, and Larry Fitzgerald, wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals shared the Walter Payton Man of the Year honors.
Derek Carr, quarterback of the Oakland Raiders was named as the Castrol EDGE Clutch Performer of the Year.
Mike Evans, wide receiver of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was handed the Bridgestone Performance Play of the Year while the Built Ford Tough Offensive Line of the Year went to the Dallas Cowboys.
The Salute to Service Award was awarded to Dan Quinn of the Atlanta Falcons while the Courtyard’s Greatness on the Road Award went to Le’Veon Bell, running back of the Pittsburgh Steelers.