The highest individual honor in the NFL is the AP MVP award. The list of recipients includes many current and future Pro Football Hall of Famers, a most prestigious group. As had been widely expected for weeks, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers won the award Saturday at the 5th annual NFL Honors ceremony.
During the final stretch of the 2014 season, the race for MVP narrowed to a two-man race between Rodgers and Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt. Watt of course garnered well-deserved acclaim for his tremendous defensive play -- 20.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, and a pick six -- as well as the five total touchdowns he scored, there as a receiver. Still, Watt's Texans failed to qualify for the postseason while Rodgers' Packers secured the No. 2 seed in the NFC, which may have swayed voters.
That's not to say Rodgers' numbers don't make a compelling case. He led the NFL in touchdown-to-turnover differential (+34) and became the first player in NFL history to throw 38 or more touchdowns with only five interceptions. Perhaps most impressively, four of his five picks came off the hands of a receiver. Rodgers threw zero interceptions at Lambeau Field this season, a streak that dates back over two years.
In the end, the voters didn't have too much trouble picking a winner. Rodgers received 31 of the 50 MVP votes, more than twice the total for Watt (13). The duo was followed by Tony Romo and DeMarco Murray (2 votes each), Tom Brady (1) and Bobby Wagner (1).
The 2014 NFL MVP is Rodgers' second. His first came after the 2011 season during which he set the league record for highest passer rating for a single season (122.5). The award also gives the Packers their second multi-MVP quarterback in the past 20 years.