Aaron Rodgers wins fourth NFL MVP award
Aaron Rodgers has a new award to add to his long list of accomplishments.
The Packers quarterback became just the second player in NFL history to earn four AP NFL Most Valuable Player honors in a career Thursday night at NFL Honors when he was named the 2021 NFL MVP for a second year in a row.
Rodgers took 39 of the votes with Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady taking second with 10 tallies. Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp received the remaining vote.
Rodgers capped yet another stellar season in 2021 with a campaign reminiscent of his other three MVP seasons, posting a passer rating of 111.9, a completion percentage of 68.9 and a 13-3 win-loss record. He had 13 games with two-plus passing touchdowns and zero interceptions in 2021, the most such instances in a single season in NFL history, coming as close to perfect as possible for a modern-day quarterback.
Rodgers was phenomenal when needed to lead the Packers to comeback victories, finishing first in completion percentage (71.8), passing yards per attempt (9.2), touchdown-to-interception ratio (14-2) and passer rating (126.1) when trailing in 2021. His 37-4 touchdown-to-interception ratio was the third-highest in a single season in NFL history, and one of the six highest marks all time — all owned by Rodgers.
He won MVP in three of those seasons, including each of the last two. Rodgers’ fourth career MVP moves him into second behind Peyton Manning (five) for the most NFL MVPs won in a career, and makes him just the fifth player in league history to win the accolade in consecutive seasons.
After spending the offseason fueling controversy regarding his murky future with the Packers, Rodgers returned to the team with receiver Davante Adams and shred defenses in 2021, helping Adams finish third in receiving yards (1,553) and fifth in receiving touchdowns (11) while also creating opportunities for other playmakers in Green Bay’s offense. The unit finished eighth in passing yards per game and 10th in total offense, and coach Matt LaFleur pushed his win total to 39, the most for a coach in his first three seasons with a team in NFL history.
Rodgers’ regular season, however, was not without controversy. Rodgers missed a Week 9 loss to the Kanas City Chiefs after testing positive for COVID-19. Upon Rodgers’ positive test, it was revealed he was not vaccinated against the virus. Rodgers told reporters in August that he had “been immunized” and later took “full responsibility” for his comments regarding COVID-19.
The other blemish on Rodgers’ scintillating stretch of play is the end result: postseason disappointment. Each of Rodgers’ last two MVP campaigns have positioned the Packers for a deep playoff run to a Super Bowl appearance, yet they’ve fallen short. With Rodgers at the controls, the Packers earned the NFC’s top seed before falling in an upset loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the Divisional Round.
That doesn’t factor into MVP voting, of course, which is taken before voters know how the postseason plays out. When Rodgers’ career is viewed in totality, his excellence and the resulting four MVPs will be undeniable and will lead to a first-ballot Hall of Fame selection. Earning two straight MVPs after his 35th birthday is simply incredible — regardless of whether a Lombardi Trophy was included.
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