Explore NFL MVP history: Youngest to oldest winners, standout seasons and a kicker’s surprising triumph. Unveil the ultimate MVP season!
Since 1957, the Associated Press has awarded the most widely recognized NFL MVP award. That year, the AP recognized Cleveland running back Jim Brown, who would win the award a total of three times over his career.
That’s a feat only five other players have accomplished since.
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NFL MVPs By Year
Who are the other players to win three or more awards? Who’s got the most MVPs? Here’s a complete rundown:
MVP Yearly Rundown: 1950 – 2000
|SEASON||PLAYER AND TEAM|
|1957||Jim Brown, Cleveland Browns|
|1958||Jim Brown, Cleveland Browns|
|1959||Johnny Unitas, Baltimore Colts|
|1960||Norm Van Brocklin, Philadelphia Eagles|
|1961||Paul Hornung, Green Bay Packers|
|1962||Jim Taylor, Green Bay Packers|
|1963||Y.A. Tittle, New York Giants|
|1964||Johnny Unitas, Baltimore Colts|
|1965||Jim Brown, Cleveland Browns|
|1966||Bart Starr, Green Bay Packers|
|1967||Johnny Unitas, Baltimore Colts|
|1968||Earl Morrall, Baltimore Colts|
|1969||Roman Gabriel, Los Angeles Rams|
|1970||John Brodie, San Francisco 49ers|
|1971||Alan Page, Minnesota Vikings|
|1972||Larry Brown, Washington Redskins|
|1973||O.J. Simpson. Buffalo Bills|
|1974||Ken Stabler, Oakland Raiders|
|1975||Fran Tarkenton, Minnesota Vikings|
|1976||Bert Jones, Baltimore Colts|
|1977||Walter Payton, Chicago Bears|
|1978||Terry Bradshaw, Pittsburgh Steelers|
|1979||Earl Campbell, Houston Oilers|
|1980||Brian Sipe, Cleveland Browns|
|1981||Ken Anderson, Cincinnati Bengals|
|1982||Mark Moseley, Washington Redskins|
|1983||Joe Theismann, Washington Redskins|
|1984||Dan Marino, Miami Dolphins|
|1985||Marcus Allen, Los Angeles Raiders|
|1986||Lawrence Taylor, New York Giants|
|1987||John Elway, Denver Broncos|
|1988||Boomer Esiason, Cincinnati Bengals|
|1989||Joe Montana, San Francisco 49ers|
|1990||Joe Montana, San Francisco 49ers|
|1991||Thurman Thomas, Buffalo Bills|
|1992||Steve Young, San Francisco 49ers|
|1993||Emmitt Smith, Dallas Cowboys|
|1994||Steve Young, San Francisco 49ers|
|1995||Brett Favre, Green Bay Packers|
|1996||Brett Favre, Green Bay Packers|
|1997||Brett Favre, Green Bay Packers|
Barry Sanders, Detroit Lions
|1998||Terrell Davis, Denver Broncos|
|1999||Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams|
NFL MVP By Year: 2000 – Now
|SEASON||PLAYER AND TEAM|
|2000||Marshall Faulk, St. Louis Rams|
|2001||Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams|
|2002||Rich Gannon, Oakland Raiders|
|2003||Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts|
Steve McNair, Tennessee Titans
|2004||Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts|
|2005||Shaun Alexander, Seattle Seahawks|
|2006||LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego Chargers|
|2007||Tom Brady, New England Patriots|
|2008||Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts|
|2009||Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts|
|2010||Tom Brady, New England Patriots|
|2011||Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers|
|2012||Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings|
|2013||Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos|
|2014||Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers|
|2015||Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers|
|2016||Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons|
|2017||Tom Brady, New England Patriots|
|2018||Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs|
|2019||Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens|
|2020||Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers|
|2021||Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers|
|2022||Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs|
Who Has Won the Most NFL MVP Awards?
Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning won the award four times during his time with the Indianapolis Colts, then added a fifth award in 2013 with the Denver Broncos.
Manning is the only player to win five NFL MVP awards.
Other players to win the award more than once include:
|PLAYER(S)||NUMBER OF MVP AWARDS|
|Tom Brady, Jim Brown, Brett Favre, Johnny Unitas||3|
|Patrick Mahomes, Joe Montana, Kurt Warner, Steve Young||2|
Most Valuable… Kicker? Mark Moseley’s MVP Season
The idea of an NFL kicker winning the MVP award seems impossible in 2023.
But 41 seasons ago, Washington kicker Mark Moseley rode an improbable season to the award, becoming the only special teams player to take the award.
A players’ strike shortened the regular season to nine games, and Moseley made 20-of-21 kicks (95.2%) that season for the eventual Super Bowl champion Redskins.
Those numbers may not seem overwhelming, but consider:
- 20 field goals over a nine-game season is 2.22 successful kicks per game, an average that was not surpassed until Indianapolis’ Cary Blanchard made 36 field goals in 16 games in the 1996 season.
- A success rate of 95.2% was unfathomable in the 1982 NFL, where kickers only made 68.2% of their kicks across the league.
For comparison’s sake, NFL kickers made 85% of their field goals in 2022.
Mark Moseley was ahead of his time, and he was certainly the NFL’s unlikeliest MVP.
Who Was the Youngest Player to Win NFL MVP?
Lamar Jackson received the 2019 award just 25 days after his 23rd birthday, making him the youngest player to win NFL MVP.
Jackson led the Baltimore Ravens’ #1 scoring offense that season (33.2 points per game) by throwing for 3,127 yards and a league-leading 36 touchdowns.
But it was his work on the ground that made the season superlative – a record for quarterback rushing with 1,206 yards and an additional seven touchdowns. The Ravens finished the year 14-2.
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Who Was the Oldest Player to Win NFL MVP?
Here’s that man again – Tom Brady, at 40 years and 184 days, is the oldest player to win the NFL MVP award when he did it for a third time in 2017.
Brady led the NFL in passing yards in 2017 with 4,577 yards and finished third in passing touchdowns with 32. His Patriots finished 13-3 but lost Super Bowl LII to the Eagles.
Who Had the Greatest NFL MVP Season?
Mark Moseley, described above, had a unique MVP season because I don’t think we’ll see a kicker win the award again.
Lawrence Taylor and Alan Page, the two defensive players to win the award, also deserve a mention here. But other players have approached and even surpassed their seasons from a statistical standpoint.
And there are too many quarterbacks breaking too many records to name one the very best.
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What Was the Ultimate MVP Season in NFL History?
So the pick for the ultimate NFL MVP season? How about 2006 LaDainian Tomlinson?
The San Diego Chargers running back scored 31 touchdowns that year – still an NFL record. He rushed for 28 scores, registered three more on receptions, and even threw a touchdown pass in a Week 6 game against the Chiefs.
Want more? Tomlinson rushed for 100 yards or more in 10 of 16 regular-season contests, including nine games in a row from Weeks 7-15.
From Weeks 7-14, he scored two or more touchdowns in every game, with four scores in three different games (including consecutive games against Cincinnati and Denver in Weeks 9 and 10) and three more games with three TDs each.
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For the season, Tomlinson amassed 2,323 yards with 1,815 of them on the ground. He averaged over nine yards per catch – impressive for a running back – and scored touchdowns of over 50 yards both rushing (85 yards) and receiving (51 yards).
If fantasy football’s your thing, Tomlinson’s 425.1 fantasy points in 2006 are a full 12.2% higher than the second-best season ever for a running back (Marshall Faulk in 2000).
To top it off, Tomlinson was named the 2006 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, recognition given annually to the player whose philanthropic efforts and community impact best complement his play on the field.
There have been some outstanding single-season performances, but no one has ever had an NFL MVP season like LaDainian Tomlinson did in 2006.
2023 MVP Odds
Who’s your choice for NFL MVP in 2023?
Here are the players atop the boards right now. (Odds courtesy of FanDuel).
|Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs||+600|
|Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills||+700|
|Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals||+700|
|Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers||+900|
|Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles||+1200|
|Aaron Rodgers, New York Jets||+1600|
|Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars||+1600|
|Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys||+1600|
|Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins||+1600|
|Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens||+1600|
PointsBet SECOND CHANCE
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So, who will win it this year? Mahomes? Hurts? Brock Purdy?