NFL MVPs by Year: The Youngest, the Oldest & the Ultimate

Explore NFL MVP history: Youngest to oldest winners, standout seasons and a kicker’s surprising triumph. Unveil the ultimate MVP season!

Before anyone ever heard of the GOAT, players were content to battle for NFL MVP honors.

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

1957Jim Brown, Cleveland Browns
1958Jim Brown, Cleveland Browns
1959Johnny Unitas, Baltimore Colts
1960Norm Van Brocklin, Philadelphia Eagles
1961Paul Hornung, Green Bay Packers
1962Jim Taylor, Green Bay Packers
1963Y.A. Tittle, New York Giants
1964Johnny Unitas, Baltimore Colts
1965Jim Brown, Cleveland Browns
1966Bart Starr, Green Bay Packers
1967Johnny Unitas, Baltimore Colts
1968Earl Morrall, Baltimore Colts
1969Roman Gabriel, Los Angeles Rams
1970John Brodie, San Francisco 49ers
1971Alan Page, Minnesota Vikings
1972Larry Brown, Washington Redskins
1973O.J. Simpson. Buffalo Bills
1974Ken Stabler, Oakland Raiders
1975Fran Tarkenton, Minnesota Vikings
1976Bert Jones, Baltimore Colts
1977Walter Payton, Chicago Bears
1978Terry Bradshaw, Pittsburgh Steelers
1979Earl Campbell, Houston Oilers
1980Brian Sipe, Cleveland Browns
1981Ken Anderson, Cincinnati Bengals
1982Mark Moseley, Washington Redskins
1983Joe Theismann, Washington Redskins
1984Dan Marino, Miami Dolphins
1985Marcus Allen, Los Angeles Raiders
1986Lawrence Taylor, New York Giants
1987John Elway, Denver Broncos
1988Boomer Esiason, Cincinnati Bengals
1989Joe Montana, San Francisco 49ers
1990Joe Montana, San Francisco 49ers
1991Thurman Thomas, Buffalo Bills
1992Steve Young, San Francisco 49ers
1993Emmitt Smith, Dallas Cowboys
1994Steve Young, San Francisco 49ers
1995Brett Favre, Green Bay Packers
1996Brett Favre, Green Bay Packers
1997Brett Favre, Green Bay Packers
Barry Sanders, Detroit Lions
1998Terrell Davis, Denver Broncos
1999Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams

NFL MVP By Year: 2000 – Now

2000Marshall Faulk, St. Louis Rams
2001Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams
2002Rich Gannon, Oakland Raiders
2003Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts
Steve McNair, Tennessee Titans
2004Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts
2005Shaun Alexander, Seattle Seahawks
2006LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego Chargers
2007Tom Brady, New England Patriots
2008Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts
2009Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts
2010Tom Brady, New England Patriots
2011Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
2012Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
2013Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
2014Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
2015Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
2016Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
2017Tom Brady, New England Patriots
2018Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
2019Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
2020Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
2021Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
2022Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes MVP

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.

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Other players to win the award more than once include:

Aaron Rodgers4
Tom Brady, Jim Brown, Brett Favre, Johnny Unitas3
Patrick Mahomes, Joe Montana, Kurt Warner, Steve Young2
Most MVP awards

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.

Most unlikely

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.

Tom Brady

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
Mahomes favorite for MVP 2023


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So, who will win it this year? Mahomes? Hurts? Brock Purdy?

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