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Rodgers is named MVP

Packers star QB wins in landslide

By Barry Wilner
Associated Press / February 5, 2012
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INDIANAPOLIS - Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers yesterday won the 2011 Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player award in a landslide.

Rodgers earned 48 votes to two for Saints quarterback Drew Brees in balloting by a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the NFL. The Packers star is the first Green Bay player honored since Brett Favre concluded a run of three straight seasons as MVP in 1997.

“It means a lot to be recognized as a consistent player and contributing on my team,’’ Rodgers said. “I think it’s an award that relies on a player having the support of his teammates, obviously, guys blocking, guys running, guys catching, guys making plays. But I’m very honored to receive the award.’’

Rodgers received a standing ovation after his name was announced by Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, the league’s only four-time MVP.

“We’re all really excited to see you back on the field next year,’’ Rodgers told Manning.

Rodgers led the NFL in passing with a 122.5 rating built on 45 touchdown passes, six interceptions and a 68.3 completion percentage as the Packers went 15-1 and won the NFC North. The Packers were beaten by the Giants at Lambeau Field in the divisional round.

Brees’s record-setting season earned him the AP Offensive Player of the Year award.

Brees shattered Dan Marino’s 27-year-old mark by passing for 5,476 yards, and his 468 completions broke Manning’s 2010 record of 450. Brees finished the season completing 71.6 percent of his passes, breaking his own 2009 NFL record (70.6). He also surpassed 300 yards passing for seven straight games and 13 times during the season, both beating league marks he already held.

Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs, the most dynamic player on the Ravens’ staunch defense, won the Defensive Player of the Year award.

Suggs had 70 tackles, including 14 sacks, and was a force all over the field from his hybrid linebacker-end position. He also forced seven fumbles and had two interceptions as the Ravens went 12-4 to win the AFC North. Baltimore allowed 266 points, third fewest in the NFL.

Lions QB Matthew Stafford won the Comeback Player of the Year award. Stafford fought through injuries his first two seasons, then threw for more than 5,000 yards to lead Detroit to its first playoff berth in 12 years.

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was named Offensive Rookie of the Year. Newton set an NFL record for touchdowns rushing in a season by a quarterback with 14 and became the first player in league history to throw for 4,000 yards and rush for 500. He helped Carolina improve from 2-14 to 6-10, throwing for 21 touchdowns.

Broncos linebacker Von Miller earned Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. Miller made 64 tackles and had 11 1/2 sacks despite missing one game.

San Francisco rookie Jim Harbaugh was Coach of the Year.

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