Lamar Jackson was almost unanimously selected for the AP NFL Most Valuable Player Award for the second time

Lamar Jackson was almost unanimously selected for the AP NFL Most Valuable Player Award for the second time

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Accepting the AP NFL Player of the Year award in person was bittersweet for Lamar Jackson.

Jackson was almost unanimously selected for his second MVP award announced at the NFL Honors ceremony Thursday night, but the Baltimore Ravens quarterback fell short of a single Super Bowl win on Sunday.

“I would rather submit a video to win the prize,” Jackson said. “To be here to receive the award is an honor, but I would rather be at the Super Bowl accepting this award,” he added.

The All-Pro QB received 49 of 50 first-place votes from a nationwide panel of voters that includes media members who regularly cover the NFL and former players and coaches.

Jackson led the Ravens (14-5) to the best record in the NFL in the regular season, but they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship game. Jackson, 27, is the fourth player to win his second MVP award before turning 28, joining Patrick Mahomes (27), Brett Favre (27) and Jim Brown (22).

“It’s an honor. I think I’m in elite company,” Jackson said.

San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey walked away with the AP Offensive Player of the Year award. He’ll try to add a Super Bowl ring to his trophy case when the 49ers take on the Chiefs on Sunday.

Cleveland Browns’ Myles Garrett beat out TJ Watt for AP Defensive Player of the Year. Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud won the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year award in a landslide. Defensive end Will Anderson Jr., Stroud’s teammate in Houston, won the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year award, beating both Jalen Carter and Coby Turner by two first-place votes.

The Browns earned four awards.

Quarterback Joe Flacco, who got off the couch to lead Cleveland to the playoffs, was named AP Comeback Player of the Year. Kevin Stefanski edged out Houston’s DeMeco Ryans for AP Coach of the Year honors by one vote for first place. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz won AP Assistant Coach of the Year after leading the No. 1 ranked unit in the league.

“It was a special year for a special team,” Garrett said of Brown. “I think next year will be our year.”

Although he was disappointed to lose the AFC title game, it was also a special year for Jackson.

The first-place MVP vote he did not receive went to Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen. Jackson threw for 3,678 yards and 24 touchdowns and ran for 821 yards and five scores while leading Baltimore to a record 10 wins over teams that finished with a winning record. He helped the Ravens defeat Houston in the divisional round but struggled in a 17-10 loss to the Chiefs in the AFC title game.

McCaffrey, a first-team All-Pro in San Francisco, received 39 of 50 first-place OPOY votes, surpassing Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill. A unanimous All-Pro selection, McCaffrey led the NFL with 1,459 rushing yards and had 14 rushing TDs. He also gained 564 yards on seven scores.

“I feel very fortunate to be part of the best organization on the planet, so thank you for believing in me,” McCaffrey said.

Garrett was equally dominant on the other side of the ball. He received 23 first-place votes and 165 points to beat Watt for DPOY. Despite constant double teams, Garrett had 14 sacks, 30 quarterback hits, 17 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, and forced offensive coordinators to avoid his side of the field.

Stroud received 48 of the 50 first-place votes for OROY with Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Puka Nacua receiving the other two votes. The No. 2 overall pick, Stroud threw for 4,108 yards, 23 touchdowns, five interceptions, and had a passer rating of 100.8, third best for a rookie. He helped the Texans go from worst to first in the AFC South and led them to a wild-card round playoff win.

“I’m the type of person that wonders what’s next and what I can do better, but when I think about this season, being my first, it’s special to be in the NFL let alone on a winning team,” Stroud said.

Anderson and Stroud are the fourth teammates to win both offensive and defensive rookie awards in the same season. Garrett Wilson and Soos Gardner won awards last year for the New York Jets.

“It means the absolute world,” Anderson said of him and Stroud’s win. “Just watching how he comes to work every day, the preparation he puts in and rebuilding the culture and being a leader for our new year, it’s special.”

Flacco beat out Bills safety Damar Hamlin and Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield for the comeback award. He received 13 first place votes, 26 second place votes and eight two-thirds votes to finish with 151 points.

Hamlin returned to the NFL this season after collapsing on the field and needing to be resuscitated after suffering cardiac arrest on January 2, 2023. He played in five regular season games. Hamlin received 21 first-place votes but appeared on 42 of 50 ballots while Flacco received 47. He received seven second-place votes and 14 thirds for 140 points.

Flacco, the 39-year-old former Super Bowl player, was at home in New Jersey with his family when Cleveland called him in November. He went 4-1 in five starts and passed for more than 300 yards in four straight games with 13 touchdowns.

Stefanski led the Browns to their third playoff appearance since 1999 despite losing quarterback Deshaun Watson, star running back Nick Chubb and right tackle Jack Conklin to season-ending injuries and starting five QBs.

Cleveland’s Schwartz received 25 first-place votes and finished the season with 160 points, easily besting Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Mike McDonald.

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AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl

(tags for translation) Associated Press

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