Peyton Manning has won his fifth Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player award in a landslide.
The Denver Broncos’ record-setting quarterback, who threw for 55 touchdowns and 5,477 yards in leading the Broncos to the AFC’s best record, earned 49 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league. New England quarterback Tom Brady got the other vote in balloting announced Saturday night.
Manning won his other MVPs with Indianapolis in 2003, ’04, ’08 and ’09. He also was the runner-up last season to Adrian Peterson.
Denver Broncos executive John Elway accepted the award on Manning’s behalf. “I can say I have never seen a better year played by a quarterback than Peyton Manning,” Elway said.
Manning also earned him his second Associated Press NFL Offensive Player of the Year award Saturday night with 33 votes. Running back LeSean McCoy of Philadelphia was second with 10 votes, followed by Kansas City running back Jamaal Charles with four.
The Carolina Panthers also grabbed two major awards, with Ron Rivera winning AP NFL Coach of the Year and linebacker Luke Kuechly voted top defensive player.
Rivera engineered the Panthers’ turnaround from a 7-9 record to 12-4, the NFC South title and a first-round playoff bye. Kuechly keyed a defense that allowed 241 points, less than every team except NFC champion Seattle.
Green Bay running back Eddie Lacy and Jets defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson were the top rookies for 2013. San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers took the Comeback Player of the Year award at the NFL Honors show and Chicago cornerback Charles Tillman won the Walter Payton Man of the Year award.
Rivera’s fine work in his third season in charge in Carolina brought him 21½ votes. That outdistanced Kansas City’s Andy Reid, who got 13½ votes. In his first year with the Chiefs, Reid took them from 2-14 to 11-5 and an AFC wild-card berth.
Kuechly added top defensive player to his 2012 defensive rookie award. Carolina’s All-Pro linebacker received 19 votes, ahead of Indianapolis All-Pro linebacker Robert Mathis, who earned 11½.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that there remains no timetable for putting a team in Los Angeles despite news reports that the owner of the St. Louis Rams, Stan Kroenke, had bought 60 acres in central Los Angeles that presumably could be used to hold a stadium.
“There are no plans to my knowledge of a stadium development,” Goodell said of Kroenke’s purchase. Goodell said that any team hoping to move to Los Angeles needs the blessing of at least 24 of the league’s 32 owners.
Pot in forefront
The issue of legalizing marijuana has come to the forefront since both Colorado and Washington took that very step, and the Super Bowl has become a convenient conduit for those on both sides of the issue since the AFC champion Denver Broncos and NFC champion Seahawks come from those states. Some have dubbed it “The Stoner Bowl.” There are many who believe marijuana can help players cope with pain in the short term and better deal with the long-range effects of their brutal game. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the league could consider marijuana as a possible treatment for concussions if there’s science to back it up.