Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes voted MVP

ATLANTA — Patrick Mahomes’ breathtaking breakthrough season earned him the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award.

The Chiefs quarterback earned two awards at NFL Honors on Saturday night, taking the Associated Press 2018 MVP and Offensive Player of the Year awards. In his second pro season, Mahomes led Kansas City to its first AFC title game since 1993 with some of the most creative and clutch plays the league has seen in years.

“I’m so humbled,” he said. “This is just the beginning. We’ve got a long ways to go.”

Mahomes received 41 votes from a nationwide panel of media members who regularly cover the league. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees got the other nine.

With only one previous start, Mahomes entered the season as something of a curiosity in Kansas City after the Chiefs traded veteran quarterback Alex Smith to open up the job. It didn’t take long for Mahomes quiet any skeptics as he led the Chiefs to their first AFC title game since the 1993 season, throwing for 50 touchdowns and 5,097 yards. His 113.8 QB rating was second to Brees in the NFL.

Mahomes’ ingenuity — he can make dazzling plays inside and outside the pocket — energized the Chiefs’ fan base and excited fans across the league.

Mahomes is the sixth quarterback in six years and 11th of the past 12 to win MVP. No Kansas City player had won the award since the Chiefs joined the NFL in 1970.

Earlier, Mahomes was selected as the top offensive player, beating Brees 30 votes to 16.

Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who will play in Sunday’s Super Bowl against New England, took his second straight Defensive Player of the Year award.

Chicago’s Matt Nagy, in his first season with the Bears, was voted Coach of the Year.

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was chosen the Comeback Player of the Year. After missing the 2017 season because of a shoulder injury, he was a Pro Bowl pick for the 2018 season.

Giants running back Saquon Barkley was the top offensive rookie, while the defensive rookie award went to Indianapolis linebacker Darius Leonard.

For his work as defensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears, Vic Fangio got the head coaching gig in Denver. He also won the Assistant Coach of the Year Award.

Barry Wilner is an Associated Press writer.

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