AP Most Valuable Player Kansas City Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes except his award on tape during the NFL Honors award show ahead of the Super Bowl 57 football game,Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
PHOENIX — Patrick Mahomes dominated the voting for the AP NFL Most Valuable Player award. Now, he’ll try to break the MVP curse.
Mahomes, who also won in 2018, easily outdistanced Jalen Hurts, receiving 48 of 50 first-place votes from a nationwide panel of media members who regularly cover the league. He earned 490 points to 193 for Hurts, who got one first-place vote, 26 seconds, 11 thirds and 10 fourths.
Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs (16-3) face Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles (16-3) in the Super Bowl on Sunday.
Mahomes thanked the Chiefs organization and his teammates in a video at NFL Honors on Thursday night.
“I would never be standing here without y’all,” Mahomes said. “Every day we’ve given everything we have together to win the ultimate goal, the Super Bowl. Let’s continue to go for that dream this weekend.”
The last nine MVPs to play in the Super Bowl that season are 0-9. Kurt Warner was the last to win both the MVP award and Super Bowl following the 1999 season.
Bills quarterback Josh Allen received the other first-place vote, finishing third with 151 points. Bengals QB Joe Burrow placed fourth and Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson came in fifth.
The 27-year-old Mahomes is the third player to win his second MVP before turning 28, joining Brett Favre (27) and Jim Brown (22).
Mahomes was the 2018 NFL MVP in his first full season as a starter.
The Chiefs lost the AFC championship game that season but Mahomes led them to a Super Bowl victory over San Francisco the following season.
In the second-closest race Thursday, Brian Daboll won AP Coach of the Year after leading the New York Giants to their first playoff appearance in six years.
Daboll received 16 first-place votes and 123 total points to outpace 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, who got 12 votes for first and 100 points.
Jaguars coach Doug Pederson finished third with 75 points, including five first-place votes.
“It’s a tremendous honor,” Daboll said. “You don’t think about that when you take a job. You think about leading a team and building the culture.
Other awards announced Thursday:
DeMeco Ryans, who spent the past two seasons as the defensive coordinator of the 49ers, was named AP Assistant Coach of the Year. He is now the head coach of the Texans.
Nick Bosa made it a landslide for the AP Defensive Player of the Year award. San Francisco’s All-Pro defensive end received 46 first-place votes after leading the NFL with 18 ½ sacks in the regular season.
Bosa and the 49ers lost to the Eagles 31-7 in the NFC title game. He joked that he’s ready to start the season now.
“One weekend in Las Vegas is enough for me,” Bosa said.
Jets cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner won the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year award. Gardner, the No. 4 overall pick in the draft, started every game for the Jets. He had two interceptions and allowed just 33 catches on 73 targets.
Jets receiver Garrett Wilson edged out Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker for the AP Offensive Rookie of the year award.
“This means everything.,” Wilson said. “You put in a lot of work to end up in this point and to see it come to fruition, it’s awesome.”
Wilson and Gardner are the third teammates to win the offensive and defensive rookie awards in the same season. Alvin Kamara and Marshon Lattimore did it with the Saints in 2017 and Detroit’s Mel Farr and Lem Barney did it in 1967.
“I was more happy for Garrett,” Gardner said.
Justin Jefferson ran away with the AP Offensive Player of the Year award. Minnesota’s All-Pro wide receiver got 35 first-place votes and earned 192 points, outdistancing runner up Mahomes by a significant margin.
“It means a lot, especially where I come from, this doesn’t happen,” Jefferson said. “I was always doubted, wasn’t highly recruited. Having this award is amazing.”
Geno Smith, who earned his first Pro Bowl berth after becoming a full-time starter for the first time since 2014, is the AP Comeback Player of the Year. The Seattle Seahawks quarterback threw for 4,282 yards, 30 TDs and led Seattle to an NFC wild-card berth.
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott was the Walter Payton Man of the Year. The prestigious award recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field.
LOS ANGELES — LeBron James scored 19 points off the bench in his return from a monthlong injury absence, but Zach LaVine scored 32 points to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 118-108 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.
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