Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes headlined the NFL Honors award show by taking home 2018 AP NFL MVP honors on Saturday in Atlanta.
“Awards are awesome,” Mahomes said. “There is a ton of credit to a lot of people around me that put me in this position: my teammates, my coaches, my family, I was blessed to be in great situations growing up and a great situation now. It truly is an honor.”
Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald was named the 2018 AP Defensive Player of the Year.
Mahomes, 23, led the NFL with 50 touchdown passes in his first full season as a starter for the Chiefs. The No. 10 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft also passed for a franchise-record 5,097 yards, while completing 66 percent of his passes.
Donald, 27, also won the Defensive Player of the Year award last season. The four-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowl selection had a league-high 20.5 sacks, 59 tackles, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and a pass defensed in 16 starts this season.
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley won AP Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy was named the AP Coach of the Year. Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard won AP Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.
“It’s crazy to think that this was one person,” Nagy said. “For me, being a part of this organization, for our players, just being able to believe in what we wanted to do with our culture and follow through with it. It was a special year for us.”
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck won the AP Comeback Player of the Year award. Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long took home the 2018 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year award.
“It’s very nice to be recognized as Comeback Player of the Year,” Luck said. “I truly believe there were probably 20 or 30 guys on each team, every roster that could be Comeback Player of the Year in their own ways. The sport we play is funny like that.”
“Honestly the best part was playing football again and having fun playing football.”
Mahomes also won 2018 AP Offensive Player of the Year honors.
“I wish I was playing this week, but at the same time you look aback and we did so many great things this year,” Mahomes said. “We have a lot of young guys. To get all of those experiences, we all wish we were in the Super Bowl. But we are going to use that as motivation for next season and try to comeback and find a way to get there next year.”