Facts and Figures

Postseason Performance

  • Fourteen MVPs went 0-1 in the playoffs, including Adrian Peterson in 2012, Aaron Rodgers in 2011, and Tom Brady in 2010.
  • Fourteen MVPs won NFL championships, but none since Kurt Warner in 1999.
  • MVPs are 78-45 (.634) in the postseason. Baltimore is the best playoff franchise at 15-8 (.652).
  • Twenty-five MVPs advanced to the Super Bowl but more lost (15) than won (10). Eight lost in the conference championship, 12 lost in the divisional round, and three lost in the wild-card round.
  • Johnny Unitas and O.J. Simpson are the only two MVPs who missed the postseason. Unitas led the Baltimore Colts to an 11-1-2 record in 1964 but did not receive an automatic bid to the playoffs because of an 0-1-1 head-to-head record against the Los Angeles Rams, who also finished 11-1-2. Simpson and the Buffalo Bills finished 9-5 in 1973, losing the AFC East crown to the 12-2 Miami Dolphins and the lone wild-card spot to the 10-4 Pittsburgh Steelers.

Position Breakdown

  • Two offensive lineman have received MVP votes: Larry Little in 1972 and Duane Putnam in 1957.
  • Two kickers have received MVP votes: Mark Moseley, who won in 1982, and Chester Marcol in 1972.
  • One punter has received MVP votes: Ray Guy in 1977.
  • Four tight ends have received MVP votes: Mark Bavaro, Kellen Winslow, John Mackey (twice), and Charlie Sanders.
  • Fourteen wide receivers have received MVP votes, but only two have twice received votes: Jerry Rice and Sterling Sharpe.

Always a Bridesmaid

  • Drew Brees (2011, 2009, 2006), Randall Cunningham (1998, 1990, 1988), and Eric Dickerson (1986, 1984, 1983) finished second in MVP voting three times without ever winning the award.
  • Jerry Rice (1995, 1987), Dan Fouts (1982, 1979), and Leroy Kelly (1968, 1967) finished second in MVP voting two times without ever winning the award.

One-Hit Wonders

  • Twelve MVPs have received no votes outside of their lone winning season: Cam Newton (2015), LaDainian Tomlinson (2006), Shaun Alexander (2005), Thurman Thomas (1991), Boomer Esiason (1988), Lawrence Taylor (1986), Mark Moseley (1982), Bert Jones (1976), Larry Brown (1972), Roman Gabriel (1969), Paul Hornung (1962), and Norm Van Brocklin (1960).

Consistent Success

  • Peyton Manning received MVP votes in 10 seasons (2013, 2012, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2000, 1999).
  • Tom Brady received MVP votes in eight seasons (2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2010, 2007, 2005, 2003).
  • Jim Brown received MVP votes in seven seasons (1965, 1964, 1963, 1961, 1959, 1958, 1957).
  • Brett Favre received MVP votes in seven seasons (2009, 2007, 2002, 2001, 1997, 1996, 1995).
  • Joe Montana received MVP votes in six seasons (1990, 1989, 1987, 1986, 1983, 1981).
  • Johnny Unitas received MVP votes in six seasons (1967, 1965, 1964, 1959, 1958, 1957).
  • Jerry Rice received MVP votes in six seasons (1995, 1994, 1993, 1990, 1987, 1986).
  • Three defensive players (Carl Eller, Bob Lilly, and Dick Butkus) received MVP votes in three seasons.

Test of Time

  • Peyton Manning has won a record five MVPs. Brett Favre, Johnny Unitas, and Jim Brown have each won three MVPs. Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Kurt Warner, Steve Young, and Joe Montana have each won two MVPs.
  • Peyton Manning has received the most total MVP votes (227), which is made more impressive because his years of eligibility all came in the 50-vote era. Brett Favre is second (161), followed by Tom Brady (130) and Joe Montana (123).

Better Than Nothing

  • Thirty-four players have received exactly one MVP vote in their career: Dak Prescott (2016), Bobby Wagner (2014), Chris Johnson (2008), Priest Holmes (2002), Derrick Brooks (2002), Edgerrin James (1999), Carnell Lake (1997), Deion Sanders (1994), Phil Simms (1993), Cortez Kennedy (1992), Seth Joyner (1991), Mark Bavaro (1986), Tony Eason (1986), Lynn Dickey (1983), Randy White (1983), Kellen Winslow (1981), Chuck Muncie (1981), Ronnie Lott (1981), George Rogers (1981), Wilbert Montgomery (1979), Franco Harris (1972), Larry Little (1972), Willie Lanier (1972), Alex Karras (1969), Dan Reeves (1966), Ken Willard (1965), Pete Retzlaff (1965), Johnny Morris (1964), Raymond Berry (1959), J.D. Smith (1959), Bobby Layne (1958), Roosevelt Grier (1958), Billy Wilson (1957), Duane Putnam (1957).

Different Values

  • Two players received zero MVP votes despite being named Offensive Player of the Year: Drew Brees (2008) and Chris Johnson (2009).
  • Four times a quarterback was named Offensive Player of the Year without winning the MVP award: Drew Brees (2011, 2008); Warren Moon (1990); Dan Fouts (1982).
  • Nine defenders received an MVP vote despite not winning Defensive Player of the Year: Bobby Wagner (2014), Carnell Lake (1997), Seth Joyner (1991), Randy White (1983), Fred Dean (1981), Ronnie Lott (1981), Lyle Alzado (1971), Bob Lilly (1971), Carl Eller (1971)