(AP) — Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers has won the 2011 Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player award in a landslide.
Rodgers earned 48 votes to two for New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees in balloting by a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the NFL. The Packers star is the first Green Bay player honored since Brett Favre concluded a run of three straight seasons as MVP in 1997.
“It means a lot to be recognized as a consistent player and contributing on my team,” Rodgers said. “I think it’s an award that relies on a player having the support of his teammates, obviously, guys blocking, guys running, guys catching, guys making plays. But I’m very honored to receive the award.”
Rodgers received a standing ovation after his name was announced by Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, the league’s only four-time MVP. The award was presented on the “NFL Honors” primetime special Saturday night on NBC.
“We’re all really excited to see you back on the field next year,” Rodgers told Manning.
Rodgers led the NFL in passing with a 122.5 rating built on 45 touchdown passes, six interceptions and a 68.3 completion percentage as the Packers went 15-1 and won the NFC North. The Packers were beaten by the New York Giants at Lambeau Field in the divisional round.
“People really count on me to be consistent each week, to play well. Knowing that my performance, the fact that I touch the ball every play, I have a direct impact on the game, the way I play,” Rodgers said. “And if I’m playing consistent and doing things I know I’m supposed to do, we’ve been able to have some success because of it.”
He joins former Packers Bart Starr, Jim Taylor and Paul Hornung as MVPs.
Rodgers is the third consecutive quarterback voted MVP, joining New England’s Tom Brady (2007, 2010) and Indianapolis’ Peyton Manning (2008, 2009).