The Associated Press NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award is awarded to the player that’s believed to have had the most outstanding season on that side of the ball. It’s been very tough to separate the winner of it and the overall MVP Award though.
Of the 44 seasons the award was actually voted upon, it went to a player that also won the league MVP Award 25 times. With an offensive player winning the MVP Award all but twice since 1938, it’s been extremely difficult and pointless to separate the two awards from a single player.
That said, the Offensive Player of the Year Award hasn’t been nearly as quarterback driven as the MVP with the award going to running backs better than half the time with nine of the last 16 going to a premiere ball carrier.
However, quarterbacks have taken home the hardware 18 times including four of the last six seasons with Cam Newton pulling off the feat most recently while also taking home the MVP trophy as well.
You should always take a look at the previous year’s winner, and last year, Cam Newton dominated en route to winning the award. However, nobody has taken this award home in back-to-back seasons since Marshall Faulk pulled the feat from 1999-2001.
He’ll have to contend with the likes of Carson Palmer, Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and a couple new entrants that could throw their hat into the ring in Blake Bortles and Derek Carr who busted out last season with the biggest effort of their young careers.
It’s actually gone running back, quarterback, running back, quarterback each of the last four seasons with DeMarco Murray, Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson filling the sequence out. With the league now more driven via the passing game, it will be tough for a running back to win the award this upcoming season with the NFL such a pass driven league now.
Some long shots to do it are second-year, rock-toters Todd Gurley of the Los Angeles Rams and David Johnson of the Arizona Cardinals. Each made an impact in their rookie seasons and will be looked upon as major pieces to their respective offenses in 2016. More repetitions mean more opportunity to accrue state, and that’s what the voters are looking for when seeking out the winner of this award.
It’s astounding to think a wide receiver has only won this award twice, and it was the same one to do it after Jerry Rice was elected the OPOY in 1987 and 1993. It’s been 22 seasons since a wide receiver pulled the feat, but it’s highly likely that drought comes to an end shortly with pass catchers like Antonio Brown and Julio Jones making a mockery of the record books every passing season.
Throw the two unbelievable seasons Odell Beckham Jr. has put together his first two seasons in the NFL, and it becomes a no brainer that this position will take home the award in short order.
List of Offensive Player of the Year Winners
2015: Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers
2014: DeMarco Murray, RB, Dallas Cowboys
2013: Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos
2012: Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings
2011: Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
2010: Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
2009: Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans
2008: Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
2007: Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
2006: LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, San Diego Chargers
2005: Shaun Alexander, RB, Seattle Seahawks
2004: Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis Colts
2003: Jamal Lewis, RB, Baltimore Ravens
2002: Priest Holmes, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
2001: Marshall Faulk, RB, St. Louis Rams
2000: Marshall Faulk, RB, St. Louis Rams
1999: Marshall Faulk, RB, St. Louis Rams
1998: Terrell Davis, RB, Denver Broncos
1997: Barry Sanders, RB, Detroit Lions
1996: Terrell Davis, RB, Denver Broncos
1995: Brett Favre, QB, Green Bay Packers
1994: Barry Sanders, RB, Detroit Lions
1993: Jerry Rice, WR, San Francisco 49ers
1992: Steve Young, QB, San Francisco 49ers
1991: Thurman Thomas, RB, Buffalo Bills
1990: Warren Moon, QB, Houston Oilers
1989: Joe Montana, QB, San Francisco 49ers
1988: Roger Craig, RB, San Francisco 49ers
1987: Jerry Rice, WR, San Francisco 49ers
1986: Eric Dickerson, RB, Los Angeles Rams
1985: Marcus Allen, RB, Los Angeles Raiders
1984: Dan Marino, QB, Miami Dolphins
1983: Joe Theismann, QB, Washington Redskins
1982: Dan Fouts, QB, San Diego Chargers
1981: Ken Anderson, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
1980: Earl Campbell, RB, Houston Oilers
1979: Earl Campbell, RB, Houston Oilers
1978: Earl Campbell, RB, Houston Oilers
1977: Walter Payton, RB, Chicago Bears
1976: Bert Jones, QB, Baltimore Colts
1975: Fran Tarkenton, QB, Minnesota Vikings
1974: Ken Stabler, QB, Oakland Raiders
1973: O.J. Simpson, RB, Buffalo Bills
1972: Larry Brown, RB, Washington Redskins
Members of the media from all over the country get the honor of selecting the NFL Offensive MVP every season. They cast their ballots and the Associated Press counts them up. Some former players and coaches involved in the voting process are Troy Aikman – most known as being the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys during their hay day in the 90s – and Herm Edwards who “Played to Win the Game.”
It’s a good ‘ol boys club that votes upon these awards, so it’s highly unlikely any change from year to year. There are some circumstances in which a voter will be replaced, but it occurs few and far between. The voters know their pigskin and are good at what they do.
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