Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press
Patrick Mahomes will likely walk away with his first MVP later Saturday night, but his evening began with the Offensive Player of the Year trophy.
The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback was named the recipient of the award at the eighth annual NFL Honors ceremony, besting New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott and others.
Kansas City @Chiefs QB @PatrickMahomes5 is the 2018 Offensive Player of the Year! #NFLHonors (by @microsoft) https://t.co/x1cwixLpcY
In his first year as a starter, Mahomes became the third quarterback in NFL history to total 5,000 passing yards and 50 touchdowns in the same season following Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.
The 23-year-old threw for 5,097 yards and 50 scores against 12 picks, adding 272 rushing yards and two scores on the ground while leading the Chiefs to a 12-4 record.
“He’s been the MVP,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said, per Adam Teicher of ESPN.com. “He’s done good. He is a heck of a player. I was fortunate to be around a three-time MVP and a couple of guys who were right on the edge of being the MVP and this guy is in that category. He is so deserving. In a world of great players, for him to do the things he’s done is phenomenal and he will continue to do that. He still has room to grow.
“That’s the exciting part and something for Kansas City to be very excited about. His work ethic and everything else is MVP-caliber level. He comes to work with a purpose, makes everyone feel a part of it, makes everyone around him better and has done that for our organization, for all of us, his fans and coaches and owner, too. He’s been very important.”
Mahomes and Drew Brees are the only two players with a real shot at winning the MVP. The latter’s candidacy comes down in large part to his career-long excellence; it’s clear Mahomes has the better numbers in nearly every category.
Should Mahomes win the MVP, he’d be the fifth player in the last seven years to sweep both awards. He is just the second Chiefs player to take home Offensive Player of the Year, joining Priest Holmes (2002).
Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley, a finalist this year, won the OPOY but was defeated by Brady for the MVP honors a year ago.