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Ravens QB Jackson named unanimous NFL MVP

Reuters | Miami | Updated: 02-02-2020 07:12 IST | Created: 02-02-2020 07:11 IST
Ravens QB Jackson named unanimous NFL MVP
Image Credit: Flickr

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson on Saturday night became the second unanimous selection as the NFL's Most Valuable Player. Jackson swept all 50 votes from the Associated Press -- as Tom Brady did in 2010 -- to win the award, which was announced during the NFL Honors ceremony in Miami the night before Super Bowl LIV.

Jackson, 23, had a historic season in his second year in the NFL, throwing for 3,127 yards, a league-high 36 touchdowns and just six interceptions while also breaking Michael Vick's single-season rushing record for a quarterback. Jackson piled up 1,206 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground, averaging a league-best 6.9 yards per carry. As a team, the Ravens set an NFL record for total rushing yards in a season (3,296), finishing the regular season on a 12-game win streak to earn the AFC's top seed in the playoffs.

Baltimore, which went on to lose its first playoff game against the Tennessee Titans, cleaned up in other regular-season awards as well. John Harbaugh was named Coach of the Year -- making he and Jackson the first duo to win MVP and Coach of the Year on the same team since quarterback Cam Newton and Ron Rivera of the 2015 Panthers -- and offensive coordinator Greg Roman was named Assistant Coach of the Year. History was also made on the defensive side, where New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore was named Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the first true cornerback to earn that honor since Deion Sanders in 1994. Charles Woodson claimed the award in 2009 with the Green Bay Packers, but he played primarily as a nickelback and safety that year.

Gilmore is the first Patriots player to win the award, which has been presented annually since 1971. He tied for the NFL lead with six interceptions, including two he returned for touchdowns, and also tied for the lead with 20 passes defensed. He had 53 tackles and helped New England finish No. 1 in total defense (275.9 yards per game) and scoring defense (14.1 points per game). For Offensive Player of the Year, New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas narrowly clipped Jackson, winning by two votes to claim the honor.

Thomas, who broke Marvin Harrison's single-season receptions record with 149, is the second wideout to ever win the award, joining two-time winner Jerry Rice (1987-1993). Among other awards, Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill earned one more vote than San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to win Comeback Player of the Year. Tannehill emerged from recent injuries and a backup job in Tennessee to lead the Titans to the AFC Championship Game, while Garoppolo was returning from a torn ACL.

The 49ers weren't shut out of the awards, however, as No. 2 overall pick Nick Bosa claimed Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in a landslide. The No. 1 overall pick, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, won Offensive Rookie of the Year, beating out Oakland Raiders running back Josh Jacobs and Titans receiver A.J. Brown.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the fourth time in NFL history the draft's top two picks won both rookie awards.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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