NEW YORK – Peyton Manning’s record-setting season earned him his fifth Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player award Saturday night in a landslide.
No other player has won more than three.
Denver’s record-setting quarterback, who threw for 55 touchdowns and 5,477 yards in leading the Broncos to the American Football Conference’s best record, earned 49 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league. New England quarterback Tom Brady got the other vote.
Manning won his other MVPs with Indianapolis in 2003, ’04, ’08 and ’09. He also was the runnerup last season to Adrian Peterson.
“I am humbled by this recognition and grateful to my family, (Broncos owner) Pat Bowlen, John Elway, John Fox and the entire Denver Broncos organization, and of course, my coaches and my teammates,” Manning said in a prepared video acceptance speech. He was not on hand as he gets ready for Sunday’s Super Bowl against Seattle.
“Now, I sent a couple of guys over there tonight to pick up the trophy on my behalf: my father Archie and my son Marshall. Thank you very much and God bless you.”
Archie Manning, holding his grandson Marshall in his arms, accepted the award from two more MVPs, Joe Montana and Aaron Rodgers.
Manning still trails several Hall of Famers for total MVPs in their sport. Wayne Gretzky won nine NHL MVPs, Barry Bonds owns seven in baseball, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won six in the NBA.
He also took the AP’s Offensive Player of the Year award for the second time. Elway accepted the Offensive Player award on Manning’s behalf.
Carolina grabbed two major awards, with Ron Rivera winning AP NFL Coach of the Year and linebacker Luke Kuechly voted top defensive player.
Broncos executive John Elway accepted the Offensive Player award on Manning’s behalf.
Manning received 33 votes for that honor. He also was runnerup last year to Peterson for Offensive Player.
This time, running back LeSean McCoy of Philadelphia was second with 10 votes, followed by Kansas City running back Jamaal Charles with four.
Rivera engineered the Panthers’ turnaround from a 7-9 record to 12-4, the NFC South title and a first-round playoff bye. Kuechly keyed a defense that allowed 241 points, less than every team except NFC champion Seattle.
Green Bay running back Eddie Lacy and Jets defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson were the top rookies for 2013.
Hall picks announced
The hang time is over for Ray Guy. The longtime punter for the Oakland Raiders is all by himself once again.
After waiting 23 years, Guy is the first punter elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“Good things are worth waiting for,” Guy said Saturday night after being elected along with six other players. “It’s just a matter of time when it will show up. And I knew it would, sooner or later. . . .”
Defensive end Michael Strahan, receiver Andre Reed, defensive back Aeneas Williams and defensive end Claude Humphrey also were part of the class of 2014. Two first-time eligible players, linebacker Derrick Brooks and offensive tackle Walter Jones, were selected.
The announcement was made at the NFL Honors award show, less than 24 hours before the Denver Broncos take on the Seattle Seahawks in the first Super Bowl.
Among the finalists who didn’t get in were two with ties to the Indianapolis Colts and current Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning — coach Tony Dungy and receiver Marvin Harrison.
Each incoming Hall of Famer walked to the stage and was announced individually. Strahan, who helped the Giants make two Super Bowls, got a huge cheer from the home crowd.