Aaron Rodgers capped a record-setting season by walking away from it with the NFL MVP award, as presented by the Associated Press on Saturday night in Indianapolis.
“It means a lot. It really does. It takes a lot of players for this to be an individual award. I appreciate my teammates and coaches,” Rodgers told packers.com shortly after winning the award.
In 2011, Rodgers set the NFL single-season record for passer rating (122.5), topping the previous mark of 121.1 by Peyton Manning in 2004, and became the first Green Bay quarterback to lead the NFL in passer rating since the system was implemented in 1973. Rodgers also became the fifth player in Packers history to win the AP MVP, joining Paul Hornung (1961), Jim Taylor (’62), Bart Starr (’66) and Brett Favre (’95, ’96, ’97).
“It just makes it a little bit more special. When I think back on 2011, I’ll think back to the missed opportunity in the playoffs, but it means a lot to be voted MVP,” Rodgers said, adding that the award is about more than passing yards and touchdown passes. “It’s about your leadership.”
“I would like to congratulate Aaron on this well-deserved honor,” Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. “This award is a reflection of Aaron’s professionalism and record-setting season. He is the leader of the Green Bay Packers and serves as a great example to our entire organization, fans and community.”
The Packers also claimed another honor on Saturday: Rookie Randall Cobb won the “Play of the Year” award for his 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the opening game of the season against the New Orleans Saints. Cobb’s return tied an NFL record for length.
“I’m excited about the near future,” Rodgers said. “We have a great young team. We probably need to add a few pieces to get back to the Super Bowl, but I have a lot of faith in (General Manager) Ted Thompson and his people.”
Rodgers led the Packers to a 15-1 record, a season after being named Super Bowl MVP in the Packers’ win over the Steelers in Super Bowl XLV. In 2011, Rodgers established these milestones:
Set league records for the most games with 100-plus rating (13), 110-plus rating (12); tied NFL record for the most games with 140-plus rating (four).
Tied franchise record for most games with four-plus touchdown passes (five).
Set franchise records for touchdown passes (45), passing yards (4,643), completion percentage (68.3), yards per attempt (9.25), touchdown/interception ratio (7.50) and 300-yard games (eight); tied team record (Bart Starr, 1966) for interception percentage (1.20).
First 4,000-yard passer in NFL history to throw six or fewer interceptions in a season.
First quarterback in league history to register two seasons with 500-plus attempts and seven or fewer interceptions.
Became just the third quarterback in NFL history to have 10 games with three-plus touchdowns in a season, joining Tom Brady (2007) and Dan Marino (1984).
Tied an NFL record with at least two touchdown passes in 13 straight games (Brady, Manning).
Against Denver in Week 4, became the first quarterback in NFL history to register 400 passing yards, four passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns in a game.
Set an NFL record for the most passing yards (17,037) by a quarterback in his first four seasons as a starter, topping the previous record held by Peyton Manning (16,418, 1998-2001).
Rodgers finished the 2011 season ranked No. 1 in NFL history in career passer rating, 104.1.