A pair of Aarons pulled off an NFL hat trick Saturday night.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers earned his third Associated Press Most Valuable Player award, while Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald took his third top defensive player prize at NFL Honors.
Also taking home awards were two members of the Washington Football Team: quarterback Alex Smith was the Comeback Player of the Year in one of the most inspirational stories of 2020, and edge rusher Chase Young got the top defensive rookie.
Titans 2,000-yard rusher Derrick Henry won Offensive Player of the Year, and the offensive rookie honor went to Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert. Cleveland's Kevin Stefanski was the Coach of the Year, and Buffalo offensive coordinator Brian Daboll earned assistant coach honors.
Rodgers had perhaps the best season of his 16-year career, leading Green Bay to a 13-3 regular season, the NFC’s best mark. Just a few months after questions arose about his comfort level with the Packers — and their choosing a quarterback in the first round of April’s draft — Rodgers, who turned 37 in December, tore up the NFL.
Rodgers topped the league with 48 touchdown passes completion rate (70.7 percent), and a 121.5 rating. He was picked off just five times.
“It is really special to have won it in my fourth year as a starter and now to win it in my 13th year as a starter in a new offense is pretty amazing and something I am very proud of,” Rodgers said. “To have sustained success and be able to play your best football at 37 in my 16th season is something I take a lot of pride in.”
Donald, the Los Angeles Rams’ unanimous All-Pro, added the 2020 top defensive player honor to his wins in 2017 and 2018. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor (1981, ’82, 86) and Houston edge rusher J.J. Watt (2012, ’14, 15) have earned the award three times.
“You just named two great defensive players,” he said, “so any time your name is mentioned with greats, you will be honored — especially there’s only a few that have accomplished that. To be the third to do it that is truly a blessing. It shows the body of work that I have; anytime your hard work is rewarded you are going to be happy about that. It is just a blessing.”