Top NewsLamar Jackson won the NFL MVP award for the second time, entering...

Lamar Jackson won the NFL MVP award for the second time, entering elite company

LAS VEGAS — There have been a few NFL MVPs in history who were certainly good players but fell short of being greats in the game. They were the best players in a season.

There are no flukes on the list of players with at least two MVPs. Each is on the list of greatest players in NFL history. Everyone is in or on their way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

That's Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson's new mark in the game's history at age 27. He won his second Associated Press NFL MVP award at the NFL Honors on Thursday night. He was a unanimous winner in the 2019 season. Jackson again came close to a unanimous victory. He received 49 out of 50 first-place votes. FTN Fantasy's Aaron Schatz voted Josh Allen first and Dak Prescott second. According to AP's Rob Mati.

“I want to thank my company, the Baltimore Ravens, for finally closing a deal,” Jackson said in his acceptance speech, drawing laughter from the crowd at the NFL Honors.

Here is a group of many NFL MVPs that Jackson joins: Tom Brady, Jim Brown, Brett Favre, Patrick Mahomes, Peyton Manning, Joe Montana, Aaron Rodgers, Johnny Unitas, Kurt Warner and Steve Young. Brady, Rodgers and Mahomes are not yet eligible for the Hall of Fame, but they will certainly be first-balloters. The rest are already in the Hall of Fame.

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Of course, every player on that team had something else in common before Jackson joined, and Jackson is still out of that club.

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(Damon Bomer II/Yahoo Sports)

(Damon Bomer II/Yahoo Sports)

Lamar Jackson is still looking for a title

Every multiple NFL MVP winner before Jackson won an NFL championship. Brown played before the Super Bowl era, but led the Cleveland Browns to the NFL Championship in 1964.

Jackson never got that championship. Often at the NFL Honors, award winners from Super Bowl teams are unable to attend, and Jackson joked that he would “send a video” upon winning the award.

“To receive this award, it's an honor to be here for the award. I'd rather play in the Super Bowl than accept the award,” Jackson said with a laugh backstage after the show.

Jackson's story gets trickier when it comes to his playoff resume. This season was the epitome of Jackson's life today. He was excellent during the regular season. The Ravens moved to a more run-heavy offense with new coordinator Todd Monken and Jackson thriving. He also had a career-best 3,678 passing yards and 24 touchdowns while being an electric runner with 821 rushing yards and five touchdowns on the ground. He led the Ravens to the No. 1 seed in the AFC. A late-season win over the San Francisco 49ers, the No. 1 seed in the NFC, practically sealed Jackson's second MVP.

Then came the playoffs. The Ravens defeated the Houston Texans in the divisional round, the second Ravens playoff win with Jackson at quarterback. But in the AFC Championship game against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Ravens played poorly, and Jackson suffered a 17–10 loss. Jackson has been a great player through six regular seasons, but has yet to reflect that in the playoffs.

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Other great quarterbacks took a while to win their first Super Bowl. Jackson should be an elite player for a long time to come. But until he wins that Super Bowl, his legacy in the game will be more complicated than the other 10 MVP winners.

Jackson is one of a kind

Jackson was a unique talent who helped revolutionize the quarterback position. Among other quarterbacks with multiple MVP awards, Young was a better runner, and Rodgers, Mahomes and Montana added value with their legs, but none of them came close to Jackson as a runner.

Jackson is the fastest quarterback to reach 5,000 rushing yards. Mike Vick holds the record for most rushing yards by a quarterback at 6,109, and Jackson should break that late next season or early in the 2025 season as long as he stays healthy. Jackson has 5,258 career rushing yards.

He also excelled as a passer, and that part of his game evolved under Monken. If Jackson didn't lock up the MVP after the win over the 49ers, he had a 158.3 passer rating in the Week 17 win over the Miami Dolphins.

He signed a five-year, $260 million contract with the Ravens after some tense moments at the non-exclusive franchise tag. He told the team's website that he is a better player than he was in his first MVP season.

“[I’m more] “Experienced, I would say, can learn more by seeing more” Jackson said. “In my six years, I've seen a lot and I would say that's where I've grown the most.

“Maturity, footwork, study – I think everything plays its part. I'm just trying to be the best player I can be at this high-level game that we play. I'm just trying to be good at everything, and I think that's what helps me with accuracy.”

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Jackson continues to add to the resume that should land him in the Hall of Fame someday, including in the multiple-MVP circle. A championship removes any doubt.

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