Vikings’ Justin Jefferson Among AP NFL MVP Finalists
Justin Jefferson, Jalen Hurts, and Patrick Mahomes are finalists for The Associated Press 2022 NFL Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year awards.
The winners will be announced at NFL Honors on Feb. 9. A nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league completed voting before the start of the playoffs.
Bills quarterback Josh Allen and Bengals QB Joe Burrow also are finalists for MVP.
Jefferson led the NFL with 128 catches and 1,809 yards receiving in his third season with the Minnesota Vikings. Jefferson was one of two unanimous choices for AP All-Pro along with Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.
Hurts had 3,701 yards passing, 760 yards rushing and 35 touchdowns combined, leading the Philadelphia Eagles to a 14-3 record in the regular season and the No. 1 seed in the NFC. The Eagles (15-3) are in the NFC championship game for the second time in six seasons.
Mahomes, the 2018 NFL MVP, helped Kansas City go 14-3 to earn the No. 1 seed in the AFC. The Chiefs (15-3) are in the AFC title game for the fifth straight season. They’ll host the Bengals. Mahomes led the NFL with 5,250 yards passing and 41 TDs. He received 49 of 50 votes for AP first-team All-Pro.
San Francisco 49ers edge rusher Nick Bosa, Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones and Dallas Cowboys edge rusher Micah Parsons are the finalists for AP Defensive Player of the Year.
Bosa led the NFL with 18 1/2 sacks, Jones had 15 1/2 and Parsons got 14 1/2.
Brian Daboll, Doug Pederson and Kyle Shanahan are the finalists for AP Coach of the Year award. Daboll led the New York Giants to a 9-7-1 record in his first season as head coach. Pederson guided the Jacksonville Jaguars to a 9-8 record and an AFC South title in his first year with the team. Shanahan led the San Francisco 49ers to a 13-4 mark, including 5-0 down the stretch with third-string rookie quarterback Brock Purdy.
Purdy, Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III and New York Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson are the finalists for AP Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Purdy, the last player selected in the draft, began the season as third-string QB and stepped in after injuries to Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo. He led San Francisco to a 5-0 record down the stretch, two playoff wins and an appearance in the NFC championship game at Philadelphia.
Walker led all rookies with 1,050 yards rushing and nine TDs. Wilson led all rookies with 83 catches and 1,103 yards receiving.
Jets cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, Detroit Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson and Seahawks cornerback Tariq Woolen are the finalists for AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey and Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith are the finalists for AP Comeback Player of the Year.
Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans and Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen are the finalists for AP Assistant Coach of the Year.
This was the first year for the AP’s new voting system. Voters chose a top 5 for MVP and top 3 for all other awards. For MVP, first-place were worth 10 points. Second through fifth-place votes were worth 5, 3, 2 and 1 points.
For all the other awards, first-place votes equaled 5 points, second were 3 and third were 1.
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