KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes captured the first significant NFL Most Valuable Player award of this season, with the Pro Football Writers of America presenting him their top honor Wednesday. He also received the organization's Offensive Player of the Year award.
"It's awesome," Mahomes said moments after winning the award. "It's a special honor, I thank all of them for that. It's really a tribute to my teammates. I'm put in a great situation where I have a lot of great teammates around me that make me look really good."
Mahomes turned in an historic season for a first-year starter, becoming the youngest quarterback in history to top the 5,000-yard passing mark and tossing 50 touchdowns. He's the first Chiefs player in franchise history to win one of the league's major MVP awards. Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams received the Defensive Player of the Year honor.
Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce said he knew Mahomes had this kind of season in him on the team's first offense drive of the season against the Los Angeles Chargers. Mahomes read the defense pre-snap, then faced a dual choice between handing the ball to Kareem Hunt in the backfield or pulling the trigger on a quick throw with a pass rusher coming through the line. He chose wisely.
"He pulled it and threw a dime right inside a tiny window to Tyreek Hill who did the rest from there," Kelce said about the 58-yard touchdown pass. "I think right then and there, game-time decisions, instinctual decisions, put the ball where it needed to be."
The 23-year-old Mahomes becomes the youngest winner of the award, which the organization has presented annually since 1975. He joins quarterback Dan Marino and running back Earl Campbell who both won the award during their age-23 season. Mahomes is two days younger that Marino when he won the award. He also shares a distinction with Campbell; both were born in Tyler, Texas.
The MVP award from the PFWA typically serves as a precursor for other major awards. The PFWA winner has matched the Associated Press and The Sporting News MVP selections in each season since 2003.
Mahomes led the league this season with 50 touchdown passes and a QBR of 82.0. He ranked second behind Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger in passing yards, with his 5,007 yards standing as the eight-most in a season all-time.
The Associated Press presents its MVP award at the NFL Honors program on Feb. 2 before the 2019 Super Bowl. The AP previously voted Mahomes as its first-time All-Pro quarterback.