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Rodgers: 3rd MVP Would Be Meaningful, Validate His Play



FILE: Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers isn’t downplaying what a third MVP award would mean to him.

Rodgers, who won the MVP in 2011 and 2014, is a top contender for this year’s honor along with Kansas City Chiefs quarterback and 2018 MVP Patrick Mahomes.

“It’s not why you play the game,” Rodgers said Wednesday. “You play the game to dominate, to compete and to win rings. But anyone who says those things aren’t on their mind or not important to them is not the type of competitor that I am. That stuff is important to me, and I do relish the opportunity to be in the mix. It means I’m playing well and our team is in good position, as well.”

A third MVP award would put Rodgers in select company.

Peyton Manning leads all players with five MVP selections. He shared the award with Steve McNair in 2003 and won it in 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2013.

The only other players with at least three MVP honors are Brett Favre (1995, 1996 and a co-MVP with Barry Sanders in 1997) and Tom Brady (2007, 2010, 2017 ).

“So not many guys have done it,” Rodgers said. “Being a part of history is pretty special. It’s the other, personal part of it, where just proving to myself again the level that I can play at, a couple years where although I felt like I played well, the results didn’t always line up with how I felt like I was playing. So it’s nice to have everything line up the way it has this year and be very efficient throwing the football, to take care of the ball the way I take care of it.”

The Chiefs (14-1) plan to rest Mahomes for their regular-season finale Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers since they’ve already clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs.

Green Bay (12-3) has plenty at stake in its final regular-season game, giving Rodgers one more chance to make his MVP case when the Packers visit Chicago (8-7).

The Packers will earn the top seed in the NFC playoffs if they beat the Bears or if San Francisco (6-9) beats or ties Seattle (11-4). The Bears can clinch a playoff berth by beating the Packers.

Green Bay has gone 20-5 against the Bears in games Rodgers has started. Rodgers threw four touchdown passes and no interceptions in a 41-25 triumph over the Bears on Nov. 29.

“There’s no greater measuring stick than the accountability that I have to my teammates and the expectation level that they have,” Rodgers said. “Meeting and exceeding that expectation level is important to me. When you do that and you have success and win games, accolades come along with it.”

Rodgers has put himself in the MVP race by throwing an NFL-leading 44 touchdown passes — one short of his 2011 career high — with only five interceptions. Rodgers has thrown for 4,059 yards to rank sixth in the NFL, and he leads the league in passer rating.

“Being with that guy, it’s allowed me to know what true greatness is,” receiver Davante Adams said Sunday night after the Packers’ 40-14 victory over the Tennessee Titans.

The Packers-Titans game featured two MVP candidates in Rodgers and Tennessee running back Derrick Henry, who leads the NFL with 1,777 yards rushing. Henry ran for 98 yards on 23 carries. Rodgers went 21 of 25 for 231 yards with four touchdown passes and an interception.

Mahomes has thrown for an NFL-leading 4,740 yards and 38 touchdowns with six interceptions.

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