Can You Name These NFL Regular Season MVPs?


By: Gavin Thagard

6 Min Quiz

Image: Wiki Commons

About This Quiz

You will always hear players say that football isn't about the individual accolades. It's a team sport, after all, meaning team accomplishments and winning are more important than personal stats or trophies. That's true unless it's the Lombardi Trophy, of course, because that's what every team is trying to win by reaching the Super Bowl. 

Those are great talking points for star players who are trying to maintain team unity, but the reality is no player will turn down an award, particularly the Most Valuable Player Award. It's an honor to earn the MVP. It means a player did their job, not only to the best of their ability, but better than the other players across the league. There's a level of competition built into the award, and often a player's individual success is a result of team success. Not to mention, most players who earn the award end up in the playoffs with their respective teams at the end of the year. 

So, how well do you know the players who have earned the MVP in the NFL? Can you name them if a few hints are sprinkled in? Here's your chance to find out with this quiz. Get started and put that NFL knowledge to the test!

Which quarterback won five MVPs, the most all-time?

Peyton Manning played for the Colts from the time he was drafted in 1998 until 2011. The team decided to move on from the legendary quarterback after a neck injury kept him out in 2011.


Who was the first player to receive the MVP award in 1957?

Jim Brown left the league after only nine seasons. After leaving the NFL, he went on to have a successful acting career.


Who won back-to-back MVP awards in 1989 and 1990?

Joe Montana was lucky enough to play beside the Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice. Both would go down as two of the greatest players at their respective positions.


After rushing for over 1,800 yards and 28 touchdowns, which running back won the MVP award in 2006?

LaDainian Tomlinson played college football at TCU, where he set the single-game rushing record with 406 yards against SMU in 1999. The record has since been broken by two other players.


Who was the only placekicker to win the MVP award?

Mark Moseley won the MVP award during a shortened NFL season. During the shortened season, Moseley nailed 20 of his 21 field goals.


In 1959, who became the first quarterback to win the MVP award?

Johnny Unitas wasn't highly sought after coming out of college. He was taken in the 9th round of the 1955 NFL draft.


Which player won the MVP award for the Giants in 1986 as he revolutionized the linebacker position?

Lawrence Taylor terrified opposing offenses. He was a sack specialist, and quarterbacks never knew where he was coming from.


Nicknamed "The Golden Boy," which running back won the MVP award in 1961?

Paul Hornung was part of the Green Bay Packers team that won the first Super Bowl. Hornung, however, did not play in the game because of an injury.


Which player tied Peyton Manning for the MVP award in 2003?

Steve McNair was the quarterback during the "Music City Miracle." After winning that game, he would help guide the Titans to the Super Bowl, though they lost to the Rams.


Which former University of Alabama running back won the MVP award in 2005?

Shaun Alexander was the star player on the 1995 Seahawks team, which reached the Super Bowl. During the game, Alexander failed to score a touchdown, and the Seahawks lost 21-10 to the Pittsburgh Steelers.


After putting up 35 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing touchdowns, who won the MVP award in 2015?

After transferring from another school, Cam Newton spent one season at Auburn University. That year, he won both the Heisman Trophy and the National Championship.


Which quarterback won the MVP award and the first Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers?

Bart Starr spent his entire playing career with the Green Bay Packers. After retiring, he coached the team, first as a quarterbacks' coach and then as the head coach.


Which running back won the MVP award in 1973 after rushing for 2,000 yards?

O.J. Simpson was the first running back to rush for over 2,000 yards. No player would reach this mark again until Eric Dickerson did it in 1984.


Who's the only defensive tackle to win the MVP award?

Alan Page moved into the legal field after leaving the NFL. He served on the Minnesota Supreme Court from 1993 until 2015.


After replacing Joe Montana on the 49ers, who won the MVP award in 1992?

Steve Young lived in the shadow of Joe Montana for a few years after Montana left the team. Young finally won a Super Bowl of his own in 1995, stamping his place in 49ers history.


As part of the Greatest Show on Turf, who won the MVP award in 2000?

Marshall Faulk spent his first five seasons with the Colts before being traded to the Rams after the 1998 season. Though his career was productive in Indianapolis, it exploded after he was traded to the Rams.


Who won three straight MVP awards from 1995 until 1997?

Brett Favre was the ironman of the NFL. He played in 297 straight games, an NFL record.


Which Dallas Cowboys running back won the MVP award in 1993 on his way to his second Super Bowl?

Emmitt Smith finished his career as the all-time leading rusher in NFL history. No player has come close to beating his record.


In 2016, who became the first Falcons player to win the MVP award?

Behind the arm of Matt Ryan, the Falcons reached the Super Bowl at the end of the 2016 season. However, they lost to the New England Patriots, who made the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history.


Which three-time MVP has won five Super Bowls?

Tom Brady has consistently said that he hopes to play until he's 45. That would make him the oldest active quarterback in NFL history.


Which quarterback won the MVP award in 1987, halfway through his career with the Denver Broncos?

John Elway lost his first three Super Bowls early in his career. However, during his last two seasons, he went to back-to-back Super Bowls, winning both of them.


In his second year in the league, who won the MVP award in 1984?

Dan Marino was one of the most gifted passers in the history of the league. Sadly, his gift never earned him a Super Bowl ring.


In 1997, who shared the MVP award with Brett Favre?

Barry Sanders spent his entire career with the Detroit Lions. The Lions never put much of a team around Sanders, which hurt his postseason success.


Who won the MVP award in 2011 after throwing for 4,643 yards and 45 touchdowns?

Aaron Rodgers replaced Brett Farve in the later part of Farve's career. Since taking over, Rodgers has led the Packers to one Super Bowl win.


After nearly breaking the single-season rushing record, who won the MVP in 2012?

Adrian Peterson is known for his physical and explosive running style. However, his style has also led to many fumbles throughout his career.


Who won the MVP award in 1998 before winning the Super Bowl that same year with the Denver Broncos?

Terrell Davis had his career cut short by injuries which included tearing his ACL and MCL. He spent only seven seasons in the NFL.


Despite losing four straight Super Bowls with the Buffalo Bills, which running back won the MVP in 1991?

Thurman Thomas was part of a Buffalo Bills offense that pushed the boundaries of game speed. The team consistently ran a no-huddle offense, which was a relatively new concept at the time.


Spending his entire career with the Bengals, who won the MVP in 1981?

Ken Anderson wasn't drafted until the third round of the 1971 NFL draft. Despite slipping behind other players, he had a successful career, going to four Pro Bowls.


In his fourth season with the Raiders, who won the MVP award in 2002?

Rich Gannon won the MVP award late in his career. During his MVP season, he completed 68 percent of his passes for 4,689 yards.


Wearing number 34 for the Chicago Bears, who won the MVP award in 1977?

Walter Payton played with the Bears in the 1985-86 Super Bowl. Payton was disappointed in his performance after he failed to score a touchdown during the game.


Which former quarterback won the MVP award in 1974?

Ken Stabler was part of a Raiders team that was known for their dirty, tough play on the field. Stabler helped lead the team to a Super Bowl win in 1977.


After rushing for 1,759 yards, who won the MVP award in 1985?

Marcus Allen played college football at USC from 1978 through 1981. In 1981, he won the Heisman Trophy after rushing for over 2,000 yards.


Before having his career ended by a leg injury, who won the MVP award in 1983?

Joe Theismann had one of the most horrific injuries in NFL history. The injury was caused by another MVP, Lawrence Taylor.


Who won the MVP award in 1999 on his way to winning the Super Bowl that same season?

Kurt Warner almost didn't make it to the NFL. He spent a few years in the Arena Football League before he finally got a shot with the Rams.


After scoring 19 rushing touchdowns, who won the MVP award in 1979?

Earl Campbell was a Heisman Trophy winner at the University of Texas. After a stellar college career, he was drafted with the first overall pick in the 1978 NFL draft.


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