Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning highlight NFL award honorees and Hall of Fame inductees
An NFL champion will be crowned Sunday, but on Saturday, there were individual awards and gold jackets to hand out.
Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning highlighted the 2021 NFL award winners and Hall of Fame inductees, with Rodgers named league MVP and Manning inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
For Rodgers, it is the third MVP award in what has been a Hall of Fame-worthy career to date.
In the 2020 NFL season, Rodgers led the league in touchdown passes (48) and recorded the fewest interceptions (five) while guiding the Green Bay Packers to the NFC's top seed and the NFC Championship Game for the second consecutive season.
Also Saturday, Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry was named Offensive Player of the Year after finishing his 2020 season with 2,027 yards rushing and 17 rushing touchdowns, which both led the league. His rushing total is the fifth-highest in a season in NFL history.
The Defensive Player of the Year award, meanwhile, created some controversy. Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald won for the third time, even though many believed Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker TJ Watt was more deserving.
With his third MVP, Rodgers continued to add to his Hall of Fame résumé, but the final chapter of Manning's closed with his induction.
Manning is third all time in passing yards (71,940) and passing touchdowns (539), and he has the most regular-season MVP awards in NFL history, with five.
Manning is also the only quarterback in NFL history to win the Super Bowl as a starter for two franchises, though he could be matched by Tom Brady on Sunday.
The iconic quarterback headlines a loaded Hall of Fame class that includes wide receiver Calvin Johnson, as well as defensive backs Charles Woodson and John Lynch.
With two of the NFL's all-time great quarterbacks honored on the same night, there was plenty of reaction on Twitter.