Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who led the NFL with 50 touchdown passes, was selected as the 2018 NFL Most Valuable Player and the league’s Offensive Player of the Year chosen in voting conducted by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA).
Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who led the NFL in sacks with 20.5, was named the 2018 Defensive Player of the Year.
Mahomes, in his second NFL season, is the 45th MVP honored by the PFWA and the first Chiefs player to receive the award. He is the sixth consecutive quarterback to be selected MVP by the PFWA. Mahomes is also the first Kansas City player to be honored by the PFWA as the Offensive Player of the Year.
Mahomes started all 16 games in 2018, and he completed 383 of 580 passes (66.0 completion percentage) for a franchise-record 5,097 yards (second in the NFL), 50 touchdowns (tied for second in a single season in league history), only 12 interceptions and a 113.8 passer rating (second in the NFL) as the Chiefs won the AFC West and gained the AFC’s No. 1 seed with a 12-4 record behind a franchise-record 565 points scored (third in NFL history). He also led the NFL with a +38 touchdown/interception differential (50/12), 52 completions of 25-plus yards and 35 red-zone touchdown passes. He posted 10 games of 300 or more passing yards and tied the Chiefs’ franchise record with a pair of games with six touchdown passes at Pittsburgh in Week 2 and at the Los Angeles Rams in Week 11. He also rushed 60 times for 272 yards and two TDs. Mahomes was selected as the AFC Offensive Player of the Month for September, the AFC Offensive Player of the Week twice (Weeks 1 and 2) and was selected to the PFWA’s 2018 All-NFL and All-AFC teams.
Donald, in his fifth season, is the first Rams player to receive the PFWA’s Defensive Player of the Award since it was first awarded in 1992. He is the fourth defensive tackle to be honored by the PFWA, and the first since Warren Sapp with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1999.
Donald started all 16 games and had 59 total tackles (41 solo) and a franchise-record 20.5 sacks for an NFL-record minus-183.5 yards. He also led the NFL in both tackles for loss (25) and quarterback hits (41) to go with four forced fumbles (tied for sixth in the NFL). He had a career-best four sacks in Week 7 against the San Francisco 49ers, and he posted seven multi-sack games this season, including three straight games from Weeks 10-13. He was selected the NFC Defensive Player of the Month twice (October and December) and the NFC Defensive Player of the Week twice (Weeks 7 and 16). He was selected to the PFWA’s 2018 All-NFL and All-NFC teams.
2018 MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: QB Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
2018 OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: QB Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
2018 DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: DT Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams