Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, who led the NFL with 36 passing touchdowns and set a league quarterback single-season record with 1,206 rushing yards, was selected as the 2019 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).
New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who tied for the NFL lead with six interceptions and led the league with 20 passes defensed, was named the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year.
Jackson, in his second NFL season, is the 46th MVP honored by the PFWA and the second Ravens player to receive the award, joining running back Jamal Lewis in 2003. He is the seventh consecutive quarterback to be selected MVP by the PFWA. Jackson is also the second Ravens player (Lewis in 2003) to be honored by the PFWA as the Offensive Player of the Year since the award was instituted in 1992.
Jackson started 15 games in 2019, and he completed 265 of 401 passes (66.1 completion percentage) for 3,127 yards, 36 touchdowns (first in the NFL), only six interceptions and a 113.3 passer rating (third in the NFL) as the Ravens won the AFC North and gained the AFC’s No. 1 seed with a 14-2 record behind a league-record 3,296 rushing yards and a NFL-leading 33.2 points per game average. Jackson also rushed 176 times for a league-quarterback-record 1,206 yards (sixth in the NFL) and seven TDs. Jackson is the only QB in NFL history to produce at least 3,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in a single season. His 43 total touchdowns led the league as did his 6.9 rushing yards per play. He posted three games with five touchdown passes, four games with four or more TD tosses and eight games with three or more touchdown throws – all of which led the NFL. In his final eight games of the season, Jackson had 25 TD passes, only one interception, completed 69.4 percent of his passes for 1,477 yards along with 630 rushing yards and four rush TDs. He was AFC Offensive Player of the Week five times and was the AFC’s Offensive Player of the Month for November. Jackson was selected to the PFWA’s 2019 All-NFL and All-AFC teams.
Gilmore, in his eighth season, is the first Patriots player to receive the PFWA’s Defensive Player of the Award since it was first awarded in 1992. He is the third cornerback to be honored by the PFWA, joining Deion Sanders (1994) and Charles Woodson (2009), since the award was instituted in 1992.
Gilmore started all 16 games and had 53 total tackles (44 solo), six interceptions for 126 return yards and two touchdowns to go with 20 passes defensed and one fumble recovery. He returned an interception 54 yards for a touchdown at Miami on September 15 and brought back an interception 64 yards for a score December 15 at Cincinnati. He was named AFC Defensive Player of the Month for October as he had 11 tackles, seven passes defensed and two interceptions as part of a defense that held its opponents to just three touchdowns for the entire month. Gilmore had a career-high five passes defensed and one interception in the 35-14 win over the New York Giants on October 10. He was selected to the PFWA’s 2019 All-NFL and All-AFC teams.
2019 MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: QB Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
2019 OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: QB Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
2019 DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: CB Stephon Gilmore, New England Patriots
PFWA NFL MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: 1966 – Bart Starr, Green Bay Packers; 1967-74 – no selections; 1975 – QB Fran Tarkenton, Minnesota Vikings; 1976 – QB Bert Jones, Baltimore Colts; 1977 – RB Walter Payton, Chicago Bears; 1978 – RB Earl Campbell, Houston Oilers; 1979 – RB Earl Campbell, Houston Oilers; 1980 – QB Brian Sipe, Cleveland Browns; 1981 – QB Ken Anderson, Cincinnati Bengals; 1982 – QB Dan Fouts, San Diego Chargers; 1983 – QB Joe Theismann, Washington Redskins; 1984 – QB Dan Marino, Miami Dolphins; 1985 – RB Marcus Allen, Los Angeles Raiders; 1986 – LB Lawrence Taylor, New York Giants; 1987 – WR Jerry Rice, San Francisco 49ers; 1988 – QB Boomer Esiason, Cincinnati Bengals; 1989 – QB Joe Montana, San Francisco 49ers; 1990 – QB Randall Cunningham, Philadelphia Eagles; 1991 – RB Thurman Thomas, Buffalo Bills; 1992 – QB Steve Young, San Francisco 49ers; 1993 – RB Emmitt Smith, Dallas Cowboys; 1994 – QB Steve Young, San Francisco 49ers; 1995 – QB Brett Favre, Green Bay Packers; 1996 – QB Brett Favre, Green Bay Packers; 1997 – RB Barry Sanders, Detroit Lions; 1998 – RB Terrell Davis, Denver Broncos; 1999 – QB Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams; 2000 – RB Marshall Faulk, St. Louis Rams; 2001 – RB Marshall Faulk, St. Louis Rams; 2002 – QB Rich Gannon, Oakland Raiders; 2003 – RB Jamal Lewis, Baltimore Ravens; 2004 – QB Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts; 2005 – RB Shaun Alexander, Seattle Seahawks; 2006 – RB LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego Chargers; 2007 – QB Tom Brady, New England Patriots; 2008 – QB Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts; 2009 – QB Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts; 2010 – QB Tom Brady, New England Patriots; 2011 – QB Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers; 2012 – RB Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings; 2013 – QB Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos; 2014 – QB Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers; 2015 – QB Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers; 2016 – QB Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons; 2017 – QB Tom Brady, New England Patriots; 2018 – QB Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs; 2019 – QB Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens.