Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers won his second MVP award Saturday night, and J.J. Watt swept away the voters the way he sweeps quarterbacks off their feet to take top defensive honors. Rodgers, also the 2011 Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player award winner, took this one in somewhat surprisingly easy fashion over Watt. The Packers quarterback received 31 votes for the 2014 award from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league. Houston's Watt, seeking to become the first defensive player to win MVP since 1986, got 13 votes.
The Super Bowl kicks off Sunday as American football seeks to put a scandal-plagued season behind it, with this year's spectacle featuring a Katy Perry concert, ultra-expensive commercials and a compelling clash between Seattle and New England. The extravaganza is expected to draw a whopping 115 million viewers -- or about one in three Americans -- and amounts to an unofficial holiday in the United States, where even those with no interest in the sport gather at countless Super Bowl parties. This year's championship comes with the National Football League battling back from a season of turmoil, accused of complacency and even conspiracy in its handling of issues ranging from domestic violence to concussion dangers. The latest controversy -- accusations that the New England Patriots intentionally deflated footballs -- has dominated news coverage in the days leading up to the game.
PHOENIX (AP) -- New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., grabbed The Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie Of The Year award for 2014.
Sunday's Super Bowl 49 caps a National Football League season marred by scandal with a compelling clash between Seattle and New England that promises to clear away the clouds. Each team can cement a place in Super Bowl lore with a victory. Fans partied Saturday night around Phoenix and at the NFL Experience gridiron theme park near the University of Phoenix Stadium in suburban Glendale, Arizona where the game was scheduled to kick off at 4:30 pm (23:30 GMT). "Everything is done," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said.
Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers won his second MVP award Saturday night, and J.J. Watt swept away the voters the way he sweeps quarterbacks off their feet to take top defensive honors. Rodgers, also the 2011 Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player award winner, took this one in somewhat surprisingly easy fashion over Watt. The Packers quarterback received 31 votes for the 2014 award from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league. Houston's Watt, seeking to become the first defensive player to win MVP since 1986, got 13 votes.
PHOENIX (AP) -- New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., grabbed The Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie Of The Year award for 2014.
PHOENIX – To the surprise of nobody, New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was named NFL offensive rookie of the year. The dynamic Giants receiver was given the award during the “NFL Honors” show, which the NFL puts on the night before the Super Bowl to honor its players and hand out its major awards. Beckham beat out a very good rookie class, especially at receiver. [ Watch the Super Bowl live on Yahoo Sports and NBC Sports - Sunday at 6 p.m. ET ] Beckham said "it means everything" to win the award, and talked about seeing his mom and dad in the crowd crying as he accepted it. "To know that I made them proud is something that can't be taken away from me." Beckham said. Beckham had a great year but really exploded into super-stardom with an incredible one-handed catch on “Sunday Night Football” in Week 12. Everyone was paying attention after that. "When I first made the catch, I didn't realize what the magnitude of it was," Beckham said. Beckham, who missed four games at the start of the season due to a hamstring injury (which he said never totally healed, as he had two tears in it ) finished with 91 catches, 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns, one of the greatest rookie years in NFL history. We will update the NFL’s awards as they’re handed out during the night at the Phoenix Symphony Hall. Offensive player of the year: Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray There was a bit of an upset early in the night. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers seemed to be a front-runner for the award but it went to Murray, the workhorse back for the Cowboys. Murray rushed for 1,845 yards during the regular season on 392 carries, and the Cowboys won the NFC East. Murray is slated to become a free agent this offseason, and he'll be one of the more interesting free agents on the market. Teams will have to weigh Murray's brilliance, which was reflected in the offensive player of the year award, against the diminishing value of running backs to teams given their short careers. Murray reiterated he wants to stay with the Cowboys. "I don't think it's any secret where I want to play next year," Murray said. "But I understand the business side of it. If I'm not there, I understand it." Coach of the year: Arizona Cardinals' Bruce Arians Arians navigated injuries to quarterbacks Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton to guide the Cardinals to the playoffs. The Cardinals went 11-5. Arians has won the award twice in three seasons. In 2012 he won it for his work with the Indianapolis Colts when he was offensive coordinator but took over as interim head coach while Chuck Pagano battled leukemia. That led to his job with the Cardinals, who obviously made a great hire. Defensive rookie of the year: St. Louis Rams DT Aaron Donald Donald, the second of two Rams first-round picks, was a disruptive force in the middle of the St. Louis defense. He had nine sacks and 48 tackles for the Rams this season. Defensive player of the year: Houston Texans DE J.J. Watt For the first time in the history of this award, the vote was unanimous. It would have been a surprise if it wasn't unanimous. Watt had one of the most dominant seasons of all time. He had 20.5 sacks and scored five touchdowns, two on defense and three on offense when the Texans would use him as a tight end near the goal line. Watt has won the award twice in his four NFL seasons. He won the award in 2012 and the vote was nearly unanimous that season. He got 49 of 50 votes that year. Comeback player of the year: New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski Gronkowski suffered a torn ACL late in the 2013 season but came back strong. He had 1,124 yards an 12 touchdowns, and is a main reason the Patriots are in the Super Bowl. NFL MVP: Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers Read more about the MVP winner here. - - - - - - - Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab
The 18 New England residents sitting on the jury in the murder trial of former Patriots star Aaron Hernandez will be allowed to watch the home team play in Sunday's Super Bowl, but the judge overseeing the case says they must leave the room if his name is mentioned. Hernandez caught quarterback Tom Brady's last Super Bowl touchdown pass in the Patriots' 2012 loss to the New York Giants. Now he is on trial for murder, charged with the June 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd, who was dating his fiancee's sister. The trial is playing out just as Hernandez's old team is preparing to take on the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL championship game.
Robert Kraft spoke to Tom Brady about being able to close a chapter. Kraft said Brady was excited about the chance.
Two-time Super Bowl champion Leonard Marshall is teaming up with the lawyer who first sued the NFL over concussions to form an educational road show on how to avoid and treat head injuries in sports. The target audience for the Brain Unity Trust is players, coaches and organizations, said Marshall, who suffers from CTE-related illnesses, perhaps from concussions during his 12 seasons as a defensive lineman in the National Football League in the 1980s and '90s. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain often found in athletes who suffered repetitive brain trauma.

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