This one is a bit of a shocker.
Two days after winning the Super Bowl, the Kansas City Chiefs announced their MVP for the 2019 season.
It’s not Super Bowl MVP and 2018 NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes.
Honey Badger honored
The honor goes to All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu. The Chiefs announced the MVP result on Tuesday along with naming wide receiver Mecole Hardman as the team’s Rookie of the Year.
These awards are based on player and coach votes. According to Pro Football Talk, the votes were tallied the time same players and coaches cast their Pro Bowl ballots, which means prior to the playoffs.
Calling the vote a shocker is no knock on Mathieu. The seventh-year pro had a fantastic debut season with the Chiefs, earning All-Pro honors for the second time while tallying 75 tackles, four interceptions and two sacks.
He’s beloved and respected by his teammates for his leadership and his play on the field.
But not Mahomes?
It’s just that Mahomes is arguably the best player in football and a quarterback like the game’s never seen. There’s no rational argument that he’s not the most valuable player on the Chiefs.
But MVP fatigue sits in among voters. Just ask LeBron James. That appears true in the Chiefs locker room as well after Mahomes won the honor last season.
Mahomes did miss a pair of games after after suffering a dislocated kneecap during a Week 7 win over the Denver Broncos. That he came back so quickly and strongly from what initially looked like a season-ending injury could actually be used to bolster his “most valuable” status.
Mathieu’s inspirational career comeback
But Mathieu is obviously an outstanding player. That he’s thrived in the league after being kicked off his college team at LSU for substance-abuse policy violations and has candidly discussed mental health struggles makes him a favorite among teammates and fans.
After experiencing the lows of sitting in jail for a 2012 marijuana arrest, Mathieu can proudly boast a team MVP award on a Super Bowl champion.
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