I promise I don’t have anything against Hall of Fame-bound quarterback Peyton Manning. But I think the two-time Super Bowl champ has a few pieces of hardware that should’ve gone to other players. And he’s not alone. Because plenty of all-time greats have received their own questionable NFL awards. Like John Elway, Joe Montana, and Brett Favre to name just a few. So check out this list of NFL history’s most dubious awards decisions — in categories such as MVP, Super Bowl MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, and Rookie of the Year — in chronological order. And decide for yourself: Are these hot takes, or just true facts?
Paul Hornung, 1961 MVP
Splitting duties all over the field, Hornung led the league in points scored thanks in part to his 15 field goals and 41 extra points, chipping in 10 touchdowns, eighth in the league, and 742 yards from scrimmage. Quarterback Sonny Jurgensen, on the other hand, led the league in completions (235), passing yards (3,723), and passing touchdowns (32) while carrying the Eagles to a 10-4 mark. Jim Brown led the NFL in rushing yards (1,408) and yards from scrimmage (1,867), carrying Cleveland to an 8-5-1 record.