When was the last time the NFL MVP won the Super Bowl?

Lamar Jackson has a chance to do something that is increasingly rare in the NFL this postseason.

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

No matter what happens in the postseason going forward, Lamar Jackson is the presumptive favorite to win his second NFL MVP award. Jackson first took home the honors in his first full season as the Baltimore Ravens starting quarterback in 2019. He has been a superstar ever since winning the Heisman Trophy during his sensational sophomore year at Louisville during the 2016 college season.

However, NFL MVP is a regular-season award and nothing more. While the Ravens have been a perennial playoff team under head coach Jim Harbaugh, they have not won a Super Bowl since he beat his kid brother Jim's former team in the San Francisco 49ers way back in 2012. Jackson was still in high school and that was two Presidential administrations ago. Joe Flacco was just becoming elite.

So should the Ravens hold serve in the AFC and get past someone like either the Detroit Lions or the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl, Jackson will probably join elite company by winning league MVP and hoisting a Lombardi Trophy in the same season. Doing so would almost certainly guarantee him of eventual Canton enshrinement. However, league MVPs rarely win Super Bowls these days.

Patrick Mahomes may have done it last year with the 2023 Kansas City Chiefs, but prior to that, you would have to go back to The Greatest Show on Turf St. Louis Rams when Kurt Warner pulled it off in 1999. League MVPs won Super Bowls a ton in the 1990s with Emmitt Smith, Steve Young, Brett Favre and Terrell Davis all pulling it off before Warner, all of whom are Pro Football Hall of Famers as well.

Now that we understand just how rare this has become in the NFL, let's unpack why that is the case.

Patrick Mahomes was the last NFL MVP to win a Super Bowl in the same season

I think what contributed to it being more than a two-decade gap between league MVPs winning Super Bowls is two-fold: Our increased love as a country for elite quarterback play and the unfortunate reality that many league MVPs ended up losing in the big game in the greatest season of their careers. From 2000 to 2022, only four non-quarterbacks won MVP, all of whom were running backs.

Marshall Faulk, Sean Alexander, LaDainian Tomlinson and Adrian Peterson all won league MVP once, but only Alexander played in a Super Bowl during his MVP season. The 2005 Seattle Seahawks came up short to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Detroit that year. And as far as quarterback winners are concerned, Warner, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers all won the NFL MVP award multiple times.

Between Warner, Manning, Brady and Rodgers, they won 11 MVPs during that stretch, but only Warner won the Super Bowl in 1999. Other league MVPs like Rich Gannon, Alexander, Brady, Manning, Cam Newton and Matt Ryan all got to Super Bowls during their MVP seasons but did not hoist a Lombardi. Ryan probably should have achieved both in 2016, but that is neither here nor there...

Mahomes ended the streak last year, but it will be up to Jackson to keep the good thing going.

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