Christian Ponder would be one of the least likely NFL MVP winners in 2013, but if the game had gone to hell and he won a year after running back Adrian Peterson was named MVP, then they would join Kurt Warner and Marshall Faulk as the only QB/RB duo to win consecutive MVPs. Warner won in 1999 and 2001 with Faulk taking it in 2000.
Here is a list of every instance of a MVP quarterback playing with a MVP running back. This is based on the AP’s MVP award, which was first given in 1957.
- Bart Starr (1966) and Paul Hornung (1961) played together in 1957-66 in Green Bay.
- Bart Starr (1966) and Jim Taylor (1962) played together in 1958-66 in Green Bay.
- Joe Montana (1989-90) and O.J. Simpson (1973) played together in 1979 in San Francisco, though this is a cheap example.
- Ken Stabler (1974) and Earl Campbell (1979) played together in 1980-81 in Houston.
- Joe Montana (1989-90) and Marcus Allen (1985) played together in 1993-94 in Kansas City.
- John Elway (1987) and Terrell Davis (1998) played together in 1995-98 in Denver.
- Peyton Manning (2003-04, 2008-09) and Marshall Faulk (2000) played together in 1998 in Indianapolis before either won a MVP.
- Kurt Warner (1999, 2001) and Marshall Faulk (2000) played together in 1999-03 in St. Louis.
- Brett Favre (1995-97) and Adrian Peterson (2012) played together in 2009-10 in Minnesota.
So only Stabler/Campbell, Montana/Allen and Warner/Faulk played together in a season after each had won a MVP in the past.
That means just seven seasons in NFL history have had active MVP winners at QB and RB.