NFL History: MVP Quarterbacks Playing with MVP Running Backs

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.


One thought on “NFL History: MVP Quarterbacks Playing with MVP Running Backs

  1. lived in Houston during “luv ya blue” Earl Campbell years. HATED the “Steel Curtain” Steelers. (same division) To have such a talent as Earl and never make a SB was Sad. Can u say Dan Pastorini…how important the franchise QB is, just don’t remember being such a big topic back then. I do not recall even making playoffs with “the snake” (?) Two observations:
    Patriots / Brady Dynasty broke up what would have been a QB/RB greats Dynasty; and odd not to see Troy A. and E. Smith not on list. Has there been a better combo since?

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