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Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) throws during a practice for the NFL Super Bowl 51 football game Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017, in Houston. Atlanta will face the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl Sunday. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Matt Ryan won the NFL MVP award hours before he's set to play in the Super Bowl


Super Bowl weekend got off to a good start for Matt Ryan.

The Atlanta Falcons quarterback, 31, won the National Football League's Most Valuable Player award Saturday night, as well as the award for top offensive player. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady finished second in the MVP voting.

He wasn't present to accept his reward, since he has a bit of a big game ahead of him. 

This is an incredible honor for me. Obviously, there are so many other great candidates and players who had amazing seasons.
Matt Ryan's taped acceptance speech

The last seven MVPs to play in the big game have lost, USA Today reports. If Ryan's Falcons win, he will be the seventh person to win the MVP and the Super Bowl in the same season.

Other high-profile awards:

  • Defensive Player of the Year: Khalil Mack, Oakland Raiders defensive end/linebacker
  • Rookie of the Year (offense): Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys quarterback
  • Rookie of the Year (defense): Joey Bosa, San Diego Chargers lineman
  • Coach of the Year: Jason Garrett, Cowboys
  • Comeback Player of the Year: Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers receiver
  • Man of the Year: Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals receiver, and Eli Manning, New York Giants quarterback

The NFL also named its next Hall of Fame class, including:

  • LaDanian Tomlinson, running back
  • Kurt Warner, quarterback,
  • Terrell Davis, running back
  • Jason Davis, defensive end
  • Morten Andersen, kicker (second full-time kicker to make the Hall of Fame)
  • Kenny Easley, safety
  • Jerry Jones, contributor (current Cowboys owner)

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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