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Warner Edges Faulk as MVP

NFL: Quarterback beats teammate in close vote, winning his second award as league's top player in three seasons.

January 10, 2002|From Associated Press

Kurt Warner won his second MVP award in silence.

Plagued by damaged vocal cords, Warner was unable to talk about it Wednesday when he won the NFL most valuable player award for the second time in three years.

Instead, showing the resourcefulness that defines his performances as quarterback of the potent St. Louis Rams, Warner responded to the honor via email.

"It is always a tremendous honor to be mentioned with the likes of those great players," wrote Warner, who stormed onto the NFL out of Arena Football and NFL Europe in 1999, leading the Rams to their first Super Bowl title.

"But, it is still very early in my career and my hope is that I can be mentioned in the same sentence as these guys [and Marshall Faulk] when my career is finished."

Warner, 30, is just beginning what could be one of the greatest careers among NFL passers. He already has equaled Joe Montana, Steve Young and John Unitas with his two MVP awards. Only Brett Favre, with three, has more.

And Warner, working in an offense perfectly suited to his skills, guided the Rams (14-2) to the NFL's best record this season. Although Warner threw an NFC-high 22 interceptions, he easily led everyone in yards passing (4,830, second most in league history), touchdown passes (36), yards per attempt (a stunning 8.85), completions (375), completion percentage (68.7) and overall rating (101.4).

In 1999, Warner completed 325 of 499 passes for 4,353 yards, a 65.1 completion percentage, 8.72 yards an attempt, 41 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. His rating was 109.2.

Faulk won the 2000 award. Only once has a team won three successive MVP awards: Favre took it in 1995 and 1996 and shared it with Detroit's Barry Sanders in '97. The only other Ram voted MVP was Roman Gabriel in 1969.

"I think the MVPs we have won the past three years have been awards that reflect the accomplishments of our whole team," Warner said. "We see these awards as team awards, for we know that we benefit from all the great talent surrounding us.

"I really think that this year's award should have been split between Marshall and myself."

Warner edged Faulk, 211/2 votes to 171/2.


MVP Voting

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