Gannon adds MVP to his accomplishments

Rich Gannon

Oakland Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon has added another distinction to his tremendous season. Gannon was voted NFL Most Valuable Player after enjoying a record-setting regular season.

 

Oakland Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon has added another distinction to his tremendous season.

Gannon was voted NFL Most Valuable Player after enjoying a record-setting regular season.

Gannon, who received 19 votes, edged Green Bay's Brett Favre on Wednesday. Gannon spent much of his 15-year career as a journeyman before signing as a free agent with Oakland, the only one of his four teams to make him the undisputed started. Gannon previously played for Minnesota, Washington and Kansas City before coming to Oakland in 1999.

Favre, the only three-time winner of The Associated Press MVP award, received 15 votes from the nationwide panel of 48 sports writers and broadcasters who cover the league.

Gannon set an NFL record this season for completions (418) and also connected on 21 consecutive passes in a victory over Denver that ended a four-game losing streak and allowed the Raiders to win seven of their last eight games to go 11-5 and achieve the AFC's No. 1 seed.

"I want to thank all my teammates because I really look at this as a team award," Gannon said. "I really do. I think that we've accomplished a lot as a football team this year. Our goal was to finish strong in the month of December and put ourselves in a position where we had a chance to do something special in the playoffs. That's where we sit today."

Gannon had been on pace for much of the year to break Dan Marino's record (5,084) for passing yardage set in 1984. He led the league with 4,689 yards passing, helping the Raiders win their third AFC West title in succession and earn home-field advantage for the playoffs.

He completed 67.6 percent of his passes for 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Gannon's 97.3 rating was second in the NFL to the Jets' Chad Pennington.

Gannon also set a record for most 300-yard passing games in a single season with 10. He is one of only four quarterbacks with 400 completions -- Warren Moon had 404 in 1991, and Drew Bledsoe had 400 in '94.

He left the Chiefs as a free agent in 1999, and he's been a sensation in Oakland, where the Raiders had the top-ranked offense this season.

Favre piloted the Packers to the NFC North championship and a 12-4 record.

Tennessee quarterback Steve McNair finished third with 11 votes despite battling injuries all season, even going several weeks without practicing, then playing on the weekend. McNair led the Titans to an AFC South championship.

Kansas City running back Priest Holmes, Atlanta quarterback Michael Vick and Tampa Bay linebacker Derrick Brooks rounded out the voting.

Gannon is the third Raiders player to win the award. Quarterback Kenny Stabler in 1974, and running back Marcus Allen in 1985. St. Louis quarterback Kurt Warner won last year.

 

 

 Vince D'Adamo can be reached at vdad7@yahoo.com

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