The Associated Press has picked the NFL MVP every year since 1957. Thirteen were quarterbacks on teams that led the NFL in scoring and reached the championship game.

Their record in those games: 6-7.

The losers were Y.A. Tittle in 1963, Johnny Unitas in 1964, Joe Theismann in Super Bowl XVIII, Dan Marino in Super Bowl XIX, Tom Brady in Super Bowl XLII, Peyton Manning in Super Bowl XLVIII and Cam Newton in Super Bowl 50.

Sorry, Matt Ryan.

The Atlanta Falcons’ quarterback is expected to become the 14th member of this club. Results of this season’s MVP voting will be revealed on Saturday night, the eve of Super Bowl LI between the Falcons (13-5) and the Patriots (16-2) at Houston’s NRG Stadium.

Ryan would become the sixth member of this group to face the No. 1-ranked scoring defense in the title game.


The five who went before him: Tittle, Marino, Manning, Unitas in 1959 and Joe Montana in 1989.

Their record in those title games: 2-3.

Sorry, Matt.

Three of the greatest quarterbacking seasons in NFL history were turned in by Tittle in 1963, Marino in 1984 and Manning in 2013.

Their record in those title games: 0-3.

Sorry, Matt.


In 1963, Tittle’s Giants scored 448 points (32.0 per game). Tittle threw 36 touchdown passes, a record that stood for 21 years until Marino came along and threw 48.

But George Halas’ Bears were 11-1-2 and giving up only 10.3 points per game. In the title game, they beat the Giants 14-10 while intercepting Tittle five times.

In 1984, Marino’s Dolphins scored 513 points (32.1). Marino set the record for passing touchdowns while becoming the first quarterback to surpass 5,000 yards (5,084) in a season.

But Bill Walsh’s 49ers, an offensive juggernaut in the 1980s, were even better defensively that year.

They ranked No. 1 in scoring defense (14.2) and No. 2 in scoring (29.7) when they beat the Dolphins 38-16 in Super Bowl XIX.

Marino completed 42 percent of his passes with one touchdown, two interceptions and a passer rating of 66.9 – 66.3 points worse than Montana’s rating that day.


In 2013, Manning’s Broncos scored the current record of 606 points (37.9). Manning set the current records for touchdown passes (55) and passing yards (5,477).

But Seattle’s No. 1 scoring defense (15.9) destroyed Manning in a 43-8 romp in Super Bowl XLVIII.

Sorry, Matt.

Ryan’s Falcons led the NFL in scoring during the regular season (33.8) and have a plus-39 point differential in two playoff wins. Among his many MVP-worthy feats, Ryan posted the fifth-highest passer rating (117.1) in NFL history while averaging 9.26 yards per attempt, the highest ever by a quarterback with at least 400 attempts.

But Bill Belichick’s Patriots led the NFL in scoring defense (15.6) and have a plus-37 point differential in the postseason. The Patriots also have Brady, a four-time Super Bowl champion, running an offense that ranked No. 3 in scoring (27.6).

Atlanta’s defense, meanwhile, is the weak link. It ranked 27th in points allowed (25.4) and average yards per game (371.2).


Since the NFL’s first championship game in 1932, 16 title games have featured the top scoring offense against the top scoring defense. The defense has won nine times, including a 4-1 mark since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.

The defensive winners since ’70 include the Giants, who had the 15th-ranked scoring offense when they beat Buffalo in Super Bowl XXV, and Seattle, which had the 10th-ranked scoring offense when it beat up Manning and the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII.

But Manning isn’t alone. MVP quarterbacks who reached the Super Bowl with the No. 1 scoring offense are riding a three-game losing streak. In addition to Manning, Brady was 18-0 when he lost to the Giants’ No. 17 scoring defense in Super Bowl XLII; and Newton was 17-1 when he lost to Denver’s No. 4 scoring defense in Super Bowl 50 last year.

Sorry, Matt.

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