Newton claims NFL MVP award


Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton added another award to his growing list of honours after being named the 2015 NFL MVP on Saturday. 

The 26-year-old finished the regular season with 3,837 passing yards, 636 rushing yards and a total of 45 touchdowns as the Panthers finished top of the NFC South division en route to Super Bowl 50. 

Newton became the first Panthers player to win the award in the franchise's 21-year history, while he was also awarded offensive player of the year.

Those were not the only awards claimed by the Panthers on the night, with Ron Rivera named the NFL coach of the year.

Rivera led the Panthers to an NFL-best 15-1 record, an NFC championship and a spot in Sunday's Super Bowl 50.

It was the 54-year-old's second coach of the year award after he claimed the honour with the Panthers in 2013, where they lost their divisional play-off tie against the San Francisco 49ers.

Houston Texans' J.J. Watt was named the defensive player of the year for an equal-best third time after the 26-year-old led the league in sacks and tackles in 2015.

Watt also became just the second player to win the award in consecutive seasons since former New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor, who is also the only other person to claim the award three times. 

Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry took out the NFL comeback player of the year after beating cancer. 

Berry was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in December 2014 but fought off cancer to return to the field, even rewarded with a trip to the Pro Bowl.

The play of the year went to the 61-yard Hail Mary pass from Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers that saw them claim a last-gasp 27-23 victory over the Detroit Lions.

Meanwhile, Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters was named defensive rookie of the year, with Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley taking out the offensive equivalent.