Not counting the Pro Bowl, it has been 13 days since a game has been played in the NFL.
As the anticipation for Sunday’s Super Bowl LI reaches its peak and as stores are filled with shoppers getting ready for parties, this Super Bowl Eve could turn into a big one for Atlanta Falcons fans.
The NFL hands out its major awards Saturday evening, including the Associated Press Most Valuable Player award, the Associated Press Coach of the Year award and the Walter Payton Man of the Year award. This year’s Pro Football Hall of Fame class also will be named.
Those backing the Falcons have campaigned long and hard to give the MVP award to quarterback Matt Ryan. And those who track such things support that argument.
USA Today, which has tracked the MVP favorites all season, has Ryan running away with the award, finishing well ahead of New England quarterback Tom Brady and Green Bay quarterback Aaron Dogers.
If he does win, don’t expect to see Ryan accept the award live. According to a WXIA-TV report, Ryan will be taking part in team meetings instead of attending the awards show.
There is a caveat to winning MVP honors: No MVP has won a Super Bowl in the same season since 1999. CBS Sports chronicles the 16-year drought, with only seven MVPs even making the big game.
The Falcons will receive at least one award Saturday. Head coach Dan Quinn was named the Salute to Service Award recipient in a release issued by the NFL on Friday morning.
“NFL Honors” airs from 8-10 p.m. on FOX.
Also trending from the Super Bowl:
▪ The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that a drone was spotted flying above Falcons practice at Rice University earlier this week. It was quickly grounded, according to the story.
▪ The Falcons’ social media push to #riseup? Georgia-based Chick-fil-A has taken that hashtag a step farther, according to a WGCL-TV report, and is encouraging Falcons fans to go #friesup.
▪ The competition for best Super Bowl commercial is starting to heat up. The NFL has already set a high bar with this entry posted on YouTube: