Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes, Packers' Aaron Rodgers Headline NFL's Players of the Month

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVDecember 30, 2021

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 27: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers meets with quarterback Patrick Mahomes (L) of the Kansas City Chiefs after the game at Arrowhead Stadium on October 27, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
Peter Aiken/Getty Images

A pair of NFL MVP award winners in Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers were selected as the NFL Offensive Players of the Month for December in their respective conferences.

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

Players of the Month<br><br>AFC<br>Offense: QB Patrick Mahomes, KC<br>Defense: LB Jerome Baker, MIA<br>ST: K Evan McPherson, CIN<br> <br>NFC<br>Offense: QB Aaron Rodgers, GB<br>Offense: DL Aaron Donald, LAR<br>ST: P Thomas Morstead, ATL<br><br>Rookies: <br>Off: WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, DET<br>Def: LB Micah Parsons, DAL

With Mahomes at the helm, the Kansas City Chiefs went a perfect 4-0 in December and catapulted themselves into first place in the AFC. In those four games, Mahomes completed 68.5 percent of his passes for 1,110 yards, eight touchdowns and two interceptions, and he also rushed for a score. 

Rodgers started and won all three games he played in during the month of December, completing 74.5 percent of his passing attempts for 811 yards with 10 touchdowns and no picks. His performance also helped Green Bay move into the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC.

Of course, this is nothing new for Mahomes and Rodgers, two of the NFL's best and most accomplished quarterbacks.

In three seasons as a starter entering 2021, Mahomes won an MVP award and reached two Super Bowls, winning one. Meanwhile, Rodgers is a one-time Super Bowl winner and three-time MVP, most recently winning the award last season.

With no clear and obvious choice for MVP this season, Mahomes and Rodgers are both undoubtedly in the mix along with Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp and Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen.

The NFL also named the Defensive Players of the Month for December, with Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald taking NFC honors and Miami Dolphins linebacker Jerome Baker winning the award in the AFC.

Donald, a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, dominated during a 4-0 run by the Rams, registering 21 tackles, eight tackles for loss, six sacks and two forced fumbles.

Winning awards is old hat for Donald, but Baker is a first-time winner of the Defensive Player of the Month after racking up 12 tackles, six tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks in three games, all of which were Miami victories.

Two of the NFL's most outstanding rookies were recognized as well, with Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons getting named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month and Detroit Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown winning the offensive award.

Parsons, a virtual lock to win Defensive Rookie of the Year and a strong contender for Defensive Player of the Year, had 12 tackles, four sacks, three tackles for loss and a forced fumble in December.

Meanwhile, St. Brown shook off a slow start to his rookie campaign, as the fourth-round pick piled up 35 receptions for 340 yards and three touchdowns during a month in which the Lions won their first two games of the season.

Cincinnati Bengals rookie kicker Evan McPherson was named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Month, and Atlanta Falcons veteran punter Thomas Morstead took home NFC Special Teams Player of the Month honors.