HOUSTON -- The MVP race ended up not being as close as many people wanted it to be, with Matt Ryan running away with the vote total as he picked up the 2016 NFL MVP award, the first of his career.

Ryan received 25 total votes, easily outdistancing Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who only received 10 votes.

Even more surprising was the love given to Cowboys rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott, who received six votes. He was right there with Brady in terms of votes and lost one because Dak Prescott received a single vote (that could have, obviously, gone to Elliott).

The real stunner in all of this? Elliott beat out Aaron Rodgers for votes.

Rodgers was a guy that people were pumping up to win the award. After the Packers fell to 4-6, Rodgers said he believed Green Bay could "run the table" and he wasn't kidding. The Packers would rip off six straight wins to close out the season, beating the Lions in Week 17 to secure the NFC North title.

He had a fantastic season, completing more than 65 percent of his passes, throwing for 4,428 yards and leading the league with 40 passing touchdowns. That six-game stretch to close out the year featured Rodgers playing the quarterback position in a way that you won't often see -- he was locked in like only Rodgers can be.

The Packers nearly parlayed it into a Super Bowl run, beating the Giants handily at home and upsetting the Cowboys on the road before falling to the Falcons in the NFC Championship Game in Atlanta.

The run would, many believed, get him some serious MVP consideration. But it turns out that he was less of a candidate in the voters' minds than the Cowboys rookie running back.