They might call it the NFL MVP, but this award really comes down to who the best quarterback is in any given season. The last eight NFL MVP winners and 13 of the last 14 MVPs have been quarterbacks with Adrian Peterson being the only non-quarterback to break that up in recent years. Derrick Henry couldn’t even win MVP honors after rushing for over 2,000 yards in 2020, so the only players to really consider for this award are quarterbacks.
Patrick Mahomes is the favorite to win the 2021 NFL MVP. Mahomes won the 2018 NFL MVP award, and the best quarterback in the league is considered the favorite to repeat this year. He came up short in last year’s Super Bowl, but he had another strong season in 2020, throwing for 4,740 yards with 38 touchdowns and six interceptions. Mahomes was banged up over the tail end of the 2020 season, so he should be able to post even more impressive numbers if he stays healthy.
Through the first half of the 2020 season, it looked like Russell Wilson was the frontrunner to win the NFL MVP. Wilson threw for over 300 yards in five of his first eight games, but he only had one game with over 250 yards over the last eight games. He didn’t average better than 7.6 YPA in any game over the last half of the season, but he is a real threat to win his first MVP with threats like D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett on the perimeter.
Matthew Stafford has become a trendy NFL MVP pick. Sean McVay and the Los Angeles Rams dealt Jared Goff, two first-round picks, and a third-round pick to Detroit to acquire the 12-year veteran, and that might take this offense to another level. Stafford will have a much better system with a lot more talent to work with in Los Angeles than he did in Detroit.
Stay Away From…
While Dak Prescott thrived through the first five games of the 2020 campaign before suffering a season-ending knee injury, he shouldn’t be considered one of the next level favorites behind Mahomes. Prescott has been limited in the preseason, and this offensive line is no longer as talented as it was a few years ago. While Dallas does have elite receivers, Prescott might not be able to stay healthy enough to use them.
The Josh Allen love is downright puzzling at this point. Allen is coming off a superb 2020 season, but he was a mediocre quarterback in both 2018 and 2019. While this receiving corps is one of the best in the NFL with Stefon Diggs leading the way, Allen needs to prove he can put it together for another season before he can be considered an elite QB.
Tom Brady is the GOAT, but his days of winning MVP honors are behind him. Brady won’t get enough credit for the success of the defending Super Bowl champion unless he posts absolutely dizzying numbers, and Tampa Bay would probably have to win at least 14 games for TB12 to have a real chance.
Keep an Eye On…
Jimmy Garoppolo has been widely overlooked this season. The San Francisco 49ers took Trey Lance with the No. 3 overall pick, and he will be the team’s starting quarterback in the near future. However, Garoppolo is the quarterback of the present, and he is on one of the most talented teams in the NFC. San Francisco had horrible injury luck in 2020, so Jimmy G could lead the Niners to a very successful season if they stay healthy.