This season’s NFL MVP race has been wild. We have seen frontrunners come and go over the course of the year, and there has yet to be a consensus build behind one player. No quarterback has been significantly better than any of his counterparts, and that’s left a lot to be decided since a quarterback has won this award in each of the last eight seasons.
The Current Frontrunner
Three-time NFL MVP winner Aaron Rodgers is currently the most likely MVP choice. There has been a groundswell of support for Rodgers since the Green Bay Packers have the best record in the league, and one of the maxims for voters is to go with the quarterback of the best team when in doubt. However, Rodgers’ overall numbers aren’t great, and he ranks 10th in passing yards. A loss in either of Green Bay’s final two games would probably be a deathblow to his candidacy, and there is likely to be a push for another winner considering Rodgers won the award last year.
Tom Brady will go down as the greatest quarterback of all-time. However, Brady has only been named NFL MVP three times, and that puts him two behind Peyton Manning in that department. The NFL’s all-time passing leader has had another stellar season at 44, and Brady currently leads the league in passing yards and passing touchdowns. He will also get a boost if Tampa Bay blows out its last two opponents as his top two receivers are out.
A running back hasn’t been named MVP since Adrian Peterson won the honor after rushing for over 2,000 yards while averaging 6.0 YPC in 2012. However, Jonathan Taylor has a pretty good chance to be named MVP. Taylor has been far and away the best running back in the league this season, rushing for over 1,600 yards and 17 touchdowns while averaging 5.5 YPC for the suddenly surging Indianapolis Colts. The second-year running back can put on a show these next two weeks, but Derrick Henry ran for over 2,000 yards and didn’t receive a single vote for MVP last year.
Longshots to Watch
The most intriguing MVP candidate out there is Cooper Kupp. Matthew Stafford’s MVP chances have gone by the wayside after throwing three interceptions last week against Minnesota, but Kupp has a chance to become the first receiver to finish the season with more than 2,000 yards. Kupp currently has 132 receptions for 1,734 yards and 14 touchdowns, so the single-season receptions record is within reach too. However, a wide receiver has never been named NFL MVP so Kupp will have to overcome history.
Patrick Mahomes has come out of left field to become a potential MVP choice too. Mahomes was the presumed favorite at the start of the season, but he was less than sharp as the Kansas City Chiefs started the year 3-4. The Chiefs have won eight straight games since that point to become the frontrunner in the AFC for the third straight year, but he has only had a handful of sensational games. Still, Mahomes has the potential to leave our mouths agape any time he steps on the field.