It seems like a while ago since we all had Russell Wilson earmarked as the season’s MVP. Since then, a lot has changed, but very little has changed. There are two quarterbacks who have continued their level of performance and there is one lurking in the shadows who went missing for a few weeks after a hot start.
But who is going to take the MVP crown? Let’s take a look at the contenders:
Current odds: 1/2
While the betting suggests it’s Mahomes to lose, many will argue that the voting should be a bit closer. Mahomes is coming off a tied career high of three interceptions against Miami from Week 14.
But whatever Mahomes breaks, he fixes as he led the tsunami wave of a comeback, blitzing the Dolphins for 30 points (with the aid of a special teams TD) in the second and third quarters.
Many will point to the weapons he has far exceeding those that Aaron Rodgers has and others will also point to the HC and scheme of the team. But to execute as consistently as he has done and to the high level he has done, Patrick Mahomes and this Chiefs offence is the only offence where you feel they’ll score on every down, whether it’s from the 1-yard line or their own 1-yard line.
Whether Mahomes was being a bit reckless with the interceptions and getting a bit on the arrogant/cocky side, we’ll see but we’ve seen on multiple occasions that no matter how many points the Chiefs could be down (watch all of the 2019 Chiefs play-off games), Mahomes is never out of it. Also, the main reason Mahomes is the leading candidate for MVP is that he has shown up in the big games this year:
|12||@ Tampa Bay||462||3||0||124.7|
When it comes to the big time, Mahomes steps up. Even before that Super Bowl win, he consistently showed up when it matters; he grows bigger as the occasion gets bigger. We’ll see how he performs in Week 15 against the Saints but judging from the above table, the Saints defence could be in for a rough ride.
But even in games where they are expected to win comfortably, Mahomes still pours it on:
- 11/13 games this season with multiple TD passes
- 9/13 games with a QB Rating over 100
- 9/13 games with 300+ yards passing
- Currently on for his highest completion percentage of any season and his best regular season record with the Chiefs.
The former MVP from 2018 is looking for his second title and judging by his performances, especially in the big games, it will take some sort of collapse to lose it from here.
Current odds: 2/1
The second favourite is the Green Bay signal caller. Rodgers has been playing at somewhat close to his MVP form, if not beyond it. The former 2011 and 2014 MVP winner has had fewer weapons at his disposal this year (due to the questionable draft selections) with just Davante Adams worth talking about. Some will say Robert Tonyan has been a godsend and Marquez Valdes-Scantling has chipped in, but that is still a far cry from Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce et al over in Kansas. Yes, they have a slightly more better ground game and they are a bit more run focused in this offence, but Aaron Rodgers has performed better statistically this season (though helped by Mahomes’ frivolous ball play in Miami) with six more TDs and one less interception.
Rodgers’ standout game this season came against the Saints, which could be pivotal in giving the Packers the #1 seed with the tiebreak in their pocket, especially after the Saints lost to Philadelphia last week. However, you could say that this was negated by the awful performance in Tampa Bay in Week 5, completing less than half of his 35 attempts, with a couple of picks and a QB rating under 50.
Away from that game though, Rodgers has completed every game with an 100+ QB rating and has multiple TD passes in every other game.
The one knock on Aaron Rodgers for me though, is that you can’t always assume that Rodgers will always come out and play his A game. Games against Jacksonville (despite winning) and Minnesota (loss) are always in the locker, which sets him and Mahomes apart. When the chips are down, you get the feeling that sometimes Rodgers is just happy to mentally check out, especially in that Tampa Bay game.
However, if he puts in a decent performance in these last three games, he could better his most TDs in a season (which currently stands at 45); he’s currently on 39. If he excels, he could still surpass his highest passing yard season from 2011 (still 1,000 to go though) and record his best average QB rating. He is currently on track for his highest completion percentage of his career as a starter too.
These are two worthy winners of the MVP award based on their performances this season but as things stand, and a lot can change in three weeks (just ask Russell Wilson), Patrick Mahomes should be taking the MVP crown.
A quick honourable mention to Josh Allen, the Buffalo Bills QB who is making a late run for the MVP award after 2 great performances against San Francisco and Pittsburgh. Sports Betting Dime presently has Allen at 33/1 to win the MVP, well behind Mahomes and Rodgers, but in no way does that lessen the impact he’s had on the Bills’ offense this season.
Early on in his NFL career, it was all about his rushing but his passing has come on leaps and bounds, aided by the acquisition of John Brown in 2019 and Stefon Diggs in 2020.
|Year||Pass Yards||Completion %||TDs||INT||QB Rating|
If his upward trajectory continues, 2021 could be a scarily good year for Allen and the Bills. He may even warrant a cheeky bet on MVP at what will be decent odds.
While 11 interceptions and the odd rabbit-in-a-headlight moment are still in his locker, Allen has carried the team to lead the AFC East and help snap the Patriots’ 11-year stranglehold on the division. That’s enough to put him down in #BillsMafia folklore and the record books for the rest of time, albeit probably not enough to win an MVP award.
His dual-threat ability is probably his calling card over the other two guys featured above and if it wasn’t for Kyler Murray’s Hail Mary at the end of the Arizona game, maybe Allen’s odds would have been in single figures as they would currently be on a seven-game losing streak. But I am sure he and the Bills Mafia would give up that MVP award for a visit to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1993.