By Joe Scibelli
As the 2020 NFL season ascends into its final quarter, many NFL fans ask, “who’s going to win MVP during this hectic season?” With opt outs, fines, rescheduling, and a team not even being allowed to play in its own stadium, the 2020 season has been unpredictable to say the least. Unlike in past years, where the MVP predictions were easy to make, 2020 has been the most competitive race that still leaves analysists wondering who the committee is going to give the most prestigious individual honor.
Aaron Rodgers (Quarterback, Green Bay Packers)
Like every year when Rodgers is healthy, his name is brought into conversation about winning MVP. Last Sunday, Rodgers made a major statement for why he should be crowned NFL MVP, with his impressive win over a tough Chicago Bears defense. Rodgers threw for 211 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions as he led the Packers to a win against their biggest rival. With Rodger’s performance Sunday night, fans of the NFL were confident they found the MVP. Rodgers is leading the league this year in touchdowns with 33, tied for third for fewest interceptions with four, and is second in QBR with an 85.2 rate. In other words, Rodgers has dominated this season.
However, the State Farm spokesman did have a serious hiccup. When Rodgers and the Pack headed down to sunny Tampa Bay, the Bucs let them know that the NFC is going to be a dog fight. Rodgers had his worst game of his season so far, throwing for only 160 yards with a completion percentage of 45%. Mind you, it was not all Aaron’s fault, as he was hit 13 times and sacked five times. The Bucs shut down Rodgers, which lead them to beat the Packers 38-10. Even taking the lackluster performance against Tampa into account, Rodgers is on pace to beat his past MVP-selves.
Rodgers won MVP twice and is now looking for his third. In 2011, Rodgers lead the Packers to a 15-1 record while throwing for 4,643 yards, 45 touchdowns and six interceptions. Rodgers campaign with the Packers was one to remember, as he beat out Drew Brees, who had remarkable season throwing over 5,400 yards. Nevertheless, Rodgers leadership and game play showed the committee he deserved the title of MVP, but it also did help that Brees threw 14 interceptions that season.
In 2014, when Rodgers won again, his competition was a defensive player? Huh? That’s right, future Hall of Famer and Texans team captain, J.J. Watt, received 13 out of 50 MVP votes in 2014. Rodgers stats were not as jaw dropping like his 2011 season, but MVP-caliber nonetheless. Rodgers threw for 4,381 yards, 38 touchdowns and six interceptions.
Right now, Rodgers is on pace to outshine his past numbers, even with all the craziness that 2020 had in store. Currently, Rodgers is completing 68.5% of his passes, which is more than both his 2011 and 2014 MVP seasons. Also, Rodgers has already thrown 33 touchdowns. With five games left, it’s very probable that Rodgers will throw for more than 40 by the end of this season. If Rodgers doesn’t throw another interception this year, he really outperformed his 2011 self and 2014 self, making a strong argument why Rodgers deserves another MVP trophy.
Patrick Mahomes (Quarterback, Kansas City Chiefs)
How can you not talk about Patrick Mahomes when it comes to MVP? Mahomes is the present and future of the NFL. I mean the kid is unbelievable. At only 25 years old, (exactly how old I am) Mahomes has himself an MVP trophy, Super Bowl MVP trophy, and of course a Super Bowl ring. Mahomes is in the conversation for sure to receive his second MVP trophy, even if that means beating out fellow State Farm spokesman, Aaron Rodgers. Just like his NFC counterpart, Mahomes lit it up on Sunday, especially in the first quarter. Mahomes connected to Tyreek Hill seven times for 203 yards and two touchdowns in the first 15 minutes. 15 minutes! It was an electric quarter to say the least, and Mahomes had one hell of a game. Mahomes connected on 37 of his 49 throws, 13 of which went to Hill. Mahomes and Hill scorched the Bucs with 462 passing yards by Mahomes, and 269 receiving yards by Hill. The AFC State Farm spokesman did what the NFC State Farm spokesman couldn’t do. This game definitely helps Mahomes edge out Rodgers for the highest individual honor.
Right now, Mahomes is sitting confidently in the AFC with a 10-1 record. Out of all starting quarterbacks, Mahomes leads the league with fewest interception with two through 11 games. Unlike his 2018 MVP season where he threw for 5,097 yards, 50 touchdowns, but 12 interceptions, Mahomes is showing his maturity and decision-making skills. Currently, Mahomes is first in yards with 3,497, but if he wants to hit the 5,000 mark, he will have to throw about 300 yards per game. But for Mahomes, it’s completely feasible. Also, he leads the league in QBR with an 86.2 rate, and he’s third in touchdowns with 30. This year Mahomes is very similar to the 2018 MVP Mahomes, but there are less touchdowns, unfortunately, less interceptions and a higher completion rate with 68.8% compared to 66% in 2018. Its safe to say, that State Farm is going to have an MVP this 2020 season.
Russell Wilson (Quarterback, Seattle Seahawks)
The third player to mention is Russell Wilson. Wilson has been fortunate this season to have second year wide receiver D.K. Metcalf dominate defensive backs throughout the league. However, Russ deserves a lot of the credit. The Seahawks’ offensive is rolling. They’re ranked second in red zone points, and Wilson is currently second in the league for passing touchdowns. Again, D.K. is beast and has contributed to Russ’s success for sure. What really helps Wilson with his candidacy to be NFL MVP, is the lack of defense. Seattle’s defense has given up more total yards and passing yards than any other team in the NFL. Yet, Seattle sits on top of a very competitive NFC West with a record of 8-3. Jacksonville has given up the second most yards in the league and they are currently 1-10. So clearly, Russ is Seattle’s MVP.
Wilson is third in passing yards with 3,216 after he connected with D.K. last Monday 10 times for 177 yards. Wilson is completing 70.7% of his passes and has 31 touchdowns. What’s hurting him is the amount of interceptions he’s thrown. Right now, Wilson has thrown 10 interceptions, equaling almost a pick a game, which puts him tied in 27th place for least interceptions thrown by a starting quarterback. Wilson has never thrown more than 11 interceptions in a season, but this season doesn’t look promising for that. Despite the increase in interceptions, Wilson is running the ball again. In 2019, Russell ran the ball a total of 75 times for 342 throughout his 16 games. Now, 11 games into 2020, Russell has ran the ball 61 times for 379 yards. When Seattle appeared in back to back Super Bowls, Wilson ran the ball over 100 times and had 849 yards in 2014 and 553 yards in 2015. When Wilson uses his legs, Seattle is a dangerous team, and gives the Seattle quarterback another notch on why he should be this years NFL MVP.
Hot Takes, the MVP Goes to Former Heisman Winner Not Named Kyler Murray.
2020 could come with another surprise, an MVP that is not a quarterback. Last time an MVP was not a quarterback was in 2012 when Adrian Peterson showed the world how running in between the tackles can still win games. Which leads me to my hot take: Derrick “King” Henry.
Henry is a force and the Colts bit the dust trying to stop this one-man army last Sunday. With his 27 carries, he ripped one of the best defenses in the NFL for 178 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Henry is scary, especially with that vicious stiff arm. Just ask Josh Norman and Earl Thomas if you don’t know about it. Henry, right now, leads the league in rushing yards with 1,257 and is in second in rushing touchdowns with 12. He’s carried the ball more than any other player, and has committed 0 fumbles, but seriously who can honestly rip the ball away from the King. Comparing 2020 Henry with 2012 AP, there’s a lot of similarities. Peterson had 2,097 yards that year and averaged six yards per carry. Henry stats are not as impressive, but impressive nonetheless. Henry is averaging just below five yards per carry. For Henry to hit a 2,000-yard season, he will have to average 148.6 yards per game. Not impossible, but unlikely.
However, Henry has the same number of rushing touchdowns as Peterson did during his entire MVP season. Also, MVP is the most valuable player. When the head coach of the Titans, Mike Vrabel, wears a mask that states, “Please give the ball to Derrick Henry.” Your coach is telling the league and everyone on the Titans’ schedule, “I am going to run my offense through my MVP, and good luck stopping him.” I know Vrabel would give Henry all 50 votes for MVP, but for the committee, who knows.
After discussing the four players that the committee is considering, I believe. Here’s just a list of players that have an argument to be considered on the ballot:
- Tom Brady (Quarterback, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
- Kyler Murray (Quarterback, Arizona Cardinals)
- T.J. Watt (Linebacker, Pittsburgher Steelers)
- Aaron Donald (Defensive Tackle, Los Angeles Rams)
Conclusion, The Reigning Super Bowl MVP Gets His Second MVP
Patrick Mahomes, in my opinion, will be the 2020 NFL MVP. His team is winning, his stats are staggering, and he’s making it look easy. Though there’s still a lot of season left in 2020 which has been insane to say the least, if Mahomes keeps it up, he will have another trophy to his growing collection.