By: Jonathan Goad
As we approach the final stretch of the NFL regular season, several players continue to make their case for the NFL Most Valuable Player.
It’s going to be fun to watch as these players keep dominating week in and week out, especially with many of these players’ teams in the middle of the playoff hunt.
Here are the five front-runners for the MVP award at this point in the season (in no particular order).
Todd Gurley, Running Back, Los Angeles Rams
Last season’s Offensive Player of the Year picked up right where he left off. Gurley is putting together another fantastic season. Through Week 12, Gurley has rushed 210 times for 1,043 yards and 13 rushing touchdowns. He’s also added 43 receptions for 441 yards and four receiving touchdowns. He’s averaging a whopping 5.0 yards per carry. Don’t be fooled by Rams’ QB Jared Goff’s fine season. Todd Gurley is still the best player on this team and arguably the best running back in the NFL. Don’t be surprised in Gurley leads the league in rushing yards and total touchdowns on his way to the MVP award.
Ezekiel Elliott, Running Back, Dallas Cowboys
Zeke is having a great season as well. With the Cowboys playing this past Thursday, Zeke is a game ahead of Gurley. Through 13 Weeks, Elliott has amassed 1,150 yards on 240 carries and six rushing scores. He’s averaging 4.8 yards per carry. Zeke has also caught 53 passes for 423 yards and three touchdowns. Elliott currently leads the league in rushing yards, although he has played one more game than every other running back with the exception of the Saints’ backs. Gurley would only need to rush for 108 yards this Sunday to surpass Zeke, but don’t let that discredit the year Elliott is having. His name needs to be in consideration when the MVP discussions start.
We all know how much the NFL loves its quarterbacks. A QB has won the MVP award for the past five years and ten out of the past eleven. Adrian Peterson is the only exception when he won it in 2012. While signal-callers like Matt Ryan and the aforementioned Jared Goff are having great seasons, there’s only three quarterbacks that are deserving of the MVP award.
Patrick Mahomes, Quarterback, Kansas City Chiefs
Mahomes has taken the football world by storm in his first year as a starting quarterback. He is currently third in passing yards with 3,628 and leads the league in passing touchdowns with 37. The gunslinger has thrown ten interceptions, but those happen when throw it all around the field fearlessly like Mahomes does. The young QB has also completed a very respectable 67.5% of his passes. Unless we see a historic collapse, Mahomes will be right there in the discussion at the end of the year.
Drew Brees, Quarterback, New Orleans Saints
Even though Brees had a poor performance in the loss to the Dallas Cowboys this past Thursday, he should still be mentioned in the MVP discussion. The Saints signal-caller has never won the award, although you could argue he has deserved it a time or two. He currently sits at seventh in passing yards (even with the extra game) with 3,262 and third in TD passes with 30. Brees has also only been picked off three times this year, which is second to only Aaron Rodgers’ one, among QBs who have started the majority of their games. Where Brees excels is in his accuracy. He’s already the most accurate QB in NFL history, and he’s on pace to break his season record of completion percentage. This season, he’s completed 75.5% of his passes. The next highest is Matt Ryan at 71.4%. It’s hard to believe Brees has never won this award. This could be the year he finally does.
Andrew Luck, Quarterback, Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck might be the dark horse in this race. He’s ninth in passing yards with 3,112. He’s second only to Mahomes with 32 touchdown passes. Luck has also completed 68.4% of his passes. Like Mahomes, Luck does throw picks. He’s thrown ten on the year. Luck does have eight straight games with at least three touchdown passes heading into Week 13. If the Colts continue the run that they’re on (five straight wins), don’t be surprised if it’s Andrew Luck who hears his named called for the NFL MVP.
If any of these five win the MVP this season, it will be well deserved.