MVP Watch: Midseason Edition
Somehow, against all odds and sense of player safety, we have made it to the halfway point of the 2020 NFL season. In the last MVP Watch article I wrote, I told you these rankings were guaranteed to change as the season progressed and they certainly have.
1. Tom Brady
Yeah, I know I’m going to get some slack for this one, and honestly these top two can go either way. But for me, right now, the NFL MVP is Grey Beard himself, Tom Brady. Everyone talks about his weapons but Evans has been banged up, Godwin has missed time and the 42 year old hasn’t missed a beat, spreading it around to guys like Scotty Miller, Tyler Johnson and Taylor Mickens. Last night was certainly close against the Giants but Brady did his thing, throwing two late touchdowns to take the lead. And in the first half he masterfully extended the pocket on a much needed 4th down to find the open man. Tom Brady has 2,139 yards, 20 touchdowns and just four interceptions all while leading his team to a 6-2 record. This same team was 2-6 at this time last year and Jameis Winston had twelve interceptions.
2. Russell Wilson
Mr. Unlimited bounced back in a big way this past Sunday against the Niners, firing off 261 yards and four touchdowns with another week of zero interceptions. As I said above, these top two can go either way in the rankings, as Russ does have four more touchdowns than Brady and really just has the one multi-interception game holding him back. However, you CAN NOT go out and toss three picks in a game you're favored in, especially not late in the game with a chance for the win without dropping down a slot on my list. Meanwhile, Brady hasn't thrown an interception in a few weeks, and simply put, when he needs to make the plays, he does. Everyone is allowed an off day but interceptions with the game on the line will always be a blemish.
3. Aaron Rodgers
While the loss to the Vikings this past weekend was more on the defence than Rodgers, the rough day against Tampa definitely needs to be held against him. Even if I'm a believer that winners find a way to win, when a quarterback throws 364 yards and four touchdowns only to have the defense give up 163 yards rushing and three touchdowns (plus two catches for 63 yards) to a running back coming off an injury, the blame isn't on him. With limited help at receiver due to injuries to Davante Adams, Rodgers still has 1,948 yards, 20 touchdowns and just two interceptions. the MVP race is really a three QB race right now between Rodgers, Wilson and Brady. However, the Packers might need to trade for another pass catcher before today's deadline to really propel Rodgers to the top of the list.
4. Patrick Mahomes
It's weird putting a guy with stats as ridiculous as Mahomes has this year down to fourth on the MVP watch. Mahomes has 2,315 yards to go with 21 touchdowns and just one interception this season. However, it seems everybody has Madden-type stats this year and when you look at the per game stats it's obvious the other three are more of a driving force for their teams this season. Normally, after a guy has a 385 yard, five touchdown day like Mahomes did on Sunday against the Jets, I would be pushing him way up the list. But, come on... he was playing the Jets. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs are supposed to have crazy stats against the Jets because the Jets suck.
5. Alvin Kamara
Now, I know he won't win it because he's a running back and since Peyton Manning retired it has been the NFL's quarterback award, instead of just the award they'd give to Peyton Manning every year because they loved him. Kamara really might not have a shot at the award but I had to put him in here as my dark horse because Alvin Kamara is absolutely DRAGGING the Saints offense right now without Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders in the lineup. Drew Brees does not have the arm he once did, and without their two star receivers the Saints have been forced to utilize the short passing game even more than usual this year. Kamara has 431 yards and four touchdowns on the ground this year and adds another fifty five receptions for 556 yards and three touchdowns through the air. In comparison, Deandre Hopkins has fifty seven receptions for 704 yards and three touchdowns. It is very possible for Kamara to finish around a hundred receptions this year, as well as for him to become just the fourth player in NFL history to record 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in the same season (Christian McCaffrey 2019, Marshall Faulk 1999, Roger Craig 1985). So, he has earned the right to at least be mentioned beside the four top quarterbacks, even if he won't win it.
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