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NFL Draft

2020 NFL MVP Watch: It’s Wilson, Mahomes, Then Everyone Else

  • The Draft Network
  • November 4, 2020
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The 2020 NFL MVP race has become about two quarterbacks: Russell Wilson and Patrick Mahomes. But there continues to be a number of other passers and players who are having seasons worthy of noting in this space—they could make a push in the second half.

Here are the top 10 candidates for the league’s MVP award more than halfway through the season:

Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks

Last week: No. 1

Wilson is one of the NFL’s most consistent passers and his career streak of not receiving a single MVP vote will need to end this year. He’s thrown for 2,151 yards, 26 touchdowns, and only six interceptions while having a 120.7 rating. There’s no one playing better football than Wilson, and although the only thing getting in his way is his own team, his individual success stands far above the rest of the field.

Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs

Last week: No. 2

Mahomes had another mind-boggling performance in Week 8 during Kansas City’s 35-9 win over the New York Jets. I know, it’s the Jets, but Mahomes’ 416-yard, five-touchdown performance resulted in a near-perfect quarterback rating (144.4) and doesn’t take away from the magic he continues to wield. He now has 21 touchdowns on the season, behind only Wilson, and has thrown only one interception.

Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

Last week: No. 3

The Green Bay Packers lost a winnable game to the Minnesota Vikings, but quarterback Aaron Rodgers has still helped the Packers to a 5-2 record with very little help. Rodgers was without his star wide receiver, Davante Adams, for a significant portion of the first half of the season and still managed to have the third-most touchdowns (20) and 1,948 yards with just two picks.

Tom Brady, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Last week: No. 4

Two second-half touchdowns helped push the Tampa Bay Buccaneers past the New York Giants, 25-23, on Monday while quarterback Tom Brady completed 70% of his passes for 279 yards. He can lead the stacked Buccaneers roster to the playoffs for the first time since 2007 and has a telling matchup with the New Orleans Saints on the horizon. Brady is still the clutch Brady we knew in New England and some more big performances, including a postseason run, can propel him in this MVP race.

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Last week: No. 6

The Pittsburgh Steelers are the NFL’s last undefeated team, which is a vast improvement from their 8-8 record in 2019. The Steelers will likely return to the playoffs for the first time since 2017 and the biggest reason for that is quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. While Pittsburgh is one of the most complete teams across the league, Roethlisberger’s return from an injury-shortened 2019 season has been the catalyst of their recent success. He has yet to win the MVP award and while I don’t see him topping Wilson or Mahomes, or Rodgers for that matter, it would be one heck of an achievement in a career that’s certainly waning.

Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals

Last week: N/A

The 5-2 Arizona Cardinals look a heck of a lot different than the 5-10-1 team from last season. Quarterback Kyler Murray has taken the expected jump in his sophomore season, thanks to additions at the skill positions on offense and the emergence of the secondary on the other side of the ball. Murray is on pace for a 4,200-plus yard, 30-touchdown season.

Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens

Last week: No. 5

Quarterback Lamar Jackson doesn’t look like the same MVP player we saw last season, and realistically, he doesn’t have to be. The Baltimore Ravens are still one of the best teams in the NFL. Jackson needs a few big games to jump up the list and increase his odds of a repeat. He already has 1,343 yards, 12 touchdowns, and four interceptions on the season. While his statistics are down, across the board, from last year, he’s still one of the best, most dynamic quarterbacks in the league.

Ryan Tannehill, QB, Tennessee Titans

Last week: No. 7

The one-two punch the Tennessee Titans have on offense starts with quarterback Ryan Tannehill. He’s proved his Comeback Player of the Year season wasn’t a fluke and has been in MVP conversations while making history in Tennessee. Tannehill is off to the best 16-game start in franchise history prior to Week 8 and despite the loss to the lowly Cincinnati Bengals, he’s still putting up MVP-caliber numbers.

Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills

Last week: No. N/A

Quarterback Josh Allen was higher in the MVP race at the beginning of the season when the Buffalo Bills were riding a four-game winning streak. Since then, the Bills have split their matchups and Allen has slightly regressed. With Buffalo winning its last two games, momentum is in the team’s and Allen’s favor. Similar to Jackson, he just needs a few more big games—and overall more consistent play—to really make a push for the top of this list.

Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans

Last week: No. 8

A running back isn’t likely to win the award with the level of quarterback play we’re seeing nowadays, but if one did, it would be Derrick Henry. He continues to carry the Titans offense and leads the NFL almost across the board with 161 carries for 775 yards with an average of 110.7 per game. Henry also has eight touchdowns and a league-leading 171 touches.

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