Patrick Mahomes No Longer A Lock For NFL MVP?

December 18, 2020

For much of the NFL’s 2020 regular season, it looked like Russell Wilson was finally going to win MVP. He was throwing touchdown passes at an incredible rate and had the Seattle Seahawks looking like a legitimate contender.

But then he hit a rough patch, lost a few games, and his odds dropped.

As a star falls, another must rise, which he did. Well, he did not exactly rise because he was already having an MVP-caliber season– Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

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Since Russell Wilson was no longer a lock for MVP, the media needed someone else to focus on, and Patrick Mahomes was an excellent choice. He was the leader of the most exciting and dynamic team in the NFL and is capable of exploding every week.

But then he had a less than perfect outing against the Miami Dolphins last week, and it got some people wondering. Yes, the Chiefs won; he threw for 393 yards and completed 70.6 percent of his passes. However, he was also sacked three times and threw three interceptions.

If it was not for the incredible team surrounding Mahomes, the Chiefs might not have won that game.

Does that mean we should not consider Mahomes for MVP? Absolutely not. There is a reason why he has the best odds at BetMGM.com (-250). But there is also a reason his odds have been trending in the wrong direction in recent weeks.

Yes, Patrick Mahomes is a great player, but maybe he is not the most valuable one.

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NFL MVP Candidates Not Named Patrick Mahomes   

Ask the question if not Mahomes, then who, and the first answer many will give will be Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (+200). Statistically, his numbers are comparable to Mahomes.

His completion percentage is slightly higher, he has thrown fewer interceptions and more touchdowns, and his rating is higher.

Mahomes has thrown for more yardage, has a higher per game average, and a slightly better per attempt average. But those things are impacted by his receivers, too, and not just him—which brings up the best argument for Rodgers.

Rodgers has generated his stats with much less to work with than Mahomes. He makes the guys around him better. Can you say the same for Mahomes, or is it the other way around?

Are the guys around him making him better?

Josh Allen (+1400) was considered a good candidate earlier in the year, but then the team lost two in a row (against the Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs).

His name was dropped from the conversation, but after leading the team to six wins in their last seven games, he is back in the mix.

Statistically, he does not match up to Mahomes or Rodgers, which will make many voters leery of voting for him. But the quality of his body of work this season is undeniable. To really have a chance, though, he may need Mahomes and Rodgers to stumble down the stretch.

Russell Wilson (+5000) is still hanging around the conversation, but he has not been the explosive guy he was earlier in the year. While he is one of the best, there is a good chance this year becomes another where he does not get a vote.

Quarterbacks do tend to win MVP more than any other position because of their impact on the game. But there is one guy who may be having an even more significant impact than Mahomes, Rodgers, Allen, or anyone else—Tennessee Titans running back Derek Henry (+3000).

Most teams depend on their quarterbacks having great days to win games. While that is true for the Chiefs, Packers, and Bills, it is not true for the Titans. Yes, it helps if Ryan Tannehill has a great day.

But the Titans are much more reliant on their running back, Derek Henry.

With 1532 yards and 14 touchdowns through 13 games, it is easy to see that Henry has come through for the Titans.

So – How Should You Bet?

Betting Play: Aaron Rodgers to win MVP.   

Should Derek Henry finish the regular season with 2000+ yards, the voters will have no choice but to consider him. With games against the Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, and Houston Texans on deck, there is a good chance he will hit 2000+ yards by the end of the season.

But due to the bias towards quarterbacks for MVP voters, he is more likely to win Offensive Player of the Year than MVP. He could probably beat out Josh Allen, but unless Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers struggle down the stretch, he will not beat them.

Rodgers will have his best shot if the Packers can run the table and remain the No.1 seed in the NFC. Chances are the Chiefs will be the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

Since both teams will be as successful as the other, it will come down to how well each quarterback played. That means we could see the closest MVP vote in league history this season.

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