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NFL Draft

2020 NFL MVP Watch: Kyler Murray Adds To His Case

  • The Draft Network
  • September 22, 2020
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Week 2 hit the NFL like a ton of bricks. The number of players injured through the weekend’s slate of games is staggering. There were a string of close contests and even a good ol’ primetime upset. Many teams will look different heading into Week 3 and so will the NFL’s MVP race.

There were a couple of skill players who suffered injuries that were on The Draft Network’s MVP watch after Week 1 that have been omitted, but the frontrunners remain the same and are still some of the favorites for this year’s award. Their most recent performances only strengthened their cases. 

Here are the top 10 players on MVP watch after Week 2:

Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks

Last week: No. 1

If the season were to end right now, I would bet anything quarterback Russell Wilson gets at least one vote. Even among this list of great quarterbacks, Wilson is having one of the best runs of his career with the Seattle Seahawks. If it doesn’t end with the MVP award itself, it should certainly earn him getting his first-ever MVP vote. In two weeks, Wilson has thrown nine touchdowns and just 11 incompletions; he’s almost perfect. Wilson has the best rating among all quarterbacks (140) and is settling into what appears to be a new Seattle offense.

Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs

Last week: No. 3

Somehow, every week quarterback Patrick Mahomes makes one of his only-Patrick-Mahomes-can-throw-that passes and we’re all still stunned. Through the first two weeks of the season, he hasn’t disappointed in this regard, and it was again shown in the Kansas City Chiefs’ 23-20 win over the Los Angeles Chargers. The game was a little too close for comfort—especially against a rookie quarterback, Justin Herbert—but Mahomes led his team to a come-from-behind victory. Week 3’s matchup with another MVP favorite will be even more trying. It’s safe to say whoever comes out of Monday Night Football with the win, will have the edge in this race. 

Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens

Last week: No. 2

This brings us to another top passer, Lamar Jackson. The Baltimore Ravens have dominated opponents in their first two matchups, including one with a comparable but less equipped quarterback in Deshaun Watson. Jackson looks every bit of the unanimous 2019 MVP and more. He’s second to Wilson in passer rating (134.6) and will face his toughest competition when he hosts Mahomes on Monday night. 

Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals

Last week: No. 4

The Arizona Cardinals’ ascension this season is in part due to the addition of wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, but still has everything to do with quarterback Kyler Murray. He’s thriving in Year 2 under head coach Kliff Kingsbury and his Air Raid system and could turn the NFC West on its head. The Cardinals’ next three weeks include games against the Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers, and New York Jets; all three give Murray more opportunities to stake his claim to being a top MVP candidate.

Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

Last week: No. 6

No, the Green Bay Packers didn’t regress like some thought leading up to the season, and by all measures quarterback Aaron Rodgers has yet to either. Whether it’s the added motivation of his heir, Jordan Love, already being on the team or the closing window of the Packers’ championship hopes, Rodgers has already silenced any preseason criticism. He has the best total quarterback rating (91) and has thrown for 604 yards and six touchdowns in two games. If the Packers can continuing winning against some of their tougher opponents, Rodgers will keep this race tight.

Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills

Last week: N/A

With the exception of the top three players listed here, no one did more for their MVP stock this past week than quarterback Josh Allen. The Buffalo Bills’ success hinges on Allen taking the next step in his third year, and Week 2’s 31-28 win over the Miami Dolphins shows us he’s well on his way. Allen finished the game 24-of-35 passing for 417 yards, four touchdowns, and a league-leading 147 passer rating. Buffalo has a challenging couple of weeks ahead, but the Bills can remain frontrunners in the AFC East while Allen catapults himself into MVP decisions with a couple of key wins.

Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers

Last week: N/A

There were a few skill players who could have had an early run for, at minimum, MVP votes, but the slew of injuries puts their 2020 season in jeopardy. Packers running back Aaron Jones is a healthy player that can be added to this list after an impressive start to the season. He is currently leading the league in rushing yards (234) and is coming off a 236-yard, three-touchdown performance against the Lions.

Tom Brady, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Last week: N/A

He’s back. Literally. If there was any inkling quarterback Tom Brady wouldn’t deliver in Week 2, it was quickly put to rest. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers bested the rebuilding Panthers and Brady showed why he’s one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. He couldn’t be left off this list even if we tried.

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Last week: No. 8

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger dropped a spot on this list because a passer of this caliber, in this MVP race, shouldn’t almost lose to the Denver Broncos, who had to play backup quarterback Jeff Driskel after Drew Lock left the game with what turned out to be a severe rotator cuff strain. Consistency will be the biggest roadblock to Roethlisberger in this race.

Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta Falcons

Last week: N/A

There have been very few things working in the Atlanta Falcons’ favor after a 0-2 start. One of, if not the only, success these first two weeks has been wide receiver Calvin Ridley. He’s surpassed 100 yards in both games to open the season and has four touchdowns. Ridley was on pace to reach the 1,000-yard mark last season before suffering a season-ending injury in Week 14. He’s been a consistent producer in Atlanta’s offense and, the way things are going, will likely be the team’s MVP if he continues to put up big numbers.

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