Week 10 made one thing clear: The 2020 NFL MVP award will now be Patrick Mahomes’ to lose. Mahomes is the best player on the best team with a very high chance of repeating as Super Bowl champions; play the odds at FortyThirtyEight yourself. If the Kansas City Chiefs go 6-1 in the final half of the season, they still have a 31% chance of winning it all which is almost 20% higher than any other team. If the former league and Super Bowl MVP is able to sustain this high level of success, no one—not even Russell Wilson—will get in his way.
These Super Bowl odds aren’t the only ones in Mahomes’ favor. After a rough week for the previous frontrunner, Wilson, Mahomes has edged out everybody else as the favorite for this year’s MVP honor, according to BetOnline.
Sure, there are other players who should be in MVP conversations, but more than halfway through the season, this has turned into a one-man race.
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
Last week: No. 2
Mahomes didn’t suit up in Week 10; Kansas City enjoyed its bye after four consecutive wins to sit at 8-1 on the season. He’s completed 67% of his passes with an average of 8.2 yards per attempt with a league-low interception percentage (0.3%). Mahomes has been so efficient he’s thrown 25 touchdowns and just one interception with a career-best quarterback rating (115.9)
What else is there to say?
Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
Last week: No. 1
Oh, Wilson. It’s maddening to watch a player so good limited by so much. While the passer’s alter ego may be Mr. Unlimited, the circumstances of the Seattle Seahawks’ fall from grace puts him in a hard-to-watch situation; watching Seahawks games have been more painful than usual for everyone. Wilson can’t escape the blame forever, but, this would be a different list if he had the team Mahomes does—even the defense of another MVP favorite, quarterback Kyler Murray.
This recent stretch of mediocre football from Wilson leaves the perennial passer now on the outside looking in. Wilson’s long streak atop this list, and many others, finally came to an end after two turnover-riddled losses; the latest was against NFC West foe, the Los Angeles Rams. The Seahawks have now lost three of their last four contests while Wilson has committed 10 turnovers. When contrasted with his early-season efforts (which included more than 1,500 passing yards, 19 touchdowns, and three picks), Wilson would need otherworldly play to best Mahomes. Wilson, who has uncharacteristically looked average as of late, is certainly still an MVP candidate with a league-best 28 touchdowns, but he isn’t the candidate anymore.
Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
Last week: No. 3
The two-time MVP could be on the verge of his third honor after the season he’s put together. Aaron Rodgers has done more with less than any other player on this list, including Wilson. The Green Bay Packers didn’t build around their quarterback and have been missing key offensive pieces—wide receivers Davante Adams (two games) and Allen Lazard (six games) and running back Aaron Jones (two games)—at times, but still Rodgers is playing some of his best football.
Rodgers is the new leader in DAKOTA rankings, according to The Athletic’s Ben Baldwin, and the league’s most efficient passer, via Football Outsiders. Aside from his stats, which include a 68% completion rate for 2,578 yards, 26 touchdowns, and just three interceptions, Rodgers is having fun and it’s been a joy to watch.
Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals
Last week: No. 5
Can one spectacular throw ascend a quarterback up the MVP rankings? No, but Murray’s should. He executed one of the best Hail Mary passes we’ve seen to propel the Arizona Cardinals into first place (with tiebreakers) in the competitive NFC West.
The 2019 Offensive Rookie of the Year has already surpassed last year’s win total with the Cardinals sitting at 6-3 and has been on a tear since back-to-back losses early in the season. In Arizona’s last five games (including one loss), Murray has gone 113-of-167 passing for 1,456 yards, 10 touchdowns, and three interceptions. He’s currently on pace for a season total of 4,222 yards and 30 touchdowns. He’s been electrifying to watch as a passer and rusher and could lead the Cardinals to a divisional title for the first time since 2015.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Last week: N/A
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger fits more into the mold of Comeback Player of the Year but still should be mentioned with some of the best quarterbacks this season. The biggest question here: Can he hold up?
Roethlisberger has successfully turned back the hands of time with the NFL’s only undefeated team. If the Pittsburgh Steelers remain undefeated with Roethlisberger healthy (and efficient) under center, there’s a chance Comeback POY isn’t enough to accurately describe the season he would have. The Steelers are finally coming off their most complete game, even with their 9-0 record, and if Roethlisberger and company can keep up the momentum, it might be enough to topple Mahomes on the field and in this race.
Other Dark Horse Candidates:
Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills: Yes, we know quarterback Josh Allen isn’t the best player in the league nor the best passer slinging balls downfield. He is a lot of fun to watch, most notably because you’re not quite sure what you’re going to see, but if he’s on, he’s on. The Buffalo Bills could win their first divisional title since 1995 and Allen is the biggest reason why.
Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints: There are a couple of running backs who are long shots for this year’s MVP award, including Minnesota Vikings’ Dalvin Cook and New Orleans Saints’ Alvin Kamara. As much as this award should look at individual performances, team success plays a large role and the Saints are obviously the better team. Kamara has helped power their offensive attack to the tune of 1,134 yards from scrimmage as an equally dangerous rushing and passing threat. If he continues to be great with Drew Brees out, his MVP case will only strengthen.