Friday, November 27, 2020

Who Are This Season’s MVP Contenders?

The MVP award is something all players dream of winning one day.

Whilst every player dreams of a Super Bowl, the MVP award (Most Valuable Player) is something that all players want to win.

If the Baltimore Ravens were to win the Super Bowl, then quarterback Lamar Jackson would be the third player in a row to win the award and then win the Super Bowl the next season. This shows the calibre of players that win the MVP award.

Tom Brady was named MVP in 2017 and then went on to win Super Bowl 53 in the 2018 season. That season, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes won the award in just his second season as a starter. He went on to win Super Bowl 54 after the conclusion of the 2019 season. Can Lamar Jackson win a ring? On current form it is unlikely but never count anything out in the playoffs.

There have been ten weeks so far this season, let’s have a look at who I feel are the five front runners for the award.

Alvin Kamara (Running Back- New Orleans Saints)

Alvin Kamara in week 1 action against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

In recent times, the award has gone to the quarterback position. Running back Adrian Peterson was the last non-quarterback to win the award.

This was in 2012 and since then, we have not seen a running back or any non quarterback take the award. Both Kamara and the next candidate have a genuine chance of winning the award.

Kamara had an off year in 2019 but is now fully back to the player we all know. He has established himself as one of the best backs in the league and has been able to both run and catch this season. He is sixteenth in the league for receiving yards (648), despite being a running back. Kamara has also caught for four receiving touchdowns as well as 486 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns.

He has been the most used weapon for quarterback Drew Brees. Star receiver Michael Thomas has missed lots of game time this year due to injuries and disciplinary action. Even when Thomas has been fit, Kamara has never had less receptions than Thomas.

Unfortunately for Kamara, he isn’t getting quite as much attention as the other contenders on the list. However, he is having a stupendous year.

Dalvin Cook (Running Back- Minnesota Vikings)

Dalvin Cook in week 1 action against the Green Bay Packers. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)

Considering the MVP stands for ‘Most Valuable Player’, then Dalvin Cook is most certainly a candidate for the award. Not only does Cook lead the league in rushing yards (954) and rushing touchdowns (12), he is also integral to this Vikings offense.

Cook has been a key reason why the Vikings have salvaged their season with a three game winning streak. After a 1-5 start, they now sit 4-5 and are just two wins behind the Seattle Seahawks, who currently occupy the seventh and final spot in the playoff picture.

With Kirk Cousins still struggling for consistency, Cook is the man for Minnesota. He has to be the focal point if the Vikings are to make a shock appearance in the playoffs. If they do make the postseason, Cook will absolutely be the reason why they do so. This is why he has to be a contender for the MVP award.

Kyler Murray (Quarterback- Arizona Cardinals)

Kyler Murray in action against the Buffalo Bills last weekend.

Murray is a quarterback that puts you on the edge of your seat. He is fast, exciting and as we saw last weekend, he is capable of big plays.

As we have seen with Josh Allen after the arrival of Stefon Diggs, Murray has now been given a true number one receiver in Deandre Hopkins. Murray is on track to better both his sack total and his passing yardage from last season. In 2020, he has already thrown for three less touchdowns than the whole of the 2019 season.

Kyler Murray and head coach Kliff Kingsbury.

2019’s number one draft pick has certainly been the most exciting quarterback in the league with both his rushing and passing ability, which may work in his favour when it comes to MVP voting.

Patrick Mahomes (Quarterback- Kansas City Chiefs)

Patrick Mahomes in the week 3 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens.

What else can be said about Patrick Mahomes. He is the best quarterback in the league by arguably some distance. Mahomes has thrown for 2,687 passing yards, 25 touchdowns and amazingly just one interception. He is the starting quarterback of the current Super Bowl champions and the team with the current second best record this season. Mahomes appears to be getting better and better. We are seeing a more balanced Chiefs team and despite his 2018 MVP season, Mahomes seems to be a better all round quarterback.

Mahomes has more experience under his belt and we are seeing less wild throws and far more composed and sensible decisions made by Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs are likely go to the AFC Championship game and this may have a big impact on the MVP voting.

Russell Wilson (Quarterback- Seattle Seahawks)

Russell Wilson after the week 4 win over the Miami Dolphins.(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

I have gone on record in previous articles to say that it is one of the biggest injustices of the past ten years that Russell Wilson has never received a single MVP vote throughout his career.

After the first seven to eight weeks, it appeared clear that Wilson would finally change that. However, the past two weeks have been horrid for the Seahawks. Back to back losses to the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Rams have moved Seattle from the top seed in the NFC to now being second in their own division.

However, sports fans have a short memory. Despite the past two weeks, Wilson has had an outstanding season.

Wilson leads the league in touchdown passes (28) and only Bills quarterback Josh Allen has thrown for more passing yards this season.

Josh Allen is certainly an honourable mention.

Seven games remain this season for Seattle. Wilson will find plenty of time to get back to his best which will help the Seahawks on their way to win the division.

Who Will Win The MVP Award?

For me, the award goes to Wilson. I think it is very easy to forget how good someone has been when they have one or two bad games.

Russell Wilson is my MVP winner.

All five players would be worthy winners as they have all shown how valuable they can be for their team. Mahomes is the best player on the list and is playing for the best team. Kamara has shown he can be threat in more than one way. Cook is a machine and is probably the one player out of the five who has the most value to their team.

Despite the exciting plays of Kyler, his time will come. This award is Wilson’s to lose. He has been simply excellent this season and in a wide open NFC, he has every chance of guiding his team to the Super Bowl.

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