I’m not sure the last time we headed into the last week of the NFL season and didn’t have a clear favorite for MVP. The main reason there isn’t a clear favorite is because of Tom Brady’s FOUR game suspension. But there are no “what ifs” in sports. So let’s rank the top contenders:
- Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers QB:
Aaron Rodgers has been on fire for the last month. After him and his Packers were basically left for dead following that ass cutting at the hands of the Redskins on Sunday Night Football, the Packers have been winning. 5 straight wins all behind the arm of Aaron Rodgers. He’s averaging 273.4 yards a game, completing 71% of his passes and has thrown 11 touchdowns to 0 interceptions. On the season, Rodgers has totaled 4,128 passing yards and has thrown 36 touchdowns to 7 interceptions. The offense is back to looking like it’s usual self. Aaron Rodgers should be the lead MVP candidate because we know his team is honestly a hot mess right now. If he leads the Packers to an NFC North title, you have to give it to him. He earned that.
- Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons QB:
Matt Ryan has played football at an elite level all year and it seems like folks are hesitant to just mention him as the lead MVP candidate. Sure, Matt Ryan has been in the league for a minute now but he’s not a name brand nor is the Falcons. Don’t act surprised. In a year where there are no elite teams, you would think the quarterback who is leading the highest scoring offense (33.5ppg) in the NFL, got his team in a prime position to secure first-round bye and host a playoff game. So his team has the record and he has the numbers (No. 1 Passer Rating, 3rd in yards and touchdowns), he should be a runaway candidate. No matter who wins MVP, he is your first team All-Pro QB.
- Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys RB:
What a monster ROOKIE campaign this guy put together. He leads the league in rushing yards/rushing and ranks 3rd in offensive touchdowns this season. Elliott is a game wrecker and his play in 2016 showed that sure any RB can gain yards behind the Cowboys OL, but a bunch of yards do not equate to wins.
- Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys QB:
Who doesn’t love a good storyline? The Dallas Cowboys backup rookie QB replaces the franchise’s all-time statistical passing leader following his injury in a preseason game and what happen? He ties Big Ben Roethlisberger for the most wins by a rookie quarterback and he still has one game left to go. I would have to think if Dak wasn’t a rookie, he would run away with this award. Dak has completed 68% of his passes for 3,630 yards to go along with 23 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. He’s also run for 6 more touchdowns. He has a 105 passer rating. Did I mention he’s led this team to the #1 overall seed in the NFC? RAN AWAY WITH IT.
- Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers RB:
Yes, he was suspended the first 3 games for missing a drug test or some shit like that. Yes, he ranks 2nd in the NFL in rushing yards and 3rd in yards from scrimmage. The Pittsburgh Steelers offense looks completely different when Bell is in the backfield. The Steelers current 6 game win streak (longest since winning 15 straight in 2004) began during Week 11. Since the start of week 11, Bell is averaging 139 rushing yards a game (835 total yards), 7 total touchdowns and he’s also averaging 181.8 yards from scrimmage a game. He has 191 total touches since Week 11 and he’s averaging 5.7 yards per touch. Let’s not front, son is an MVP candidate.
- Tom Brady, New England Patriots QB:
Tom Brady was suspended 4 games as well due to #DeflateGate but the Patriots are currently 13-2 (10-1 under him). Brady has thrown 25 touchdowns to 2 picks. But I don’t know man. I’m of the mindset that you don’t applaud a fish for swimming. I’m not going to give a standing ovation for a human breathing. Things like this you expect from Brady. I don’t necessarily think Brady isn’t playing at a high level, cause we’ve seen better from him. He’s just playing extremely efficient. He’s in absolute control of his offense. Truth be told, it’s rare to see QB’s operate an offense as a beautifully as Brady has done. Folks expected some type of drop off after Gronk’s injury, but Brady is still going hard.
This isn’t really a ranking at all. Just making the case for everybody except Brady. I’m really torn between Dak and Matt Ryan. But what Rodgers and Bell have done over their team’s win streaks shouldn’t be ignored. Zeke has been a boss since Week 3. This one is going to be tough.