The NFL is entering a new golden age of young talent at the quarterback position, with several players rapidly developing into stars and propelling their teams into contention.
But just because there is a new wave of young guns, that doesn’t mean the old guard is quite done yet – Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers both have great chances of winning the MVP award as well in what has become a difficult-to-predict race. One former player has even helped push an argument that defensive players, particularly dominant game-changing pass rushers, deserve consideration for the MVP even though it has always been an offensive player award.
Here’s a look at the potential MVP candidates and their odds of winning.
Brady had an unbelievable season last year while leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl, and he’s gone out and been even better this season. He’s thrown 36 touchdown passes, just four off what he had last season, with four games remaining. At 44-years-old, he would be the oldest MVP in history and that will certainly help his case as narrative is usually a factor in voting for awards. (Current odds: -150).
Rodgers wasn’t even a sure thing to be a Green Bay Packer before the season started after conflicts with the front office. They ultimately came up with a solution that was satisfactory enough to get him on the field, and he’s done what he’s always done. He’s one of the most precise passers in league history. This season, he’s completing 67 percent of his passes for more than 3,200 yards with 27 touchdowns and just four interceptions. He also has the Packers in a three-way tie for first place in the NFC. (Current odds: +550)
The Arizona Cardinals were the last remaining undefeated team in the league and are currently tied for first place in the NFC. Murray’s ability to make plays through the air and on the ground make him one of the most fun-to-watch players in the league. How he fares now that No. 1 receiver DeAndre Hopkins is out of the lineup with an injury could make or break his MVP case down the stretch of the season. (Current odds: +1000)
The knock on Stafford throughout his career has been the fact that his record against winning teams is unimpressive. As a Los Angeles Ram this season, he’s continued to put up MVP-caliber numbers, but he’s also lost head-to-head games against Green Bay, Arizona, and Tennessee. A near-flawless performance in a December 12 win over the Cardinals in a head-to-head matchup with Murray answered a lot of those criticisms, though. If he can help the Rams make a run at the No. 1 seed, he could see his stock rise significantly in the MVP conversation. (Current odds: +1400)
Mahomes, who like Brady and Rodgers has won the award before, got off to a slow start to the season. He and the Kansas City Chiefs have come on strong down the stretch though, and a strong performance against another MVP candidate, Justin Herbert of the Chargers, should make Mahomes a strong candidate as the season wraps up. (Current odds: +1400).
Hey, we need to discuss a non-quarterback, right? Taylor leads the NFL in rushing at nearly 1,400 yards with 16 touchdowns. He’s also caught 36 passes for 336 yards and two more touchdowns. The MVP award is dominated by quarterbacks, but Taylor has kept the Colts in the playoff hunt despite instability at their own quarterback position due to injuries. (Current odds: +2000)