Top Five NFL MVP Candidates After Week 2
By Joel Deering
We’ve now gone through two full weeks of NFL football. It’s still early in the season, but we’re starting to see which teams and players are going to have good seasons and who’s not. I’m continuing my MVP list from last week, but this week’s list has some movement and new names on it. Let’s find out who the top five MVP candidates are after Week 2.
1. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
What?!?!? How could I not put Patrick Mahomes number one after he threw 6 TDs? You might think I’m crazy, but you won’t after you see the numbers. Ryan FitzMagic stuck around for at least another week. Fitzpatrick is currently leading the NFL in passing yards (819) and QB rating (151.5). He’s also third in completion percentage (78.7%, crazy to think that ranks third) and second in TD passes (8).
Fitzpatrick did throw an INT against the Eagles, but still, he led his team to a victory over the defending Super Bowl champs! The other victory was against the Saints. That’s two impressive wins with high statistical numbers in both. The fact that the Bucs were expected to be one of the worst teams this year and now are 2-0 continues to add to his MVP case.
2. QB Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Although I don’t have Patrick Mahomes in the number one spot on this list, I did move him up one spot this week, moving him ahead of Aaron Rodgers. Mahomes had an incredible game against the Steelers, throwing 6 TD passes. Those 6 TD passes added with his 4 from last week give him 10 passing TDs on the season, putting him first in TD passes thrown through 2 weeks. If you didn’t already know, that’s an NFL record Mahomes now holds.
Mahomes is currently 10th in passing yards, 2nd in passer rating, and tied for 10th in completion percentage. Another key thing to point out is that he hasn’t thrown any interceptions. The reason why he’s ranked second to Fitzpatrick is because other than TD passes and interceptions, Fitzpatrick ranks higher in all the other categories mentioned. Fitzpatrick’s team also had much lower expectations entering the season. Not taking anything away from Mahomes, because he’s absolutely ballin out right now. It’s a tight race between Fitzpatrick and Mahomes after Week 2.
3. QB Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers didn’t follow up his incredible comeback victory over the Bears with a great statistical showing. The now former number one MVP candidate on my list moves down to third because he only threw 1 TD pass and less than 300 yards. You have to give the guy credit though, he played with a brace on his injured knee against one of, if not the best defense in the NFL, and he didn’t lose. He didn’t win, but he didn’t lose.
Rodgers could have won this game if things went a little different. He gave his kicker an opportunity to win the game, but the kick was missed. Even though the kick was missed, Aaron Rodgers still did what he needed to do to give his team a chance. We were so close to talking about another Aaron Rodgers miracle victory. Even though he moved down two spots this week, Rodgers still played at an MVP level and very much so deserves to be in the MVP discussion.
4. QB Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
Cousins is the first new name on this list after Week 2. He’s also the guy on the other side of Aaron Rodgers in that tie game between the Packers and Vikings. When we talk about the Vikings, it’s usually about the defense, but Kirk Cousins deserves to be recognized after his Week 2 performance. The Vikings defense put Cousins and the offense in a hole, which Cousins was able to dig them back out of.
Minnesota was down 20-7 at the start of the fourth quarter, but Cousins threw 3 fourth quarter TDs and tied the game up near the end of regulation. Cousins also led his team down into field goal range twice in OT, but both kicks were missed. Like Aaron Rodgers, he didn’t win, but he didn’t lose. He played like an MVP in this game, showing why the Vikings gave him his fully guaranteed deal. After two weeks, Cousins ranks 5th in passing yards, 6th in QB rating, 16th in completion percentage, and is tied for 3rd in TD passes (6).
5. QB Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees is the first player with a loss on my MVP list. I thought about putting key players from 2-0 teams in this spot, but I thought Brees deserved it more. In Week 1, Brees and the Saints took a loss at the hands of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but they still scored 40 points. It’s not often you score 40 points and lose a game. Even though the Saints lost that game, Drew Brees threw for 439 yards and 3 TDs without any INTs.
Brees did get his team a victory in Week 2 and had another good game, throwing for 243 yards and 2 TDs with no INTs. Through two weeks of the season, Brees has thrown for 682 yards (3rd) and 5 TDs (Tied for 6th). His QB rating of 123.0 is 3rd to the first two guys on this list. Here’s the number one reason why I put Brees in this spot: He’s completed 81.3% of his passes through two games. 81.3% of his passes. That’s insane! There’s actually another QB who has completed over 80% of his passes, but it’s Derek Carr, and you know, the Raiders haven’t won a game yet.
Who’s Off the List?
WR Tyreek Hill (Previous Rank: 4)
Tyreek Hill was on my MVP list after Week 1 because he had a crazy good game. In Week 2 he had a good game, catching five passes for 90 yards and a TD, but it wasn’t anything you don’t normally see from a top receiver. To be considered for MVP as a WR, you have to do things you don’t normally see on a consistent basis. It’s just hard for a WR to be considered for MVP with these QB’s, including his own, throwing mass amounts of TDs every week.
QB Joe Flacco (Previous Rank: 5)
After a great Week 1, Joe Flacco was average in Week 2, throwing 2 TDs and 2 INTs. He couldn’t lead his team to a victory or overcome the Bengals’ tough defensive line. He only completed 58% of his passes, which was a big drop off from the 74% he completed in Week 1. He did almost bring his team back, but they fell short.