By Joel Deering
The 2018 NFL season continues to be a great one! We’ve seen a lot of great games and great performers! As the season goes on, so does our list of top NFL MVP candidates. As team rankings continue to change, so do our MVP rankings. Who moved up or down this week? Does anyone find themselves off the list?
1. QB Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Can anyone stop this guy? Mahomes is up to 13 TD passes on the season, which is the most through the first three games. What’s even more impressive about those 13 TDs is the fact that he hasn’t thrown an INT yet. Mahomes leads one of only three remaining undefeated teams in the NFL, and he’s clearly been the best player in the league so far. He doesn’t have the highest completion percentage and hasn’t thrown for the most yards, but he does have the most TD passes, most wins, and the highest QB rating. Mahomes continues to make ridiculous plays, now finding himself at the very top of my list of NFL MVP candidates.
2. QB Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees made a big jump up from last week’s MVP rankings. Brees continued to show us why he’s one of the best QB’s in the game in an OT victory over the Falcons. Brees led his team to 43 points. He accounted for every single one of their TDs, scoring five total (3 passing, 2 rushing). Brees currently ranks third in TD passes (8), and has yet to throw an INT. He also continues to complete passes at an incredible rate. Against the Falcons he completed 79.6% of his passes, and now has a completion percentage of 80.6% on the season. That leads the NFL. In the game against the Falcons, Brees also became the all-time leader in completions, passing the great Brett Favre.
3. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Fitzpatrick finds himself moving down the list of NFL MVP candidates this week after a tough loss to the Steelers. In the first half of that game, FitzMagic turned into FitzTragic. He threw three first half INTs, giving the Steelers a 30-10 lead at halftime. Instead of admitting defeat, FitzTragic turned back into FitzMagic in the fourth quarter. He brought his team back within three points. The Buccaneers did lose the game, but Fitzpatrick really came back strong and gave them a chance. He threw for over 400 yards for the third straight game and threw three TD passes. Even though he moves down the list, he still deserves to be on it. He led an almost comeback after a terrible first half, he still leads the NFL in passing yards, has completed over 70% of his passes, and is second in passer rating among QBs.
4. RB Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams
Numbers four and five on this week’s list were the hardest picks for me to make so far. Todd Gurley is the first RB on my list of NFL MVP candidates. Gurley is the best player on offense for the Rams, who are 3-0. It was difficult for me to put him on this list because he’s not the NFL rushing leader and he doesn’t lead all running backs in receiving yards. I decided to put him on the list because he gets all the attention, and still produces. Gurley has 255 rushing yards (4th) and 121 receiving yards (9th among RBs) on the season. He’s doing that while being the guy everyone is trying to stop. Here’s the most important stat for Gurley: He’s tied for first in rushing TDs (4). Gurley also has a receiving TD and has scored at least one TD in every game so far this season. Another key stat for Gurley: He’s ran for 18 first downs, which is the most in the NFL. Producing while everyone is trying to stop him is what got Gurley on my list.
5. QB Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers continues to move down my list of NFL MVP candidates. After Week 1 he was first, then he was third, and now he’s fifth. His team took a beating from the Redskins in Week 3. Although they lost, Rodgers didn’t have a bad game. He threw for 265 yards and 2 TDs. Even though the Packers lost, you can’t blame Rodgers. He has yet to throw an INT, and is still ranks in the top 10 of QB rating. Rodgers remains the reason why the Packers even stand a chance. He’s still on the list for now, but could find himself off it soon. I already have a few players in mind to take his spot.
Who’s Off the List?
QB Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
I couldn’t keep Cousins on my list of NFL MVP candidates after his team scored only 6 points and lost to the Bills. It was a horrible performance for the Vikings. Cousins’ numbers didn’t look bad. He completed 72.7% of his passes for 296 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT, but the final score looked pathetic.