T1. QB Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs and QB Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
I couldn’t decide who should be number one on the list this week, so I put Patrick Mahomes and Drew Brees in a two way tie for first. Let me explain why I don’t think one ranks over the other at this point.
Patrick Mahomes may be the popular pick for MVP because of the amount of TD passes he’s thrown. Mahomes has thrown 29 TD passes on the season and could challenge the record of 55 TD passes thrown in a single season.
Those 29 TD passes are 11 more than Drew Brees has thrown to this point, but we have to keep in mind Mahomes hasn’t had his bye week yet. After Mahomes has his bye week, Brees will likely be somewhere around eight or nine TD passes behind Mahomes.
While Mahomes is challenging the TD pass record, Drew Brees is challenging another NFL record. This is a record he currently holds. Brees has completed 76.3% of his passes to this point in the season. That’s currently 4.3% higher than the record of 72% completed passes Drew Brees holds.
I also considered their team records and schedule when ranking these two tied for first. Patrick Mahomes has the Chiefs at 8-1. Drew Brees has the Saints at 7-1.
Mahomes has two signature wins over the 6-2 Chargers and the 5-2-1 Steelers, but those two wins came in the first weeks of the season. Both of those teams are different now, especially the Steelers. Other than those two early wins, Mahomes has wins over the 2-7 49ers, 3-6 Broncos, 3-5 Jaguars, 5-3 Bengals and 2-6-1 Browns. Most of the teams he’s beaten have been teams with a losing record.
The one loss Drew Brees had came against the 3-5 Buccaneers, but he helped his team score 40 points, the defense just gave up 48. Aside from the loss, Brees has wins over the 2-6-1 Browns, 4-4 Falcons, 1-7 Giants, 5-3 Redskins, 4-5 Ravens, 5-3-1 Vikings and 8-1 Rams.
Looking at who these guys have beaten, I’d give a slight edge to Drew Brees, but Mahomes has helped his team beat some of the better teams in the AFC.
I really don’t see much separating these two guys. Both guys are having great seasons, but in their own ways. I think Mahomes would win MVP right now based on popular vote, but Drew Brees would be a more than worthy MVP.
3. RB Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams
One reason why I dropped Gurley from second to third, is because fellow MVP candidate Drew Brees just beat his team. Brees went off in that game, lighting up the score board. Todd Gurley had arguably his worst game of the season so far.
Gurley had just 68 rushing yards against the Saints. He also added a TD run. In addition to his 68 rushing yards, Gurley added 11 receiving yards. That was on six catches though. What can we take from this? Gurley was pretty much held in check. It probably didn’t help that the Rams were down the entire game, meaning they had to throw more, but it wasn’t Gurley’s best output.
4. QB Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Tom Brady made clear who the G.O.A.T. was against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Brady led his team to a 31-17 victory over the other so called G.O.A.T. The Packers are now 3-4-1, so beating them doesn’t look impressive, but saying he beat Aaron Rodgers does.
Brady didn’t put up huge numbers, but he threw for 294 yards and a TD. Again, Brady doesn’t need to have the big numbers like Patrick Mahomes needs to be in the MVP conversation. As long as the Patriots are winning games, Brady will be here.
5. QB Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers
Philip Rivers continues to have a phenomenal season. His Chargers are now sitting at 6-2, still one game back from the Chiefs in the AFC West. He’s probably hoping week in and week out that the Chiefs finally lose another game. He’s so close to putting his team in the lead for the division title, but the Chiefs won’t lose.
Good thing Rivers keeps his team winning. In their last game against the Seahawks, Rivers threw for 228 yards and 2 TDs to lead them to a 25-17 victory. At 4-4, Seattle isn’t one of the better teams this season, but give Rivers credit for helping his team get a victory against a tough defense in Seattle.
Did I leave one of your top NFL MVP candidates off the list? Comment below who you think deserves more love for NFL MVP!