Our Players Emerge as the Reigning MVP Sits Out with a Knee Injury
And then there were four.
As we’ve noted time and again, the NFL MVP is a quarterback’s award. The only time in the last 20 seasons someone who didn’t call the plays for his team won the award, it took a 2,000 yard rushing season from Adrian Peterson. So with as great a year as Christian McCaffrey is having, it’s about the throwers. With Patrick Mahomes sidelined, four signalcallers have stepped to the forefront.
Russell Wilson still leads the pack as far as the oddsmakers go at +250. By his standards, he had a down week, completing under 50 percent of his pass attempts and delivered his first interception of the year. Overall though, 1,945 yards, 15 TD, and one INT in seven games, guiding your team to a 5-2 record puts you in the top spot. Add to it that the next two games are against Atlanta and Tampa Bay and Wilson should find himself on track again pretty easily.
If you’ve read this column with any regularity, first off… THANK YOU! Secondly, you know my lack of conviction that Aaron Rodgers will perform well this season. The first three games of the year only served my point. The last four weeks have shown that maybe he just needed some game reps to get Matt LaFleur’s system. During the last month, he’s thrown for 1,372 yards (343 per game), with nine touchdowns and two picks. That’s why his line moved to +500. That’s why the Packers are 6-1. That’s why I was wrong.
The Rushing Quarterback who Could: Lamar Jackson NFL MVP Odds
Finally, the oddsmakers have started to give Lamar Jack
son some love. He moved to +600 this week. The passing totals are impressive and are better than what you’d expect; 68 percent completion, 1,650 yards, 11 TD. The interception total is high at five, but three of those came in one game. He’s also sixth in the NFL in rushing. Not among quarterbacks… sixth TOTAL. He has more rushing yards than Mark Ingram, LeVeon Bell, and Marlon Mack. Jackson is proving to be the real deal. The only thing that might slow him down at this point is his propensity to take sacks. He’s been hit a lot and taken down behind the line 7.3 percent of his dropbacks this year. That’s a number that’s not good for long term health and viability. Just ask….
DeShaun Watson, who had a come back to earth week following two outstanding games in a row. He still threw for 308 yards and completed 68 percent of his passes, which is why he still is in the mix at +600. He also gets a favorable opponent this week in the Raiders, who rank 29th out of 32 teams in points per game allowed at 27.5. A bounce back week could be in the offing for Waston, who now has competition from Jackson for title of Most Dynamic Player in the NFL.
As we head into week eight, Rodgers and Jackson have the momentum. Particularly, keep an eye on Rodgers, whose next three games are against Kansas City, Los Angeles (Chargers), and Carolina, teams that he has averaged 287.8 yards and three TD per game against combined in nine career matchups. With numbers like those, Rodgers can set himself up nicely for a stretch run and an NFC North title.
NFL MVP Odds