By: Matt Watkins
Lamar Jackson was Perfect, Russell Wilson was Not: NFL MVP Odds for Week 11
Do you believe in Lamar Jackson now? If for some reason, you don’t, then you probably never will. The shame of that is, you’re the one who’s missing out.
Jackson (+210) officially moved into the lead in the NFL MVP race this week, jumping ahead of Russell Wilson, whose line of +250 stayed the same. DeShaun Watson (+600) was idle and Aaron Rodgers (+600) remained steady in his position. Let’s take a closer look.
Let’s face facts: the Ravens didn’t need Jackson to be spectacular against the Bengals. Baltimore didn’t NEED Jackson to put up an MVP performance. He did anyway. 15-of-17 passing for 223 yards, three touchdowns, no picks, and a perfect 158.3 passer rating, his second perfect rating of the year. Seven rushes for 65 yards. For those not keeping track that’s now 702 rushing yards this season, six more than last year in 36 less attempts.
He’s 11th in the NFL in rushing. He’s the reason that defensive coordinators have nightmares and sleep issues. He’s sustained the numbers through more than half the season. It’s legit. The next couple weeks are daunting, however; home games against the Texans and 49ers sandwiched around a trip to the Rams to close November and bring the Ravens to December. If Jackson can play that way through those games, we may know who’s getting hardware by the end of Week 13.
Russell Wilson’s NFL MVP Odds Took a Hit, But the Seahawks Dropped San Fran
Last week, we said that the Seahawks were playing good football, but that Russell Wilson was playing great football. With that in mind, they needed him to play great football against the Niners. He didn’t, but what he did do was good enough to maintain his position and not lose any ground on the money line. Who knows, maybe he was just too excited from the Sounders winning the MLS Cup and accurately predicting the final score, no less. Don’t get me wrong, Seattle won the game and Wilson deserves his due for a solid, if not elite performance. Maybe I’m undervaluing his performance against such a good defense, but at the end of the day, there was enough of a question mark in his game that made me hesitate.
What he did get was help from his friends. On a night where he threw a red zone INT, he also got a defensive score and a missed field goal in overtime that, if it goes through the uprights, might have people singing a different tune this week. The next three weeks should provide some bounce back abilities, but also some tests, as after the bye, Seattle has to go cross country to face the Eagles and then hosts the Vikings.
The Aaron Rodgers Conundrum: Rodgers’ NFL MVP Odds and his Rollercoaster 2019
I think I’m going to get dizzy with how many times we’ve needed to backtrack and reverse course on Aaron Rodgers this year. He started off the season “meh” and was nothing special. Then, starting against the Eagles, even in a loss, he went nuts, leading to an October that was truly MVP worthy. Now, the last two games, including last week against the Panthers, he’s back to a game manager. In fact, against Carolina, the most MVP like thing about him was his moustache, which is second only to Gardner Minshew in league lip hair this season. Thing is, Green Bay won, so does it matter that he was “only” 17-of-29 for 233 yards, no TDs, and no picks? From a Packers perspective, where they are hoping to hold off Minnesota and win the NFC North, it doesn’t matter at all. From an MVP race perspective, it matters a great deal.
Week 11 has must see TV in Baltimore as Jackson and Watson are on the field in the same game. Be prepared for at least five “wait, what, did he just really do that??” moments in the contest. Wilson and Rodgers get some much-needed rest with byes, so unless Watson so outperforms Jackson, don’t expect too much movement in the race.
NFL MVP Odds
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