P.J. Walker Currently Wears the XFL MPV Odds After Three Weeks
By: Brent Booher
The first month of the rebooted XFL is almost in the books, and a former Temple product has emerged as the early favorite to win the first-ever XFL MVP award.
If you’re just getting your feet wet with the wondrous world that is the XFL, let’s dive into the current state of the XFL MVP race.
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Third-Best Favorite for XFL MVP: QB Landry Jones, Dallas Renegades (XFL MVP Odds +650)
Landry Jones was tabbed as one of the marquee players of the XFL, being a former star quarterback at Oklahoma and being one of the few XFL-ers with real NFL game experience.
Jones had a setback to begin the season, and had to sit out the opener against St. Louis, a game the Renegades would ultimately lose by the score of 15-9.
Since returning to action however, the Renegades are 2-0 and Landry Jones has played decently, but not quite to the level of his preseason expectations just yet.
Nonetheless, there are still seven games remaining in the XFL season and a lot can change in a hurry. To date, Jones has 579 yards passing with four touchdowns and four interceptions.
If Jones can begin to get more comfortable in the new format and the Hal Mumme Air Raid offense, his MVP candidacy may very well strengthen as the season goes on.
Second-Best Favorite for XFL MVP: QB Jordan Ta’amu, St. Louis BattleHawks (XFL MVP Odds +320)
The former Ole Miss product Ta’amu has the second most passing yards in the league through three weeks (612) and boasts the best completion percentage (75%) for any of the starting QB’s that have played in all three games.
If not for P.J. Walker, Ta’amu would almost certainly be the odds-on favorite to win MVP through three weeks, as he has played tremendous football for the 2-1 St. Louis BattleHawks.
Ta’amu should be able to pad the stats some more this week when St. Louis squares off against Seattle on Saturday.
XFL MVP Odds-On Favorite: QB P.J. Walker, Houston Roughnecks (-141 to win MVP)
P.J. Walker has been absolutely sensational to start the season, and at the rate he’s going, he will have an XFL MVP award to be his carry-on item as he flies to an NFL training camp in July.
The Houston Roughnecks QB has 748 yards passing with 11 touchdowns (10 pass, 1 run) and just one interception this season. Walker also has the Roughnecks atop the XFL standings with the league’s lone unbeaten record after three weeks of play.
If Walker continues to play at this pace, the first ever XFL MVP race may be more like a ten-week coronation than an actual competition.
Walker and the Roughnecks will face their biggest challenge to date on Sunday when they square off against Landry Jones and the Dallas Renegades in a battle for first-place in the XFL Western division.
Other XFL Names of Note
QB Cardale Jones, DC Defenders (+900 to win MVP)
Depending on who you asked before last weekend’s games, Cardale Jones was widely seen as a favorite to win the XFL MVP award.
But then Sunday happened, and four ugly interceptions in a 39-9 loss later, and Cardale Jones is now a 9-to-1 long shot to win MVP.
The former National Champion winning Buckeye shouldn’t be completely written off in the quest to be named XFL MVP though.
Jones still plays on a likely playoff team in the DC Defenders, and Jones currently has the third-most passing yards in the league with 602. However, after Sunday’s awful performance he now leads the XFL in interceptions.
Cardale will need to play lights out the rest of the way and hope that P.J. Walker comes back to Earth for him to have a real crack at winning the MVP award. However, at +900, there is still a lot of value to back Jones to do just that.
QB Josh Johnson, LA Wildcats (+900)
After missing the first game with an injury, the former Jim Harbaugh understudy Josh Johnson has played outstanding football for the LA Wildcats.
Johnson is the only starting QB in the XFL that has yet to throw an interception, and he has thrown for 474 yards and five touchdowns in his two starts.
Johnson’s biggest hurdle to leap to get into the thick of the XFL MVP chase is that his LA Wildcats team is 1-2 and faces a big challenge to get into the playoffs since they play in the same division as Houston and Dallas.
However, Johnson has something most XFL players do not – real NFL experience. As the season goes on, keep an eye on Josh Johnson to possibly make P.J. Walker’s stroll to an MVP award a little more difficult than it seems to be today.