We’re monitoring the NFL’s top Most Valuable Player candidates on a weekly basis. Entering the home stretch of the 2020 regular season, here’s a look at the eight players best aligned for MVP runs based on the first 11 weeks of the campaign.
T-7. Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins and RB Dalvin Cook: Wait, why the hell do we have two members of a losing team on this list? Well, frankly, there are only a few legit MVP candidates right now. But Cousins and Cook are intriguing outsider candidates, as both have been on fire for a rejuvenated Vikings team. If Minnesota keeps rolling and sneaks into the playoffs, and Cousins or Cook carry the team in that process, you never know. Cousins has a 124.3 passer rating in his last five games, while Cook has a silly 832 scrimmage yards during the same 4-1 stretch for the Vikes.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger: Big Ben’s rate-based numbers aren’t close to strong enough on the surface, but the Steelers have the best record in the NFL so their gunslinger quarterback has to be a part of the conversation.
5. Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray: The sophomore has come back to earth a bit of late, but is still a game-changer on a contending team. What if the Cards win their division, and he posts 30 passing touchdowns and 15 rushing touchdowns?
4. Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson: At this point, Wilson would need a finish similar to his smoking hot start, but that doesn’t appear to be in the cards. It’ll be hard to win this thing with 10-plus interceptions.
3. Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry: If Henry can finish as strong as he did last year and the top two players on this list falter, he’ll have a shot at becoming the first running back to win MVP since Adrian Peterson did it in 2012. The league’s leading rusher has 414 yards in his last three games, and the Titans are in first place in the AFC South.
2. Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers: But for now it’s a two-horse race between two former MVPs. Rodgers leads the NFL in passing touchdowns and passer rating, but his Packers have lost three games.
1. Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes: Mahomes, however, leads the league in QBR for a team with just one loss. He’s completed 73 percent of his passes over the course of a six-game winning streak.