The 2021 NFL regular season is just 44.9 percent complete, but we’re already monitoring the league’s top MVP candidates. Here’s a look at the 10 players best aligned for MVP runs based on the first eight weeks of the campaign.
1. Los Angeles Rams QB Matthew Stafford: The league leader in touchdown-to-interception ratio (22-to-4), QBR (77.6) and DVOA also has elite rate-based stats for one of just four remaining one-loss teams. L.A. has changed his career at 33.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady: Tough showing in a Week 8 loss, but the 44-year-old still ranks near the top of the league in practically every key category and the Bucs are a prime Super Bowl contender at 6-2.
3. Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen: The 5-2 Bills have the league’s highest-scoring offense thanks mainly to Allen, whose rate-based and advanced numbers have him in the mix.
4. Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott: The fact that the Cowboys beat the Minnesota Vikings without Prescott in Week 8 arguably hurts the 28-year-old’s case, but his supreme numbers keep him in the picture.
5. Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr: The AFC leader in big-time throws at Pro Football Focus has the Raiders rolling despite turmoil surrounding the team. If he can keep crushing it without Jon Gruden and Henry Ruggs III, he could have a shot at this thing.
6. Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow: The AFC leader in on-target throws is now the sixth-highest-rated passer in the league and his team is in first place. He has a chance.
7. Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray: Turnover-worthy plays are becoming a problem for the NFC leader in big-time throws, and momentum isn’t on his side either. He’ll need a significant rebound in the weeks to come.
8. Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson: The NFL leader in completed air yards per attempt and rushing yards at the quarterback position has the Ravens in the Super Bowl picture. He certainly can’t be counted out.
9. Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers: The Packers are 7-1 and Rodgers is obviously a big reason why, but he hasn’t been overly explosive or accurate. He has work to do in order to capture a fourth MVP award.
10. Dallas Cowboys CB Trevon Diggs: With seven interceptions in seven games, the sophomore is on pace to shatter the single-season NFL record of 14. That’s unlikely, but the pace gets him a spot on here for now.