Every week, we have a new MVP frontrunner. Every time a guy starts getting MVP buzz, he suffers an injury or falls into a slump. There’s still time for someone to make a run, but right now the leader of the pack is essentially there by default.
Here’s how we view a very odd race with two weeks remaining in the 2017 regular season.
1. New England Patriots QB Tom Brady (last week: 2nd): I’m still not convinced. Brady’s Patriots were lucky to beat an inferior Steelers team that was missing its top offensive weapon, and his numbers in December have been poor. Right now, he’s MVP by default.
In December this year, Tom Brady has two touchdowns, four interceptions and a passer rating of 75.0. Not exactly MVP-caliber stuff.
— Brad Gagnon (@Brad_Gagnon) December 21, 2017
2. New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees (last week: 3rd): Brees has an identical passer rating and yards-per-attempt average to Brady and a significantly higher completion percentage. But he’s had a lot more support in the New Orleans offense and nine quarterbacks have thrown more touchdown passes. He’s had five straight games with a 100-plus passer rating, though, so he’s in this.
3. Kansas City Chiefs QB Alex Smith (last week: 6th): He’s once again the league’s highest-rated passer, his touchdown-to-interception ratio (28-to-7) is better than any other MVP candidate and the Chiefs have bounced back with some big wins the last couple weeks.
4. Los Angeles Rams QB Jared Goff (last week: 5th): Todd Gurley’s phenomenal season will probably keep him from winning this, but he’s been one of the best quarterbacks in the league week in and week out.
5. Rams RB Todd Gurley (last week: unranked): Jared Goff’s phenomenal season will probably keep him from winning this, but Gurley’s putting up Le’Veon Bell-level scrimmage-yard numbers while scoring more touchdowns than anyone else in football.
6. Minnesota Vikings QB Case Keenum (last week: 7th): He was nearly perfect against a Bengals team that barely showed up in Week 15, but he’s still got a sub-100 passer rating and just 20 touchdown passes. Won’t likely be enough, but he could get some votes.
7. Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (last week: 1st): That was a mess against the Rams. Wilson hasn’t had a lot of support, but his numbers just aren’t there. He’s completed just 57.7 percent of his passes the last five weeks, and the Seahawks are 2-3 during that stretch.