MVP talk after just six weeks? It’s never too early to start gauging the NFL MVP race, so we’re doing exactly that despite the fact the 2018 regular season is only 36 percent complete.
Here are the top 10 candidates who have emerged through six weeks.
1. New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees (last week: 2): Now that Patrick Mahomes has lost and come back to earth individually, it’s hard to deny Brees. The 39-year-old leads the league in completion percentage, touchdown-to-interception ratio and passer rating, and the Saints are 4-1.
2. Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (last week: 1): The second-year phenom still has an 18-to-4 touchdown-to-interception ratio and has made an immeasurable impact for the first-place Chiefs.
3. Los Angeles Chargers QB Philip Rivers (last week: 6): The AFC’s highest-rated passer has 15 touchdown passes to only three interceptions for a team that is 4-2 with its only losses coming against opponents who are a combined 11-1.
4. Los Angeles Rams QB Jared Goff (last week: 3): The league’s sixth-highest-rated passer is averaging a comical 9.9 yards per attempt while quarterbacking the league’s third-highest-scoring offense.
5. Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley (last week: 4): The superstar back has scored 11 touchdowns in six games, putting him on pace for 29 — a mark only one player in NFL history has hit. And the Rams, of course, are unbeaten.
6. Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (last week: NR): His numbers aren’t as pretty as usual, but he’s playing on one freakin’ leg and carrying that mediocre team. Monday night marked his second ridiculous fourth-quarter comeback of the season.
7. Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen (last week: NR): He’s on pace to catch an NFL-record 154 passes for 1,898 yards (would be the second-highest total in NFL history) and 10 touchdowns.
8. Houston Texans DE J.J. Watt (last week: 8): The three-time defensive player of the year is tied for the league lead with seven sacks and four forced fumbles. He’s keeping a struggling Texans team alive.
9. Chicago Bears OLB Khalil Mack (last week: 4): Can’t remove him from the list based on one quiet game, but there’s little room for error when you’re trying to become the first defensive player to win MVP in three decades.
10. New England Patriots QB Tom Brady (last week: NR): He’s got the Patriots offense rolling, and he kept the team alive when the support wasn’t there. His numbers aren’t there just yet, but you know they will be soon. The New England offense has scored at least 38 points in three straight games.