Throughout the first month and a half of the 2019-2020 NFL season, we’ve witnessed some impressive displays of elite-level NFL MVP worthy talent weekly from a collection of players. After six weeks, head coaches and players are beginning to pay closer attention to their position within the division, as they look to further their play into the postseason.
With that being said, they’re a few players massively responsible for their teams’ success this season. Five athletes have alarmingly stood out amongst the rest of the league. These select few have continuously showcased their abilities throughout the entirety of the season while leading their teams into victories and playoff contention.
Let’s take a look at the players that have enhanced their chances of earning the NFL MVP thus far.
Top Five NFL MVP Candidates Thus Far
Tom Brady, New England Patriots
It’s no secret that the New England Patriots have been the NFL’s greatest dynasty over the last two decades. This long-lasting occurrence has been a result of Tom Brady’s excellence throughout the years. At age 42, Brady has compiled yet another pro bowl season and has his team sitting atop the NFL with a 6-0 record. The six-time champion has thrown for 1,743 yards along with ten touchdowns and three rushing. He’s thrown for 300-plus yards in four out of the six games this season. The Patriots have also scored over 30 points in five contests.
Due to Father Time, he’s had to adjust his style of play to more of a game-manager type. Meaning, he regulates the tempo of the game, while making the correct reads in the pocket and playing mistake-free football. Meanwhile, maintaining an efficient offense. With this new style, Brady has his team trending upwards and playing better than ever. His ability to play at a high level over the years is incredible. As a result, the Pats are undefeated.
So why is Tom Brady ranked fifth?
Throughout this season, New England has been wreaking havoc on the defensive side of the ball. They currently rank first in passing yards allowed (161), second in rush yards allowed (73.7), and first in total yards allowed (234.7). The balance of the offense and defense has largely contributed to the Patriots’ undefeated record. Tom Brady and company have leaned heavily on the defense to stop opponents. In return, the offense has controlled the game and generated points. Nonetheless, Brady will continue to shine this season and possibly keep his team from suffering a single loss, as he defies Father Time and continues his NFL MVP play.
Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
The third-year pro out of Clemson has impressed so far—as we creep past the quarter mark of the season. After returning from an ACL injury suffered two seasons ago, Watson put up incredible numbers last year. With another year removed from his injury, he’s playing some MVP-caliber football. In week 5, Deshaun Watson put together a masterpiece of a performance. He threw for 426 yards and five touchdowns with a perfect passer rating against the Atlanta Falcons, scoring a franchise record of 53 points.
The Houston Texans found themselves a superior athlete and franchise quarterback for years to come. He’s currently thrown for 1,644 yards with 12 touchdowns and three interceptions. Watson has also used his mobility to rush for 164 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. After tough losses to the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers, Watson and the Texans didn’t falter. The 24-year-old has bounced back and earned victories after each lost this season. The Texans are hot right now and look to ride off the momentum of their 53 point performance. Houston, then, traveled to the Kansas City Chiefs and defeated Patrick Mahomes 31-24. Improving their record to 4-2.
In the offseason, the front office finally realized that Deshaun was a viable piece to their team moving forward. Ultimately, leading to the decision to surround him with more offensive talent (Laremy Tunsil, Kenny Stills, Duke Johnson Jr.). This has provided the quarterback with a well-rounded offense. With Deshaun Watson’s play of late, he’s, undoubtedly, in the conversation for NFL MVP. The Texans currently lead their division in the AFC South. Watson has been a winner from the moment he stepped on a football field; winning a national championship at Clemson. The Texans are in good hands with their NFL MVP quarterback.
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers
Christian McCaffrey is having a season for the ages. The Panthers are currently riding a four-game winning streak after starting the season 0-2. It’s rare for a non-quarterback to be mentioned in MVP talks. That alone should speak volumes towards how fascinating McCaffrey has played so far. As of now, he has 618 rushing yards, averaging 4.9 yards per carry, along with seven touchdowns. Last week, Christian McCaffrey rushed 19 times for 176 yards and averaged nearly a first down per carry at 9.3 yards. The Panthers won this thriller led by their MVP. Not only has “CMac” put together a great performance on the ground, but also as a receiver too. He’s caught a team-high 35 passes for 305 yards and two scores. In total, the Stanford product has accounted for 923 yards total.
Up until this past week, through the first five games of the season, Christian McCaffrey had compiled more yards than the New York Jets entire team (718 total yards). An absolutely unbelievable statistic. He’s truly a one man show out there. Last season, he broke the Panthers franchise record for all-purpose yards at 1,965 and is currently on pace to eclipse that mark with 1,878 yards rushing and 892 receiving. That continued level of play seems unlikely, but you never know.
Cam Newton‘s season has been plagued with injuries; looking like a shell of himself. As a result, Carolina has placed second-year pro Kyle Allen at the helm—who is making the most out of his opportunity. Already being the talented back that he is, McCaffrey has assumed an even bigger role than years prior and has absolutely thrived in his new enlarged position. The league needs to take notice and crown McCaffrey as the NFL’s best running back and potential MVP.
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
The reigning league MVP Patrick Mahomes is a strong candidate to reclaim his title in the 2019-2020 NFL season. Coming off a season throwing 50 touchdowns is hard to match, right? There’s only one player in the NFL that can so effortlessly win the title in back-to-back seasons, and that’s Mahomes. Going from no-look passes to accurate throws with his left hand, the 23-year-old can do it all. He is, without question, the most skilled quarterback in the league and is rapidly rising up the rankings in becoming the best we have this year. Quarterbacks like Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, and Philip Rivers have all had impressive first-ballot Hall of Fame careers. After just one season starting, Mahomes has shot himself into their tier, with the ability to pass some of these legends—if he hasn’t already.
This season, he’s thrown for a league-leading 2,104 yards and 14 touchdowns with one pick. He then commands the NFL’s fourth highest-scoring offense at 29 points per game. The Kansas City Chiefs average the most passing yards with 356 per game and rank second in total yards at 444.6. Just this season, he led the Chiefs to score 28 points in the second quarter alone. His four touchdowns passes within the short 15 minute period was too much for the Oakland Raiders to handle throughout the rest of the game. His ability to put on performances such as is unparalleled at the quarterback position in the NFL, and maybe even history. Kansas City has a 4-2 record leading the AFC West. After falling one game short of the Super Bowl, the Chiefs look to not only make the playoffs but to win the championship. Mahomes is the key to their success.
Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
For years now, Russell Wilson has carried the heavyweight of the Seattle Seahawks on his shoulders. Ever since Seattle fell to New England in the Super Bowl, the team has severely lacked in talent, leaving Wilson with a ton of responsibility as the quarterback. The often-overlooked Russell Wilson has lived up to and exceeded his expectations year in and year out. Now, the 5-foot-10 quarterback has a roster with the talent to make some noise in the NFC. An improved supporting cast has resulted in spectacular play from Wilson, and a career year. The 30-year-old has made countless plays that only a select few can make. Using his feet, quarterback expertise, and high IQ, Wilson has put a show every week. He’s must-see television and has single-handedly guided this team into the conversation of being a Super Bowl contender. On several plays, he has showcased extreme MVP-like abilities. His unwillingness to sacrifice a play is what makes him so unique
Wilson is having the best start of his career in his eighth professional season. He’s thrown for 1,704 yards and 14 touchdowns with zero interceptions. He leads the league with a 72.5% completion percentage as well as a 124.7 passer rating. His proficient play has Seattle playing as good as any team. They currently have a 5-1 record placing second in the NFC West. Russell Wilson is looking like a reborn version of himself. Head Coach Pete Carroll had some nice words for his franchise QB, “he is the best that he has ever been right now.” Coach Caroll is correct. Through six games this season, Wilson has placed himself in a class of his own. His numbers are historic, at this point, and his team is catching fire. Expect the ‘Hawks to dominate this season and for Russell Wilson to continue his superstar play.
Final MVP Thoughts
With the way that the season has unraveled thus far, any five of these candidates have the potential of being named NFL MVP.
If this continues, then we’ll have an interesting finish to the season. As the five players compete for a championship and the league’s best player.
Embed from Getty Images