The NFL MVP Race by the Numbers
Narrative is a big part of who wins the NFL MVP. The voters like stories, and often the player they vote for is the one with the greatest story that season. Great play is involved also, but a young player, a particularly old player, a player with a new team, all of that can decide who ultimately wins the award.
So the below information isn’t a prediction of who will actually win the NFL MVP. It’s a breakdown of who is in the running based on the complete stats that are compiled by Cold, Hard Football Facts.
Josh Allen Still in the Lead for NFL MVP
Real Quarterback Rating is a team stat that combines all attempts (passing and rushing), all advances (completions and rushing), net total yards, total touchdowns, and turnovers. And in the end we get the best and most efficient quarterback on the planet, by the numbers.
By the numbers, by the eye test, and by the two massive wins recorded by the Bills, Josh Allen is the favorite to win the NFL MVP. The preseason favorite to win the award ranks first in Real Quarterback Rating, and he looks unstoppable through two weeks.
If you saw Lamar Jackson on Sunday you are not surprised that he is currently second in Real QBR. He has 667 total yards of offense in two weeks and he’s scored seven total touchdowns, four of them coming this week.
Another seven touchdown performer is Patrick Mahomes, and his Chiefs rank third in the league in Real QBR. In Cold, Hard Football Facts Offensive Passer Rating, which doesn’t include rushing numbers, Mahomes and the Chiefs rank first in the NFL.
Surprises in the Next Tier
Just outside of the top three is the expected presence of Justin Herbert, who now has the added benefit of a narrative. If he can continue to play at this high level with fractured rib cartilage, watch out. He is fourth in Real Quarterback Rating, fifth in Offensive Passer Rating, and there is no one on planet earth that can question his toughness.
Right behind Herbert is Tua Tagovailoa, the guy who was almost tossed aside for Tom Brady first, and then Deshaun Watson. He has the Dolphins ranked fifth in Real Quarterback Rating and fourth in Offensive Passer Rating. The guy who was paying +5000 to win the NFL MVP before the season began is on pace for 59 touchdown passes and 6,281 yards.
Less of a longshot, but also not one of the favorites, is Jalen Hurts, paying +2500 to win the MVP before the season began. He is now 2-0 and he has the Eagles ranked sixth in Real Quarterback Rating and second in Real Passing Yds/Attempt. Hurts only has one touchdown pass in two weeks, but he has a pair of rushing touchdowns and he’s on pace for more than 6,000 total yards.
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