Who are the frontrunners for NFL MVP?

Even though Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is coming off winning his fourth career NFL MVP award, there’s no guarantee he’ll experience the same success after his top receiver Davante Adams parted ways for Vegas. Veterans like Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady always find themselves in the conversation with a proven pedigree when it comes to the NFL MVP award but there are a string of young talented QBs that are waiting to pounce if presented the opportunity meaning the two veterans will have to produce some of their best work to date if they are to reclaim the MVP crown. Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts and Lamar Jackson are all strong contenders in 2022 and are all making strides early on this season. Even so, the MVP race doesn’t truly take shape until late in the season, when playoff teams start becoming established. With that said it’s hard to look past Josh Allen who is in the form of his life and expected to carry the Bills deep into the postseason. But there are no guarantees and with few of the Super Bowl favorites seeing a lot of success this season feels wide open. With that said, here’s a look at some of the top contenders for the NFL MVP as we approach the midway point of the season. 

Josh Allen

Becoming one of the best young QBs in football in just three years has catapulted the California native to the top of the NFL MVP odds. According to US betting sites, Allen is the current favorite to win MVP with odds of +130. Allen’s ability to put up sensational passing numbers while being his team’s most explosive rushing option gives the 26-year-old QB a betting chance as the talisman of the Bills’ offense. He has carried on where he left off in the 2021 season. After six weeks, he currently leads the NFL in passing yards with 1,980, and is tied first for touchdowns with 17 to his name already. That is a sizable 244 yards more than the next best QB, Patrick Mahomes. It is also 328 yards more than Tom Brady has managed. His passer rating is only bettered by Tua Tagovailoa, and right now, there isn’t a more complete player than Josh Allen. His passing is very accurate and it is almost inevitable that an MVP award will arrive at some point during his career. His start to the 2022 season suggests this could be sooner rather than later.

Patrick Mahomes 

When the Chiefs picked up Mahomes as the 10th pick of the 2017 NFL Draft they knew they had a special player on their hands but few could’ve predicted just how special. He has guided Kansas City to a championship as Super Bowl LIV’s MVP and carried the Chiefs to five straight AFC West titles with back-to-back Super Bowl appearances. Swapping Tyreek Hill for JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling didn’t look to be a problem as Mahomes tossed five touchdowns in his season opener. He hasn’t slowed down since. If Mahomes continues putting up 4,700 yards and 37 touchdowns, as he’s done in three of his four seasons, the All-Pro QB’s chances to win MVP will be strong. He is on course to throw 45 touchdowns by the 15th game of the Chiefs’ season putting him in with a good chance to equal his 2018 masterpiece where he threw 50 touchdowns in a single season. If he and the Chiefs keep rolling, it will be difficult for anyone to prevent the MVP award going to Mahomes for a second time

Jalen Hurts

Eagles Quarterback Jalen Hurts made big headlines following week five’s 20-17 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. Hurts’ 19 rushing touchdowns are the most ever by a quarterback in his first 25 starts, surpassing Cam Newton’s 18. The Philadelphia Eagles are the only undefeated team in the NFL, and the addition of new weapons has allowed Hurts to drastically elevate his play, silencing many doubters. Like former NFL MVP Lamar Jackson, Hurts is able to stretch the field and effectively make plays with his running and his arm. Similar to Lamar Jackson, Hurts leads a potent offense that’s sure to be among the best rushing attacks in football as they were a year ago. Hurts will certainly bring somewhere near 1,000 yards rushing. Even though he only has six passing touchdowns this season, he already has plenty of rushing touchdowns. The numbers each week continue to be impressive, making Hurts one of the top early picks for the award.

Lamar Jackson

Even with a not as dominant roster as in years gone by, Lamar Jackson’s passing yard numbers and completion percentage are both better than those during the first five games of his 2019 NFL MVP season. Jackson entered the season with eyes on him after a highly-anticipated contract extension with the Baltimore Ravens was not reached this offseason. Uncertainty regarding the offensive line as well as the loss of names like Marquise Brown also surrounded talk on the Ravens, and Jackson’s two-way dominance with his arm and running continues to show. While the Ravens have blown two 20-point leads this season, they only trailed for a total of 14 seconds collectively in their two losses. Lamar Jackson does not have a roster with names like Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes, but is still playing at a very high level in both the passing and rushing categories. Jackson’s abilities often make him too much for defenses to handle; if he can play the full season without getting hurt, he’ll return to being a top candidate. 

Justin Herbert

Justin Herbert starred with the Oregon Ducks before the Los Angeles Chargers drafted him with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. He earned NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, breaking single-season rookie records for completions, passing touchdowns, and 300-yard games. He is fast establishing himself as one of the best young QBs in the league and cannot count him out of the MVP running with a much-improved offensive line that leads the league with one of the best sack rates. Mike Williams and Keenan Allen are both good for 1,000-yard seasons, and this roster’s hungry to make the postseason, only now they have the pieces to do it. If L.A.’s record is playoff-worthy, Herbert’s sure to be a top MVP candidate.

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