The NFL MVP is voted on by sportswriters, and thus the vote is subject to biases, narratives, and simple differences in opinion. So we know this exercise won’t necessarily predict who is going to win the award in February. But it will tell us who is deserving of the award one-third through the season.
A lot can happen between now and Week 18, but here are the statistical favorites as of today.
Josh Allen – Buffalo Bills
He has the narrative – he beat Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium and looked fantastic on the game-winning drive – but he also has the statistics.
In raw numbers, Josh Allen is having an MVP-worthy season. He leads the NFL in passing yards and total yards, and he is tied for the league lead with 17 passing touchdowns. He’s also on a first-place team that has the inside track to get the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
Cold, Hard Football Facts has a stat called Real Quarterback Rating, which measures the entirety of an NFL quarterback. Not surprisingly, Allen and the Bills rank first in the NFL in that statistic, and they are first in Offensive Passer Rating, another stat provided by Cold, Hard Football Facts.
Patrick Mahomes – Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes now has the narrative working against him. He lost the biggest game of the season so far, and he threw two interceptions in the loss. But statistically, he is right on the heels of Josh Allen.
Mahomes is third in the NFL in passing yards, he’s tied for first in passing touchdowns with Allen, and in the stats from Cold, Hard Football Facts, he ranks second in both Real Quarterback Rating and Offensive Passer Rating.
Narrative-wise, losing Tyreek Hill works in favor of Mahomes. The Chiefs’ offense shows no signs of regressing this season – they lead the league in points scored – and that is because of their otherworldly quarterback.
Jalen Hurts – Philadelphia Eagles
Both Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen have been in the MVP conversation for years. Jalen Hurts is the new kid on the block. He was expected to be good, but even the most optimistic Eagles fan (oxymoron?) didn’t predict this.
The Eagles are the league’s only undefeated team, and while wins aren’t a quarterback stat, they are treated like they are, and no one is better than Hurts.
In other more recognized state he has 12 total touchdowns, (six rushing and six passing), he’s averaging 301 total yards per game (only ranking behind Allen and Mahomes), and he has just two interceptions on the season. He has 10 interceptions in his first 25 career starts, and only seven quarterbacks in history have been better than that.
The Eagles are fourth in Real Quarterback Rating, fourth in Offensive Passer Rating, and it is largely because of him that the Eagles rank first in the NFL in Offensive Rusher Rating.
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