Top 3 Darkhorse Candidates For NFL MVP

Patrick Mahomes II has the award on lock so far, but a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night would boost Cam Newton’s rising MVP hopes.

The NFL media’s interest has revolved around Patrick Mahomes Jr. all season.

With 29 TD passes, an impressive 8-1 record, and a multi-faceted game, Kansas Chiefs‘ second-year QB is clearly the NFL MVP halfway through the season.

Mahomes is on his way to 50 TDs. He’s done it in an electrifying– often unorthodox fashion–making him must-see TV. The NFL Sunday Ticket was made for dudes like Mahomes to ball out.

While former MLB pitcher Pat Mahomes’ beloved son continues to rewrite the NFL record books and redefine the quarterback position, when it comes to the MVP voting, Mahomes will share some votes and some of the spotlight with a few very worthy contenders.

1. Cam Newton 

Football nation challenged Cam Newton to remind us why we anointed him the face of the NFL after breaking rookie passing records in 2011 and then leading the Carolina Panthers to the Super Bowl in 2015, all while simultaneously winning NFL MVP. Yet, last year’s 11-5 record wasn’t enough. Cam didn’t have that same sensational swag in his performance. Entering 2018, fans wanted to see an elevation in Cam’s game.

Fast forward, Cam has answered the call and kicked ass this season with a maturity that is going under the radar. He’s really glowed up in his last three games.

His stats aren’t eye-popping, but he’s displayed a calm maturity and leadership that we haven’t seen in the past. The evolution has manifested itself into a 6-2 record and visions of returning to the Super Bowl. Cam’s having his best season since his MVP campaign with 15 TDs and just 4 interceptions through Week 9.

His completion percentage is a career-high 67.3 and his QBR  (66.8) is almost the same as his career-high mark of 67.0.

Newton, for the better part of his career, has been an MVP caliber player for his Panthers squad. Hell, even when he was dabbing and taking headshots from opposing defenses, his efforts were often undervalued. This season he’s changing that with a silent but deadly serious approach to OC Norv Turner’s game plan. Tonight he will try to build on that campaign against a tough Pittsburgh Steelers squad.

2. Drew Brees

The NFL’s all-time leading passer would actually be an easy choice if it were not for the emergence of Mahomes II. Brees has incredulously never won an MVP award.

That just doesn’t make sense when you consider that he has five of the nine 5,000-yard passing seasons in league history and has probably secured a spot on most Mount Rushmore of NFL QBs. The Saints handed the Rams their only defeat, have a  7-1 record and Brees is doing his thing at 39 years old. He’ll definitely have the numbers worthy of an MVP at the end of the season. If the Saints continue to win then Brees could be a sleeper choice. Nothing wrong with a lifetime achievement award wrapped in an MVP.

3. Todd Gurley 

Gurley is like a combination of Marcus Allen, Marshall Faulk and Adrian Peterson. He’s the NFL yards from scrimmage king and the all-purpose heart of a potent LA Rams offense. His league-leading 16 touchdowns and 1,230 total yards for the 8-1 Rams says it all. Problem is, he’s a running back and we see how that position has been devalued by voters over the years.

The Associated Press hasn’t named a running back NFL MVP since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006 and Seahawks bruising back Shaun Alexander in 2005.

Back to top