Eight weeks have come and gone in the 2020 NFL season and we are just about halfway to the playoffs. We’ve seen our fair share of surprises in the undefeated Steelers and 2-5 Patriots, but also things we expected in the 0-8 Jets. But in terms for the chase for Most Valuable Player — it’s mostly guys we expected to see. The crowded and talent-filled race has certainly changed from what we saw early on in the forefront of the season. Halfway through the season, here are the current MVP power rankings:
Honorable Mentions: Alvin Kamara, Dalvin Cook, Lamar Jackson
5. Kyler Murray – QB, Arizona Cardinals
Talk about a sophomore surge.
What a season Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals have had so far. Through eight weeks, the team is sitting at 5-2 and on a three-game winning streak with Murray and the offense being the driving force. The second year QB has not only been a menace on the ground, but he has proved he is just as capable of airing it out and winning games with his arm. Yes, a top-three receiver in the league with DeAndre Hopkins helps — but Murray’s improvement as a passer has been just as big to the Cardinals offensive success.
Murray is the 10th leading passer in the league thus far and is on pace to improve upon his passing touchdowns last year by a wide margin. He already has rushed for seven touchdowns this year, which is 4th in the NFL. Murray is already one of the best dual threats in the league and his season so far is eerily similar to Lamar Jackson’s fantastic 2019 campaign. If Murray keeps this up and the Cardinals stay hot, the little engine of Kyler just may succeed Lamar Jackson as the NFL MVP.
4. Tom Brady – QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
If we’ve learned one thing from this season, it’s that Tom Brady doesn’t need Bill Belichick to succeed. Not only has the GOAT kept his elite play up in Florida — but he’s doing it at the age of 43. And he’s done it with a depleted offense. Sure, Mike Evans has been elite as usual but Chris Godwin has played just four games but Tampa has prevailed in all but one of those.
Brady has thrown for the 4th most yards in the league, is one of 4 QBs with 20+ passing touchdowns and has thrown just four interceptions in eight games all while leading Tampa to the most points scored out of any NFC team this year. Brady’s continued dominance has translated unto team success as the Buccaneers sit at 6-2, atop the NFC South and poised for a return to the playoffs.
Many questioned Brady’s decision to leave the Patriots this offseason, especially for an unpredictable team like Tampa. But with the way his game has not lost a step and how it is elevating the entire Tampa roster has shown this was the most impactful move of the offseason. And now with the signing of Antonio Brown, TB12 and the Bucs just got even more deadly.
3. Aaron Rodgers – QB, Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers has come back down from his scorching start but he is still playing at an MVP level. Yes, the offense was absolutely shut down by the Vikings and Buccaneers but Green Bay is still at 5-2 and A-Rod’s numbers are still top tier. He has thrown for an average of 278 yards per game with one reliable receiver in Devante Adams. And even though the Packers stood pat at the trade deadline, the return of Allen Lazard from IR will boost the passing game and make Rodgers arm even more dangerous.
His 113 passer rating and 83.5 QBR already speak for itself and with Rodgers known to perform better as the season goes on, his 36 year old campaign will become even more remarkable. All in all — Rodgers work with an overall lackluster offense has him undeniably among the top players of this season and gives the Bad Man a real case at the MVP award.
2. Patrick Mahomes – QB, Kansas City Chiefs
We knew Patrick Mahomes was a generational talent through his first two seasons. In his junior run, he’s proving that he is more than that. The reigning Super Bowl MVP has made his game incredibly more efficient in 2020 as he has thrown for 20 touchdowns and just one interception through eight games. He holds the second highest passer rating in the league at 115 and leads all in QBR with an 85.4 mark.
He’s done all of this while leading the defending champions to a 7-1 record, the most points scored in the league and arguably has elevated the already most dangerous offense in the league to unforeseen levels. As long as he is on the field, Mahomes will be on this list for the rest of his career. And if it weren’t for one guy in 2020, he would be number 1.
1. Russell Wilson – QB, Seattle Seahawks
From week one to week eight, it is undeniable that Russell Wilson has been the best Quarterback in the league this season. He has led Seattle to an NFC best 6-1 mark, with their only loss coming in overtime. He has made the Seahawks offense the most lethal in the league thus far as his 26 passing touchdowns not only lead the league, but is just one behind Tom Brady for the most passing TD’s ever in the first 7 games of the season.
Wilson’s improvement as a passer is shown in an absurd 120 rating, which leads the league comfortably. This insane play but the Seattle QB has elevated the entire Seahawks offense to points it’s never reached under Pete Carroll as breakouts by Chris Carson, Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf can all be contributed to Russ. Every defense put in front of Seattle this year has been absolutely scorched by Wilson and if it weren’t for a late Cardinals comeback, he would be leading the Hawks into week 9 as the lone undefeated team in the NFC. If Wilson stays on the field, which has never been a problem in his career, and can keep up this historic pace, it’s gonna be hard not to give him that elusive MVP trophy.
Image: Cards Wire