By some means regardless of COVID-19 outbreaks and the weekly shuffling of the schedule, the NFL has made it via six full weeks of the 2020 season. NFL MVP awards aren’t gained on 5 – 6 video games alone, however the main candidates are beginning to construct their circumstances. So who’s deserving of consideration via this level within the season?
A panel of eight analysts voted on the highest 10 gamers within the MVP race. We then used these eight units of rankings to choose our high 5 candidates general, utilizing Heisman Trophy-esque scaling for every rating. We’ll additionally have a look at a couple of names who’ve seen their MVP inventory both spike or plummet within the early going. Listed below are the highest 5 gamers off to an MVP-caliber begin.
2020 stats: 1,502 passing yards, 19 TDs, 3 interceptions (plus 153 dashing yards) in 5 video games
Seattle’s offensive philosophy has modified in 2020, and it has Wilson on the high of the MVP standings because the unanimous No. 1 candidate amongst our eight voters. The Seahawks’ quarterback has by no means obtained a single vote for the award however is trying to change that in his ninth season.
His most up-to-date outing gave us one in every of many MVP-caliber moments. Whereas he threw for under 217 yards in Week 5, Wilson led his group on a 94-yard, 102-second drive down the sphere late within the fourth quarter, whereas changing twice on fourth down, to come back from behind and beat the Vikings in thrilling trend.
Wilson has 19 passing touchdowns in his first 5 video games of the season and wishes 4 extra on Sunday towards Arizona to interrupt the report Peyton Manning set in 2013 for probably the most via a group’s opening six contests (22). Wilson additionally leads the NFL in passer score (129.8) and landing share (11.2%), and ranks second in completion share (72.8%).
2020 stats: 1,699 passing yards, 15 TDs, 1 interception (plus 165 dashing yards and 1 dashing TD) in six video games
Mahomes turned the quickest participant in NFL historical past to succeed in 90 passing touchdowns (in 37 video games) after he threw two of them in a Week 6 win over Buffalo. He began the 2020 season proper the place he left off, after successful a Lombardi Trophy and Tremendous Bowl ring eight months in the past.
However the scary half is the Chiefs do not want their elite QB taking part in at an MVP stage each week to win video games. Kansas Metropolis leaned closely on its dashing assault to beat the Payments. In line with ESPN Stats & Info, the Chiefs’ 46 dashing makes an attempt on Monday are tied for probably the most in a sport by an Andy Reid group in his profession as a head coach. Despite groups making an attempt to remove the Chiefs’ largest energy, Mahomes nonetheless has the third-most passing touchdowns (15), ranks second in QBR (86.9) and is on tempo for greater than 4,500 passing yards this season.
2020 stats: 1,374 passing yards, 13 TDs, 2 interceptions (plus 45 dashing yards) in 5 video games
Rodgers regarded terrible towards the Bucs in Week 6 and was caught off guard — throwing two interceptions, which the Packers quarterback known as “an anomaly.” If that is the case, we must always count on to see him bounce again to the place he was throughout his first 4 video games — a stretch that included a 13-0 TD-INT ratio.
This season is shaping as much as be particular for the Packers, and Rodgers continues to be very a lot the engine that makes Inexperienced Bay’s offense go. He is maximizing the expertise round him, from Davante Adams to Aaron Jones, and ranks top-five in touchdowns, passer score and adjusted yards per try, the latter of which is a superb signal for the Packers offense contemplating Rodgers’ willingness to sling the ball downfield. By way of 5 video games, Rodgers has 19 passes of 20-plus yards and 5 of 40-plus yards.
Rex Ryan asserts that defensive strain on Aaron Rodgers is the important thing to defeating the Packers.
2020 stats: 1,368 passing yards, 13 TDs, 2 interceptions (plus 77 dashing yards and 1 dashing TD) in 5 video games
Many anticipated Tannehill to say no after his career-best season in 2019. A lot for that. Since changing Marcus Mariota because the starter in Tennessee, Tannehill has led the Titans to an 11-3 report whereas throwing for 3,062 yards and compiling a 31-6 TD-INT ratio.
The Titans rank fourth in offensive effectivity this season, and although a whole lot of their wins have come on the again Derrick Henry, do not overlook the kind of performances Tannehill has strung collectively. That features going 30-for-41 for 364 yards and 4 touchdowns in a wild win over Houston to get his group to 5-0.
2020 stats: 1,711 passing yards, 16 TDs, 4 interceptions (plus 143 dashing yards and three dashing TDs) in six video games
Allen had dangerous showings in back-to-back losses to the Titans and Chiefs however stays within the MVP combine for now. The Payments’ QB led his group to a 4-0 begin and emerged as an early favourite for the award upon finishing 70.9% of his passes for 1,326 yards (9 yards per try) and 12 touchdowns together with a 122.8 passer score. The way in which Allen carried out early, albeit whereas beating up on groups just like the Jets, Dolphins and Rams, had him in the identical sentence with Wilson, Mahomes and Rodgers.
However as of late, that hype has dwindled. Although he has proven appreciable enchancment this season, Allen cannot flip in performances like he did towards the Chiefs and the league’s Twenty third-ranked protection (14-of-27 passing for 122 yards, 2 TDs, INT) if he desires to remain within the MVP dialog.
Aaron Donald, DT, Los Angeles Rams: The 2018 Defensive Participant of the Yr is all the time within the combine right here, although defensive tackles are hardly ever ever given the league’s highest honor. At 29, Donald hasn’t slowed down and leads the league in sacks with 7.5. He has been one of the disruptive gamers within the NFL for years, rating third in sacks via 100 video games, and can proceed to be within the dialog for the MVP so long as he has outings like he did towards Washington (4 sacks). That efficiency marked his fifth profession sport with at the very least three sacks, probably the most by any participant since he entered the league in 2014.
Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans: Henry led the league in dashing in 2019 and has proven no indicators of slowing down after signing a mega-extension this offseason. The 247-pounder rushed for 212 yards (a mean of 9.6 yards per carry) and two touchdowns towards the Texans, which was his third sport with 200 yards dashing since 2018. In the meantime, the remainder of the NFL has had simply three gamers attain that feat in the identical span. He’s trying to turn into simply the fourth working again to earn MVP honors since 2001. The truth that Tennessee’s offense flows via Henry will proceed to assist bolster his probabilities, and plenty of might argue the rationale Tannehill is a robust early MVP candidate himself is due to what Henry has executed to maintain Tennessee undefeated getting into Week 7.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers: Large Ben completed simply outdoors of the highest 5 after taking part in simply six quarters final season. Roethlisberger’s arm energy is not the place it was when he led the NFL in passing yards in 2018 — his 7.0 air yards per try are his lowest via the Steelers’ first 5 video games since this was first tracked by ESPN in 2006 — however the way in which he is taking part in has the Steelers off to a 5-0 begin and within the dialog because the NFL’s greatest group. The Steelers QB is finishing 69.1% of his passes (his greatest via 5 video games since 2015), has thrown 11 touchdowns to only one interception and posted his eighth-highest QBR (60.3) via 5 video games.
Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens: The reigning MVP would not appear like he did final 12 months at this level however regarded extra the half within the Ravens’ Week 6 win over the Eagles. Jackson rushed for 108 yards and a landing within the 30-28 win, which was the primary time this season when his working capability seemed to be as huge of a menace because it was final season. His passing has been in every single place, from a 275-yard, three-TD efficiency on 20-of-25 passing in a Week 1 win over the Browns to finishing simply 51% of his passes for 180 yards and a couple of TDs in a victory over Cincinnati in Week 5.
Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals: Murray took down San Francisco, final 12 months’s Tremendous Bowl runner-up, in Week 1 and has turn into a stealth candidate for the MVP award over the previous few weeks. After dismantling the Cowboys on Monday evening, the kind of sport he wanted to additional himself within the MVP combine, Murray turned the third participant in NFL historical past to report 30 passing and 10 dashing touchdowns in his first 25 profession video games.
Cam Newton, QB, New England Patriots: It might not be time for the Patriots to hit the panic button, however the identical cannot be mentioned for Newton’s MVP probabilities. He regarded like he was again to his 2015 MVP kind in New England’s first three video games, even in a loss to the Seahawks through which he threw for 397 yards. Newton mentioned he was “extraordinarily annoyed” together with his play after a Week 6 loss to the Broncos, and it isn’t obscure why. He is an MVP-caliber participant and is not persistently taking part in like one. His 5 dashing touchdowns and 56.3 dashing yards per sport are nice, however his passing is a combined bag. He has simply two passing TDs in 4 begins and ranks twenty seventh in ESPN’s adjusted QB score.