NFL MVP Race: Top 5 headed into week 18

Who is in the lead?
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JANUARY 02: Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) during the National Football League game between the New York Jets and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on January 2, 2022 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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5) Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts

317 carries, 1,734 yards, 18 TD, 342 receiving yards, 2 TD

Last year, we saw Derrick Henry run for 2,000 yards, and he didn’t make a dent in voting. Taylor has taken the Colts from a below-average team to a playoff contender. My issue here is we have seen better running back years, and it’s tough to get the votes for a running back here. He deserves serious consideration, though.

4) Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams

138 receptions, 1,829 yards, 15 TD

Do you think it’s hard to win an MVP as a running back? Try doing it as a wide receiver! Kupp is having a historical year, and still, not many take him seriously as an MVP contender. To tell you the truth, Kupp is the player that I think deserves it the most because he is doing things that nobody has ever done in his position.

3) Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

366-for-520 (70.4%), 4,611 yards, 34 TD, 14 INT — 108.3 passer rating

Who would have thought we would have talked about this possibility in only his second year. He had some turnover issues earlier in the season, but those are from a long time ago now. The Bengals are red-hot because Burrow is that good. He outdueled Patrick Mahomes on Sunday and has clinched a division title for the Bengals for the first time in six years. Much like Brady and Rodgers, Burrow will be a fixture on this list for the next decade or so, barring injury.

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2) Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

352-for-513 (68.6%), 3,977 yards, 35 TD, 4 INT — 111.1 passer rating

The Packers offense is Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers has seemed to be the odds on favorite for most of the season, and with good reason, if you look at the stats. How valuable is Rodgers to the Packers? This year, the Packers have scored 48 touchdowns, and Rodgers has thrown 35 TD passes and run for three touchdowns, so 38 out of 48 come from Rodgers. With that being said, the Packers have now won 13 games in three consecutive seasons and have yet to make it to the Super Bowl. Will this be the year Rodgers finally makes it back to the big game?

1) Tom Brady, New England Patriots

456-for-682 (66.9%), 4,990 yards, 40 TD, 12 INT — 100.5 passer rating

Tom Brady is 44 years old! Brady has more talent on the offensive side of the ball surrounding him; of course, injuries have changed that over the last few weeks, but even with massive injuries on the offensive side of the ball, Brady just keeps winning. He has thrown for 1,000 more yards this season than Rodgers, and five more touchdown passes, he does have more interceptions, but he is still at a more than 3/1 TD/Int ratio.

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