NFL MVP Race: Top Six Candidates Through Week 12

NFL MVP Race

With only one month left in the season, the NFL MVP race is heading into the final stretch. After 12 weeks, the frontrunner remains the same, but the distance between the leader and the rest of the pack is starting to close. 

NFL MVP Race: Top Six Candidates Entering Week 13

1. Patrick Mahomes

It was a relatively quiet week for the MVP favorite, as Mahomes completed 27 of his 42 attempts for 320 yards, one touchdown, and one interception while guiding his team to a comfortable 26-10 win over the Los Angeles Rams. Mahomes had a solid outing against a weak rival, but he wasn’t the best quarterback in the league this week. However, despite this, he still maintains the top spot due to just how good he’s been throughout the year.

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2. Jalen Hurts

Every MVP campaign needs a signature game, and Hurts may have provided that during Philadelphia’s 40-33 Sunday Night win over the Green Bay Packers. While his passing numbers weren’t anything special, Hurts dominated on the ground to the tune of 157 rushing yards on just 17 carries. He truly is the entire Eagles offense and the team wouldn’t be anywhere close to 10-1 without him.

3. Tua Tagovailoa

The Miami Dolphins did unspeakable things to the Houston Texans in their 30-15 victory that was not nearly as close as the final score implied. Tagovailoa finished the night completing 22 of his 36 passes for 299 yards and one touchdown, and easily could have had more had the game not gotten so out of hand. After two up-and-down seasons to start his career, Tagovailoa’s breakout remains one of the best stories in football, and he still has a real shot at winning MVP if Mahomes and Hurts struggle down the stretch.

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4. Josh Allen

Josh Allen’s play has been streaky ever since his reported elbow injury, but Thursday’s battle against the Detroit Lions showed that his best still rivals anyone in the league. His game-sealing throw to Stefon Diggs is as good as any you’ll see in the league, and he enters Week 13 ranked third in EPA/play and PFF grade. He remains one of the best passers in the game, but he’ll need to return to his September and October form if he wants to win the NFL MVP race.

5. Joe Burrow

After a slow start to the season, Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals are back and better than ever. Over the past six games, Burrow has completed 71.1% of his passes for 1,844 yards (8.46 Y/A), 14 touchdowns, and just three interceptions while guiding his team to a 5-1 record. He did most of this work without Ja’Marr Chase, and he should only improve once his superstar wideout returns to the lineup. While it still isn’t likely, a Joe Burrow MVP campaign shouldn’t be out of the question.

6. Lamar Jackson

Jackson continues to fall behind in the NFL MVP race, but he can still salvage his chances with a strong finish. The former MVP had an uneven game in Week 12’s loss to Jacksonville, but he still made a beautiful throw to DeSean Jackson and came within inches of leading a last-second game-winning drive. It’s probably too little, too late for Jackson’s chances, but he could still get there if Baltimore’s potentially elite tight end duo plays up to their promise.