NFL MVP Race: Top Five Candidates Through Week 13


With December football officially underway, all the best players in the league are starting to make their case during the peak of the NFL MVP race. With 13 weeks in the rearview mirror, there are two candidates with equal odds of winning the NFL’s most coveted award.

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NFL MVP Race: Top Five Candidates Entering Week 14

1A. Patrick Mahomes

A few weeks earlier, I wrote that Patrick Mahomes was the runaway MVP, and that it would take a lot for anyone else to close the gap. First, Mahomes himself would need to slow down to a certain extent, and that has happened.

Mahomes followed up a relatively pedestrian Week 12 with an equally good-but-not-great performance in Kansas City’s 27-24 loss. While Mahomes certainly wasn’t the reason the team dropped their third straight game to Joe Burrow’s Bengals, a better outing would have resulted in a win. He would still probably win the award if voting closed today, but it’s a lot closer than it was just a few weeks ago.

1B. Jalen Hurts

Jalen Hurts has played incredibly well throughout the course of the season, but his insane play in recent weeks has effectively tied him with Mahomes in the NFL MVP race. The quarterback was simply unstoppable on Sunday, completing 29 of his 39 attempts for 380 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions while adding another touchdown on the ground. The Eagles own the best record in football, and that wouldn’t be possible without Hurts playing like a top-two quarterback.

3. Josh Allen

The Buffalo Bills took out 20 years of frustration on the New England Patriots last Thursday, winning 24-10 in a game that wasn’t nearly as close as the final score implies. Allen was his usual fantastic self, completing 22 of 33 attempts for 223 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions while making some of the wildest plays you will ever see. Allen could have easily had more as well, but the game got out of hand so early that the Bills played a more conservative game in the second half. He’s still clearly behind Mahomes and Hurts in this race, but he’s close enough that he could overtake them with a strong finish to the season.

4. Tua Tagovailoa 

After beating up on bad competition for the past month, the Miami Dolphins finally met their match against the San Francisco 49ers. Tagovailoa had a rough game, completing 18 of his 33 passes for 295 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions in the 33-17 loss.

Bad games happen, but the biggest reason for Tagovailoa’s fall in these rankings is his ankle injury. As of this posting, reports around the league indicate that the Dolphins quarterback won’t miss time with this ailment, but we have yet to see how this will affect his performance. As it is, Tagovailoa is fighting an uphill battle for MVP, and if his game drops off even slightly, he won’t stand a chance.

5. Joe Burrow

Remember when the Cincinnati Bengals were fighting through a Super Bowl hangover? Well, those days are long gone, as the Bengals are back and better than ever. Following his impressive win over the Kansas City Chiefs, Joe Burrow continues to prove that he is one of the best young passers in the league with a bright future ahead. In fact, there is a strong case to be made that Burrow is already the best quarterback in Bengals history.

Through 12 games, Burrow has completed 69.1% of his passes for 3,446 yards, 25 touchdowns, and eight interceptions, and has done most of that work without Ja’Marr Chase in the lineup. Now that Chase is back, the sky is the limit for this offense.

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