SportsTips’ NFL MVP Power Rankings: Week 17

SportsTips’ NFL MVP Power Rankings: Week 17
Thu 31st December 2020

With just one week left in the NFL season, there has been a shift in the power rankings on who will win the MVP. It is still a trio of quarterbacks leading the way, but Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers moved to the top after another spectacular Sunday evening performance.

With just one more game to add to their resume, here is the NFL MVP Power Rankings for this week.

1. Aaron Rodgers, quarterback, Green Bay Packers

Odds to win MVP: -155
Previous Rank: 2

It only took 25 passes for Aaron Rodgers to move himself to the top of the MVP race this past Sunday evening. Playing against one of the better defenses in the NFL, the Packers’ quarterback completed 21 of those 25 attempts for 231 yards and four touchdowns. It was his sixth four touchdown performance of the season and he has thrown a TD pass in all but one game this season.

More importantly for Rodgers is that he has his team on a five-game winning streak that has vaulted them to the top of the NFC. During that five-game streak, the Green Bay quarterback has thrown 15 touchdowns.

With a victory over the Bears on Sunday, Rodgers will have led his team to back-to-back seasons with 13-victories. He has completed 70.3% of his passes this season for 4,059 yards and 44 touchdowns, tops in the NFL. His 8.8% touchdown-to-pass attempt percentage is also tops in the league. Most impressive is that he continues to be the model for security, throwing only five interceptions. 

The 4,000-plus yard performance is the ninth of his career and his third consecutive campaign reaching the milestone. He already passed the 400 passing touchdown mark for his career. This is his third season with at least 40 touchdown passes, and the first since 2016.

Rodgers has traditionally dominated the Bears (47 TDs, 10 interceptions) and with a first-round bye on the line he will be looking to close out the team’s 13th victory. This could secure his MVP.

2. Patrick Mahomes, quarterback, Kansas City Chiefs

Odds to win MVP: +145
Previous Rank: 1

Mahomes falls to the No. 2 spot in the MVP power rankings. The Kansas City quarterback had a solid week, completing 24 of 44 passes for 278-yards and two touchdowns. It was another quality performance by the Kansas City quarterback, who has thrown for at least one touchdown pass in every game this season.

However, the nine combined TDs he threw in November 1 and 8 games may have been his peak for the season. He has thrown for under 300 yards in each of the last two games and completed less than 60% of his passes in those contests as well.

Mahomes may find it difficult to surpass Rodgers, especially if the Green Bay QB has his usual outstanding performance against Chicago on Sunday. That will most certainly solidify him as the league MVP.

Despite this, Mahomes has made a strong case of his own. He has thrown for 38 touchdowns and 4,740 yards. In fact, his total yards this season leads the NFL. He has also rushed for 308 yards and two additional scores.

No doubt that Mahomes has put together a season worthy of an MVP trophy, but it is going to take his best performance of the season to wrestle that away from the Green Bay quarterback. Mahomes should pass 5,000 yards passing this weekend, which will bolster his MVP hopes. 

3. Josh Allen, quarterback, Buffalo Bills

Odds to win MVP: +1400
Previous Rank: 3

Allen stays firmly situated in the third position. After last Monday’s performance he likely has closed the gap on the No. 2 spot as well. Throwing for 320 yards and four touchdowns against New England is never an easy thing to do, even in a down year for the Patriots.

He completed 75% of his passes in the game, the fourth time in his last five starts that he has completed 70% or better. The four TD performance was his fourth of the season.

The Buffalo quarterback has already set a number of personal highs, including for yards (4,320), touchdowns (34), and completion percentage (69.1%). He has thrown the same number of interceptions he threw last season (9) but has done so in 86 more pass attempts.

This is truly proven to be a breakout season for Allen, who has led Buffalo to their first division title in 25 years. Even if he is not selected as the MVP, no doubt that he will be heralded as a savior in Buffalo.

Allen is fifth in touchdown passes thrown and third in passing yards. He may likely move into second depending upon how well Deshaun Watson performs for Texas this weekend but is not going to catch Mahomes for the top spot.

4. Davante Adams, wide receiver, Green Bay Packers

Odds to win MVP: +5000
Previous Rank: Unranked

Adams has come from out of nowhere to enter the MVP conversation. He is just one of two non-quarterbacks on the list and is the only wide receiver.

Adams was not even considered an MVP candidate a week ago, but an 11 catch, 142-yard, three touchdown performance has him suddenly in the conversation. Adams was literally unstoppable against Tennessee, who has a solid defense, but that group proved to be no match for the Packers wide receiver.

The three TD performance was his second of the season and now gives him 17 touchdowns, tops in the NFL. He is also averaging 102.2 yards per game, also tops in the league. For the season, Adams has made 109 catches for 1,328 yards. He is fourth in the league in reception yards.

While the numbers are certainly gaudy, a wide receiver has never received this award. In fact, only former San Francisco 49ers great Jerry Rice was ever even given serious consideration for the MVP.

Adams also faces the additional hurdle of his quarterback being the likely MVP winner. The only way that Adams moves up on this list is if he has a sensational performance this Sunday. That would mean that Rodgers would have one as well, which would eliminate his chance to win.

5. Derrick Henry, running back, Tennessee Titans

Odds to win MVP: +5000
Previous Rank: 4

Despite being officially tied with Adams, Henry does remain in the No. 4 position. He also joins Adams as the only other non-quarterback to be considered a top 10 MVP candidate.

Henry has been the model of consistency this season. In 15 games, he has rushed for 100+ yards in nine of those contests, including a season-high 215 against Jacksonville on December 13. The problem Henry is facing is that he is coming off a 23 carry, 98-yard performance against Green Bay where his team was absolutely obliterated. Henry was virtually a nonfactor in this contest, and that does not help when you are going head-to-head against the likely MVP.

However, even in a “bad” performance by the running back, he still put up a solid evening. Henry has now rushed for 1,777 yards, which leads the NFL.

It is a career-high for the running back, who has improved in each of his five seasons. It would take a Herculean performance, but Henry has a legitimate shot at 2,000 yards this weekend, one of just a handful of backs to reach that number.

He leads the league with 118.5 yards per game and his 15 touchdowns is third in the league.

6. Ryan Tannehill, quarterback, Tennessee Titans

Odds to win MVP: +10,000
Previous Rank: 8

Tannehill jumps up two spots according to oddsmakers. This despite a rather poor performance against Green Bay. Like Henry, he had the opportunity to shine against the likely MVP but came up wonting. 

Tannehill completed only 11 of 24 passes for 121 yards. More importantly, he had just one touchdown against two interceptions. Those are not the kind of numbers that help you to be an MVP but his odds still improved slightly. Tannehill came in at +25,000 last week but has improved to +10,000 this week. Interesting considering the poor performance.

For the season, the Miami quarterback has thrown for 3,603 yards and 32 touchdowns. A 400-yard performance and he will reach the 4,000 yard mark for the third time in his career. His 32 touchdowns this season is a single season high.

More importantly, the 10-5 record for Tennessee has the team primed to win the AFC South Division. The 10 wins is already the most by a Titans team since 2008 and broke a string of four straight seasons of 9-7 records.

An 11-win season would solidify Tennessee as a serious Super Bowl contender, and could influence voters to give the Titans quarterback a little more consideration.

7. Russell Wilson, quarterback, Seattle Seahawks

Odds to win MVP: +10,000
Previous Rank: 10

Wilson moves up four slots from last week after leading Seattle to victory against the Los Angeles Rams. That gave his team the NFC West Division title and has them in position for the No. 1, 2, or 3 position in the NFC for the playoffs.

Wilson completed 20 of 32 passes for 225 yards and a touchdown against Los Angeles. He was also sacked five times and only gained 9 yards rushing. Despite that, oddsmakers liked that he led his team to a division crown and that has helped to bolster his chances of winning an MVP.

The Seattle quarterback is in line to have his best season statistically. His 69.7% completion percentage is a career-high, and with 4,031 yards passing he is a little under 200 yards away from his best season ever. He has already eclipsed his best season for touchdown passes, throwing 38 this season.

Adding to his numbers are that Wilson has rushed for 484 yards and two touchdowns. He is currently averaging 6.2 yards per carry.

It is going to be hard for him to pass the four quarterbacks who currently sit ahead of him, but Wilson is having his best season ever. That may not matter as much in the MVP voting, but he will not be a quarterback foes want to face come playoff time.

8. Tom Brady, quarterback, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Odds to win MVP: +25,000
Previous Rank: 7

Brady falls one spot in the MVP rankings. This despite having an outstanding performance against Detroit the day after Christmas, completing 22 of 27 passes for 348 yards and four touchdowns. That was his third performance of the season with at least four touchdowns.

Brady has proven this season that he did not need New England to be a winner. He has led the team to a 10-5 record, the first time the team has recorded 10 victories in a season since 2010.

As usual, the Tampa Bay quarterback is having an outstanding season. He has completed 65.9% of his passes, his best performance since 2017, and fourth best of his career. He has passed for 4,234 yards, the fourth straight season he has eclipsed the 4000 yard mark. His 36 touchdown passes are the most since 2015.

No doubt the numbers are fantastic. In virtually any other season he would be a top three MVP candidate, but he has five quarterbacks ahead of him and that is too much to overcome this season.

No concern for Brady, however. He came to Tampa Bay looking to build on his legacy and has already turned a mediocre club into a potential Super Bowl contender. He will gladly give away the MVP if it means reaching the big game.

9. Kyler Murray, quarterback, Arizona Cardinals

Odds to win MVP: No Odds Available
Previous Rank: 7

In his second season in the NFL, Murray has already established himself as a guy who gets the job done. Despite a tough performance against San Francisco, he will have the opportunity this Sunday to lead Arizona to a 9-7 record, their first time above .500 since 2015.

Murray was ranked seventh last week but hurt himself against San Francisco. The quarterback completed 31 of 50 passes for 247 yards and no touchdowns. He did throw an interception. It was the second time this season he had been held without a touchdown pass, with both of those games coming since Thanksgiving Day.

For the season, Murray has completed 67.1% of his passes for 3,884 yards and 26 touchdowns. He will have the opportunity to eclipse the 4,000 yard mark this weekend, the first time he has done so in his brief NFL career.

Murray will also be looking to lead his team to the playoffs. A victory over Los Angeles would put them past the Rams and into the postseason. That will not be good enough for an MVP this season for the Arizona quarterback, but it would sure lift the spirits of Cardinals fans everywhere. That is probably much more important to Murray right now.

10. Baker Mayfield, quarterback, Cleveland Browns

Odds to win MVP: No Odds Available
Previous Rank: 5

There is no doubt that when your team loses to the lowly New York Jets that you are going to take a hit in the MVP ranking. That is especially true when you complete 52.8% of your passes and could not muster a touchdown against the team that was 1-13 entering the game.

That performance hurt Mayfield, dropping him from No. 5, but he still remains in the top 10. He threw for 285 yards, but that was the second straight week that his numbers have declined after a 343-yard performance against Baltimore on December 14. The zero touchdowns also snapped a streak of four straight games with at least two touchdown passes.

While Mayfield had moved to fifth, he was a long shot from the start. His zero touchdown performance this last Sunday was his fourth of the season and he has only had two 300+ yard performances this year. Those are not MVP numbers to be honest.

He is showing a nice progression for the Browns. Mayfield has completed 62.7% of his passes for 3,367 yards and 25 touchdowns. He is two touchdowns away from tying his personal best set in 2018. Most important, he has dropped his interception total from 21 down to eight this season. That bodes well for future MVP consideration.

*Odds correct at time of writing.

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