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NFL MVP: Three Favorites and Three Flyers

NFL MVP

The NFL regular season is two months away. As we slowly but surely continue making our way to the opening kickoff, the oddsmakers set the odds for whom they view as NFL MVP frontrunners. Today, we take a look at three safe bets to win MVP, as well as three dark horses who could play their way into the conversation.

Favorites:

QB Josh Allen (+700): 

Josh Allen has been in the MVP conversation for the last two seasons and is the odds-on favorite to win the award in 2022. Not only is Allen amongst the top quarterbacks in the league, but the Bills have an argument of being the best team in football.

Buffalo is incredibly deep on offense. With Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis, Jamison Crowder, Dawson Knox, there is no shortage of weapons. With all that firepower, and a tremendous roster assembled, this could be the year that Allen takes home his first NFL MVP, and perhaps his first Lombardi Trophy.

QB Joe Burrow (+1300):

We saw what Burrow did last season without an offensive line in front of him. Burrow was sacked more times (51) than any other quarterback in 2021. Despite running for his life, the Bengal from the Bayeux still finished sixth in the NFL in passing yards (4,611) and touchdowns passes (34), as well as finishing second in the league in passer rating (108.3), trailing only Aaron Rodgers.

With the Bengals buying a cement wall in the form of Ted Karras, Alex Cappa, and La’el Collins, “Joe Brrr” and all the ice in his veins could set the NFL on fire and bring home the MVP.

QB Justin Herbert (+1100):

Herbert is already a solidified superstar. In his second season, he amassed 5,000 yards passing along with 38 touchdowns. This was after a rookie season in which he set the record for most touchdown passes by a rookie (31). The Chargers built one of the best rosters in the NFL, yet they seemed to get in their own way more often than not in 2021.

With the additions of Khalil Mack and J.C. Jackson defensively, as well as bringing back Mike Williams, Los Angeles should be a playoff team in 2022. The offense is largely the same as it was last year, and the defense looks much better. If Herbert continues ascending this season, and the Bolts take a big leap, expect their golden boy with the golden locks to be in the thick of the NFL MVP race.

Dark Horses:

QB Derek Carr (+3300):

The Raiders should have been dead in the water multiple times last season. Through the Jon Gruden controversy and the Henry Ruggs tragedy, there is no reason they should have been a playoff team. Yet, behind nearly 5,000 yards passing from their never-say-die quarterback, Las Vegas found themselves as a Wildcard team.

With the addition of Davante Adams, a 5,000-yard season isn’t out of the question for the Fresno State product. A playoff appearance in that juggernaut division, combined with a noteworthy stat line, would have Carr’s name being mentioned as the league’s most valuable player.

RB Jonathan Taylor (+4000):

2021 was Taylor’s coming out party, proving that the Colts’ offense ran through him. The dynamic back from Wisconsin led the NFL in rushing yards (1,811), topping the second-place finisher, Nick Chubb, by almost 600 yards. Taylor also led the league in rushing touchdowns (18) and tied for the league lead in total touchdowns (20) with Chargers running back Austin Ekeler.

The Colts got older at the quarterback position this offseason by acquiring Matt Ryan, and their targets in the passing game didn’t get much of an upgrade. The Colts are the favorite to win the AFC South. Should Taylor top his performance from 2021 and lead Indianapolis on a solid playoff run, he could find himself getting mentioned in the MVP race. However, it would take a monumental stat line for any running back to win the award, as recent memory has proven.

QB Carson Wentz (+10000):

Alright, stop yelling and just listen. This isn’t to say that Wentz is what he was in 2017. That said, this narrative that he is a terrible quarterback is bewildering. Wentz finished in the top 10 in QBR, and was third in interception percentage, trailing only Aaron Rodgers and Kirk Cousins. This is also the best supporting cast Wentz has had on any team he’s ever been on. Terry McLaurin is the best receiver he’s had at his disposal.

Washington also added Jahan Dotson through the draft, and Curtis Samuel will be back after playing in just one game in 2021. Wentz threw 27 touchdowns last season without a true No. 1 receiver. Now, he has three legitimate threats, as well as a solid tight end in Logan Thomas, and a versatile running back in Antonio Gibson. A 30-35 touchdown season isn’t out of the realm of possibility for the former No. 2 overall pick. If he can compile a stat-line to that degree, and Washington wins the NFC East, Wentz should at least have his name murmured in the MVP race.

Read More: 2022 Dark Horse Candidates for Every NFL Award