Top 10 MVP Candidates Going Into The 2020 NFL Season

  1. Patrick Mahomes

Since 2006, only one non quarterback has won the National Football League MVP which was Adrian Peterson in 2007 when he ran over 2,000 yards with a dreadful passing game. It’s safe to say that the quarterback position is the hottest commodity to get recognized as being the most valued player in professional  football.

There is no need to overthink the star shaped potential of the 2020 super bowl MVP and 2019 regular season MVP, Patrick Mahomes.

Andy Reid poured more salt on the AFC defenses’ wounds by adding an elusive running back named Clyde Edwards- Helaire in the first round of the NFL draft. It creates significant miss matches and fuels untapped potential for Patty Mahomes, by adding in a dangerous running back who is exceptionally quick, well balanced, and an above average receiving back to the explosive, spread offense yielded by a top 5 receiver in tyreek hill and top 3 tight end in Travis Kelce.

It appears notable that the Chiefs division gained improvements by every team, but no previously established contender or significant upgrade in talent has been added to scare the Super Bowl Champs, led by Super Bowl MVP, Patrick Mahomes.

-Patrick Mahomes won the MVP award barely over Drew Brees in 2018

-Patrick Mahomes and Drew Brees missed a combine “7” games in 2019.

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  1. Drew Brees

     Drew Brees and Patrick Mahomes found themself battling for the MVP prestige in 2019, but devastating injuries held them both back to a less desirable degree last year.

In the 2019-20 NFL campaign, Drew Brees found himself in 11 games averaging more passing yards per game last year than Tom Brady did during his 2017 MVP season, despite his broken thumb forcing him to miss 5 regular season games.

The fact is crystal clear that Brees doesn’t have the same arm strength he once had. Although, Brees still can manipulate defenses to a high degree, pinpoint the football from 25 yards away, and he gets to play alongside the 2020 offensive player of the year in Michael Thomas, an elite pro bowl running back in Alvin kamara who battled nagging injuries a year ago, and his consistent production with the genius of Sean Payton. Add in Emmanual Sanders to this record breaking offense.

It would be difficult to see Sean Payton for the first time in his Saints coaching tenure, unable to supply Brees with a strong stat line, especially due to that fact the outlook on paper for the saints offense edges out any recent memory of the past with this new look of prolific stature from position to position. 

*Drew Brees has the best wide receiver duo in his career, best tight end group in his career, a healthy Alvin Kamara, and Taysom Hill who caught 7 touchdowns last year.

  1. Derrick Henry

       The last running back in the last couple of decades to truly carry his team against high level opponents, and finding a way to win with a subpar cast around him, would bring back many memories to football fans of Adrian Peterson. Henry can be that reincarnation and then some.

Adrian Peterson did significant damage during the whole season of his 2012 mvp campaign. Derrick Henry carried that weight in the 2019 playoffs for the Tennessee Titans by dismantling the New England Patriots and Lamar Jackson(MVP) led Baltimore Ravens.

There is little reason to disagree that Derrick Henry’s 16 game season health and workload are the only possible deniers of an MVP arrival for the 6’4 235 running back.

Expect an angry Derrick Henry who lost in the playoffs against the Super Bowl champs(1-1 against the chiefs last year), to flirt with his 2nd straight rushing title.

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  1. Lamar Jackson

  The victor in Derrick Henry on the day of 1/11/20 comes in at number 3 on this list, while the losing recipient comes in Quarterback, Lamar Jackson comes in at number 4 on this list.

If somebody turned the broadcasted playoff game between the Tennessee Titans and Baltimore ravens on, a person may notice a large sculpted human being in Derrick Henry began teaching the ravens safety named Earl Thomas how to properly look like a blocker as he got the craziest stiff arm of the year by the giant himself.

Another spectator may notice how the 2020 regular season MVP struggled in his biggest game all season, and found zero ways to get his club in the end zone.

Lamar Jackson still managed to take the league by storm last year and tapped out with 43 total touchdowns, and led his team to a supreme 14-2 record. It startles me that somebody can throw 36 touchdowns and run for 7 more, and people like former NFL executive Bill Polian were so wrong by suggesting that Lamar should switch to wide receiver before entering the NFL.

It’s also puzzling that Lamar couldn’t shine on his biggest stage with zero touchdowns against the Titans, and he only configured 2 touchdowns, with 200 yards against the elite 49ers defense on his biggest game during the regular season. Lamar will make lots of plays, but it doesn’t spell right to make abnormal predictions that a quarterback of any caliber can run the ball at a high level of times and not receive any type of injury at some point.

Lamar’s talents, injury concerns, and inconsistent moments in big games place him at number 4 on this list. 

  1. Aaron Donald

Aaron Donald recorded 20.5 sacks in the 2018 season as a defensive tackle, but his luck ran out of MVP chances when a quarterback named Patrick Mahomes tossed up over 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns.

If there isn’t a once in a century performance by a quarterback in the NFL next year and Aaron Donald can come close or surpass his 2018 defensive player of the year statistics, Donald will run away with the MVP and become the first non-offensive player to win it since Lawrence Taylor in 1986.

Donald is only 29 years old, so he has multiple years left in his prime. Aaron gets to adjust to the adjustments offenses placed on him last year and find a way for his coaches to put him in the best spot to win because it takes three guys to block him, yet he still manages ways to win.

The good news for him is that the teams in the NFC west by way of Seattle, Arizona, and San Francisco have failed to significantly add elite protection up front against Donald, who Donald will face off twice a year.  If the Rams can bounce back on offense by putting up a lot of points by virtue of offensive production, it will put enormous pressure on opponents offenses to keep pace and pass against the elite pass rush of Aaron Donald.

When the Chiefs managed to put up 51 points against the Rams in 2018 and lose 54-51, Donald was able to knock off 2 sacks and 2 TFLs which easily displays how the need to to lean heavily on the pass gives way for the defensive tackle’s production.

  1. Michael Thomas

The 2020 Offensive Player of the Year jumps in at number 6 on the list. Michael Thomas, nicknamed “CantGuardMike” recorded a record breaking 149 receptions to go with 1,725 yards, and 9 receiving touchdowns during the 2019 season.

Keyshawn Johnson’s nephew continues to impress and improve the quality of his game since he came into the league in 2016 and signed a contract worth 100 millions over 5 years, last July. Michael Thomas has proven to have it’s sights set on the sky and he has managed to be the key weapon for the saints offense even without the likes of Drew Brees, when Drew went down and missed 5 games.

It’s unbelievable to note that Michael Thomas won the OPOY award with his hall of fame quarterback missing 5 games. He was the 2nd player behind Jerry Rice to claim that high achievement, so it’s not an understatement to say that Michael Thomas with 16 games out of Brees could lift his legacy up to be the first wide receiver to win the NFL MVP, especially if the saints continue their norm of winning 12+ games.

With big games squared off for Drew Brees against Tom Brady twice this year, Patrick Mahomes, and San Francisco again, expect lots of points and targets to go “CantguardMike”’s way. 

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  1. Chandler Jones

Bill Belichick, trading the league’s sack leader since 2012, for a 3rd round draft pick may have been one of the biggest head scratchers across the league in the last decade.

In 2020, Chandler Jones came in 2nd to Stephon Gilmore in defensive player of the year voting, largely due to the difference in succes between the two teams. Jones clearly could’ve been number 1 by way of posting a league high in sacks(19) and 8 forced fumbles, if the cardinals didn’t win a miserable 5 games.

If the dangerous threat in Chandler Jones continues his streak on the rising Arizona Cardinals who have had one of the best off seasons in the NFL according to ESPN’s Bill Barnwell, give reason to hope that the Cardinals offense can put up more points and create more opportunities for Jones to hunt down quarterbacks as teams try to keep pace.

If the long and powerful pass rusher, Chandler Jones can get significantly more obvious pass rushing situations, there is little justification to worry that he doesn’t break the sack record held by Michael Strahan, then ultimately run away with the DPOY this time around and pose a strong case among the MVP voters. 

  1. Nick Bosa

     The 2019-2020 defensive rookie of the year imposed terrific numbers for a year one pass rushing force.

Putting the former rookie’s numbers in perspective even earns more eyebrows to be raised for future expectation. J.J. Watt finished his rookie campaign with a respectable 5.5 sacks, while Khalil Mack finished with only 4 sacks during his first professional season.

A huge jump physically and mentally is expected for the young “22” year old and vastly big strides were even seen during the games down the stretch last year. According to Pro Football Focus, Nick Bosa posted an unreal 30% win rate and 12 quarterback pressures in his team’s losing effort, against the Chiefs.

Bosa, who is the younger brother of Joey came into postseason mode during the combination of all three games by posing 22 qb pressures. With steady team success moving forward by the 49ers and personal improvisations of his individual capability, expect plenty of opportunities and personal gains to be made by the young and flashy Nick Bosa. 

  1. Jimmy Garapollo 

Nick’s teammate and quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers comes into number 9 on this list.

Many people may hold a grudge against Jimmy G because his team success in the playoffs was propelled by his running game and defense, but his resume shouldn’t go unnoticed and open many people’s judgements.

Kyle Shananan is undoubtedly one of the best offensive strategists in the league, and he helped the Falcons reach Super Bowl LI. Before that year, Matt Ryan was in the shadow before Shanahan came along and through big plays by design to Julio Jones and company, he closed the MVP race to himself.

Shananan has a long history of utilizing his quarterback’s play to its fullest potential. He was the mastermind behind RG3’s rookie of the year season, which ended up collapsing after he left, and Kyle will look to create a career year for Jimmy this time around.

Having the number 1 player in the NFL by the ways of George Kittle, according to Pro Football Focus, creates many complex matches for defenses and this duo showed just how powerful they can be when they edged out the Saints abruptly 48-46 on a long pass play to Kittle in the closing moments.

Jimmy G is a quarterback that Belichick wishes he could have back and he posted very impressive numbers with a near 4,000 passing yards, 27 passing touchdowns,  for a first full season that ended up reaching the Super Bowl, and many critics fail to acknowledge that Garapollo played his first 16 games all together just last year

  1. Josh Allen

The Bills Mafia reached a respectable 10-6 regular season record last year and look to pounce off the declining momentum of the New England Patriots.

Josh Allen, who might have the strongest arm in the NFL, has exceeded expectations and improved from year 1 to year 2 in multiple facets. Josh Allen increased his completion percentage by 6% and threw single digit interceptions, compared to his rookie campaign. With 10 wins surmounted last year, it’s fairly easy to evaluate that an even higher outcome is more desirable in the 2020-2021 new year.

Josh Allen gets one of the best receivers in the NFL in Stephon Diggs who got traded from the Minnesota Vikings, to go along with Gabriel Davis who was drafted out of UCF.  It’s also worth noting by taking a look at the 6’6 frame of Josh Allen that he also has 17 career rushing touchdowns. It’s easy to forget how many ways Josh can win match ups against defenses. Josh Allen will look to utilize his huge arm strength to his new big play threats.

In addition to exonerating the potential of Josh Allen’s success, the New England Patriots who have continuously beaten the Bills in their division have appeared to have taken their biggest decline since their dynasty started with Brady. The Patriots have lost their longtime signal caller in Tom Brady, and a number of key defenders such as Jamie Collins and Duron Harmon left in Free Agency to Detroit, who’s head coach used to be a defensive coordinator for the Patriots.

It doesn’t look good this year for the Patriots who just lost in the Wild Card in glorious fashion against the Titans. The division may finally be up for grabs and more wins may be in order for the Buffalo Bills who came 2nd in the division last season and the upward trending Josh Allen as the right position picked out in quarterback and pieces built around him to be a serious dark horse for NFL MVP.

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