Cooper Kupp deserves to be the MVP favorite: here’s why

Rams WR Cooper Kupp should be the MVP favorite

By: Jake Rajala

The NFL MVP race is coming to a close as the end of the 2021 – 2022 regular season approaches. There are a string of quarterbacks who currently make a serious case for the most valuable player award. Signal callers like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Matthew Stafford have ousted career (or near career) seasons of production. 

There have also been a few non-QB players pushing for robust MVP consideration. Playmakers like Cooper Kupp (WR) and Jonathan Taylor (RB) have been praised as MVP favorites by a plethora of outlets. Still, there is one honest and clear aspect regarding the MVP race: there is not a consensus favorite. 

With that being said, I believe the leader of the pack is very clear in my point of view. My highlighted player has really been the most dominant this year, yet he garners an unpopular amount of MVP hype. This profile I’m referring to is none other than Rams WR Cooper Kupp. 

Here is why Kupp stands as the MVP favorite and why I foresee the wideout as the ultimate MVP winner.

  • Let’s compare Kupp and Michael Thomas

Is Cooper Kupp the most talented WR in the NFL? The answer is: who cares. Cooper Kupp can be referred to as Wes Welker, or “Wes Welker on steroids”. Nonetheless, Kupp is an elite wideout & he’s showing dominance in many areas of the receiving game. 

Michael Thomas wasn’t talked about as the clear-cut best wideout in football when he won Offensive Player of The Year in 2019. Matter, in fact, Thomas wasn’t even ranked as a Top 3 wideout by countless sources. Yet, Thomas showed off his drive, talent, and consistency

As widely enunciated, Thomas was the second WR ever to win OPOY in 2019 (Jerry Rice being the other). The Saints WR famously broke the single-season reception record with 149 grabs. The reason that Kupp should feel so optimistic is that he’s dominating in the reception category AND numerous other categories. Kupp is nearly on pace to be close to breaking the glorious 16 game reception record claimed by MT – as Kupp is projected to grab 139 catches in a 16 game span. 

We know Kupp could break the very impressive reception record held by Thomas, who played with Drew Brees and Sean Payton. Well, Kupp could do more than be prolific in the reception tallies. The Rams WR could also break the receiving yards record. Kupp could surely be on the verge of breaking Calvin Johnson’s receiving yard record, who holds the impressive record with 1,964 yards. The fifth year pro is on schedule to pick up on astronomical 1,857 receiving yards after 16 contests.

With this being exonerated, Kupp has a very comforting outlook for the remainder of the season, as well. In two out of the next three games, LA plays the Vikings 29th ranked pass defense and the 31st ranked Baltimore pass defense unit. Most importantly, count on McVay getting Kupp to be his second toy to win a league award.

Todd Gurley won OPOY in 2017.

  • Tom Brady’s 9-0 defeat in Week 15 

One of the most underrated factors of Kupp’s recognition for the award has to be QB Tom Brady’s recent showcase of failure. It’s no surprise that Brady is an MVP candidate, especially because he “plays the QB position”. Although, I do believe that the combination of stats and position still deserves to make Brady take a backseat after a historically low single-game performance in Week 15. 

It’s straight-up silly that analysts and people will point out how Brady’s supporting cast was crippled in the game. For one, TB12 didn’t put up a single point for one and a half quarters when they were healthy. Also, Brady decided to run and then fumble the football when the Bucs were in field goal position. Towards the end of the game, Brady made an overaggressive throw while he was on the run, which resulted in a pivotal interception. 

An underappreciated, sad reason for the “GOAT”’s struggles also lies with the fact that the Bucs controlled the time of possession in ¾ quarters against the Taysom Hill, non-Sean Payton-led, abysmal team. The Saints defense had very little rest and Brady still failed to complete a successful, well-balanced drive to put a mere three points. 

  • Jonathan Taylor is a step behind MVP worthy 

I confidently believe that Kupp, Brady, and Taylor are the top 3 favorites for the MVP award. Of course, I feel that Kupp has the upper hand over Brady. I feel that the Buccaneers QB, who still has godly numbers, realistically deserves to come in after the Rams very elite playmaker. With that being said, let’s talk about the semi-late blossomer in Jonathan Taylor.

The Colts RB Jonathan Taylor has helped his team win eight out of their past ten games and he’s been a fantasy football machine. Still, I don’t believe Taylor will do enough to steal the award from a QB or upend the trophy over a historically talented player at a non QB position (hence Cooper Kupp). It doesn’t appear that Taylor, who has 17 rushing touchdowns after 16 weeks, will come close to breaking the single-season rushing touchdown record held by LaDainian Tomlinson (26).

The Colts halfback has been undeniably efficient as he’s been Top 3 in YPC throughout the vast majority of the season. Taylor’s downfall might be that he hasn’t been fed the ball enough. Taylor has still been unearthly impressive with his TD count and all-purpose yard count, but it also seems all but impossible for him to join the 2k (or 1,800) rushing yard mark in a 16 game span (1,626). The sure-fire All-Pro RB has been the top at his position and a gifted player, but it will require a lot of highlights in the next two games for JT to be a top two, or clear-cut favorite for the award.

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