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NFL MVP

3 top candidates for 2020 NFL MVP a quarter of the way through the season, ranked

We are officially done with Week 4 of the NFL season. This is a season like one we have never seen before so it is taking some time to get things right early on. With teams having played a quarter of their games, the league is beginning to take shape. This is true of individual players as well, and the NFL MVP award is one that has a few candidates every year.

There are a handful of players who receive votes, unless it is given out unanimously like it was in 2019 with Lamar Jackson winning. This season, there have been some big-name quarterbacks that have made an early-season bid for the league’s MVP award. Here we will take a look at the top three candidates but there is one honorable mention before we get started.

Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills was a dark-horse MVP candidate heading into the season. He is showing why early on. Through three games, Allen has thrown for 1,326 yards with 12 touchdowns and one interception. He has added three scores on the ground. The Bills are 4-0 and looking really good in the AFC.

As good as Allen has been, he is just a hair behind these three NFL MVP candidates.

3. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

Mahomes is off to his typical start. After becoming the highest-paid athlete ever, it does not seem like he is relaxing or taking it easy. Mahomes just goes out there and makes the game of football look easy with his calm demeanor parlayed with his exceptional arm talent and IQ of the game.

The Kansas City Chiefs are 4-0 and scoring 29.3 points per game. Mahomes has thrown for 1,134 yards with 11 touchdowns and no interceptions. He has a quarterback rating (QBR) of 87.7 through four games. The ability to play well in big games is what separates Mahomes. It began in the opener. As defending Super Bowl champs, the Chiefs hosted the first game of the NFL season and it was against the Houston Texans. Mahomes finished 24-32 for 211 yards and three touchdowns.

In Week 3 against the Baltimore Ravens, Mahomes made an early case for MVP. This was set up to be one of the best games of the year, but the Chiefs made it a laugher early on. Mahomes went 31-42 for 382 yards and four touchdowns. He added four rushes for 26 yards and a touchdown. Mahomes completely outplayed last year’s MVP in Jackson and showed that the Chiefs are still the class of the AFC.

Mahomes won NFL MVP in 2018 after throwing for over 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in his first full season as the starter in Kansas City. There is a chance that he adds his second award in three years in 2020.

2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Remember in the offseason when there were actually people out there saying No. 12 was not an elite quarterback anymore? Well whether it’s the draft pick of Jordan Love or the criticism, Rodgers is playing some of his best football to begin this season.

Rodgers has completed 70.7% of his passes while throwing for 1,214 yards and 13 touchdowns. He has yet to turn the ball over. Actually, the Packers remain the only team in the NFL who has yet to turn the ball over this season. We are entering Week 5. Rodgers is coming off a game where he lit up the Atlanta Falcons for 327 yards and four touchdowns. He got off to a hot start against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1, who were supposed to compete in the NFC. Rodgers finished 32-44 for 364 yards and four touchdowns against his rival.

Let’s remember, Rodgers is doing this with young and unproven weapons. He leads the league with a 92.8 QBR through four games. Davante Adams has missed the last two games. Allen Lazard is leading the team with 13 catches for 254 yards. Robert Tonyan leads the way with five receiving touchdowns. The Packers did not improve their wide receiving group at all in the offseason except for giving a one-year deal to Devin Funchess, who opted out of the season. Rodgers and the Packers do not miss him.

After a 13-3 season in 2019, the Packers look better this year. Matt LaFleur has his feet under him as head coach and Rodgers looks more determined than ever. That is a bad sign for the NFC. If Rodgers continues on this path, and his history says he could, then he might land another NFL MVP award.

1. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Wilson has been one of the best quarterbacks in football for quite some time now. Miraculously enough, he has never received an MVP vote in his career. Is this something that motivates him? Who knows, but he has come out with some kind of vengeance this season. The Seahawks are rolling with a 4-0 start in a very difficult NFC West division.

Wilson is currently third in the league in passing yards with 1,285. He has thrown for 300 or more yards in three out of four contests this season. He leads the league with 16 touchdown passes and has thrown two interceptions. It began with a 322-yard, four-touchdown performance in Week 1 against the Falcons. Wilson completed 31-35 passes in that one. Over the next two games, Wilson finished with five touchdowns in each with just one turnover. The individual numbers Wilson is putting up with his arm are incredible. He is not using his legs as much this season which is a smart move to take less hits. Plus Chris Carson has established himself as a true No. 1 running back.

Team success is taken into account when determining the MVP award. This is why players like Dak Prescott or Matt Ryan will not win. Wilson is leading Seattle’s offense and winning football games. The Seahawks are second in the league with 35.5 points per game. They are 4-0 with a one-game lead in the NFC West. Wilson has the Seahawks as true Super Bowl contenders.

If he continues on the path he is on, Wilson could not only get a vote but he could win the MVP award. Through four games, it is hard to argue against him as the favorite.