The NFL MVP race is on. You have names like Drew Brees and Patrick Mahomes being mentioned. You even have a defensive player in Aaron Donald garnering some attention. Another name has been thrown in the hat as well and that’s Los Angles Rams running back Todd Gurley.
The versatile running back out of the University of Georgia has been spectacular this season and many feel he is the engine behind the Rams’ offense. The Rams are currently 10-1 and on their way to their most successful seasons in franchise history. With more attention being garnered by the team, Gurley will get more attention because of hit. However, the talk of Todd Gurley being the NFL MVP is just talk. He will not win the NFL MVP this season.
Currently, Gurley is leading the NFL in rushing with 1,043 yards. He also has 441 yards receiving. If he stays on this pace, he will have over 1,500 yards rushing and over 600 yards receiving. If he achieves those numbers, Todd Gurley will have had his best season rushing in his young career along with him more than likely having a career-high in touchdowns this year.
Even with all those great numbers for Gurley, he will not come close to being the MVP. With running backs, you have to have an extremely special season to get a MVP award. And even with a special season, there is still no guarantee a running back will get the NFL MVP award. Just to give you a few examples, let’s take a look at the last two 2,000 yard rushers in the NFL.
In 2012, then Vikings running back Adrian Peterson had a special season, rushing for 2,097 yards in a season. He not only got the NFL MVP award, but he got the Offensive Player of the Year award as well. What makes that season even more incredible is this was his first season back after tearing his ACL and MCL. While Peterson was able to achieve over 2,000 yards while leading his team to the playoffs, which undoubtedly helped his MVP campaign, Titans’ running back Chris Johnson was not so fortunate.
In his 2009 campaign, Johnson rushed for 2,006 yards, and set the NFL record for yards from scrimmage in a season with 2,509 yards. However, his team did not have as much success as he did, finishing 8-8 and missing the playoffs. Johnson got NFL Offensive Player of the Year, but he did not win the MVP that season. So as you can see, a special season does not guarantee the MVP trophy no matter how well you do as a running back.
Along with Todd Gurley not having a special season in terms of running back stats, the NFL now is a quarterback league unfortunately for him. A lot of the rules cater to the quarterback position, and as a result, there are quarterbacks putting up big time numbers this season.
Drew Brees currently is on pace to having the most efficient season in his career, completing over 76% of his passes. And with 29 touchdowns and only two interceptions, Brees is being touted for the MVP award already based on what he’s doing. Those kind of stats are unheard of and because of those stats and the success of the Saints this season, he will be touted for the MVP award more than Gurley will.
The Rams’ success also will be a hindrance of Gurley winning the MVP. While many will say the success of the Rams is due to Gurley, there are some who think Rams’ quarterback Jared Goff is the reason for their success. The third-year quarterback has thrown 26 touchdown passes and only has six interceptions along with completing 67.7% of his passes. Those numbers through eleven games are impressive and with him garnering MVP votes, it means Gurley will get even less votes because both will split votes between each other, making it harder for Gurley to win MVP.
While Gurley is having another great season, the chances of him winning MVP are not very good. His numbers are great but not special, he isn’t a quarterback and he will probably split some votes with the quarterback on his team. He is a special player, but he will have to be even better if he ever wants to be a NFL MVP.