NFL MVP Race: Who Leads The Pack Heading Into Week 10

by Alex Perl
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The play of many top NFL MVP candidates was less than that at the level expected in Week 9. From a positive COVID-19 test, to one Josh Allen being dominated by another, Week 9 was full of surprises that truly changed the scope of the NFL MVP race.

 The MVP candidate who benefited the most from Week nine was quarterback Tom Brady. The reason for his rise to the top is simple – the Buccaneers were on bye in Week 9. With that said, Brady did not play after his three turnover game against the Saints.

NFL MVP Odds

An updated look at the odds for the MVP race

Tom Brady Matthew Stafford Dak Prescott Kyler Murray Aaron Rodgers Josh Allen
+300 +500 +600 +450 +700 +400

Matthew Stafford

First up is Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford. The veteran quarterback had so far shown that he was not the issue in his 12-year tenure with the Detroit Lions.  Stafford had been playing possibly the best football of his entire career until his Week nine dud. The Rams quarterback looked rattled early on as he threw back-to-back interceptions that buried the Rams as they were defeated at home by a short-handed Tennessee Titans team.

Despite the shabby performance, Stafford still leads the league in passing. He will look to turn things around in the NFL MVP Race this Monday against a divisional rival in the San Francisco 49ers who the Rams haven’t beaten in two years.

Dak Prescott

Returning after a one game absence, Dak Prescott looked nothing short of incredible since his return from a devastating ankle injury. The Cowboys entered the contest against the Denver Broncos not only as the heavy favorites but sporting a sparkling 6-1 record.

Meanwhile, the Broncos recently traded on of their top players in Von Miller to the Rams. After starting 3-0, it looked the Broncos had thrown in the towel on their 2021 season. However, what we witnessed was a 30-16 win over one of the ‘apparent’ NFC favorites in the Cowboys. Prescott looked lethargic while completing only 48% of his passes.

It’s possible that it was the one game rust. However, after a performance like that, his MVP stock has surely dipped quite a bit.

Josh Allen

In a week full of bizarre circumstances, the play of quarterback Josh Allen is another head-scratcher. The dual-threat quarterback had one of the best chances of winning the 2021 NFL MVP race. His downfall could not have been predicted in Week 9. The Bills had one of the most favorable matchups against a Jacksonville Jaguars team entering the contest with only one win on the season.

Not only was he truly awful against one of the league’s worst, but he also was outplayed by someone of the same name. Josh Allen of the Jaguars constantly rattled the quarterback throughout the game. The Bills did not manage a single touchdown all afternoon as they fell 9-6 in the biggest upset of the week.

Allen finished the contest with a QBR of 26.0, while throwing two interceptions. His ability to gain yardage through running and passing should continue his case in the MVP race. However, after such a horrific performance, his stock like most of the top players in the race, also took a nosedive.

The Rest

I am going to bunch up quarterbacks Kyler Murray and Aaron Rodgers into one section here. The reason for this is also a simple one – both MVP candidates did not play in Week 9. Fortunately for Murray, the Arizona Cardinals were still able to pull out a victory on Sunday.

The same could not be said for the Green Bay Packers. Without Rodgers the team fell to the Kansas City Chiefs. Rodgers has become a constant target of criticism for the way that he handled the COVID-19 rules. Because of that, the Packers quarterback may have had the toughest week, which is staggering considering he did not even play in Week nine.

The NFL MVP race has been jumbled up beyond recognition, hopefully Week 10 brings us much needed clarity in a race that is by all means… wide open.

 

 

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