(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

NFL MVP Favorites Through Week 10

Rob Joyce
November 13, 2019 - 2:54 pm

We’re down to the home stretch in the NFL, with just seven weeks left in the regular season. In the AFC there might only be three good teams, the NFC might have five of its six playoff teams already, and we’ve officially passed the torch from the old generation of quarterbacks to the new ones.

Through the first ten weeks the MVP race has one mainstay, but otherwise is loaded with new talent across the NFL. With playoff seeding on the line, who are the favorites right now to win the league’s Most Valuable Player honors?

5) Deshaun Watson:

The 24-year-old is a magician, seemingly pulling plays out of nowhere and turning them into positives for a banged-up Texans team. At 6-3 Houston has some cushion in the AFC South, Watson is tied for third in the NFL with 18 touchdown passes (compared to five interceptions) to go along with five rushing touchdowns. His stats, though, don’t tell the story of why Watson is budding into a superstar. He has the “it” factor – you see it and know that he’s a special talent.

4) Dalvin Cook:

He missed 17 of a possible 34 games (including postseason) in his first two years. Now fully healthy, Cook is making a case to be the best three-down running back in the league. The NFL’s leader in rushing yards through 10 weeks, Cook has 991 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground, while he’s caught 40 passes. The pieces were always there, and it’s coming out in a big way in 2019.

3) Christian McCaffrey:

He’s put up near-identical rushing numbers as Cook (989 yards, 11 touchdowns), but his ability in the pass game makes him the most valuable non-quarterback on the offensive side in football. Carolina’s entire offense revolves around No. 22, who has caught 48 passes for 396 yards and three scores in addition to his running prowess. He’s averaging 154 all-purpose yards per game, and even more than Cam Newton, his absence would be crippling for the Panthers.

2) Lamar Jackson:

There’s no more electrifying player in football. His 47-yard touchdown run against the Bengals will be played on loop for years, but he’s a passer, too. The second-year man had a perfect passer rating in Sunday’s win over Cincinnati, his second such performance this year. Only Ben Roethlisberger in 2007 has had multiple games with a 158.3 rating in a single-season prior to Jackson.

Though his traditional passing numbers aren’t other-worldly, he of course brings that running ability. He sits 11th in the NFL in rushing, on pace for a 1,200-yard season. Consider that he has more rushing yards than: Saquon Barkley, Alvin Kamara, Aaron Jones, James Conner, Todd Gurley, Le’Veon Bell and Devonta Freeman. There’s no one else like him in the league.

1) Russell Wilson:

Jackson is hot on the trail, but the MVP award is Wilson’s to lose. He has 23 touchdowns to two interceptions on an offense that doesn’t have a reliable offensive line or rush attack. Seattle’s entire offense essentially consists of Wilson making some sort of play with his arm or legs. He and Watson are the best improv artists in the league, but the Seahawks being 8-2 with an average supporting cast says everything you need to about Wilson and his play in 2019.