Published December 19, 2018
By William Whisler
With two weeks left in the NFL regular season, the race for the league’s most prestigious award is heating up. Numerous players have had spectacular seasons in what has been a rebirth of offense in 2018, but only a select few are worthy of the NFL’s MVP Award.
Here are my five nominees for MVP.
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
All Patrick Mahomes has done in his first season thus far as a starting quarterback in the NFL is be five touchdowns short of becoming the third quarterback in league history to throw 50 or more touchdown passes in a season.
Mahomes has impressed with his extraordinary ability to extend plays, make no-look passes — he even completed a pass with his left hand — Mahomes’ 2018 season is nothing short of impressive.
Mahomes has turned Kansas City into an offensive powerhouse under head coach Andy Reid. Kansas City is one-point shy of breaking the 500-point mark this season and will become just the 18th offense in NFL history to score 500 points in a season dating back to 1990, per sportingcharts.com. The Texas A&M product has thrown for 4,543 yards, 45 TDs and 11 INTs.
Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams
The Rams have been one of the best teams in the NFL this season and Todd Gurley has played a big part in that success. The all-pro back finds himself second in the NFL with 1,251 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns.
The discussion between who the league’s best running back is between Le’Veon Bell and Gurley has slowed this season with Bell’s absence and Gurley’s dominance. It is no secret that the Rams are at their best when Gurley is producing at the highest level.
Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
There is not much left to say about Drew Brees and what he has accomplished in his NFL career. Earlier this season in a Monday Night Football game, Brees broke Peyton Manning’s all-time passing yard record, Brees is second all-time in passing touchdowns and has won a Super Bowl.
Brees has the Saints as the best team in the NFC — possibly the NFL — and has been incredible this season with a 31-5 touchdown to interception ratio this year. Brees has thrown for 3,666 yards as well.
Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts
Looking at the numbers Andrew Luck is not the sexy pick for MVP this season, but in terms of how valuable a player is, there isn’t a player much more valuable than Luck.
Last year, the Colts went 4-12 and were one of the worst teams in the league. Now, Indianapolis is in the thick of the AFC Wild Card picture with two games left to play. Luck takes the Colts, much like Peyton Manning has in the past, to a next level when he is healthy.
Luck’s 3,951 passing yards and 34 touchdowns are nothing to sneeze at either.
Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants
Despite playing for a bad team, Saquon Barkley has had perhaps the best rookie season by a running back in recent memory. Barkley has rushed for 1,155 yards (third most) and nine touchdowns (fifth most). Equally as impressive, Barkley has caught 82 passes for 654 yards and four more scores.
Barkley, perhaps the best player to come out of Penn State, has easily transitioned to the NFL and is one of the best players. Barkley has no chance at MVP however, as the Giants are a poor 5-9.
My Pick: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
Without a doubt, I think Mahomes is the front-runner for MVP. His numbers are unbelievable, and he has been the best player on the best offense in the league. Mahomes will probably not break Manning’s NFL record 55 touchdown passes. He almost certainly won’t get his free ketchup for life from Heinz Ketchup if he is able to reach 57 touchdown passes, but he should be the league’s MVP in 2018.
William Whisler is a columnist for PennSports.LIVE, as well as a 2018 graduate of Shippensburg University. Whisler served for three years as the sports editor of Shippensburg University’s student-run newspaper, The Slate, where he specialized as the beat writer for SU football and the SU men’s basketball team. Whisler has written for multiple publications including the Lewistown Sentinel, the Shippensburg News-Chronicle and The Gettysburg Times. Whisler is currently pursuing a master’s degree in communication studies at Shippensburg.