With the NFL regular season almost halfway done, a strong list of players have put themselves in contention for the league’s MVP honors. Of course, this season has brought us some new surprises with new players in the league excelling at a high level. At the same time, we also have the usual superstar players shattering the record books and winning our hearts every Sunday. It goes without saying that not every player can win the award so here are the top 5 players with the best chance to win the 2018 NFL MVP.
5) Khalil Mack, linebacker, Chicago Bears
Prior to being traded before the start of this season, Kahlil Mack was an All-Pro player at not one but two positions on defense. The 2016 Defensive player of the year has tied the NFL record this year with four consecutive games with a strip-sack. Mack has turned the Chicago Bears franchise around from a team barely surviving at the bottom of their division with consecutive below .500 seasons to a team with a solid defensive giving the great Aaron Rodgers all he can handle. With recent struggles from the Bears, it’s hard to say Mack will be able to stay on this list and become the first defensive player to win MVP since Lawrence Taylor in 1986.
4) Drew Brees, quarterback, New Orleans Saints
Despite his laundry list of accomplishments, Drew Brees will go down as one of the leagues most underappreciated quarterbacks because of playing in the era of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. But Brees has been holding his own every single year. The Saints improved to 5-1 riding on a 5 game win streak where Brees is killing the record books. With the Saints win over the Ravens this past weekend, Brees threw his 500th career NFL touchdown and became one of three quarterbacks in league history to beat every 32 teams in the NFL (Peyton Manning and Brett Farve). The Super Bowl XLIV MVP looks to win his first regular season MVP by continuing his spectacular performances.
3) Phillip Rivers, quarterback, Los Angeles Chargers
It hasn’t been easy for Phillip Rivers, especially for a quarterback to be so talented and not make it to the Super Bowl after so many years. Many don’t rank Rivers above Brees when you talk about greatest of all time mainly due to the lack of Super Bowl appearances. But Phillip Rivers is having a career year in the 2018 NFL season, in week 7 he posted a perfect passer rating of 153.8 midway through the third quarter. At the age of 36 Rivers is still a gunslinger and showing no signs of slowing down. The future Hall of Famer is looking to solidify his legacy in pursuit of his first MVP honors.
2) Todd Gurley, running back, Los Angeles Rams
The reigning Offensive Player of the Year is having another spectacular season. In this era, is it seen as impossible for a running back to win the MVP award with a pass happy league we are in. Despite this, Todd Gurley is making a strong case. In the Rams 39-10 victory on Sunday against the 49ers, he recorded 3 touchdowns bringing him to a league-high of 14 touchdowns. He has scored more touchdowns from scrimmage than 9 teams( Bills, Cardinals, Cowboys, Giants, Jaguars, Raiders, Redskins, Texans, and Titans). Gurley and the Rams are the only undefeated team in the league at 7-0, and after coming in second to Tom Brady in last years’ MVP race he knows he needs to maintain greatest to win the award.
1) Patrick Mahomes, quarterback, Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes continues to have a spectacular beginning to his NFL career. Week after week, he continues to prove that he is the real deal and a threat to opposing defenses. In his first 8 career games, Mahomes has recorded an NFL record 22 touchdowns, he is mobile in the pocket with a huge arm. Mahomes recorded his 6th straight 30-yard game this passing game this Sunday against the Bengals. If he continues with his historic performances than it will be without a doubt that he runs away with the 2018 NFL MVP award.
It will be interesting to see who comes away with this years MVP honors. With so much more football to be played the race is still wide open. Who is to say the likes of Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady won’t find a way to win the title. At this moment, we have to just wait and enjoy the rest of this amazing season.