We’ve made it past Week 8 of the NFL! That means we’re half way through the season, kind of. The bye week screws up the half way point a little bit, so we’ll just say we’re half way. Which players have had the best performances to this point in the season? Let’s find out who my top five NFL MVP candidates are after Week 8.
1. QB Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Mahomes became the first QB since Peyton Manning in 2004 to throw 4 TD passes in three straight games. He continues to put up huge numbers in addition to leading one of the best teams in the NFL. After Week 8, Mahomes is leading the NFL in TD passes and passing yards. He also remains in the top five in QB rating. I’d say he’s got the best overall QB stats in the league right now. He also leads one of the best teams in the NFL, which is a great combo for NFL MVP.
2. RB Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams
Todd Gurley remains the number one reason why the Rams are undefeated in my book. He continued his streak of having a TD in every game this season. He rushed for 114 yards and had 6 receptions for 81 yards and a TD against the Packers. Gurley was actually the leading receiver for the Rams in that game.
Because of the bye week for RB Ezekiel Elliott, Gurley is now crushing his competition in rushing yards. Gurley has 800 rushing yards on the season. Elliott has 619 yards. Elliott will likely catch up when Gurley has his bye week, but he probably won’t be able to catch Gurley. Gurley is crushing it every game, so he remains a top NFL MVP candidate.
Not only does Gurley lead the NFL in rushing, but he also leads the NFL in scrimmage yards. After pointing out the numbers he’s on pace for last week, I thought to myself, “Why is Gurley ranked number four with those numbers”? Gurley is the best player on the best team, so I moved him up the NFL MVP list, right behind Mahomes.
3. QB Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees threw his first INT of the season against the Vikings. Not throwing an INT until Week 8 is pretty dang good. In addition to his INT, Brees only threw for 120 yards. Not a great game for Brees, but it wasn’t bad. Even though he didn’t put up big TD or passing yard numbers, Brees did complete 78% of his passes, which is better than what he’s consistently done all season.
Brees did move down the list, but he remains the second ranked QB for me. Mahomes has 12 more passing TDs than Brees, so he may have some catching up to do to move ahead of him on the NFL MVP list. If he does pass Mahomes, he’ll still have Todd Gurley to surpass. That’s quite the challenge.
4. QB Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Tom Brady led his team to another win by beating the Bills 25-6. Brady didn’t throw any TDs, but he threw for 324 yards and didn’t throw any INTs. Brady now has the Patriots at 6-2, which is pretty much where we all expected them to be at this point in the season, even if we did think their slow start might be the end of the Brady era. As long as the Patriots are winning, Tom Brady will be an NFL MVP candidate.
5. QB Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers
Rivers didn’t play this past week because of a bye. I don’t like knocking someone down the NFL MVP list for having a bye week, so I kept Rivers at number five. I was going to put Aaron Rodgers in this spot if he led the Packers to a win over the Rams, but we all know how that turned out. Rivers didn’t play last week, but he’s having a great season so far. I’m guessing that will continue throughout the rest of this year. Rivers should continue to be an NFL MVP candidate as he returns to action.
Did I leave one of your top NFL MVP candidates off the list? Comment below who you think deserves more love for NFL MVP!