Only two more weeks to go in the NFL season! That means we’re one step closer to crowning the NFL MVP. Last week I cut my list from five to three candidates. This week remains at three, but there is some movement among the top three NFL MVP candidates. Let’s find out who’s leading the MVP race after Week 15!
1. QB Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Last week’s game against the Chargers wasn’t the typical game we’ve seen from Patrick Mahomes. He had his lowest passing yardage of the season (243) and only threw two TDs. His team also lost the game to the Chargers 29-28. Despite those negatives, Patrick Mahomes did have some positives against the Chargers.
For starters, he helped the Chiefs build a 14 point lead in the fourth quarter. On his way to leading the Chiefs to 28 points, Mahomes had some incredible throws! It was like the Chargers weren’t able to bring him down. The pressure of having a guy about to wreck him didn’t seem to impact his throws. I was amazed by some of the throws I saw him make. Mahomes also had a passer rating of 110.3 against the Chargers.
Despite losing and dropping to 11-3, Mahomes still has the Chiefs as the best team in the AFC and in position to have home field advantage in the playoffs. He also leads the NFL in passing yards and TD passes. Even if the Chiefs don’t get the number one seed in the AFC, Mahomes will still be the favorite for MVP. He’s number one in my top three NFL MVP rankings again this week, and he’ll likely stay here.
2. QB Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers
Philip Rivers was already in my top three NFL MVP rankings last week, but this week he’s making his highest appearance in my rankings. I’ve had Rivers on my MVP radar for most of the season, but he’s had a very quiet MVP campaign. That is until he helped lead the Chargers to an incredible comeback win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Rivers and the Chargers were down by 14 with about five minutes left in the game. Rivers drove them down the field for a TD, the defense got a stop, and then Rivers drove down the field again to help the Chargers score a TD.
What I loved most about this last drive from Rivers, is the fact that he immediately held up two fingers after they scored a TD to signal they were going for two. Not sure if it was his idea, but I loved it regardless. There was not going to be OT in this game. It was win or lose.
Rivers didn’t have the best overall game against the Chiefs, as he threw two INTs and had a passer rating of 89.0. Believe it or not, that was actually his worst passer rating of the season, but he played at an elite level when the game was on the line. This win put the Chargers at 11-3, which is now tied for the best record in the AFC with the Chiefs. The Chiefs are still leading the AFC West, but Rivers is doing everything he can to get the Chargers that AFC West crown and a first-round bye.
3. QB Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees ranked second last week, but now ranks third in my top three NFL MVP rankings after another dull performance. Ever since that loss to the Cowboys, Drew Brees hasn’t been putting up MVP numbers. The Saints are still winning, but Drew Brees has created a lot of separation between himself and Patrick Mahomes. That’s not in a good way for Brees.
Just four weeks ago, Brees had only thrown one INT all season long. Four weeks later, Brees has five INTs on the season. That’s still not a ton of INTs, but he’s thrown an INT in four straight games. Over the last three games, Brees has thrown two TDs to three INTs. His passer rating over those three games has been an average of 77.2. It’s like Drew Brees hit a wall all of a sudden and hasn’t been able to recover yet.
Despite his lack of MVP level play over the last three weeks, Brees did enough earlier in the season to not be passed up by anyone else. I don’t see anyone really being in MVP consideration other than the three guys I have on this list. Brees will still be in consideration for MVP this season, but I think the last few weeks may have made the MVP decision a lot easier. Brees has to find that MVP level play again before the Saints hit the playoffs.