NFL MVP Contenders 2021
Tom Brady lost the top status after being shut out, bumping Aaron Rodgers up as the strongest candidate going into the last week of the regular season.
Number one contender: Aaron Rodgers
352-for-513 (68.6%), 3,977 yards, 35 TD, 4 INT
Aaron Rodgers is no doubt the top candidate for NFL MVP in 2021. He is the quarterback for one of the best teams in the NFL currently. He is obviously of value to Green Bay, as they sit at 13-2 with him in at quarterback and without him, Matt LaFleur and the Packers look like a whole different team, and not in a good way. Of the 48 touchdowns the Packers have scored this season, Rodgers scored 35 of them and ran in three of them. In 15 games, he has completed 68.6% of his passes for 3,977 yards, thrown just four interceptions and has 94 yards on the ground.
Rodgers won the title last year in 2020, which was the third time in his career (2011, 2014). If he wins it again this year, he would be just the fifth player in NFL history to win it two years in a row. Despite the drama off the field that he’s stirred up this year, Rodgers is still the top dog.
Who else is in contention for MVP?
Number two contender: Tom Brady
456-for-682 (66.9%), 4,990 yards, 40 TD, 12 INT
Tom Brady was the top contender until he was shut out for just the third time in his career in week 15 by the New Orleans Saints. He is still a contender behind Rodgers despite that though. He is coming off his seventh Super Bowl title and fifth Super Bowl MVP award and at the end of the season, will have another 5,000 plus yards to his name. However, to compete with Rodgers, he’s going to need a monster game and with Antonio Brown cut, and Chris Godwin and Mike Evans out this week, it’s unlikely he’ll gain much on Rodgers.
Number three contender: Joe Burrow
366-for-520 (70.4%), 4,611 yards, 34 TD, 14 INT
Joe Burrow is suddenly a contender after his last few games. In week 16, he threw for 525 yards and four touchdowns against the Ravens. Then, in week 17, he threw for 446 yards and four touchdowns against the Chiefs and that win gave them the AFC North title. Being up against Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady doesn’t fare well for Burrow, but 971 yards and eight touchdown passes in two games is wild and it’s keeping him in the hunt. It puts him at fifth in passing yards in the league and sixth in touchdown passes and he leads the league in yards per pass attempt. He made up a lot of ground in just two games and he has been a huge asset to a team that was expected to be one of the worst in their division going into the season.
Number four contender: Jonathan Taylor
317 carries, 1,734 yards, 18 TD, 342 receiving yards, 2 TD
It’s not so typical to see a running back in the running for MVP in the NFL, but Indianapolis Colts RB Jonathan Taylor deserves the consideration. He has run for 1,085 yards and 12 touchdowns in eight weeks, with over 100 yards in seven of those games. However, after coming off a huge win over the Patriots in which he had 170 rushing yards and a 67-yard touchdown, he didn’t have the huge game he needed in week 17 and the Colts lost to the Raiders, which put their chances of making the playoffs in jeopardy, and his chances at MVP (albeit already low) in the garbage.
Number five contender: Cooper Kupp
138 receptions, 1,829 yards, 15 TD
It’s hard for anyone who isn’t a quarterback to win the NFL MVP award. If we thought winning it as a running back was difficult, it’s even harder for a wide receiver. Yet, here sits Cooper Kupp as the number five contender. Will he win? No, he will not, but the fact he’s in contention says a lot. He leads the league in receptions, yards, and touchdown catches and could break the record for single-season receptions. In week 18, the Rams will play the 49ers. In their last matchup, Kupp had 11 catches for 123 yards. This game will determine whether the 49ers go to the playoffs or not and could give the Rams a shot at the number two seed in the playoffs. As for Kupp, it would be hard for him to win an individual award when his success is so closely linked to Matt Stafford’s, but at least he will see and has seen some great successes.
Who votes for the NFL MVP?
The NFL MVP is determined by 50 different voters chosen by the Associated Press. Usually they are people who work in the media within the NFL and follow football closely. The voters will cast a single vote, so each one holds a lot of weight. The votes will be cast after week 18 and results will be announced the day before the Super Bowl.
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