Who is in the running to win MVP for the 2022 Super Bowl LVI? Odds and predictions
Super Bowl LVI is here and with that we take a look at the candidates for the Super Bowl MVP award, as well as their performances and odds of winning.
With the Super Bowl upon us, the speculation and fervor is naturally centered on who will win the game, but there is also another question on everybody's mind and that's 'Who will win the Super Bowl MVP award?'
QBs are normally the MVP, but could we have a surprise?
Looking at the history of Super Bowl MVPs it doesn't take long to realize that list favors quarterbacks, indeed in the last 12 Super Bowls, a passer took home the trophy and a new car nine times. When looking at Sundays matchup between the Bengals Joe Burrow and the Rams' Matthew Stafford, it wouldn't be a surprise if that's the case once again. That being said, surprises can happen. Julian Edelman earned MVP honors in Super Bowl LIII and a linebacker took home the trophy in Super Bowl XLVIII. As we consider that and the fact that there are some top quality players on side, could we see a scenario where the likes of Aaron Donald, Cooper Kupp, Ja’Marr Chase or someone else could give us the unexpected? Let's take a look at the players who should be considered candidates for the MVP award along with their odds of winning it:
Aaron Donald, defensive tackle, Los Angeles Rams - Odds: +1200
As mentioned before, it's not typical to see a defensive player take home MVP honors in the Super Bowl, which of course is connected to the idea that Donald has the third highest Super Bowl MVP odds. Make no mistake though, Donald is the real deal. As one of the best pass rushers in NFL history, the Rams main defensive threat is already guaranteed a spot in the Hall of Fame regardless of how things pan out on Sunday. With Cincinnati finishing the regular season with the third-worst pass block win rate (49%), one has to wonder if this isn't a game tailor made for someone like Donald. At present the record for most sacks in a Super Bowl is 3. Should Donald get going, it's quite possible that we could see a new record as well as a not so typical recipient of the award.
Joe Burrow, Quarterback, Cincinnati Bengals - Odds: +225
If there is one thing that Joe Burrow has made a habit, it's winning the Most Valuable Player award in a championship game. The young QB earned MVP honors in the 2019 SEC Championship Game, 2019 Fiesta Bowl and 2019 National Championship Game. That's to say that the 25-year-old is at home on the on the biggest stage, such that he is without doubt one of the favorites to win MVP in Super Bowl LVI. This isn't hype either as Burrow has essentially carried the Bengals to their first Super Bowl in 33 years. Should they win it all, it will likely be as a result of Burrow's arm. The Bengals have - statistically speaking - one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL, which as one can imagine doesn't bode well against a ruthless defense like that of the Rams. Yet the Rams will be weary of Burrow finding the likes of Chase, Higgins and Boyd because if he does that, he will surely make them pay.
Matthew Stafford, Quarterback, Los Angeles Rams - Odds: +140
Fan or not, the Los Angeles Rams are the favorites to win Super Bowl LVI, so it's logical to assume that their quarterback is a shoe in candidate for the MVP award. Yet for some that might seem like quite a lot to take in when considering where Stafford was just one year ago. Plying his trade with the bottom of the barrel Detroit Lions, Stafford was on the hunt for a new team and after briefly considering the Colts, the QB found his way to the Rams. We know the rest of the story from there. While it's not likely that we're going to witness a monumental Super Bowl performance from Stafford, should he put up 250+ yards and a few touchdowns - in a victory - that would likely get him the award.
Ja’Marr Chase, Wide Receiver, Cincinnati Bengals - Odds: +1600
Wide receivers often have a peculiar puzzle to fix, which is that whenever they perform brilliantly in a Super Bowl, it's normally on the back of a similarly brilliant performance by their QB, meaning their passer gets the honors. That, however, is a conversation in which Chase is not mentioned. The rookie wide receiver has been quite simply sensational this season. Having delivered two 200-yard performances in the regular season and later two games in which he went over 120 yards, the pass catcher knows his stuff. While the aforementioned irony is still in play, if Burrow should turn over the ball once, but the Bengals still win, Chase could just have a chance at the individual award. Its also worth noting that Chase has history on his side, in that since 1976, seven wide receivers have won the Super Bowl MVP.
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Cooper Kupp, Wide Receiver, Los Angeles Rams - Odds: +600
After considering the QBs of either team, Kupp's name has to be next in line. A favorite target for Stafford - why wouldn't he be? - Kupp has been in record breaking form this season. The Rams’ No. 1 receiver has lead his peers in nearly every major category. There have been 145 receptions (1st in NFL), 1,947 receiving yards and 89 first downs, all of which were on a league-high 191 targets. To add further context to a scenario in which Kupp takes the award, the Bengals quite simply don't have anyone who can match up with him in coverage. It's almost a sure bet that Kupp will finish with a minimum of 8 catches and 100-plus receiving yards. The question at that point becomes: 'What's the maximum?'
Von Miller, Edge Rusher, Los Angeles Rams - Odds: +4000
Having already won an MVP award in the big game courtesy of a massive performance in Super Bowl 50 - 2.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles - Von Miller knows exactly what it takes to separate himself from the pack come game day. The Rams' edge rusher is the first defensive player to win multiple Super Bowl MVPs. With Cincinnati more than likely set to focus on Donald, Miller will already be starting out with a higher degree of freedom. Should he replicate what he did a few years back, expect him to be in with a shout.