Week 11 of NFL football is over, as teams prepare to finish out the back stretch of the season. With playoff implications beginning to find their place in weekly story lines, the debate on who will line up with the league's most valuable player (MVP) at the end of the season has gained attention.
Heading into the season, there was no question Patrick Mahomes was the favorite to take home the award for the second straight year. However, injuries to Mahomes have likely ended his chances at bringing home the hardware.
With six weeks left in the NFL season, it appears there is a three-headed monster when it comes to the MVP race. This monster is made up by two dual threat quarterbacks in Russell Wilson and Lamar Jackson, along with the insanely athletic and dynamic pass-catching running back in Christian McCaffrey.
Wilson is arguably having the best season of his career. Heading into Week 12, Wilson is tied for first in passing touchdowns with 23. He is fourth in passing yards all while only having thrown two interceptions. The Seahawks also sit at 8-2, in the same division as the red hot San Francisco 49ers.
McCaffrey has rushed for close to 1,000 yards already this season and has made the trip to the end zone 11 times — he is tied for first in the league. In addition, McCaffrey has taken great care of the ball for the Carolina Panthers, only fumbling twice this season.
Jackson has continued to prove fans wrong with his unorthodox style. The Baltimore Ravens quarterback is tied at 11th in the league for rushing at 702 yards. Furthermore, he has thrown for over 2,000 yards, along with 15 touchdowns, helping the Ravens sit atop the AFC North division.
“Right now I would give the MVP to Christian McCaffrey. Even though the Carolina Panthers are not top in their division, McCaffrey has done it all for them and put the team on his back,” said sophomore Nicholas Zwerle.
“Even though Lamar did beat the Patriots and Wilson did just go in San Francisco and beat the 49ers, McCaffrey has just been a one man show and deserves this award greatly."
However, with plenty of time left, Zwerle sees the odds shifting in others' favors.
“Ultimately, after the end of the season I believe that Lamar Jackson will walk away with the trophy. Through his first 16 career games he has rushed for more yards than LaDainian Tomlinson did in his first 16 games in the NFL. That just shows that Lamar has the potential to be a Hall of Famer,” Zwerle said.
The same type of thought pattern continued with other NFL fans. When asked who the front runner for the award is right now, senior Justin Fernandes shared his perspective.
“Lamar because they will win the AFC North and he has been the most dynamic QB this season with his running and play making abilities," Fernandes said.
It will definitely be exciting to see how the last six weeks of the season play out. Not only will it be interesting for playoff positioning, but for the players who are trying to add “NFL MVP” onto the accomplishments section of their resumes.