MVP stock watch: It’s Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers & then everyone else


We’re five weeks into the NFL season and the MVP race has a clear-cut top two. Now, does that mean things can’t change? Of course not. The season is still very young. But these rankings are strictly based on what has been accomplished by each player so far, not what might happen next.

With that, here’s how things stand right now.

Names to monitor:

-- Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens

Jackson staying on the radar is more about the Ravens being such a good football team rather than Jackson having an MVP season statistically. He’s averaging just 189.8 yards per game, 47.6 rushing yards and has just 10 total touchdowns. By comparison Jackson averaged 80.4 rushing yards per game during his MVP campaign in 2019.

-- Ryan Tannehill, QB, Titans

Last year’s Comeback Player of the Year continues to be one of the most efficient quarterbacks in football. He’s averaging 251.0 yards per game and has thrown just one interception through four games. Tannehill has 10 total touchdowns, four of which came during Tuesday night’s beatdown of the Bills. We will have to start taking Tannehill’s MVP candidacy seriously if the Titans keep winning and those at the top of this list falter.

4. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs

Make no mistake, Mahomes is having a fantastic season. It just hasn’t lived up to the lofty bar he’s set for himself in past seasons. He threw a pick-six in the fourth quarter of the Chiefs loss to the Raiders. Las Vegas also shut out the Chiefs for most of the second half as well. Mahomes has now arguably been outplayed by Justin Herbert and Derek Carr in their respective matchups this season.


3. Josh Allen, QB, Bills

Tuesday night was horrid for Buffalo’s entire roster. It’s not Allen’s fault that Buffalo couldn’t stop the Titans offense, but the third-year QB still had his worst game of the season. He threw an ugly second-half interception and couldn’t find a way to keep the Bills from getting routed in the second half. Still, it was just one blip against a very good team. Allen will have plenty of time to make up for his forgettable performance in Week 5.

2. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers

Rodgers was idle in Week 5 as Green Bay enjoyed an early bye week. Allen and Mahomes’ subpar performances ensured Rodgers would keep his spot on this list. Torching the Buccaneers in Week 6 with Russell Wilson on his bye could vault Rodgers above the Seahawks quarterback. Regardless, the top two here will need to stumble in order for others to catch up. Rodgers has 13 touchdown passes through four games, he’s yet to turn the ball over and he leads the league with a 93.2 QBR.

1. Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks

It’s crazy how much things can change in a matter of minutes. An ugly fourth quarter interception against the Vikings seemed destined to torpedo Wilson’s early-season MVP case. It was an uncharacteristically bad decision from Wilson that came with the Seahawks trailing, 26-21. Seattle’s defense saved the day and gave Wilson another shot to be the hero after a clutch fourth-down stop against Vikings running back Alexander Mattison.

Wilson took advantage with plenty of help from DK Metcalf. The two connected for 39 yards to convert on 4th-and-10 and then capped the drive with a game-winning 6-yard touchdown on 4th-and-goal. Wilson went from being the primary reason why Seattle lost its first game of the season to adding another epic comeback win to his resume. He still leads the NFL with 19 touchdown passes and a 129.8 passer rating.