Just when we thought the MVP conversation had been dwindled to a four-quarterback race, a familiar name has extended that list to five. Tom Brady has been surging of late as the Buccaneers are one of the hottest teams in football right now.
Here’s where things stand for the NFL’s most prestigious individual honor through Week 7.
Names to monitor:
-- Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens
Week 7 stats: N/A (bye week)
Again, it would be a major shock for Jackson to repeat, but the reigning MVP will remain on the radar with the Ravens still sitting at 5-1 with plenty of marquee games ahead.
5. Ryan Tannehill, QB, Titans
Week 7 stats: 220 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions (vs. Steelers)
Tannehill leads the NFL in EPA/play (0.36) as he continues to be arguably the most efficient quarterback in the NFL. As I wrote last week, the way Tennessee leans on Derrick Henry and the running game does him a disservice in this conversation. Still, 1,590 yards, 16 total touchdowns and just two interceptions cannot be ignored.
4. Tom Brady, QB, Buccaneers
Week 7 stats: 368 passing yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions and one rushing score (vs. Raiders)
Brady has 16 total touchdowns and just one interception over his last five games. He has two performances with at least 350 passing yards and four touchdowns. Brady showed us last Sunday that his deep ball is still plenty potent with an absolute beauty of a long touchdown pass to Scotty Miller. Brady is surrounded by arguably the league’s best supporting cast, and the Buccaneers also own the top defense in the NFL in EPA/play (-0.12).
3. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
Week 7 stats: 283 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions (vs. Texans)
Houston had no answer for the Rodgers to Davante Adams connection last weekend. In fact, no team other than the Bucs have really been able to slow down the Packers offense. Rodgers has 17 touchdowns and no interceptions in Green Bay’s five other contests. Still, that dud against Tampa Bay with 160 yards, no touchdowns and two picks looms large. No other quarterback in the top five has laid an egg to that degree.
2. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs
Week 7 stats: 200 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions (vs. Broncos)
Mahomes didn’t need to do much against the Broncos as Kansas City dominated Denver in all facets. He has 18 total touchdowns to just one interception on the season, but he has only topped 300 yards passing on three occasions. That’s not what we typically expect from Mahomes, which mostly speaks to how complete the Chiefs are as a football team. He and Brady are the two signal callers in this conversation who benefit the most from a competent defense.
1. Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks
Week 7 stats: 388 passing yards, three touchdowns, three interceptions and 84 rushing yards (vs. Cardinals)
Wilson leads the NFL in touchdown passes (22), passer rating (119.5), ETA + CPOE (0.23) and Pro Football Focus grade (94.9). It’s pretty remarkable to think that Wilson’s “bad game” consisted of 472 total yards and three touchdowns. The trio of interceptions were costly, though, and a few of them were uncharacteristically bad decisions from Wilson. His six picks are already more then he threw all of last season.
But while Wilson’s numbers are still deserving of the top spot on this list, he becomes the undisputed leader in the clubhouse when you consider how bad Seattle’s defense has been. No other quarterback in this discussion goes into games with more pressure to put up at least 30 points. Seattle scored 34 points against the Cardinals and still somehow managed to lose. It’s hard to justify anyone else being more valuable than Wilson is to the Seahawks. Seattle is a straight up bad team without him. Instead, they’re 5-1 because of his torrid start to 2020.