Debating who is the National Football League’s top MVP candidate is the most often discussed topic that occurs during the regular season. We all know that the obvious choice to lead the pack will be Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Without question, his body of work on the field merits his name being repeatedly brought up in usual conversations. Today, the NFL on Strike 7 Sports list five players outside of the realm of Mahomes that could challenge him to become this year’s Most Valuable Player.
1. Josh Allen: QB, Buffalo Bills
After being a questionable prospect coming out of the University of Wyoming in 2018, Josh Allen has developed into one of the league’s best talents at quarterback. With Allen under center, the Bills have entered the postseason in two of the past three seasons.
In 2020, Allen finished fifth in the NFL with 4,544 yards passing, fifth in QBR 107.2, and 37 touchdown passes. With the supporting cast from last season returning and Emmanuel Sanders’s addition, you can expect Allen to pick up where he left off in 2020. He leads off our list as the top MVP candidate not named Patrick Mahomes.
2. Russell Wilson: QB, Seattle Seahawks
Will 2021 be the year that Russell Wilson’s name be recognized as a finalist for league MVP? The ten-year veteran has never received a vote for the award despite the numbers that he has put up over the past few seasons. Many factors, such as other quarterbacks simply having better stats combined with the teams being head and shoulders better than Seattle.
The NFC West will be a complex division to win in 2021. However, if Wilson can somehow guide Seattle to winning the West and go on a deep playoff run, then he should be a slam dunk to win the award for the first time.
3. Matthew Stafford: QB, Los Angeles Rams
After 12 seasons with the Detroit Lions, the organization and quarterback Matthew Stafford decided to mutually part ways. Stafford will have a fresh start with the Los Angeles Rams. For once, he will be a part of an organization that has stability. Los Angeles has been a part of the playoff discussion for the past four seasons. Working with Sean McVay as his head coach will give him the best opportunity to become a part of the MVP conversation.
4. Derrick Henry: RB, Tennessee Titans
Where would the Tennessee Titans be without the presence of Derrick Henry? Probably not in the upper echelon of successful NFL franchises at the moment. The 2015 Heisman Trophy winner achieved numerous accolades since joining the league in 2016. Henry has won the league rushing title for two straight seasons.
As for rushing champion, Henry became the eighth person to join the league’s prestigious 2,000-yard club during his second year as rushing champion. Like Russell Wilson, if Henry has another dominant campaign combined with a deep postseason run, it won’t be easy not to include his name as a front-runner to win the league’s MVP award.
5. Alvin Kamara: RB, New Orleans Saints
Saints running back Alvin Kamara closes out our list of the top five MVP candidates not named Patrick Mahomes for the 2021 season. After coming off a subpar season in 2019 due to battling injuries, Kamara bounced back in 2020 with his best season ever in New Orleans. He accumulated a total of 1,688 all-purpose yards and a total of 21 touchdown scores.
If it weren’t for a positive COVID-19 test that occurred towards the end of the season, Kamara would have had his first-ever 1,000-yard season. With Drew Brees no longer in the fold, Kamara’s role on the team will be expanded.
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Russell Wilson photo courtesy of Joshua Bessex.