NFL MVP 2019: The Favorites to Win the Award Ranked

Patrick Mahomes is the favorite to defend his NFL MVP title this season, with Aaron Rodger, Drew Brees and Tom Brady also among the contenders.

The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback won the award last season, throwing for 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns in his second season in the NFL and his first as a starter.

The 10th overall pick of the 2017 draft became the first players in history to throw for over 5,000 yards at both college and pro level and joined Peyton Manning and Brady as the only quarterbacks to have thrown at least 50 touchdown passes in a single NFL season.

The big question this season is whether Mahomes can live up to the stratospheric standards he set last season. If Kansas City is to go one step better than it did last season and reach the Super Bowl, he will have to be.

There are reasons to be optimistic, as the Chiefs have retained the core of their offensive weapons—including Tyreek Hill, who has been cleared to play after an investigation into allegations of domestic violence.

According to Oddschecker, Mahomes is a 6/1 favorite to be named MVP this season. Since the turn of the millennium, a quarterback has won the award in all but four seasons but nobody has done so in back-to-back campaigns since Peyton Manning won it in 2008 and 2009.

Behind Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers is a 10/1 second favorite. It might be surprising considering the Green Bay Packers finished 6-9-1 last season, their worst record since 2008.

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs watches the preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers from the sidelines at Arrowhead Stadium on August 24 in Kansas City, Missouri. David Eulitt/Getty

Rodgers, however, remains one of the outstanding signal callers in the game and the upcoming seasons brings with it the mixture of expectations and trepidation typical of a new era.

Head coach Mike McCarthy is gone, replaced by Matt LaFleur and the latter's relationship with Rodgers will be key to the Packers' chances and to the quarterback's hopes of securing a third MVP crown.

Two other veteran quarterbacks are just behind Rodgers in the race for the MVP award, with Drew Brees and Tom Brady both at 12/1.

The latter continued to defy Father Time last season, piloting the New England Patriots to a sixth Super Bowl title, all of which have come with Brady under center.

Brady is a year older—he turned 42 at the beginning of August—and has lost Rob Gronkowski, one of his favorite offensive weapons.

And yet, even when both factors are taken into account it takes a certain degree of bravery to bet against Brady, the Patriots and Bill Belichick.

New England has one of the easiest schedules in the league this season and Brady loves nothing more than proving doubters wrong.

While Brady has played in nine Super Bowls, one of the greatest mysteries of modern NFL is how Brees has a solitary appearance in the national title game.

The 40-year-old threw for 3,992 yards and 32 touchdowns last season, with a career-best completion rate of 74.4 percent as the Saints went 13-3 and were one controversial call away from reaching the Super Bowl.

New Orleans has added running back Latavius Murray to its offense and expect Brees to put up big numbers again this season, as the Saints desperately look for a second Super Bowl before his window closes.

Carson Wentz and Baker Mayfield are 14/1 and 15/1 outsiders, respectively.

The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback's return from an ACL injury was a mixed bag last season, as Wentz guided the Super Bowl LII champions to a 5-6 record before being shutdown for the remainder of the season with a back injury.

Philadelphia has since signed Wentz to a four-year, $128 million contract extension with $107 million guaranteed and need him to stay healthy to make the most of what is a loaded offense.

Mayfield, meanwhile, is arguably the most intriguing bet of all. In his rookie season, the 2018 first overall pick helped the Browns to a 7-8-1 record after making his NFL debut in Week 3, their most wins in a season since 2014.

In the offseason, the Browns have provided them with a new arsenal of weapons, adding star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and running back Kareem Hunt to their roster.

After years of being the NFL whipping boys, Cleveland has its sights firmly set on a playoff berth and Mayfield could well be the man to guide that transition.

Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

About the writer

Dan Cancian is currently a reporter for Newsweek based in London, England. Prior to joining Newsweek in January 2018, he was a news and business reporter at International Business Times UK. Dan has also written for The Guardian and The Observer. 

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