The old guard just may beat out the new guard after all. After a big game in Week 16 on Sunday Night Football, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is the favorite to win the NFL Most Valuable Player award at -400.
He overtook Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, who is now at +350.
If he wins, Rodgers would become just the sixth player ever to win the award at least three times. The Packers quarterback previously was named NFL MVP in 2011 and 2014.
The others to win the award three times are quarterbacks Johnny Unitas, Brett Favre and Tom Brady, along with running back Jim Brown. Quarterback Peyton Manning holds the record with five MVPs.
Mahomes won the award in 2018, and a quarterback has won the league MVP each of the last seven seasons and 12 of the last 13.
Before the start of the 2020 season, Rodgers was +3000 to win the MVP. He had the 11th-best odds, behind the likes of Cam Newton, Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott.
Mahomes was the favorite to start the season at +400, while Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen has risen from +5000 in August to +1200 heading into the final week of the season.
Bad News for Rodgers Before Finale
It is not all great news for Rodgers and the 12-3 Packers, though. All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari is feared to have suffered a season-ending knee injury in Thursday's practice.
The team didn't make an official announcement, but it fears an ACL injury for a player who allowed just one sack all season in front of Rodgers.
Bakhtiari signed a contract extension earlier this season to become the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history. In nearly 800 snaps this season, he has committed four penalties and allowed one sack while being named to the Pro Bowl for the fourth time.
Rodgers has been sacked just 19 times in 15 games this season.
The Packers need to win in Chicago on Sunday to secure the top seed and a bye in the NFC. They are favored by five points, while the Bears need to win just to make the playoffs.
Fitzpatrick on COVID-19 List
There won't be any FitzMagic for the Miami Dolphins in Buffalo on Sunday as quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick tested positive for COVID-19. The veteran came off the bench to lead the Dolphins to a crucial win last Saturday in Las Vegas, and Miami needs to win in Buffalo to ensure its first playoff appearance since 2016.
There is a scenario in which the Dolphins (+3) can make the playoffs without a win, but they would need help in the form of a loss by either the Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts or Baltimore Ravens. With Fitzpatrick unavailable, the Dolphins signed practice squad quarterback Jake Rudock to backup rookie Tua Tagovailoa.
Tagovailoa ranks 26th in the NFL on pass attempts over 10 yards though he does have a 10-2 TD-INT ratio since taking over in Week 8. The Dolphins are 6-2 in games started by the rookie after going 4-3 in games started by Fitzpatrick.