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Its been eight years since a non-quarterback won the Most Valuable Player award in the NFL, and if the oddsmakers are correct, that trend won’t change in 2020. The last non-quarterback to win the award was running back Adrian Peterson in 2012. Every award has been won by a quarterback or running back since wide receiver Jerry Rice claimed his second MVP award in 1990.
As of Oct. 21, the top nine players in the odds to win the 2020 MVP Award are quarterbacks. Four of those nine players (Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers) have combined to win seven MVP awards already, including the last three.
The current favorite is Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson at -125. Not only are the Seahawks one of three unbeaten teams remaining in the NFL at 5-0, but Wilson has completed a career-high 73% of his passes so far this season.
He leads the NFL with 19 touchdown passes, a 129.8 QB rating and 8.9 yards per pass attempt. In five games, he has thrown for 1,502 yards, putting him on pace for a career-high 4,806 yards. Wilson has never received an MVP vote, and if he keeps going at this rate, that will change in 2020.
The next three on the odds list are past winners. The 2018 MVP, Mahomes, checks in at +400, while two-time MVP Rodgers is +650 and last year’s MVP, Jackson, is +1600.
Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs are 5-1 to start the season as defending champions. He has completed 66% of his passes for 1,699 yards with 15 touchdowns and only one interception.
Mahomes has also run for two scores, tying his career-high. Expect his odds to improve as the season continues and the Chiefs pile up wins.
Rodgers saw his odds take a hit with two interceptions and a 38-10 loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday. The 2011 and 2014 MVP has the Packers at 4-1 while looking rejuvenated before the Week 5 bye.
He has completed 66% of his passes for 1,374 yards and didn’t have an interception before the two on Sunday. Rodgers has 13 touchdown passes and is on pace for his first 40-touchdown, 4,000-yard season since 2016.
Jackson had a crazy 43 combined touchdowns with nearly 4,500 combined yards last year, and his odds have dropped since a loss to Mahomes and the Chiefs in September. However, the Ravens are 5-1, and as long as they add wins, Jackson’s odds should improve.
He has completed 63% of his passes for 1,135 yards and 10 touchdowns while throwing two interceptions and rushing for two scores and 346 yards.
The Longer Shots
Behind Jackson are four more quarterbacks with odds of +2500 or greater. Ben Roethlisberger (+2500) still has the Pittsburgh Steelers undefeated at 5-0 heading to Tennessee this weekend.
With two straight losses, Buffalo’s Josh Allen (+2600) has seen his odds drop, but he is a touchdown machine. Brady’s odds jumped back up to +2900 after the win over the Packers on Sunday.
The final two quarterbacks in the top 10 are Tennessee’s Ryan Tannehill (+3000) and second-year pro Kyler Murray (+3200) of Arizona. The Titans are unbeaten as they square off against Pittsburgh, and Murray can make a statement this weekend against Wilson and the Seahawks.
The only non-quarterback in the top 10 is in the 10th slot. That player is Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry at +4400.
Despite playing only five games while many others have played six, Henry leads the NFL in rushing (588), carries (123), yards per game (117.6) and longest run of the season (94 yards). He has six touchdowns and 29 rushing first downs with no fumbles.
Henry is on pace for 1,881 yards and 19 touchdowns, which would both be career-high totals, surpassing his league-leading totals (1,540 yards, 16 TDs) from last season.