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Patrick Mahomes is one of the MVP frontrunners — again

Syndication: The Tennessean George Walker IV / / USA TODAY NETWORK

After a hard-fought, ugly win against the Tennessee Titans one thing is clear: quarterback Patrick Mahomes is the primary reason why the Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl contenders.

In Kansas City, it has become easy to normalize the greatness we see from Patrick Mahomes on a regular basis. However, this season is different than anything else we’ve seen from Mahomes thus far in his career.

In 2018, as Mahomes was named league MVP, he had taken the NFL by storm. No quarterback had performed at the level he had in their first year as a starter. Mahomes had the best corps of weapons in the league and a Hall of Fame head coach. And yes, Andy Reid is still destined for the Hall of Fame, but the rest has changed.

Mahomes is now the center of any quarterback discussion in the league, while it could be argued his most dangerous weapon is playing on a different team. If Mahomes is to win a second MVP award, it will undoubtedly be more difficult.

The narrative

Like it or not, the AP NFL MVP award will always be narrative-driven, and there are several players who might have a stronger claim to the award on narrative alone.

  • Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills has a strong narrative, as he has never won the award and plays for a large fan base reinvigorated with football over the last few years.
  • Jalen Hurts of the Philadelphia Eagles also has a strong narrative, as he contributes on the ground and through the air.
  • After missing a few games due to injury the Miami Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa is also starting to make a case of his own as well.

In order for Mahomes to win the award, he’s going to have to definitively outperform the other competitors. The narrative around Mahomes’ MVP bid would be leading the Chiefs to a strong winning record in what was thought to be a powerhouse AFC West without Tyreek Hill or any running game of significance.

The analysis

With 22 total touchdowns, Mahomes is second in the league only to Allen, who has 23. However, given the recent news about Josh Allen’s elbow injury, Allen’s numbers might not continue on their current trend. Allen also has been more turnover-prone this year.

Hurts makes an interesting case, as his total touchdowns are not a huge number, but he’s been so efficient, particularly with the touchdown-to-interception ratio. Looking at the Eagles’ upcoming schedule, it’s hard to find many losses. If Hurts keeps those numbers up and ends the season with a 15-1 record, it would also be a good case for the award.

The biggest thing that Mahomes has going for him is a softer schedule coming up and an offense that is committed to passing the ball in the red zone. When it comes to the supporting cast, Mahomes probably has the least to work with as well. Elevating receivers like JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling makes his case strong.

Overall, Mahomes should be considered the favorite, especially if Allen’s injury makes him miss time. Also, his numbers will need to continue to be better than any of the other candidates simply because on narrative.

If the numbers are close, the tie will go to those who’ve not won the award before. After a game where Mahomes accounted for 485 yards of total offense, there’s no doubt that Mahomes is one of the favorites to win his second MVP award.

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