Admit it, the Oscars intrigue you. So do the VMAs. The ESPYs are even kind of cool. The Kid’s Choice Awards? Okay, maybe not so much, but the point is that awards and award shows are interesting and we love them. In the world of football, there is no better award to receive than the Most Valuable Player award.
In 2012, the NFL MVP was awarded to Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson, as he became only the seventh player in NFL history to eclipse the 2,000 mark. Last year Peyton Manning was named the league’s finest after his 55 touchdown performance. So with the season almost under way (it’s about time) let’s take a look at the five players I think are most likely to win league MVP.
Drew Brees (NO), Tom Brady (NE), Adrian Peterson (MIN).
5. Calvin Johnson:
Megatron’s entry on this list is sort of a dark horse, as history does not work in his favor. No wide receiver has ever been named MVP, as it’s hard to not give the award to the quarterback throwing them the ball. Johnson, however, is a bit of a special case, as everyone recognizes him as the league’s best receiver. Johnson holds the single season receiving record, and the Lions got him sidekicks in the off season when they got Golden Tate from Seattle, and Eric Ebron from the draft. The new additions will help free Megatron from getting double covered so much, but defenses will surely still have Johnson circled during their defensive preparation. If Matthew Stafford can stay healthy, Johnson should be able to put together another fantastic year, but having that year end with being named MVP is a tough thing to imagine. Despite the caveat of being a receiver, Johnson’s dominance is too much to not garner at least a very strong consideration.
4. Andrew Luck:
Luck is a popular choice for MVP, and it’s easy to see why. Poised to become the next Indianapolis legend, Luck has all the tools to put together an MVP season in 2014. Luck gets Reggie Wayne and Dwayne Allen back form injury, and Hakeem Nicks comes over from New York. The number of weapons Luck has at his disposal is simply mind boggling. Luck has displayed his amazing chemistry with T.Y. Hilton, and the duo was one of the main reasons the Colts were able to erase an enormous deficit in the Wild Card round against the Chiefs. Along with his plethora of wide receivers, Luck has a clutch factor that simply can’t be taught. In his two years Andrew Luck has 8 fourth quarter comebacks and 11 game winning drives, per profootballreference.com. Luck is surrounded by an amazing cast, and a strong record will help the Luck’s case for MVP. I think Luck will definitely win multiple MVP awards in his career, but I think those will come once he’s more developed.
3. Peyton Manning:
Could Peyton Manning really win his sixth MVP? You better believe it. Manning has shown absolutely no signs of slowing down, and his offense has gotten better than last year. Left tackle Ryan Clady is back, and Emmanuel Sanders comes over after leaving Pittsburgh. Sanders should be an upgrade over Eric Decker, as he’s more athletically gifted. Manning throwing for 50 touchdowns for a consecutive year is entirely possible and should surprise nobody. Demaryius and Julius Thomas are still there, so it’s not like Manning’s weapons have completely depleted. A small drawback is the suspension to Wes Welker, but that shouldn’t be any cause for major concern. There’s really not a whole lot of things that need to be said about Manning. He’s won MVP before and his supporting cast is still extraordinary. I think Manning is the safest bet to win.
2. Aaron Rodgers*:
I’ve gone on record before saying I think Rodgers is the best quarterback in the NFL, and I’m sticking by that claim. So naturally, the best quarterback in the game should be a serious contender to win MVP. Rodgers has all the tools to win his second MVP. I’ve mentioned his sensational accuracy before, and I’ve also talked about his uncanny mobility, so I’ll spare you. Randall Cobb is also healthy, which boosts the passing game so much. When Cobb was healthy in 2012, Rodgers was able to have his second best year as a pro. His best year is of course his MVP season. So another great year is in the works for Rodgers, but we’ve come to expect it from him. Eddie Lacy’s presence in the running game will help the offense generate more scoring opportunities, and as I’ve previously said, Rodgers’ red zone stats are out of this world. The asterisk is next to his name because his health is always a question. If Rodgers misses even one game his chances of winning MVP take a huge hit. That’s the main reason I don’t have A-Rod winning. If Rodgers can stay healthy, there’s no reason he can’t win MVP.
1. Winner: LeSean McCoy
When Chip Kelly entered the league some people were curious as to just how effective LeSean McCoy would be in the new offense. Well, McCoy showed how great he can be in the offense as he finished 2013 with more than 2,000 total yards from scrimmage, per nfl.com. I think 2014 will be an even bigger year for Shady McCoy, as getting more familiar with Kelly’s offense will only help. McCoy gets so many opportunities to shine that it’s hard to dispute the idea of him being named league MVP. Furthermore, McCoy plays behind arguably the league’s best offensive line. The unit gets Jason Peters back from an injury, which can only help McCoy. Plain and simple, Shady is the Eagles offense. Nick Foles and the passing game are good, but the Eagles offense will live and die by McCoy. Good news for Philly fans is that McCoy is still alive and is in the prime of his career. McCoy is the most elusive back in the NFL and it’s not even close. He makes cuts so fast it hurts my knees watching at home. He can cut on a dime and he possesses break away speed. Marshall Faulk is the only running back in NFL history to have 1,000 yards rushing and receiving, but McCoy is a serious threat to become the second. If he doesn’t break the record, I expect him to get very close. Regardless of whether or not he becomes the second player in history to gain 1,000 yards rushing and passing, McCoy will have an amazing year which will lead to him being named league MVP.