Advancing to the NFL playoffs is a difficult task for any coaching staff. Navigating through regular season schedules and play-in scenarios can become exhausting in addition to other responsibilities. Relying on X-Factor players to perform on the field lifts a burden from the staff and creates confidence in the locker room. Throughout the regular season, fans gravitate towards athletes who meet expectations – giving them the title of NFL MVP.
As we enter Week 12, here are a few players I believe should be considered for MVP of the 2022 season.
NFL MVP Candidate #5 RB: Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants
Definition: Dynamic Playmaker
Returning to the gridiron motivated New York’s running back through an extensive offseason. Injuries in the previous season limited Saquon Barkley’s time on the field – causing fans to doubt his explosiveness entering the new campaign. An opportunity to reassert his dominance has served the Giants well this season. Brian Daboll is 7-3 in his first season with the G-Men and wouldn’t experience the same success without No.26.
Barkley ranks second in rushing yards (953) and yards per game (95.3 )- serving as the primary source of production for the Giants. With Barkley in the backfield, Brian Daboll might see a playoff berth in his first year leading a team.
NFL MVP Candidate #4: QB Jalen Hurts, Eagles
Definition: Offensive Anchor
It’s hard taking the reigns at quarterback, especially in Philadelphia. Legends like Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick, and Randle Cunningham brought life to the city of brotherly love, and now Jalen Hurts is doing the same. No.1 found his groove this season, after a tough start to his career. In 2021, Hurts finished the season with 26 total touchdowns and nine interceptions. Philadelphia finished the season 9-8 – desiring more from their quarterback.
Jalen answered the request, tormenting opposing defenses in the new campaign – leading the Eagles to their best start in years. Hurts is ranked fourth in quarterback rating (106.5) and second in yards per passing attempt (8.3). His 23 total touchdowns include eight on the ground – ranking him fourth among active rushers. Philadelphia will enter the playoffs with confidence due to Hurts’ performance this season but will need their quarterback to remain consistent during the long haul.
NFL MVP Candidate #3: Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs
Definition: Patrick Mahomes’ Secret to Success
Finding open targets is easy for Patrick Mahomes, and it feels like his tight end is always unattended. The connection between No.15 and No.85 torments defensive coordinators and continues to carry the Chiefs to victories. His versatility creates mismatches – resulting in more touchdowns. Kelce’s production this season is enough to be considered an MVP worthy.
He ranks first in receiving touchdowns (11) and sixth in receiving yards (855). Earning yards after the catch helps Kelce add to his receiving total – averaging more than 10 yards per reception in eight games this season. Without Tyreek Hill on the outside, defenses are tasked with shutting down Kansas City’s elite tight end – which is harder said than done.