Ranking top candidates, including Josh Allen

Six weeks into the 2022 NFL season, the league’s Most Valuable Player race is beginning to come in combination, highlighted through a number of quarterbacks rising as applicants. The chief of the AFC’s simplest one-loss staff owns the most productive Vegas odds and essentially the most first-place votes from our panel, whilst the QB of the NFL’s simplest final undefeated staff has skyrocketed in the course of the first 3rd of the season. Those jockeying for the frontrunner spot have 12 extra weeks to make their case.

We requested a bunch of analysts — Stephania Bell, Matt Bowen, Mike Clay, Courtney Cronin, Jeremy Fowler, Dan Graziano, Matt Miller, Sal Paolantonio, Jason Reid, Mike Tannenbaum, Seth Walder and Field Yates — to vote at the top avid gamers within the MVP race at the moment. Then we used the ones 12 units of scores to provide our top 5 applicants, the usage of Heisman Trophy-esque scaling for every score to resolve how the sector stacks up.

We’ll additionally take a look at a couple of names who’ve observed their MVP inventory both spike or plummet within the early going, and ESPN analytics author Seth Walder additionally weighed in on an under-the-radar MVP-caliber participant. Here’s a take a look at the place issues stand after six weeks.

Note: All odds are by way of Caesars Sportsbook.

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2022 stats: 1,980 passing yards, 17 TDs, 4 INTs, 75.4 QBR (257 speeding yards, 2 TDs)
Current odds: +125

Early season returns expose an undisputed reality: Allen is the most productive quarterback within the NFL, an honor he started wrestling clear of top AFC rival Patrick Mahomes in final 12 months’s playoffs. Allen entered the season with the most productive odds to win the MVP and reinforced his case in opposition to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 6 through outdueling Mahomes in a 24-20 mystery, which he capped off through main a 76-yard, come-from-behind scoring power with a little bit greater than a minute final.

That used to be the second one game-winning power he has led the Bills in this month (the opposite used to be in a 23-20 win over the Baltimore Ravens) and his first fourth-quarter comeback since Sept. 27, 2020. Allen is now the primary beginning quarterback to overcome Mahomes two times at Arrowhead Stadium. He leads the league in passing (each in yards and yards according to sport), and his 753 passing yards during the last two video games are essentially the most in a two-game span in Bills franchise historical past.

2022 stats: 1,514 passing yards, 6 TDs, 2 INTs, 59.6 QBR (293 speeding yards, 6 TDs)
Current odds: +450

Hurts’ ascension — the place he has observed huge growth in spaces comparable to of completion share (66.8%, ranked 9th), passer score (98.4, 5th), reasonable unencumber time (2.76) and yards according to strive (8.2, 2d) — has Philadelphia off to its first 6-0 get started since 2004. The 24-year-old QB has gained 9 video games in a row courting to 2021, tied for the longest win streak through an Eagles beginning quarterback in 22 years, and he’s the 5th participant in league historical past to go for 1,500 yards and rush for 250 thru his staff’s first six video games.

The Eagles boast essentially the most offensive steadiness of any staff within the NFC (394.5 yards according to sport, ranked 3rd; 26.8 issues according to sport, fourth) with a gentle run sport and explosive passing assault. Hurts has performed a large function in what the Eagles are doing at the flooring, with 11 extra carries on designed runs (38) than some other quarterback and 16 of the ones coming within the pink zone, in line with NFL Next Gen Stats. He’s additionally finishing a career-high plus-2.7% of his passes over expectation, the 3rd easiest within the NFL.

2022 stats: 1,736 passing yards, 17 TDs, 4 INTs, 74.2 QBR (113 speeding yards)
Current odds: +500

So much used to be made about how the Chiefs offense would serve as with out huge receiver Tyreek Hill. His absence has pressured Mahomes to unfold the ball round and turn into a extra environment friendly, affected person passer. And thru six video games, Mahomes and Allen are tied for first with 17 landing passes. Mahomes is still extremely efficient when beneath power, score first in touchdowns according to go strive and 3rd in first downs according to go strive, in line with ESPN Stats & Information analysis.

But the power he confronted overdue in Week 6 made up our minds the end result for the Chiefs. Against the Bills, Mahomes accounted for 92% of Kansas City’s offense when he threw for 338 yards, two landing passes, two interceptions and finished 63% of his passes. While Allen led Buffalo on a landing power to take the lead overdue, Mahomes replied through throwing an interception whilst beneath duress, his 3rd choose on a game-winning power strive courting to final 12 months’s AFC Championship sport.

2022 stats: 1,277 passing yards, 13 TDs, 6 INTs, 64.1 QBR (451 speeding yards, 2 TDs)
Current odds: +850

Jackson’s MVP candidacy is on dangle — for now — after a scorching get started. He ranks 3rd in landing passes and leads all avid gamers in yards according to rush (8.1) and yards sooner than touch according to rush (6.3), changing into the primary participant to be within the top 5 in each classes in the course of the first six weeks of the season for the reason that NFL-AFL merger, in line with the Elias Sports Bureau.

Jackson is at his most powerful early in video games, with 12 of his 13 landing passes coming within the first 3 quarters. On the turn facet, 4 of his six interceptions have took place within the fourth quarter. His QBR within the first 3 quarters is healthier than fellow MVP candidate Hurts, however his QBR within the fourth quarter is worse than Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields.



Marcus Spears discusses Lamar Jackson’s fourth-quarter struggles and the way he can repair them.

2022 stats: 6 sacks, 26 tackles, 1 pressured fumble, 2 passes defended
Current odds: +12500

A quarterback or operating again has gained the MVP annually since 1987, however Parsons merits attention after a robust begin to the season, as he’s tied for first in overall pressures (31) and 2d in sacks. Aside from a 26-17 loss to the Eagles the place Parsons used to be in large part contained, Dallas has gained video games this season because of a dominant protection. The Cowboys went 4-1 all through a stretch the place quarterback Dak Prescott used to be injured thank you largely to the protection, which leads the league in sacks (24) and is 3rd in issues allowed (98).

Just overlooked

Justin Herbert, QB, Los Angeles Chargers (+2500)

Herbert set a report for essentially the most passes thrown (57) and not using a landing within the Chargers’ 19-16 OT win over the Denver Broncos on Monday, in line with the Elias Sports Bureau. He’s nonetheless within the MVP dialog because of the place he ranks in passing yards (fourth), touchdowns (6th), interception share (5th), passing first downs (8th) and QBR (8th), however he’s going to have to move on a run over the following 11 video games to be in rivalry with the frontrunners.

Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants (+10000)

For the primary time within the Super Bowl technology, the Giants have posted 4 disillusioned wins of their first six video games of a season largely because of the identification they have established with Barkley, who seems like the most productive operating again within the league. He leads the NFL with 771 yards from scrimmage, and his 4 touchdowns this season are two greater than he had within the mixed 15 video games he performed in 2020-21. At minimal, he is a leader for the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year award.

Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota Vikings (+4000)

Cousins broke the Vikings’ franchise report for consecutive completions when he began 17-of-17 in a Week 5 win over the Bears and adopted that up through throwing for 2 landing passes in a win over the Miami Dolphins. Coming off his 3rd Pro Bowl season, the 34-year-old has but to throw for 300 yards in a sport, however his environment friendly play has the Vikings off to a 5-1 get started.

Geno Smith, QB, Seattle Seahawks (no longer indexed)

Smith leads the NFL in of completion share over expectation (plus-9.6%), in line with NFL Next Gen Stats, and leads the NFL in of completion share (73.4%) thru six weeks. He has thrown for 1,502 yards and 9 landing passes, which rank 9th and 8th, respectively, amongst certified beginning quarterbacks. The Seahawks could be nowhere as regards to a .500 report with out Smith, which is why the franchise will have to believe him as an choice at QB past this season.

Also gained top-10 votes: Bengals QB Joe Burrow, Vikings WR Justin Jefferson, Bills OLB Von Miller, Rams WR Cooper Kupp, Chiefs TE Travis Kelce, Dolphins WR Tyreek Hill, Bills WR Stefon Diggs, Browns RB Nick Chubb, Eagles CB James Bradberry, Rams DT Aaron Donald, Rams QB Matthew Stafford, Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence, Falcons QB Marcus Mariota, 49ers DE Nick Bosa, Cardinals QB Kyler Murray, Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers

Stock up

Joe Burrow, QB, Cincinnati Bengals

Burrow bounced again after the Bengals were given off to an 0-2 get started, and he has finished greater than 62% of his passes in every of his first six video games. In a come-from-behind win over the New Orleans Saints, the Bengals’ QB finished 28 of 37 passes for 300 yards and 3 landing passes and did not flip the ball over. With Atlanta, Cleveland and Carolina bobbing up, Burrow may just paintings his means into the MVP combine.

Stock down

Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

Rodgers is suffering to atone for a decreased supporting solid. He had a complete QBR of 17.0 in a loss to the New York Jets, which used to be his 2d worst of the season (10.8 vs. Minnesota in Week 1). Last 12 months’s MVP has six turnovers thru six video games after turning the ball over 4 occasions all of final season. He has misplaced 3 fumbles this season after dropping two within the earlier two seasons mixed.



Field Yates breaks down Aaron Rodgers’ dismal fable season.

Walder’s under-the-radar MVP candidate

James Bradberry, CB, Philadelphia Eagles

Bradberry is worthy of a top-10 MVP vote, personally. His nearest defender numbers from NFL Next Gen Stats are outrageous. Among outdoor corners with 125 protection snaps, Bradberry ranks:

  • Second in yards according to protection snap (0.5)

  • First in focused anticipated issues added through a large margin (minus-25.8)

  • Second in of completion share over expectation (minus-20%)

  • First in receptions allowed over expectation (minus-8.0)

To put the second one quantity in context, the Bengals have recorded plus-28.7 EPA on Joe Burrow dropbacks this season (I’m blending between NGS and ESPN EPA fashions right here — no longer best, however you get the purpose). To report a degree of manufacturing as a nook that is in the similar ballpark as a higher-end QB is amazingly precious. Yes, a number of that used to be generated on a deflection that he was a pick-six off Jared Goff, but it surely used to be infrequently a one-off; Bradberry has been excellent the entire 12 months.

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