Michael Pallas | September 30th, 2019
We have completed four weeks of the 2019 NFL season, and despite gaudy numbers that are on pace to surpass last year’s outstanding season, we should not consider Patrick Mahomes the NFL MVP favorite.
There’s always a debate as to who should win the MVP award in sports. Is it the best player on the best team, or the “most valuable?” Well, this debate is one that should be driven by semantics, but it isn’t.
Last year, Mahomes won the NFL MVP largely on the cumulative end of the season statistics, which were amazing. However, people didn’t look deeper at said stats that would reveal something.
The benchmarks for success in the NFL for a quarterback, statistically speaking, are 60% completion rate and 100.0 passer rating. There were 10 games in which Mahomes reached both of those benchmarks and six in which he didn’t reach one or reached neither. The Chiefs were 7-3 when he reach both and 5-1 when he reached only one or neither of the benchmarks and in his worst statistical performance — the one game that he reached neither — the Chiefs won.
So, was he really the MOST VALUABLE Player in the NFL if the team is successful at a higher rate when his stats were worse? (Remember we used his final cumulative stats to justify him winning. So, it’s a legitimate argument to use stats to make the case against it.)
The frontrunner for the 2019 NFL MVP is Bills quarterback Josh Allen. He will be evaluated for a concussion, but as of now, that’s where it stands.
This goes back to last season. As you saw before Mahomes statistical success doesn’t actually have a positive effect on winning. The same can’t be said about Allen. The first four games of the season continue the trend from last season. Last season, the Bills were 3-7 when Allen completed less than 60% of his passes and 5-0 when he completed more. This season it’s now 0-1 under 60% and 3-0 when it’s more.
Some may point to the defense being the reason for victory early on in 2019, and they did have a huge hand. However, the time of possession average for the Bills also plays a huge factor. When Allen completes passes, the Bills sustain drives, and that keeps the defense fresh. So, his accuracy plays a hand in the defense being able to keep teams off the board.
If Allen ends up missing a huge chunk of time due to a concussion, it will play a huge role in whether or not he wins the award, because the Bills will likely not make the playoffs. However, over his first 16 games, he’s proven to be an integral part of Bills success. As he goes, so do the Bills. That makes him the MVP.
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