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Who will be the 2023 NFL MVP?

There are two candidates that stand out from the rest
This NFL season has not featured a standout MVP candidate. However, someone will have to be the recipient of this prestigious award.
Wikimedia
This NFL season has not featured a standout MVP candidate. However, someone will have to be the recipient of this prestigious award.

The 2023 NFL season has lacked the strong MVP candidates of years past. Most of the preseason contenders for the award such as Patrick Mahomes, Jalen Hurts, Josh Allen, and Joe Burrow, are having relatively down seasons. A non-quarterback has not won the MVP award since Adrian Peterson in 2012, so non-quarterbacks would likely be out of the discussion. However, this season has had fewer elite passers than those prior.

Out of the last ten MVP winners, seven of them have two things in common: they were the starting quarterback for a team that won their division and they led the NFL in Quarterback Rating (QBR). Only one player has fit both criteria this season: 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy. Another seven of the last ten MVP winners have led the NFL in Passing Touchdown Percentage; the leader this season is also Brock Purdy. If the historical trends hold true, it would seem to be pretty cut and dry that Brock Purdy is the MVP, right?

Instead, his teammate, 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey, has accounted for 20 touchdowns this season. McCaffrey has carried the 49ers offense at times and has been the best offensive player in the NFL this season. He has even received an MVP endorsement from Purdy. However, the last running back to win an MVP award was Adrian Peterson in 2012. That season, Peterson rushed for 2097 yards, 8 yards shy of the single-season rushing record. McCaffrey will fall several hundred yards short of Peterson’s mark, and Derrick Henry rushed for 2027 yards in 2020 and didn’t even receive an MVP vote. 

While McCaffrey is having a better season than Purdy, it would be shocking that voters would pick a running back over a quarterback for MVP, especially if both were strong candidates and played for the same team. The explosion in the quarterback contract market, coupled with the drastic decline of the running back contract market, indicates that quarterbacks are perceived to be significantly more valuable than running backs. This inherent belief will almost certainly result in Purdy winning the MVP award this season, but maybe the voters could shock the fans.

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About the Contributor
Max Averbach, Staff Writer, Online Editor
Max, a junior, is excited to be entering his second year as a member of The Trumpet staff. He currently is one of The Trumpet's two KSJC Representatives and the SNO Site Manager. He enjoys writing about sports and politics. In his free time, he reads and plays baseball and basketball.
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