Five weeks of the 2019 NFL season have now passed, and outside of another seemingly inevitable Patriots Superbowl appearance, it has been one of the more exciting starts to a season in recent memory. We’re now at the point where we’ve seen enough games to make educated guesses on which teams will be in playoff contention, which players are in the midst of a breakout, and of course, which players are in contention for the MVP award.
The quarterback position, the likely source of the award winner if history is anything to go by, has never been stronger. If you’re looking for evidence to back this statement up, through five weeks, 10 players have passed for between 10 and 12 touchdowns!
Despite there being a number of strong performers thus far this season, in my eyes, there are three contenders for the MVP award. Special mention goes to DeShaun Watson, my clear #4 who has been absolutely balling out for the Houston Texans. When it’s this tight at the top though, 6 fumbles through 5 games is going to cost you a spot in the ever elusive top three. Without further ado, here are my top 3 MVP candidates through 5 weeks of the 2019 NFL season.
#3 Patrick Mahomes
The guy I still think is going to win it by season’s end is Patrick Mahomes. For those of you who were living under a rock last year, Mahomeboy was only the second quarterback to throw for over 50 TDs and 5000 yards in a single season (Peyton Manning is the other). The fact that he managed to do that in his first year as a starter was even more impressive, and has him on an all-time great trajectory.
This year, Mahomes has been very impressive. Through five games, he leads the league in passing yards (1831), is tied for the second most touchdowns (11), is the 4th ranked QB according to ProFootballFocus, and has led the Chiefs to a 4-1 record. All this while playing most of the season on a bad ankle, no Kareem Hunt to relieve the pressure off of him, and with half his receiving corps and starting left tackle down for the count. However, he’s only 15th in completion % for the year, sandwiched in between Gardner Minshew and Lamar Jackson. While I fully expect Mahomes to be the MVP by seasons end, thus far, there have been two players who are ranked higher than him in my eyes.
#2 Christian McCaffrey
I know, I know. A running back winning the MVP is almost unheard of in the modern NFL. Hear me out though. The single biggest reason that the Carolina Panthers are 3-2 in a season where Cam Newton has been injured for the majority of it, is Run CMC’s absurd performances.
PFF has him graded as the #1 running back, and it is isn’t particularly close. He leads the NFL in rushing yardage with 587 rushing yards through 5 weeks (45 yards clear of #2 Dalvin Cook), he’s #2 in receiving yards amongst running backs (behind Austin Ekeler), #1 in yards from scrimmage with 866 (154 clear of the #2 Cook), and has 7 total TD’s (#2 amongst RBs, behind Aaron Jones with 8). His snap count is almost unprecedented in the modern era (318 out of a possible 331 snaps).
Quite simply, he is on another level to any other running back in football right now. In fact, the single most impressive stat of all is that through 5 weeks, he has outgained the entire New York Jets offense by himself. If there was ever an argument for a RB to win the award, this year is as good a time as any. Unfortunately, right now, he sits behind one other player by a hair…
#1 Russell Wilson
Long seen as one of the game’s elite QB’s, yet this is the first year where Russell Wilson has established himself as a bonafide MVP candidate. He’s my early leader for the award 5 weeks into the season. First and foremost, the Seattle Seahawks are 4-1 despite their RB1 having fumbling issues, an offensive line that still doesn’t know how to block, and a receiving corps that lost Doug Baldwin to retirement before the season.
Russell Wilson is the biggest reason why the Seahawks are one of the surprise teams of the season thus far. Through five weeks, he is #1 in touchdown passes (12), #2 in completion percentage (73.1%) behind Derek Carr, 2nd in QBR behind Dak Prescott, 8th in total yards, and 1st in PFF’s QB rankings.
Put simply, no single player has done more to make their team into a contender thus far this season than Russell Wilson. No disrespect intended, but when you can turn Will Dissly into a legitimate weapon in the passing game, you know you’re in the midst of a special season.
Who do you have as your MVP through 5 weeks? As always, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments!