With eight weeks remaining in the regular season, the 2021 NFL MVP race will endure more twists and turns as viable candidates further build their case to win this award. Alongside the annual inclusion of quarterbacks, who are always favored to win MVP, this year's race could be historic. Can a defensive back finally win it? Could we witness the oldest-winning MVP winner in league history? Here are the top-five NFL MVP candidates right now.
Ranking The Top Five NFL MVP Candidates Right Now
1. QB Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals - While the second-year pro doesn't have the most statistical advantages as usually-elite quarterbacks do, his overall value isn't only tied to stats. If you take a comprehensive look at the Cardinals' offense, Murray's value is seen in every way possible; he’s at once the league's best-deep ball passer (99.3 QBR!) while also being one of its fastest and most elusive athletes. On an intangible level, he’s repeatedly made clutch plays and has emerged as the clear-cut leader of Arizona’s locker room as a result. And it doesn't hurt that Murray has led the Cardinals to the NFC's No. 1 seed too.
2. QB Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens - If there's anything that helps an MVP candidate's case, it's them consistently coming up big during crunch time. Beyond his gaudy and potentially historic statistics as a passer and runner, Jackson has amply supplied late-game heroics against the likes of Kansas City, Indianapolis, and now Minnesota, which is leaving a positive impact on voters and fans alike.
3. QB Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams - Even though Stafford will likely end up as the Rams' sole MVP candidate, it doesn't take away from him that wide receiver Cooper Kupp has also been mentioned in the conversation, albeit much less frequently. Both players are producing their best seasons yet as pros, and they have each other to thank for it.
4. QB Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - The seven-time Super Bowl champion is one eye-opening run away from winning his fourth regular-season MVP. While Brady currently ranks second across the league in passing yards (2,650) and first in passing touchdowns (25), he still needs to produce more signature moments and wins with eight weeks remaining in the regular season.
5. CB Trevon Diggs, Dallas Cowboys - In recent years, quarterbacks have maintained a stranglehold over MVP voting but Diggs is looking to change that. Although defensive players rarely figure into the conversation (no defensive player has even received a vote since JJ Watt in 2014), the Alabama product is having a season that makes him impossible to ignore. With an NFL-leading seven interceptions (two of which were pick-sixes) and 12 pass breakups, Diggs is forcing voters to take notice.
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