Published On: Wed, Jan 12th, 2022

NFL MVP 2021: 10 Potential Candidates Entering the Race

The NFL MVP race has shifted quite a bit since the beginning of the season. Kyler Murray and Josh Allen were early favorites. Now both trail the almighty Tom Brady.

Some other contenders include Jonathan Taylor along with Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes.

Interested in learning more about how to place your bets associated with NFL MVP odds? Safest Betting Sites provides a complete guide on NFL betting.

Who is leading the NFL MVP race?

Let’s take a closer look.

10 Potential Candidates for NFL MVP

When it comes to NFL MVP favorites, the quarterback position remains paramount. These players provide the most value for their respective franchises. All you have to do is take a look at the records of these teams, and you’ll notice that they’ve got a great QB.

Out of the NFL top 10 MVP candidates, only one is a running back.

And that’s Taylor.

Jonathan Taylor, RB – Indianapolis Colts

Taylor is a longshot bet worth considering for the NFL MVP in 2021. He’s the top rusher in the league with 1,348 yards. That’s over 350 yards more than the Cincinnati Bengals’ Joe Mixon in second place.

Taylor also has the most rushing touchdowns in the league at 16. (Again, ahead of Mixon by four touchdowns.)

The Colts are 7-3 when Taylor has at least one rushing touchdown and 7-0 when he piles up more than 100 rushing yards. He had 32 carries for 185 yards and four touchdowns on the road against the Buffalo Bills. That definitely helped his cause for this year’s MVP award.

Lamar Jackson, QB – Baltimore Ravens

Speaking of running the ball, there’s Lamar Jackson. The Baltimore Ravens quarterback is another longshot for this year’s MVP.

He’s the top rusher for the Ravens with 762 yards on the season. Ranked at number nine in the league, he has more rushing yards than a vast majority of other teams’ running backs.

There’s room for improvement, still. Jackon has gotten sacked 37 times (as much as last season’s total). His current quarterback rating is 86.8.

Jackson has thrown five interceptions in his last two games, against divisional opponents. He’s got it in him to redeem himself with five games left in the season (including three divisional matchups).

He won the MVP back in 2019 in his second NFL season.

Justin Herbert, QB – Los Angeles Chargers

Another NFL MVP contender with some room for improvement is Justin Herbert. He has 3,547 passing yards and 27 touchdowns after 12 games in his second season with the Los Angeles Chargers.

Heading into Week 14, he’s ranked 11th in the league with a quarterback rating of 98.2.

Herbert threw for 398 yards and four touchdowns against the Cleveland Browns. He also threw three touchdown passes against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals.

Herbert has a bright future in the NFL.

Dak Prescott, QB – Dallas Cowboys

Hardly any other team in the NFL relies on their quarterback as much as the Dallas Cowboys. Named the 2016 Offensive Rookie of the Year, a major centerpiece of the franchise comes from Dak Prescott.

The Cowboys started their 2021-2022 NFL campaign with a 5-1 record. In Week 6, Prescott threw for 445 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. That game ended as a 35-29 overtime win at home against the New England Patriots.

Dak got injured on the last play of the game. Since then, the Cowboys have gone 3-3.

Dallas remains in first place in the NFC East. They have four games left against divisional opponents. Plus, they’ll have a home game versus the top-seeded Arizona Cardinals.

Here’s Dak’s chance to prove why quarterbacks make the most money from anybody in the league.

Matthew Stafford, QB – Los Angeles Rams

Matthew Stafford has a quarterback rating of 106.3 after 12 games in his first season with the Los Angeles Rams.

Stafford threw 16 touchdown passes and four interceptions in his first six games. That included a 34-24 victory in Week 3 at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He threw four touchdown passes for 343 yards to achieve a QB rating of 134.

At home against his former team in Week 7, Stafford threw for 334 yards with three touchdowns. The Rams beat the Detroit Lions, 28-19.

Stafford threw a total of five interceptions in a recent three-game losing streak. He returned with three touchdown passes at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars. For an easy 37-7 victory.

The Rams sit in second place in the NFC West with a record of 8-4.

Stafford remains among the top three most accurate quarterbacks in the NFL.

Patrick Mahomes, QB – Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes hardly needs an introduction. In 2018, he won the NFL MVP award in his second season. By 2020, the Chiefs made it to the Super Bowl, beating the San Francisco 49ers 31-20.

Mahomes became the youngest quarterback ever to win a Super Bowl MVP award.

The Chiefs made it to the Super Bowl again last season, losing to Brady and the Bucs.

After 12 games this season, the Chiefs are in first place in the AFC West with a record of 8-4. Mahomes has thrown 25 touchdown passes, tied for 5th in the league.

On the road against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 10, Mahomes threw five touchdown passes for a 41-14 blowout. Since then, he’s thrown two interceptions without a touchdown in his last two contests.

The Chiefs have five games remaining, including three against divisional opponents.

Josh Allen, QB – Buffalo Bills

The Bills began as a potential favorite to win the Super Bowl. The cornerstone of their franchise: quarterback Josh Allen.

After 12 games in his fourth season with the team, Allen has thrown for 3,216 yards with 26 touchdowns. He’s also thrown 10 interceptions, the same number of picks thrown all last season.

With a quarterback rating of 97.5, he’s ranked 12th in the NFL.

The Bills have lost three out of their last five games, including a humiliating 9-6 home loss to the Jaguars.

Buffalo resides in second place in the AFC East with a record of 7-5.

Allen gets to prove himself this week against the Bucs.

Kyler Murray, QB – Arizona Cardinals

Kyler Murray was one of the earliest favorites to win the 2021 NFL MVP award. After 12 games, he remains the most accurate passer in the league, with a quarterback rating of 112.2.

Two years ago, Murray won the 2019 Offensive Rookie of the Year. In his third year with the Cardinals, he’s having his best season ever, leading the team to a 7-0 start.

After missing three games with an ankle injury, Murray returned to form. He threw for two scores and had two rushing touchdowns against the Chicago Bears. He averaged 5.9 yards-per-rush on 10 attempts in a convincing 33-22 win.

Murray comes as one of the most versatile quarterbacks in the league. That’s why he’s been a contender for the MVP this year all season long.

Aaron Rodgers, QB – Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers began his NFL career with the Green Bay Packers in 2005 as a backup to Brett Favre.

Since his first year as a starter in 2008, he’s won three MVP awards (2011, 2014, 2020). He won the Super Bowl MVP in 2010.

Over a decade later, he’s a top favorite to win the NFL MVP in 2021.

After losing 38-3 to the New Orleans Saints in their season opener. That included a 24-21 road victory that handed the Cardinals their first loss of the season.

The Packers won seven straight after

A COVID-19 controversy led Rodgers to miss a crucial road game at Kansas City in Week 9. Since then, the Packers have gone 2-2, including a 13-7 loss at Arrowhead Stadium.

Rodgers silenced critics with a 36-28 win at home versus the Rams in Week 12. He threw for 307 yards and two touchdowns in that contest.

The Packers are 9-3 coming off a bye in Week 14 with a comfortable first-place lead in the NFC North. Rodgers could make a strong case for this year’s MVP in their remaining schedule.

Tom Brady, QB – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

With an undefeated record at home this season, Brady remains the clear favorite to win the 2021 NFL MVP.

He was recently named the 2021 Sportsperson of the Year by Sports Illustrated.

Brady was the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft. He won six Super Bowls with the Patriots in two decades.

In 2020, he won the Super Bowl in his first season with the Bucs.

He has five Super Bowl MVPs, and he’s won the NFL MVP award three times (2007, 2010, 2017).

Could this be the year Brady wins an MVP with a second franchise?

Does the Earth revolve around the sun?

Brady ranks number one at passing touchdowns with 34. He’s also number one at passing yards with 3,771. He’s ranked fifth in passer rating at 104 behind Rodgers, Stafford, and Murray.

At 9-3, the Bucs remain four games ahead in first place in the NFC South. Brady’s 2021-2022 season also included a 19-17 win in New England.

Since then, the Bucs have gone 6-2, winning by an average of 18 points.

They are currently favored to win the Super Bowl.

Brady will face the Bills in Week 14. He’ll likely remain the top favorite to win the MVP award this season if he performs well.


Nine come from the quarterback position out of the ten potential candidates to win the NFL MVP award. Jonathan Taylor gives the Colts a chance to win. Still, he’s got a long way to go in putting his team in the best position for a shot at the Super Bowl.

Nobody has done that better than Brady.

Who knows when Brady and Rodgers will step aside? That should level the playing field for these other contenders.

But it looks like Brady could win his first MVP with the Buccaneers. That would further add to one of the most illustrious careers in NFL history.

Author’s Bio Bryan Myers is a freelance writer from the U.S. In 2019, he traveled to 12 countries around the world. Currently, he’s in Ecuador after visiting San Juan, Puerto Rico. He’s been writing for Safest Betting Sites since August 2019, covering the 2020 U.S. Election, entertainment, crypto, online casinos, and sports betting.

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