Aaron Rodgers is almost certainly going to win the NFL MVP. It can also result in a landslide when he strengthens the regular season compared to Patrick Mahomes.
That was all that was under the stretch: Rodgers vs. Mahomes. Russell Wilson then had an early season run at the award before falling. Lamar Jackson entered the year as a potential recurrence winner after claiming the honor in 2019, but his debut left him out of the race. But the second-placed MVP finisher when the award is announced on the night before the Super Bowl is the one that was never actually considered by the public to win the award: Bills quarterback Josh Allen.
In his third NFL season, Allen made a big jump across the board, becoming a more accurate passer, limiting mistakes and leading Buffalo to a 13–3 record. The Bills closed out the Red Hot of the season, winning nine of their last 10 regular season games, with the only loss coming on the Cardinals’ miraculous “Hell Murray”. Allen quickly became the face of a franchise that had been lacking since the days of Jim Kelly.
None of this says Allen should win the award over Rodgers, one of the greatest quarterbacks of the time who has had the best season of his career yet. But no matter what the sum of the votes in the NFL Honors says, Allen is entitled to his own long MVP look. It may take more than one think very closely between Allen and Rodgers.
MORE: Josh Allen Jr. emerges as NFL MVP contender from College, Wyoming
Josh Allen vs Aaron Rodgers Stats
|ending %||Passing yard||Total TDS||Int||Running yards||QBR|
|Josh Allen||69.2||Is 4,544||51||10||Is 421||81.7|
|Aaron Rodgers||70.7||Is 4,299||45||5||149||84.4|
Josh Allen vs Aaron Rodgers Assumption
Two layers of public perception are working against Allen. Let’s start with the broader one, team and market.
Ellen has been the quarterback of the Buffalo Bills, one of the NFL’s consecutive losers over the past two decades, and also in one of the league’s smaller media markets. Rodgers leads the historic Green Bay Packers, took over for Brett Favre and starred at Lambo Field for over a decade. While Green Bay is an unusual market by NFL standards, it is also a major player in the public eye on how good the Packers are.
That doesn’t help Allen understand the type of mainstream notoriety he probably deserves. It came to the end of the season as Allen made it impossible to ignore himself, but he was basically ruled out from day one in 2020, whether anyone was watching or not.
In the first four games of the season, Allen threw 12 touchdowns compared to an interception, and he ran for another three scores in those games. But because he still wanted to become a full-fledged superstar and is in a less-watched market, it was easy to focus on the numbers of Dak Prescott and Russell Wilson without acknowledging that Allen was playing with him as well.
It begins for the second assumption issue, time. Allen had the misfortune to be never before at any point of the race. Prescott was quick to break the NFL’s single-season passing yardage record before his season-ending injury. Wilson brought back “Let Juice Cook”. Both Mahomes and Rodgers put their moment in the sun. But at least based on mainstream dialogue, Allen had never been there before. This means he never fully investigated his case, such as Prescott, Wilson or Kylar Murray hurrying or Mahomes and Rodgers downplaying the stretch.
If Allen had broken for an early lead in MVP talks and how he continued to play, he would probably have finished first in the entire season. But instead he was forced to come from behind a bit in a race where he would face more obstacles than more established players. This probably made it a bit difficult to catch.
MVP case for Josh Allen over Aaron Rodgers
If any one season of Rodger’s career deserves the MVP award, which he has already won twice, this is the one. The figures above speak for themselves. He had a career-best in both completions and passing touchdowns this season, and if anything, MVP awards sometimes go toward the “Career Achievement Award” when a veteran has an amazing year.
This is all well and dandy, but think for a second what Alan accomplished this year. He led the Bills in their first 13-win season since 1991. He won the mighty Patriots of the AFC East (with some help from unstable GM Bill Belichick). Allen threw for one less touchdown than Patrick Mahomes, Lamar ran for one more touchdown than Jackson, threw for more yards than Rodgers, got a better quarterback rating from Wilson, Drew Breeds and Tom Brady .
The question of what “valuable” means in MVP is always an important point, and “how will their team play without them?” The argument can be silly. Of course the Packers would be much worse without Rodger, and much worse without Bill Allen.
The thing to note here is that Allen was nearly as good a year as Rodgers in numbers, and he did so little to win. Allen grew up before the NFL’s eyes, in his third year in Wyoming, turning from a raw, misjudged passer-by. Any questions about Stephen Diggs fitting were answered when Allen made him the league’s major receiver in multiple categories. Slot man Cole Beasley had a career revival with Allen. Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll will likely be a head coach in 2021, thanks to how Allen executed his system.
Just look at the Buffalo Airport congratulating Alan and Biles after bringing them to the AFC East. Green Bay loves Rodgers, yes, and he loves his city back. But Allen was working against two decades of incompetence and the question of whether he was worth doing business in 2018. Alan’s Magical Season Enough.
Last night, thousands of Bills fans stamped at Buffalo Niagara International Airport to welcome home the 2020 AFC East Champions. Bill’s plane landed at around 1:15 am Sunday and the epidemic spread. #Bills mafia pic.twitter.com/ctw0ln7dsu
– Alex Braski (@AlexBraskyBDN) 20 December 2020
Ellen and Rodgers have things in common. Two California kids who previously had to go to junior college to prove themselves eventually broke into the NFL due to incredible on-hand talent and high-level mobility. One, Allen, is still nearing the start of his pro journey, while the other, Rodgers, is on a downward slope.
They would, of course, both tell anyone that they would rather hoist the Lombardi Trophy as Super Bowl champions than the MVP award, and would probably be on Super Bowl 55 in Tampa, Florida. But the night before that, one of them, possibly Rodgers, would be named the National Football League’s Most Valuable Player. This could easily be Allen, no matter what the final vote totals say.