3 Non QB Players That Deserve This Season’s NFL MVP AwardPosted By: Sourav Das | January 14, 2022
When we think of the regular season NFL MVP Awards, or even more, when we check out any of the top NFL stats pages around to learn a bit more about who the latest winners of the MVP award are, we usually find an interesting and repetitive coincidence. All of the latest regular-season MVP award winners have all been QB’s. In most cases when you look at the final lists of the candidates for the awards, you’ll probably notice that QB’s usually clog up the top of the rankings. Now, that doesn’t mean whatsoever that QB’s are better than the other players on the team, especially those who are as deserving of the recognition, but it mostly shows that in the world of football QB’s always reign supreme.
This season, the narrative has been more of the same, with players like Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Josh Allen, and Patrick Mahomes all being perennial fan and critics favorites to win the award, but yet, three players have managed to put up seasons so stellar that they should be considered for the MVP award. Who are these players? Let’s take a look.
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Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts
I think we can all agree that when it comes to the running back world in the NFL, even while there are some amazing rushers and powerhouse players, that department is somewhat criminally overseen in conversations about MVP awards. But for some reason, the 2021 season felt differently. It felt like it could be the season for an RB to take over the MVP award recognition. For everybody, that RB was Titans star, Derrick Henry. But after Henry was sidelined for the season with a foot injury, another star rusher stepped up and managed to put on a season for the books.
Colts titan RB Jonathan Taylor became the backbone of Indi’s offense and the absolute best running back in the league. Week in and week out Taylor put up some amazing numbers and stats that allowed him to finish as the NFL rushing yard leader with 1,811 yards and a whopping 18 rushing yards. His performance against the Patriots in week 15 of the regular season, where he rushed for 170 yards, with a 67-yard score that made the whole football world come to a collective frenzy, and the fact that he had five games with over 140 rushing yards is enough to make him a worthy candidate of the MVP award in our opinion.
Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams
What Jonathan Taylor did in the RB department, Rams’ wide receiver Cooper Kupp with for the WR department. If you want to talk about production stats and overall receiving dominance throughout the season, Cooper Kupp is your man to look for. With his 145 receptions, 1,947 total yards caught, and 16 touchdowns, he managed to win the coveted wide receivers Triple Crown honors, something that hadn’t happened since 2005 when former Panthers legend Steve Smith managed to pull such feat off.
Kupp was by far and near the epitome of receiving excellence and one of the main reasons for Los Angeles’ success this season on offense. He and new QB Matthew Stafford clicked right away forming one of the most lethal QB/WR duos in the league, all while playing against some of the toughest defenses against the pass around. If he would’ve been able to breach the 2,000-yard receiving yards mark and the 20 touchdowns mark, there would’ve been no discussion whatsoever, but for now, here’s to hoping his talents take him and the Rams far into the postseason.
T.J. Watt, DE, Pittsburgh Steelers
If you think that’s it’s hard for players from other offensive positions to get noticed by the people in charge of awarding the MVP honors in the NFL, imagine what it’s like for a defensive player. But still, year in and year out some players have continued to show that this league is not all about passing, but about being defensive powerhouses as well. While many people could argue that the best example of that is Browns’ DE Myles Garrett, and he is, for now, our vote for the player that deserves the MVP award this season is Pittsburgh’s star linebacker, T.J. Watt.
Apparently, if your last name is Watt and you play football, the chances of you becoming a defensive behemoth in the league are very friendly. Just look at T.J.’s brother J.J., who while having seen his best years in the league go by, is still regarded as one of the best defensive players in recent memory. But let’s get back to the Steelers’ defensive leader. T.J. Watt finished the season off with a whopping 22.5 sacks, tying former NY Giants legend Michael Strahan for the single-season sacks record in the history of the league. He was the leader of a Pittsburgh team that was close to imploding and managed to take them from a ticking time bomb to a playoff-ridden team once again this season. If overall dominance of the game and inspiration were keys to picking an MVP, then the league should look no further than Watt.