The MVP Debate: Mahomes or Rodgers?
It was another great performance by Aaron Rodgers last night as the Packers defeated the rebuilding Panthers. It wasn’t ARod’s best performance to date, but it was an effective and efficient outing nonetheless, and with Mahomes’ big showdown against the Saints this afternoon, it’s clear that the MVP race has been narrowed down to these two horses.
Patrick Mahomes has become the face of the league, and he has the resume to back up that claim. With an MVP award and a Superbowl under his belt, his rise has been eerily similar to the rise of Aaron Rodgers.
At 37-years old, many people thought Rodgers was over the hill coming into this season, but that's obviously not the case. The veteran is on pace to break his personal best for passing touchdowns in a season at 45, and could break his own record of games with 4 or more touchdown passes in a contest (5) this season.
It’s a record he set back in 2011, and ironically that season, Rodgers would take home his first MVP award. Among starting QB's, Rodgers leads the league in passer rating and pass completions of over 40 yards. In 11 of his 12 starts, Rodgers has eclipsed the 100 passer rating mark season. Rodgers has essentially matched his 2011 self and the Packers are riding high because of it.
With that said, Mahomes has some numbers to ride home about as well. He leads the league in passing yards, is third overall in passing TDs, and also leads the league in passing first downs and completions over 20 yards. He’s done all this and has only thrown 5 interceptions.
Mahomes is blessed with talent around him. With the unstoppable combo of Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, the Chiefs gunslinger has the best weapons in the league and the stats reflect that. Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce are both ranked inside the top 3 for receiving yards, and if Kelce can somehow manage to overtake his teammate he’d be the first Tight End ever to lead the league in receiving yards.
Rodgers doesn't have the receiving core Mahomes does. Sure, Devante Adams is probably the best receiver in the game and Robert Tonyan looks more of a threat with each passing game, but the rest of the receiving core has been average at best. Adams is tied for the most receiving touchdowns this season, which is impressive given he's missed 3 games this season, but there aren’t really any standouts besides him.
It should be noted that the Packers receiving core has the 4th most drops in the league this season.
Heading into the final weeks of the season it’s a neck and neck race for the MVP. Rodgers looks to have the slight edge, and with the Titans and Bears left the Packers’ schedule, Rodgers stats should continue to skyrocket. However, you can never count out the ever explosive Mahomes. Besides the Saints, the Chiefs will look to feast on the Falcons and Chargers to close out their year. It should be a hell of a finish for these two studs.