Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen looks to throw during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

Top NFL MVP Candidates

The drama was not hard to find in a news-filled, player-swapping NFL offseason. Nonetheless, it is time to put all of that in the past. Kickoff is here. With the NFL season arriving, the buzz for who takes home MVP will start to hoard debates. Aaron Rodgers took home the coveted award last year, but here are a few of the early-season favorites.

Historically, the MVP has been known as a QB award. The last non-quarterback to win was running back Adrian Peterson in 2012. Here are the top two quarterbacks along with one skill player with the best shot at taking home the crown.

Josh Allen +650

The Bills have gathered a lot of noise this offseason largely because of Josh Allen. Buffalo has the roster, youth and experience to make it work. In a heartbreaking loss to the Chiefs in overtime to end their season last year, Allen still managed to throw for over 300 yards and four touchdowns.

Going into his fifth season with the Bills, at age 26, it is safe to say this is Allen’s team. He and Stefon Diggs have paired up nicely together and complement each other well. In an offense that threw over 4,000 passing yards and 36 touchdowns, the sky is the limit. Look for Allen to lead his team with his success through the regular season and be in that MVP conversation when NFL Honors roll around.

Justin Herbert +900

Another young star in this league, at only 24, Justin Herbert has already made a name for himself. Just last year, Herbert finished second in the league in passing yards behind Tom Brady with over 5,000 yards. His 38 touchdowns were good for third-best in the league thanks to some of the best weapons in the game.

In the backfield with Herbert is utility-star Austin Ekeler. Ekeler does everything from catching balls out of the backfield or punching in a goal-line touchdown. Along with Ekeler, Herbert also has the luxury of having two lethal red-zone weapons in Mike Williams and Keenan Allen. Between Ekeler, Williams and Allen, they accumulated 23 of Herbert’s 38 passing touchdowns, last season.

With another great season from Herbert and his supporting cast, there is no question that Herbert should be a preseason favorite to take home MVP honors.

It is neat to see the changing of the guards and this new generation of quarterbacks slowly taking over the league. Other than Herbert and Allen, Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow and even Tom Brady have a shot to take over the league once again this season. While Aaron Rodgers lost his favorite weapon, Davante Adams, to Las Vegas, you can never rule him out.

Derrick Henry +5000

As previously mentioned, a non-QB has not won this award since 2012, but it was a running back who won it. If anyone in the league can do it, it’s Derrick Henry.

The offense is set up around Henry which enables him to be the centerpiece. Workload and overuse have always been a question mark with Henry’s longevity, but the Titans and Henry don’t find it to be an issue.

While only appearing in eight games last season, Henry still nearly eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark with 937 yards. Just two seasons ago, Henry was the first person since Peterson’s MVP season in 2012 to rush for 2,000 yards, joining an elite club.

If Henry can stay healthy and put up similar numbers to his 2020 season, he may find himself in the conversation with some of those top-tier quarterbacks.

While these are not all the MVP candidates, these are some of the top players who could make a booming impact for their team this upcoming NFL season.

About Kyle Curtis

A third-year journalism student with a focus in sports and media.

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