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Why Josh Allen’s MVP case is closer to Aaron Rodgers’ than you think

Aaron Rodgers is nearly definitely going to win NFL MVP. It could even be in a landslide after he closed the common season stronger than Patrick Mahomes.

That is what it was all about down the stretch: Rodgers vs. Mahomes. That was after Russell Wilson had made an early-season run on the award earlier than falling off. Lamar Jackson entered the yr as a possible repeat winner after claiming the dignity in 2019, however his begin pushed him out of the operating, too. However the second-place MVP finisher when the award is introduced the evening earlier than the Tremendous Bowl is somebody who was by no means realistically thought-about by the general public to win the award: Payments quarterback Josh Allen.

In his third NFL season, Allen took main leaps throughout the board, changing into a extra correct passer whereas limiting errors and main Buffalo to a 13-3 file. The Payments closed the season crimson sizzling, profitable 9 of their final 10 common season video games, with the one loss approaching the Cardinals’ miraculous “Hail Murray.” Allen shortly turned the face of a franchise that had been missing one for the reason that days of Jim Kelly.

None of that’s to say Allen ought to win the award over Rodgers, one of many best quarterbacks of all time who could have simply had the perfect season of his profession. However it doesn’t matter what the vote totals say at NFL Honors, Allen deserves an extended MVP look of his personal. It is loads nearer between Allen and Rodgers than one would possibly assume.

MORE: How Josh Allen rose from junior college, Wyoming to NFL MVP contender leading the Bills

Josh Allen vs. Aaron Rodgers stats

  Completion % Passing yards Complete TDs INTs Dashing yards QBR
Josh Allen 69.2 4,544 51 10 421 81.7
Aaron Rodgers 70.7 4,299 45 5 149 84.4
(Getty Photos)

Josh Allen vs. Aaron Rodgers notion

There are two layers of public notion working in opposition to Allen. Let’s begin with the broader one, staff and market affiliation.

Allen is quarterbacking the Buffalo Payments, one of many NFL’s constant losers over the previous 20 years, and in one of many league’s smaller media markets, too. Rodgers leads the historic Inexperienced Bay Packers, having taken over for Brett Favre and starred for greater than a decade at Lambeau Discipline. Whereas Inexperienced Bay is an uncommon market by NFL requirements, it is also a serious participant within the public eye due to how good the Packers are.

That does not assist Allen garner the kind of mainstream notoriety he in all probability deserves. It got here by the tip of the season as a result of Allen made himself unattainable to disregard, however he mainly balled out from day one in 2020 whether or not anybody was watching or not. 

Within the season’s first 4 video games, Allen threw 12 touchdowns in comparison with one interception, and he ran for an additional three scores in these video games. However as a result of he’d but to develop into a full-on celebrity and is in a less-noticed market, it was simpler to concentrate to the numbers of Dak Prescott and Russell Wilson with out acknowledging that Allen was enjoying simply in addition to them.

That begins to get to the second notion subject, timing. Allen had the dangerous luck of by no means being at first throughout any level of the race. Prescott was on tempo to shatter the NFL’s single-season passing yardage file earlier than his season-ending harm. Wilson introduced on the “Let Russ Cook dinner” refrains. Mahomes and Rodgers each had their second within the solar. However not less than primarily based on mainstream dialog, Allen was by no means in first. That meant he by no means had his case examined as totally as that of Prescott, Wilson or Kyler Murray early on or Mahomes and Rodgers down the stretch.

If Allen had damaged out to an early lead in MVP talks and stored enjoying how he did, possibly he would’ve stayed in first for the entire season. However as an alternative he was pressured to return from barely behind in a race the place he’d face extra obstacles than extra established gamers. It probably made it barely too troublesome to catch up. 

The MVP case for Josh Allen over Aaron Rodgers

If anybody season of Rodgers’ profession deserved an MVP award, which he is already gained twice, it is this one. The statistics above communicate for themselves. He had career-bests in each completion proportion and passing touchdowns this season, and if something, MVP awards often development towards the “profession achievement award” when a veteran participant has an incredible yr.

That is all wonderful and dandy, however assume for a second about what Allen achieved this yr. He led the Payments to their first 13-win season since 1991. He vanquished the AFC East’s mighty Patriots (albeit with some assist from shaky GM Bill Belichick). Allen threw for one fewer landing than Patrick Mahomes, ran for yet another landing than Lamar Jackson, threw for extra yards than Rodgers, had a greater quarterback ranking than Wilson, Drew Brees and Tom Brady.

The query of what “worthwhile” means in MVP is at all times a sticking level, and the “How would their staff play with out them?” argument can get foolish. After all the Packers could be a lot worse with out Rodgers, and the Payments could be a lot worse with out Allen.

The purpose right here is that Allen had almost nearly as good a yr as Rodgers, by the numbers, and he did it in a spot a lot much less used to profitable. Allen grew up earlier than the NFL’s eyes, turning from a uncooked, inaccurate passer at Wyoming to a dominant pressure in his third yr. Any questions on Stefon Diggs becoming in had been answered when Allen made him the league’s main receiver in a number of classes. Slot man Cole Beasley’s had a career revival with Allen. Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll will probably be a head coach elsewhere in 2021 because of how Allen executed his system.

Simply take a look at the packed Buffalo airport that greeted Allen and the Payments after they clinched the AFC East. Inexperienced Bay loves Rodgers, sure, and he loves his metropolis again. However Allen was working in opposition to 20 years of incompetence and the query of whether or not he had been price buying and selling up for in 2018. Allen’s magical season simply meant a lot.

It is nearly eerie the issues Allen and Rodgers have in widespread. Two California youngsters who needed to go first to junior faculty to show themselves, ultimately breaking by means of within the NFL due to unimaginable arm expertise and high-level mobility. One, Allen, continues to be close to the beginning of his professional journey, whereas the opposite, Rodgers, is on the down slope. 

They, after all, would each inform anybody that they’d moderately hoist the Lombardi Trophy as Tremendous Bowl champion than the MVP award, and possibly one will at Tremendous Bowl 55 in Tampa, Florida. However the evening earlier than that, certainly one of them, probably Rodgers, will probably be named the Nationwide Soccer League’s Most Invaluable Participant. It might simply as simply be Allen, it doesn’t matter what the ultimate vote totals say.

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