The 2019 NFL MVP Award Will Be One Player's To Lose
Barring injury, it could be a repeat of 2018
It’s not very often that a young quarterback is able to post the kind of numbers that Patrick Mahomes did in 2018. Under head coach Andy Reid, the first-time starting signal-caller thrived for the Kansas City Chiefs, and provided the team’s fans with a glimpse of what could be for many years to come.
Not only did Mahomes throw for a ridiculous 50 touchdowns last season, which is tied for the second-most in a single-season in NFL history, but the former Texas Tech Red Raider also guided the Chiefs to the AFC Championship Game.
Oh, not to mention he also came away with NFL MVP honors.
Mahomes is a heavy MVP favorite heading into the 2019 NFL season, and deservingly so, after posting Madden-like statistics a season ago with the Chiefs. The third-year quarterback currently holds +600 odds in the MVP race (per DraftKings Sportsbook), ahead of fellow quarterbacks Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck and Tom Brady.
Here’s a closer look at why Mahomes should be the betting favorite to repeat as NFL MVP in 2019.
What They’re Saying
The 23-year-old Mahomes earned rave reviews from NFL staff and analysts alike even before he went under center in 2018, and what came after the opening few plays was nothing short of spectacular.
For a player that threw for 50 touchdowns and completed over 65 percent of his passes last season, it’s tough to imagine much wrong with his game, right?
Well, Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy has tried to keep Mahomes humble as the third-year quarterback continues his rise to NFL stardom, and for Mahomes, this training camp has been largely about his footwork in the pocket.
“That’s been a huge focus,” Bieniemy said via the Kansas City Star. “Obviously just making sure he maintains some type of consistency in the pocket with his feet. And that’s the thing that I’ve seen, not just over the past two days but also too with him participating in rookie training camp.
“He was a little rusty to start, but he is cleaning it up. It’s not too extended. He’s sitting confident in the pocket.”
Meanwhile, Mahomes and the Chiefs received some very good news this offseason in regards to Tyreek Hill’s clearance by the NFL over alleged child abuse accusations.
The play-making wide receiver has become Mahomes’ favorite target thus far in his young career, with Hill catching
“The whole offense was really rolling and we were really connecting on a lot of deep balls,” Mahomes said, per the Heavy.com. “It’s obviously good to get out there and get those reps and get those big passes completed. That’s a big part of our offense.”
Diving Into the Numbers
Mahomes led the league in ESPN’s Total QBR metric with an 81.8 mark and was one of only two NFL quarterbacks to post a rating higher than 80.0 in 2018. Brees was the other.
For Mahomes, his ability to find ways to get the ball to his receivers was the most impressive aspect of his first season as the starter, especially for a quarterback that faced as much duress as Mahomes did in the pocket.
With Hill and tight end Travis Kelce among the All-Pro targets at his disposal, Mahomes added another dimension to the Chiefs’ aerial attack with his deep-ball passing. Mahomes led the NFL in yards per attempt (8.79), while his yards per completion jumped up to 13.3 yards.
In a league that has increasingly become about throwing the ball, Mahomes also exhibited how vital it is to have someone with his arm strength whipping the pigskin downfield several times per game.
Mahomes led the NFL in completions of over 20 yards, with 75, while also posted 15 completions of over 40 yards in 2018, which only trailed Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
In a division that also features the talented Los Angeles Chargers, the Denver Broncos and the Oakland Raiders, Mahomes certainly has his work cut again this season, but with the majority of his core weapons still in place the Chiefs offense will undoubtedly remain among the best in the NFL.
Facing a demanding schedule in 2019, the Chiefs will have to deal with the New England Patriots, Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers, in addition to their divisional opponents. However, Mahomes has already shown his capability of shining in the biggest of moments.
Last season, even in the Chiefs’ four losses during the regular season, the team was within a touchdown of their opponent in every game. Simply put, Mahomes knows how to guide this offseason, and shouldn’t have difficulty doing so as he continues to develop under Reid and the coaching staff.
With +600 odds, there’s some upside to make a solid return on the Mahomes MVP investment. Based on what the Chiefs quarterback produced a season ago, it’s hard to imagine a sophomore slump at Arrowhead Stadium in 2019.
Note: All statistics above were found on Football-Reference.com. The advice above represents the writer's personal view and does not reflect or represent BetQL's stance or interest in any way.