National Football League

MVP Watch: A Case For Henry?

December 22, 2020

Can Derrick Henry break up the quarterback monopoly on the NFL's MVP award?

While unlikely ⁠— considering quarterbacks have won the past seven awards and 12 of the past 13 ⁠— Henry closing in on the 2,000 rushing-yard mark could pique some interest.

Of course, he'd have to swipe votes away from Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers and Josh Allen to do so, which could be asking too much. 

Nevertheless, his odds are improving week to week. Here are the top five MVP favorites according to FOX Bet's insights, along with a breakdown of each candidate's recent play and what's on the horizon.

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1. Patrick Mahomes -300

How it's going: Mahomes outdueled a banged-up Drew Brees, as the Chiefs visited New Orleans and left with a 32-29 win against the Saints. The Saints harassed Mahomes with 11 hits and four sacks, but Kansas City's QB stood tall and dropped back 47 times, throwing for 254 yards and three touchdowns. 

What's up next: Look out. The league's second-worst pass defense will be tasked with stopping Mahomes, as the Atlanta Falcons visit Arrowhead Stadium. The Falcons are giving up 287 yards in the air per game, a mark that Mahomes has blown by in nine games this season.

What people are saying: "We can't take watching what Patrick Mahomes does for granted. It's greatness." ⁠— Dan Orlovsky, Get Up

2. Aaron Rodgers +250

How it's going: The Green Bay Packers started strong against the Carolina Panthers in Saturday's 24-16 win, running off three touchdowns in as many possessions, but then they stalled. Rodgers' 20-for-29 day for 143 yards and one passing touchdown was enough to beat the Panthers, but Green Bay's QB admitted the outcome left a "sour taste" in his mouth. 

What's up next: A stern test comes in Week 16, as the 10-4 Tennessee Titans come to Lambeau Field. The Titans lead the NFL with a +12 takeaway differential, but are vulnerable in the air. Their 276 passing yards allowed per game ranks 29th.

What people are saying: "That's Aaron Rodgers waving goodbye to the MVP race, because that's over too now. You know when it ended? When Patrick Mahomes made the single best pass of the NFL season." ⁠— Nick Wright, First Things First

3. Josh Allen +1400

How it's going: Allen notched another four-touchdown day in a 48-19 blowout win for the Buffalo Bills against the Denver Broncos. Buffalo's QB completed 70 percent of his passes for 359 yards and a pair of TDs, while also rushing for 33 yards and two touchdowns.

What's up next: Buffalo visits the downtrodden New England Patriots on Monday, who were officially eliminated from postseason contention in Week 15. In four career games against his AFC East rivals, Allen is 1-3 with five total touchdowns and six interceptions. His first win against the Pats came in Week 8 of this season.

What people are saying: "This guy is awesome. He was amazing on Saturday ... This could be the Super Bowl winner here this year and that guy right there might be the Super Bowl MVP. They are that good and that dangerous." ⁠— Peter Schrager, GMFB

4. Derrick Henry +3000

How it's going: With 147 yards in a 46-25 demolition of the Detroit Lions, Henry kept on rumbling, and is averaging a fraction under 120 rushing yards per game. Perhaps more impressive, considering his workload, Henry has just one fumble on the season.

What's up next: Could Henry be the eighth player to join the 2000-yard club? It's a tall order, but he'll need 321 yards over his next two games to hit the mark. Week 16's matchup features a stout Packers rush defense that allows 110 yards per game, good for 11th in the league. 

What people are saying: "That is what you call roughing the tackler." – Tony Dungy on Henry's stiff-arm vs. Detroit, via SNF on NBC

5. Russell Wilson +8000

How it's going: The Seahawks had their hands full with a feisty Washington Football Team defense in a 20-15 win. Wilson went 18-of-27 for 121 yards ⁠— his lowest passing yards total of the season ⁠— with one touchdown and a pick.

What's up next: Seattle takes on the Los Angeles Rams with a shot at clinching the NFC West on the line. In their Week 10 clash, Wilson struggled in a 37-22 loss, with zero touchdowns and a trio of turnovers ⁠— two picks and one fumble lost.

What people are saying: "Wilson continued a quietly effective season running the ball with 52 yards, including the 38-yarder in the second quarter that set up Seattle’s first touchdown." ⁠— Bob Condotta, Seattle Times


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