NFL MVP 2020: The case for Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes

Published 12/16/2020, 3:42 AM EST


The NFL MVP race is heating up. While there are quite a few names in the mix as to who should get the league’s most coveted award for an individual, two names stand out from the pack. The evergreen Aaron Rodgers and the electrifying Patrick Mahomes.

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Both have earned the accolade in the past, with Rodgers having won it twice. While the two are in very different stages of their careers, their performances have been nothing short of jaw-dropping.

Rodgers, now 36, continues to defy his age, Mahomes looks set to light up the league in the years to come. 

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Breaking down the stats

After the completion of Week 14, Rodgers has 3,685 passing yards to his name. Meanwhile, Mahomes sits pretty on top of the league with a total of 4,208, nearly 450+ yards over his nearest competitor (Deshaun Watson).

What’s important to note, though, is that Rodgers has made fewer pass attempts (448) as compared to Mahomes (497). 

Despite making fewer attempts, the Packers’ QB leads the league in touchdown passes with 39, as compared to Mahomes’ 33. This is something which also correlates to Rodgers’ pass completion rate of 69.6%, second only to the Seahawks’ Russell Wilson (70.4%).

Another criterion where the veteran gets the better of Mahomes is in terms of interceptions. Heading into Week 14, Mahomes had thrown only 2 interceptions, with both of them being against the Las Vegas Raiders. Rodgers, meanwhile, had made 3. 

Sep 13, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) celebrates a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

All that changed though when the Chiefs took on the Dolphins. Mahomes ended the game with 3 interceptions, one more than his entire tally for the season so far.

It was also the first time that he ended a game with 3 interceptions. Thus, in this metric as well, Rodgers just about pips Mahomes.

One aspect where Mahomes is head and shoulders above his competition is the rushing game. Although Rodgers is nimble on his feet, he prefers to take the aerial route on most play calls.

The same can’t quite be said about Mahomes, who isn’t afraid to venture out of his pocket. 

Sep 28, 2020; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) looks to throw as Baltimore Ravens linebacker Matthew Judon (99) defends during the first quarter at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

With 250 rushing yards, Mahomes has covered 150 yards more than Rodgers this season. What’s interesting to note is that despite covering the extra yardage, both have the same number of rushing touchdowns this season with 2 apiece.

When it comes to overall passer rating, Rodgers gets the better of Mahomes yet again with 119.7 to the latter’s 112.3.

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As close as it can get 

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Either would’ve been the runaway winner if this were any other season. With both quarterbacks boasting of MVP-worthy numbers, there’s very little to distinguish between the two. 

While both have had games where they’ve gone off the radar, the point being, Aaron Rodgers vs the Buccaneers and Patrick Mahomes against the Dolphins, they’ve enjoyed near-flawless campaigns. 

The decision of who might end up winning MVP will continue in the weeks to come. And as the regular season nears its end, the next few game weeks will prove crucial for both QBs in staking their claim for the top prize.

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Shivayan Roy

752 articles

Shivayan Roy is currently an NFL writer at EssentiallySports. After completing his Masters Diploma in Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism, Roy functioned as a reporter for Goal.com and extensively covered the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

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