Well, that was fun. A mere week after I called the Philadelphia Eagles’ victory unconvincing, citing an offense deemed incapable of winning a playoff game, Monday Night Football happened. The “Jalen Hurts Game” not only saw a young quarterback introduce himself to the forefront of the MVP conversation. It also gave us primetime Kirk Cousins, the alter-ego of an otherwise quality quarterback. How did Week 2 affect the MVP race?
Allen’s clear lead sits at +270 on FanDuel, meaning an $100 bet nets $270 in profit. After dominating the Los Angeles Rams and absolutely dismantling the Tennessee Titans, the Buffalo Bills look like a top two team in football. Allen’s analytical profile is strikingly similar to Mahomes’ and as long as they keep blowing teams out, he’ll be the true frontrunner.
As for Mahomes, there isn’t much he can do differently. He managed to escape Thursday Night Football without a turnover thanks to penalties and some ridiculously poor ball skills, and ultimately came away with the win. Perhaps Vegas felt Mahomes looked vulnerable. His +500 odds aren’t a terrible bet, assuming he gets back into form for Week 3.
The Risers and Fallers
There’s no way around it. If Hurts looks like he did on Monday for the remaining Sundays of this season, he’ll win the MVP. His showing blended his best passing performance as a professional with his typical rushing prowess. There are still questions left to be answered, but it’s impossible not to be excited. Hell, just check Twitter, they’ve already moved to nominate him for mayor.
Hurts was incredible and the Eagles fired on all cylinders. His +1000 odds from FanDuel are a sharp increase from Week 1. With Philadelphia poised to win a weak NFC East, an inflated record only helps his case.
Simply put, Monday night was the first time Eagles fans could truly feel confident that Hurts was the guy. Who knows if it will continue, but the pieces around him are there. He’s out of the nest and flying high. Strong performances in the next few weeks can get the ball rolling on the narrative aspect of the award and land him in the “favorites” section.
On the other hand, it’s hard not to feel bad for Cousins. He baited us once again, flashing against a good defense only to cower under the bright lights of national television. I’m not ready to declare myself out on the Minnesota Vikings, but Cousins’ MVP odds have already dropped to +4000.
The Dark Horse
Is it fair to call a Super Bowl champion and recently extended star a dark horse to win MVP? If so, Russell Wilson deserves the title. Yes, the Denver Broncos have underperformed. A Nathaniel Hackett-sized problem has appeared on the coaching staff. They certainly aren’t getting any healthier.
Yet, Wilson perseveres. Through two weeks, Wilson has accumulated the sixth-most Expected Points Added among quarterbacks. He’s also produced the second-most Win Percentage Added. In short, he’s been effective and kept Denver in games. Of course, they’ll have to figure out the whole winning part of the equation.
If they get hot, anything can happen in the wild AFC West. At +2500 there’s decent value in riding with Wilson.