Sixteen weeks of NFL football are in the books. Just two weeks of the regular season remain. There's still plenty to be decided in the final two weeks of the season, including division winners, wild-card berths, playoff seeding and draft positioning. The MVP race is still yet to be decided as well, though a significant favorite has risen from the group.
Aaron Rodgers is the MVP favorite
Two weeks ago, Tom Brady was the odds-on favorite to win the MVP award. It seemed like there was no real way the 44-year-old quarterback was going to relinquish his hold on the award. As we know by now, this league is unpredictable and crazy things happen.
Brady was shut out on "Sunday Night Football" by the New Orleans Saints. In that game, he lost his three best weapons to injury in Chris Godwin, Mike Evans and Leonard Fournette. He followed up his shutout loss with an unimpressive performance that saw him throw for just 232 yards and one touchdown in a win over the Panthers.
Now? Brady is +650 to win the MVP and there's a new favorite atop the leaderboard.
Aaron Rodgers is coming off an efficient performance against the Cleveland Browns that saw him throw three touchdown passes in a win on Christmas. His performance in the spotlight has thrust him into the favorite's role. Rodgers is currently -190 to win the MVP.
Jonathan Taylor is challenging established norms
A quarterback has won the MVP award in eight consecutive seasons and 13 of the past 14 years. That's not surprising when you consider the importance of the quarterback position in today's game.
The last non-quarterback to win the award was Adrian Peterson in 2012. Peterson rehabbed from a torn ACL in record time and then came within a few yards of breaking the all-time single season rushing record. Peterson posted 2,097 rushing yards and 2,314 yards from scrimmage as the Vikings ended the season with a 10-6 record.
Currently, Jonathan Taylor has 1,626 rushing yards and 1,962 yards from scrimmage on the season. He's on pace to finish with over 1,800 rushing yards and 2,200 yards from scrimmage.
Taylor has had at least 100 yards of offense in 11 of his last 12 games. The one game he didn't reach the century mark, he finished with 97 yards. The Colts are 9-0 in games where Taylor rushes for at least 100 yards.
Is this the year that a non-quarterback finally wins the award? It's hard to believe that, but if it's going to happen, Taylor has one great case. Taylor currently sits at +650 to win the MVP, the same exact odds as Tom Brady.
What's the best value play?
I do believe the MVP race is down to those three players. Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen are both sitting at 12-to-1 to win the award, but I don't think there's enough time left in the season to make up the ground they need to make up.
I do think there's a bit of an overreaction in these odds. Tom Brady has good value at the current +650 odds. Brady has the Jets on his schedule this week, so a ridiculous offensive performance isn't out of the question. I would not be surprised to see Brady throw for 350 yards and four touchdowns this weekend and put a sizable dent in Rodgers' perceived lead.
I love Jonathan Taylor, but I still have a hard time seeing a non-quarterback win this award. If I'm making a bet at these current odds, I'm going with Brady.
What about the other awards?
Who's the favorite to win the other awards?
Defensive Rookie of the Year is off the board currently. It seems all but certain that Micah Parsons of the Cowboys will win the award.
T.J. Watt is the favorite to win the Defensive Player of the Year currently with +200 odds. Parsons is not far behind, sitting with +225 odds.
Mac Jones is a prohibitive -500 favorite to win Offensive Rookie of the Year. Ja'Marr Chase has the second-best odds at +350.
It's a complete toss-up for Offensive Player of the Year as both Cooper Kupp and Jonathan Taylor have -105 odds to win the award.
Dak Prescott remains a huge favorite to win Comeback Player of the Year at -650 odds. The second-best odds belong to Joe Burrow, who sits at +500.
Matt Lafleur of the Green Bay Packers is the favorite to win Coach of the Year at +150. Frank Reich of the Colts at +350 has the second-best odds.