The 2019 season has now crossed the midway point, which has given a strong sense of the league with where teams stand and what players are making runs at the MVP award. Kansas City Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes has fallen out of that conversation due to a knee injury.
However, there is still plenty of other talented players such as Aaron Rodgers making strong early bids for the honor. Here are the top three candidates at the moment for the award.
3. Christian McCaffrey
The Carolina Panthers have been one of the better stories in the NFL that has seen them crawl their way back into the playoff picture even with star quarterback Cam Newton being sidelined since Week 2.
A large chunk of their success has been on the back on Pro Bowl running back Christian McCaffrey, who has been putting together a breakout year. He has been one of the league’s most productive running backs, if not the best all-around back this year, as he’s fourth with 735 rushing yards and second with rushing touchdowns.
McCaffrey has also notched 39 catches for 343 receiving yards and two touchdowns while posting four 100 rushing yards performances and five total outings with 100 yards from scrimmage. He’s on pace to notch 2,464 total scrimmage yards, which put him second all-time in a single season behind Chris Johnson, who accomplished that feat back in his 2009 MVP campaign.
McCaffrey is also the first player in Panthers history with at least one rushing touchdown and one receiving touchdown in back-to-back games. He has been the heartbeat of the Panthers offense while his production alone deservingly puts him on this shortlist.
2. Russell Wilson
The Seattle Seahawks hold one of the best records in the NFC behind, winning six out of their first eight games of the season. A significant reason for their success has been quarterback Russell Wilson‘s stellar play under center as he’s been putting together a career-best campaign.
Wilson has thrown for 2,127 yards with 17 touchdowns to just one interception while holding a 115.5 passer rating. That puts him on pace to notch 4,254 yards with 34 touchdowns to two interceptions, which would surpass Tom Brady’s all-time NFL regular-season record of 14 touchdowns to interceptions mark.
The Pro Bowler has been the driving force for the Seahawks offense that has them on pace to secure a playoff spot while possibly contending for the NFC West division title. Along with that, his performance has only further secured his place among the best quarterbacks in the league.
If Wilson can continue to perform at this level combined with the Seahawks racking up more wins, it will be hard to deny him this award.
1. Aaron Rodgers
In his first season under first-year head coach Matt LaFleur, the Packers have quickly found success, with Aaron Rodgers proving further why he’s arguably the game’s best quarterback.
Rodgers has put forth some highly impressive performances along the way that have fueled his strong start with 2,324 passing yards with 16 touchdowns to two interceptions while holding a 106.7 passer rating. He may have tallied more than 300 passing yards just three times, but he has thrown multiple touchdown passes five times.
That included one of the best performances of his career two weeks ago against the Oakland Raiders, where he was nearly unstoppable. Rodgers was masterful against the Raiders, completing 25-of-31 passes for 429 yards with five touchdown passes and a perfect 158.3 passer rating along with a rushing touchdown.
It also marked the first time Packers quarterback finished a game with a perfect 158.3 passer rating. Green Bay’s success behind Rodgers’ play has put him in the driver’s seat to capture his third MVP award.