Polls on social media are one of the greatest ways to gauge how fans are thinking. While no poll on social media will be scientific, they do give some insight into the fans who are engaging with the online community. In a recent Instagram poll about the NFL MVP through seven weeks, fans may have shown themselves to be on a different wavelength than the media is.
While several quarterbacks are making themselves MVP candidates with their early play, the one who appears to be gaining the most traction on social media may not be who the average fan suspects it to be.
Patrick Mahomes for MVP?
Although a week 7 injury may have put a damper on the back-to-back MVP hopes for Patrick Mahomes, if it didn’t he will be a likely candidate once again. His arm is better, he’s shown poise under pressure, and even when he isn’t putting up monster numbers he is finding a way to win the Chiefs some ball games. Because of this, he is an easy choice for the season’s MVP, but a look through the comments on Instagram shows that while he has his fans, he is far from a consensus pick.
Perhaps less prevalent than Wilson, Garoppolo could be a dark horse for the MVP award, especially if the 49ers continue their blazing-hot start to the season. Although his statistics pale in comparison to some of the others, his ability to win the 49ers nearly every game he plays in makes him an alternative candidate to some of the bigger names. Some may argue, however, that Garoppolo is benefitting greatly from the 49ers’ defense.
Still, Niners fans are famously loud and passionate, and it is not impossible to think that he could be the fan-favorite to win the prestigious honor. Alas, it is not him, either.
Aaron Rodgers is one of the biggest names in professional football. Even when the Packers struggled to garner wins, Rodgers was consistently one of the top-performing quarterbacks in the NFL. This year, with a new head coach and a new-look roster around him, Rodgers may be poised to take home another MVP trophy. It would be his first in five years.
The Packers, however, despite their hot start, still have some cracks to fill, and while Rodgers certainly has the fan support to be on the list, he is not the most popular name mentioned.
Lamar Jackson is another dark horse candidate. After breaking out last season, many questioned whether his style is antiquated. After all, running quarterbacks are no longer all the rage. However, Jackson responded by leading one of the best offenses in the NFL, and even if some may question his skillset, he is getting results. He is not, however, the leading vote-getter.
When considering fan votes, one must consider what people think about the player. True, Tom Brady has a lot of fans out there who are loud and passionate and insistent that he should be the MVP on a year-by-year basis. Tom Brady has a lot of detractors, however, who will also say that he does not deserve any MVPs, even if they know that he does.
Partner this with the fact that he has the dubious honor of being almost too good to win MVP awards, and it makes him too much of a consistent presence to get the votes. Whatever the case, Brady also wasn’t the most popular name mentioned.
Russell Wilson for MVP!
That’s right, Russell Wilson is getting his due. Although he is certainly one of the most popular players in football, his quick rise to the top may have hurt him in the long run. Although he is consistently one of the best quarterbacks in football, he has rarely put aside the Tom Bradys, Aaron Rodgers, and Drew Breeses of a generation before him.
Wilson, however, is having his best season as a professional football player and the fans are taking notice. From his wonderful throws to occasional rushes, Wilson might be the correct answer even if Mahomes can stay healthy and Brady continues having his season.
One thing is indisputable, however. Despite whatever detractions people have for Wilson, he remains one of the most popular players in the NFL.