According to DraftKings, the only person more likely to win the NFL’s Most Valuable Player honors this season than Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady. Despite Rodgers missing a game against the Kansas City Chiefs due to Covid and the fact that he’s playing through a fractured pinky toe on his left foot, he seems to be very alive in 2021’s MVP race.
Here’s the question now: Can he actually win it?
Last month on the Pat McAfee Show, Rodgers was pressed about that question alongside his former Packers teammate A.J. Hawk.
McAfee: How are you not gonna hold a grudge [against] everybody and do you know that you’re probably never going to win an MVP again? That’s probably never going to happen, right?
Rodgers: (laughing) I think that’s a legitimate statement.
Since Week 2 of the NFL season, following the Packers’ uncharacteristic loss against the New Orleans Saints where they were caught off guard with the Saints’ two-man coverage gameplan, Rodgers has thrown 345 passes for 2,745 yards (8.0 yards per attempt), 23 touchdowns and two interceptions for a passer rating of 111.1 and an adjusted yards per attempt (AY/A) mark of 9.03. The only quarterback who has posted higher marks in season-long passer rating or AY/A than Rodgers since Week 2 has been Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray, who has played two fewer games than Rodgers this season due to injury.
With that being said, despite Rodgers’ on-field production, it’s worth noting that MVP is voted on by the media, the same people Rodgers either lied to or misled about his vaccination status, depending on your perspective, which is why McAfee stated Rodgers wouldn’t win another MVP last month.
It’s also very rare for players to win MVP awards in back-to-back season, which Rodgers would be doing over 2020 and 2021 if he wins it this year. Only Peyton Manning (2008-2009, 2003-2004), Brett Favre (1995-1997) and Joe Montana (1989-1990) have accomplished this in Rodgers’ lifetime for the Associated Press’ MVP award. Only Manning (2008-2009), Marshall Faulk (2000-2001) and Favre (1995-1996) were able to win back-to-back MVPs for the Pro Football Writers of America’s version of the award in Rodgers’ lifetime.
While DraftKings’ MVP prop lists Rodgers at +600 to win the MVP (implied probability of 14% to win the award), Brady still seems to be a few lengths ahead in the race at +175 (implied probability: 36%.) The race is tightening down the stretch with only three other candidates who have at least half of Rodgers’ perceived chance to win the award: Murray (+750), Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (+1000) and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (+1200.)
There’s a lot at play and plenty of games still to play as well but expect the Rodgers MVP debate to start cranking up in the upcoming weeks, especially after the Chicago Bears game this Sunday that has the Packers favored by more points than any of their other games this season.