The perfect rating, the 400 yards and six touchdowns, it has all been discussed at nauseum over the past two days. But Green Bay Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers did more than just have the best statistical game of his career on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders — he firmly inserted himself back into the thick of the NFL’s MVP race for 2019.
After six weeks this season, Rodgers was doing, well, fine. He had not been back to his MVP numbers from 2011 or 2014 yet, and his overall numbers were sitting fairly close to those from the Packers’ 2018 campaign. Here were his numbers through six games:
- 137-219 (62.56% completions), 1,590 yards, 8 TDs, 2 INTs, 7.26 Y/A, 92.8 passer rating
Still, with those relatively pedestrian numbers, Rodgers sat in a tie for the third-best odds to win this year’s MVP award. According to BetOnline.ag, Russell Wilson was last week’s favorite at 2:1 odds, while Patrick Mahomes sat at 5:2 and the duo of Deshaun Watson and Christian McCaffrey were tied with Rodgers at 9:1.
But now, after a game with a perfect passer rating, Rodgers has climbed the rankings all the way to the top spot. That same online betting site now puts Rodgers as the odds-on favorite to win the MVP at 5:2, narrowly passing up Wilson, whose odds dropped to 3:1. Meanwhile, Mahomes’ chances plummeted due to his injury, dropping all the way to 16:1. Interestingly, Watson’s odds improved to 6:1 despite the Texans’ 30-23 loss to the Colts, a game that saw Watson account for just one touchdown and two interceptions.
Rodgers’ tremendous game puts him back on a pace more similar to his previous MVP seasons. His yards per attempt for the year now sits at 8.1 after being at 7.4 or below in each of the past four years. Yards per completion are up as well, sitting at 12.5 after five years of being below 12. Finally, his passer rating is back in triple digits at 103.7, above his NFL-record career rating of 103.2.
Admittedly, Rodgers’ exceptional performance came against a Raiders defense that now ranks 30th in the NFL against the pass, according to DVOA. But even adjusted for opponent, his rankings in advanced stats shot up, as he is up to 5th in DYAR and 7th in DVOA. If the Packers’ passing game continues to shred opposing defenses, Rodgers’ odds today might end up being a bargain. That is no sure thing, however, as two of the Packers’ next three opponents sit in the top five in best pass defense DVOA (Chiefs 4th, Panthers 3rd).