Week after week, Aaron Rodgers’ MVP chances for 2021 seem to be improving. The NFL MVP odds have been wide open for most of the season, but with two weeks left in the regular season, the field is beginning to shrink.
With the Packers establishing themselves as Super Bowl contenders and their quarterback leading the way, Rodgers’ MVP case gets more compelling by the week.
In fact, one could argue that the latest NFL MVP ladder has only a few rungs with Rodgers and Tom Brady being at the top and running back Jonathan Taylor making a compelling case as a rare non-quarterback MVP contender. But where does that leave Aaron Rodgers’ MVP chances for 2021 with just two games left?
Aaron Rodgers MVP chances
If nothing else, the opportunity is there for Rodgers to claim his second straight MVP award and the fourth of his career. Most of the field has fallen away. Arizona’s Kyler Murray hasn’t been the same since returning from an injury despite looking like an obvious MVP contender during the first half of the season. Buffalo’s Josh Allen has been far too inconsistent to be a serious MVP. LA’s Justin Herbert has thrown too many interceptions to be an MVP. It’s also been an up and down year for recent MVPs like Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes.
As mentioned, the race appears to be down to Rodgers and Brady with Taylor being the X-factor. But while Brady leads the league in both passing yards and passing touchdowns, he also has an uncharacteristic number of interceptions this season, throwing 11 in 15 games. Brady and the Tampa offense were also shut out a couple of weeks ago by the Saints. That performance undoubtedly hurt Brady’s MVP candidacy, unintentionally giving Rodgers a boost in the race.
A strong finish
Meanwhile, Rodgers is coming on strong late in the season despite being a few hundred yards short of 4,000 passing yards after 15 games. Even if he hasn’t thrown for as many yards as some other quarterbacks, Rodgers has the best passer rating in the league at 110.8, more than five points ahead of the next best contender. Rodgers has also been the master of efficiency coming down the stretch. Over his last nine games, he has thrown 23 touchdown passes and just one interception despite missing a game because of COVID.
In those nine games in which Rodgers has been at his best, the Packers are 8-1. Keep in mind that Green Bay ranks 21st in the NFL in rushing yards and 19th in points allowed, so it’s not as if other parts of the team are dominating and making it easy on the quarterback. The Packers are winning week after week and have catapulted to the top of the NFC hierarchy because Rodgers has consistently played at a high level. The Packers have allowed at least 28 points in four of their last five games, and yet the wins keep coming.
Anything standing in the way
The kicker is that Rodgers is doing all of this while playing with a broken toe. But if he hadn’t said anything about it, nobody would ever suspect that he’s playing hurt and has been limited in practice. At the same time, Rodgers has drawn the ire of the media for his lack of clarity on being vaccinated. He’s also coming off a summer that was spent with wild speculation about whether or not he’d play in Green Bay this season at all.
Through it all, Rodgers has played like the same old quarterback we’ve grown accustomed to seeing. From start to finish, he’s been the most consistent and reliable quarterback in the NFL, maintaining a high level of play with little wavering. Unless Rodgers falls flat on his face over the final two weeks of the season while Taylor or Brady does something spectacular, it’s hard to envision the Green Bay quarterback not being named league MVP yet again.