The NFL MVP race in 2021 isn’t particularly clear at the moment, and Week 11 didn’t exactly clear things up. It’s no longer the Kyler Murray vs Josh Allen competition that we thought it would be early in the season. In fact, Murray was just one of the MVP candidates that didn’t even play in Week 11.
The NFL MVP ladder after Week 11 has a lot of rungs on it, and most of them are tightly packed. Of course, that’s to be expected after most of them did more harm than good to their chances this past weekend.
NFL MVP race 2021: MVP ladder after Week 11
The only thing we know for sure with seven weeks left in the season is that the MVP race is anybody’s to win. It’s so wide open that we came up with eight potential candidates to put on our NFL MVP ladder after Week 11.
8. Patrick Mahomes
Patrick Mahomes is mostly an MVP candidate because of his track record. One week after lighting up the Raiders for five touchdown passes, he had another average game against Dallas.
But because we know how good he can be, Mahomes still has a chance in such an open race if he can play like himself down the stretch.
7. Lamar Jackson
An illness kept Lamar Jackson sidelined in Baltimore’s win over the Bears, so he couldn’t capitalize on a chance to make a statement.
But in an open race, Jackson’s rushing numbers could make a huge difference, giving him a chance to make a move up the ladder if he can come back healthy next week.
6. Dak Prescott
Ever since he missed a game, it’s been one step forward and two steps back for Dak Prescott.
I get that he's without Tyron Smith & Amari Cooper. I also get that he's not getting a ton of help. Still, disappointing performance so far from Dak Prescott. He had the potential to turn this game around right there.
— David Helman (@HelmanDC) November 21, 2021
He and the Dallas offense just didn’t get the job done against the Chiefs over the weekend, so Prescott needs to start getting on track and being more consistent if he wants to be a serious MVP candidate.
5. Josh Allen
What’s happening with Josh Allen and the Bills? Perhaps the loss in Jacksonville wasn’t a fluke after all.
His projected numbers will put him in the MVP conversation, especially since he has good numbers as a runner. But there has to be more consistency from him down the stretch.
4. Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers has had a rather average season by his standards, but since the Packers are one of the best teams in the NFC, he’s in the conversation.
He also started to look like an MVP against the Vikings, throwing for 385 yards and four touchdowns. However, who knows how his toe injury will impact him late in the season.
3. Kyler Murray
It’s tough for Kyler Murray to stay in the MVP race when he’s missed three straight games due to injury.
But it’s not like anybody else is running away with it in the meantime.
The Cardinals have next week off, so if Murray can come back for the final six weeks of the season and pick up where he left off, he’s a serious contender.
2. Matthew Stafford
The Rams had last week off, so Matthew Stafford couldn’t help his MVP argument.
Most interceptions + dropped interceptions in 2021 (PFF)
18: Josh Allen
16: Ryan Tannehill, Patrick Mahomes
15: Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford, Taylor Heinicke
14: Sam Darnold
13: Joe Burrow
12: Trevor Lawrence
11: Mike White
10: Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo, Jared Goff, Zach Wilson
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) November 22, 2021
Of course, he also couldn’t hurt it, which is what he did with back-to-back multiple interception games. If he can get back on track coming out of the bye week, his chances are as good as anybody.
1. Tom Brady
Everyone else seems to be taking steps backward but Tom Brady keeps plugging along, all but making himself the player to beat.
Of course, he also has five interceptions in his last three games, which hurts his case. But the numbers and the consistency are there, not to mention the players around him to help him keep it up.