Usually at this point of the NFL season, we are able to narrow the MVP race down to 2-3 people. Last year it was Matt Ryan vs. Tom Brady, with Ryan walking away with the award in the end. For the majority of this season it was Carson Wentz vs. Tom Brady, until Wentz went down with a season ending knee injury. We then saw Antonio Brown’s name enter the mix, but now AB is out with a calf injury that might shelf him for the rest of the season.
While Brady has been a consistent MVP candidate all season, I think there’s another consistently good player who deserves to have their name in the conversation. That would be Todd Gurley, and after yesterday, he probably should be in the mix. Against a Seattle defense that held him to his worst stat line of the season Week 5 (14 carries for 43 yards), Gurley put up 152 rushing yards on 21 attempts, 3 receptions for 28 yards, and 4 total touchdowns. He accounted for just over 50% of the teams total yardage on the day.
In the shadows of Leonard Fournette, Kareem Hunt, and Alvin Kamara’s breakout rookie campaigns, along LeVeon Bell leading the league in rushing yards, Todd Gurley has been one of the most productive running backs in the NFL this season. He is currently ranked third in the league in rushing yards with 1,187 and first in rushing touchdowns with 13, averaging 4.6 yards per carry. He also is second on his team with 54 receptions for 630 yards and 4 touchdowns. Rushing and recieving combined, he has accumulated 1,817 yards from scrimmage and a league high 17 total touchdowns. He is the engine that drives the Rams offense week in and week out, which shouldn’t go unnoticed.
Todd Gurley is putting together an incredible 2017 season after what was a very disapointing sophomore slump from him last year. So he’s having a good year, but why does he deserve MVP recognition? In games where he has less than 20 total touches, the team has a record of 2-4. In games where he has over 20 touches? 8-0. I think that speaks for itself.
If the Rams get him going early, it’s probably going to result in a win. Sean McVay even brought attention to it following their loss last week to the Eagles saying “It is a delicate balance. At the end of the day, however you want to cut it, I’ve got to get him going and give him more opportunities, with the way he was running, and have a better feel for the flow of the game. That was something I didn’t think I did very well.”
I don’t think I need to dive too deep into what TB12 has been able to accomphish this season. It’s been nothing short of remarkable for a 40 year old. I would love to see him take home a third MVP, but Gurley bursting onto the scene again yesterday could potentially shift the tides. It’s Brady’s to lose at this point, but him slipping in this recent stretch of games has not helped his case. I wouldn’t be shocked if the award was given to Gurley because of it.
Written By: Nick Cherico (@NickCherico2)