NFL News & Analysis

Predicting the 2022 NFL MVP: Tua Tagovailoa enters the MVP race

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) waives to fans after defeating the Cleveland Browns 39-17 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Nov. 13, 2022. Photos Cleveland Browns V Miami Dolphins 39

• Things breaking right for Patrick Mahomes: Mahomes has individual stats and team success. He also has an easier schedule of remaining defenses than Josh Allen and Tua Tagovailoa.

Josh Allen is still there: The Bills quarterback didn’t even have a particularly bad game in Week 10. As long as his elbow doesn’t hinder him in the coming games, the Bills and their signal-caller will continue to be one of the best in the league, giving Allen a chance in the MVP race if Mahomes were to slip.

• Here comes Tua Tagovailoa: Tua's efficiency number firmly put him in the race. With the Bills losing two games in a row, the Dolphins suddenly have a very good chance to win their division — often a necessity for MVP contention.

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The MVP odds have been shaken up over the last two weeks. The Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles have lost games, while Patrick Mahomes and Tua Tagovailoa have been putting up video game numbers. So, how do the odds stack up going into Week 11?

Every week throughout the season, we will rank quarterbacks by their estimated MVP chances. These chances are based on simulating the remaining season and looking at individual efficiency stats and team success. The full methodology can be found in our initial version of this year’s MVP rankings.

2022 NFL MVP Favorites

QB Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

Week 10 stats: 91.4 PFF grade | 0.62 EPA per play
Season to date: 90.8 PFF grade | 0.28 EPA per play

Mahomes is now the clear favorite, as he has individual stats and team success. He also has an easier schedule of remaining defenses than Josh Allen and Tua Tagovailoa. It doesn’t mean that he has already won it, but it’s definitely his award to lose right now.

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QB Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

Week 10 stats: 77.7 PFF grade | 0.19 EPA per play
Season to date: 89.4 PFF grade | 0.24 EPA per play

It’s no coincidence that we're currently higher on Allen than the market, as while his odds have dramatically decreased over the last two games, his demise is vastly overstated.

The Bills quarterback didn’t even have a particularly bad game in Week 10, as his 77.7 PFF grade and 0.19 EPA per play show. As long as his elbow doesn’t hinder him in the coming games, the Bills and their signal-caller will continue to be one of the best in the league, giving Allen a chance in the MVP race if Mahomes were to slip.

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QB Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles

Week 10 stats: 71.0 PFF grade | -0.53 EPA per play
Season to date: 85.2 PFF grade | 0.15 EPA per play

Hurts’ MVP chances are intertwined with the Eagles finishing the season with a distinctly better record than the Chiefs and Bills. And the Week 10 loss against the Washington Commanders hasn’t helped with that.

Hurts is definitely not out of the race, but the voters who emphasize the quarterback’s win-loss column will favor Mahomes right now. 

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QB TUA TAGOVAILOA, MIAMI DOLPHINS

Week 10 stats: 91.1 PFF grade | 0.50 EPA per play
Season to date: 91.3 PFF grade | 0.37 EPA per play

Tagovailoa's MVP odds are now second to only Patrick Mahomes, so he enters the fold ahead of Week 11.

His efficiency number firmly put him in the race, and with the Bills losing two games in a row, the Dolphins suddenly have a very good chance to win their division — often a necessity for MVP contention.

The big question is whether he would get the same treatment Ryan Tannehill or Matthew Stafford might have received from the voters in 2020 and 2021, respectively: Their numbers put them in the race, but even though they played a crucial role, it’s hard to argue they were the main driver of offensive success.

Interestingly, the Dolphins face the toughest slate of opposing defenses over the remainder of the season, so Tua definitely has the chance to prove all doubters wrong.

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Defense adjustments

Our rankings also adjust for defenses faced. Quarterbacks who face easier defenses are more likely to put up stats that will eventually help win them the MVP award.  We will update our pass-defense rankings throughout the season.

Using these rankings, this is the past strength of schedule of opposing passing defenses for quarterbacks:

This is the future strength of schedule of opposing passing defenses:

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