NFL News & Analysis

Predicting the 2022 NFL MVP: Here comes Bengals QB Joe Burrow

Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) runs off the field after the victory over the Kansas City Chiefs at Paycor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

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Patrick Mahomes missed the opportunity to clinch the MVP race in Week 13, partly due to the heroics of Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow, who is now a part of the conversation along with Mahomes, Jalen Hurts and Josh Allen.

So, how do the odds stack up going into Week 14?

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 13 stats: 69.1 PFF grade | 0.17 EPA per play
Season to date: 91.4 PFF grade | 0.27 EPA per play

The Cincinnati Bengals once again got the best of Mahomes and the Chiefs, but we definitely can’t blame Mahomes this time. After removing Kelce’s fumble from the data, Mahomes had a very efficient day that wasn’t any less efficient than the great Joe Burrow on the other side of the field.

Still, Mahomes' MVP Award is definitely in danger again since he no longer has control of the No. 1 seed in the AFC. If the Bills win out, Josh Allen has head-to-head wins over Mahomes and Joe Burrow and the best team success in the AFC. That would be hard to overcome even for Mahomes.

The Chiefs QB is still the favorite because his team has an easier schedule left and his stats are better. Every other quarterback needs the team-success factor against him, which will be a tough ask, given that the Chiefs finish the season 14-3 in 31% of our simulations.

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QB Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

Week 13 stats: 75.5 PFF grade | 0.27 EPA per play
Season to date: 90.8 PFF grade | 0.22 EPA per play

Allen dominated against one of the best defenses in the NFL this week, yet his MVP odds haven’t moved at all. This would be understandable if Mahomes had won his game, but with Mahomes and Tua Tagovailoa giving up some piece of the pie, it’s hard to comprehend why the Bills QB hasn't benefitted.

The Bills have the inside track toward the No. 1 seed in the AFC, and if they manage to do that, Josh Allen will be part of the conversation. I like him more than the market does right now.

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QB Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles

Week 13 stats: 68.2 PFF grade | 0.46 EPA per play
Season to date: 87.0 PFF grade | 0.13 EPA per play

Just when it looked like the wheels might fall off a bit, the Eagles offense has started an impressive stretch of play.

Hurts is definitely a force to be reckoned with in the MVP race. The rematch with the Cowboys in Week 16 will probably play a huge role in the number of MVP votes he receives.

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Week 13 stats: 75.0 PFF grade | 0.40 EPA per play
Season to date: 88.0 PFF grade | 0.15 EPA per play

Burrow entered the MVP conversation after his win against the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes on Sunday. But while he has played very well in recent weeks, I probably have to pump the brakes a bit here — in terms of both stats and wins, Burrow has ways to go before catching Mahomes. Also, both Josh Allen and Jalen Hurts are projected to have a better record and finish the season with higher efficiency.

Still, if he continues his excellent play in the coming weeks, we definitely have to keep an eye on him in the race.

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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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