NFL News & Analysis

Predicting the 2022 NFL MVP: With three weeks left, it's Patrick Mahomes' award to lose

Houston, Texas, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) throws during the second half against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

• Patrick Mahomes out in front: The Chiefs QB is the huge favorite right now and has the easiest schedule left among all candidates. It’s his award to lose at this point.

• Joe Burrow down the stretch: The key for Burrow will be the matchup against the Bills in Week 17. If he beats the Bills with a good performance, he would be the No. 1 choice to possibly benefit from Mahomes slipping up.

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Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

The MVP race wasn’t shaken up on the field in Week 15, but it was shaken up off the field on Monday, as news broke that Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts could miss the next two games through injury. This positions Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and Joe Burrow much better in the ongoing MVP discussion.

So, how do the odds stack up going into Week 16?

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 15 stats: 88.6 PFF grade | 0.30 EPA per play
Season to date: 91.4 PFF grade | 0.26 EPA per play

On the surface, Mahomes' Week 15 game against the Houston Texans didn’t seem as though it would help him in the MVP race. However, a closer look shows that the star quarterback was not at fault for his Chiefs needing overtime to escape with a win against the worst team in the league. One could even say that the opposite is true: Mahomes was the main reason Kansas City didn’t lose that game outright.

Mahomes set the record for completion percentage in a game with at least 40 throws, and his best throw wasn’t even caught, as fifth-year wideout Justin Watson dropped a 55-yard bomb out of the end zone.

Mahomes is the huge favorite right now and has the easiest schedule left among all candidates. It’s his award to lose at this point.

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QB Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

Week 15 stats: 81.1 PFF grade | 0.32 EPA per play
Season to date: 91.0 PFF grade | 0.21 EPA per play

Allen came away with an important win in prime time against the Miami Dolphins this week, keeping him in the MVP conversation.

Over the last couple of weeks, we have discussed how Allen was underrated in the conversation, as his odds were at +2000 last week. The market apparently caught up, as he got the largest boost from the Hurts injury news.

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QB Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles

Week 15 stats: 72.4 PFF grade | 0.05 EPA per play
Season to date: 88.6 PFF grade | 0.15 EPA per play

Due to his unfortunate injury, it looks as though Hurts is almost out of the race. He was always trailing Mahomes in efficiency stats, but now he will also finish the season with a significant gap in volume stats.

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QB JOE BURROW, CINCINNATI BENGALS

Week 15 stats: 75.2 PFF grade | 0.06 EPA per play
Season to date: 88.9 PFF grade | 0.15 EPA per play

Since joining the MVP conversation two weeks ago, Burrow has gone 2-0 with wins over the Browns and Buccaneers. However, his stats weren’t the best this past week, so his odds haven’t increased.

The key for him will be the matchup against the Bills in Week 17. If he beats the Bills with a good performance, he would be the No.1 choice to possibly benefit from Mahomes slipping up.

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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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