NFL News & Analysis

Predicting the 2022 NFL MVP: This year's honors are Josh Allen's to lose

Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) avoids a tackle by Green Bay Packers linebacker Preston Smith (91) and safety Adrian Amos (31) to throw a touchdown in the first quarter at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

• Consistency doing the trick for Josh Allen: Allen's worst game of the year might have been the Week 4 contest against the Baltimore Ravens, but he still averaged an above-league-average 0.09 expected points added (EPA) per pass play in the impressive come-from-behind win.

• Back to work for Patrick Mahomes: Mahomes' odds have decreased a little after winning performances from Josh Allen and Jalen Hurts in Week 8.

Jalen Hurts needs perfection: Given the kind of seasons Allen and Mahomes are having, it will take a 16- or 17-win season for Hurts to beat them to the award.

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Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

After closing in on the MVP race with his Week 7 performance, Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow is likely out of the picture after a crushing loss to the Cleveland Browns on Monday night. Meanwhile, Buffalo‘s Josh Allen and Philadelphia‘s Jalen Hurts continued to win while Patrick Mahomes was on his bye week.

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 Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

Week 8 stats: 73.9 PFF grade | 0.15 EPA per play
Season to date: 90.5 PFF grade | 0.31 EPA per play

There was a lot of excitement about Sunday night's Bills-Packers game going into the season. Eight weeks into the campaign, most people expected Allen to defeat Aaron Rodgers in prime time, which says a lot about the different directions these two quarterbacks have gone over the last two months.

The remarkable part about Allen’s season is his consistency. His worst game might have been his Week 4 game against the Baltimore Ravens, but he still averaged an above-league-average 0.09 expected points added (EPA) per pass play in the impressive come-from-behind win.

This is a huge change from last year when the Bills QB was very good on average, but his dropbacks generated negative expected points in seven different games.

As long as he can avoid bad games, the MVP Award is his to lose.

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QB Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

Week 8 stats: Bye week
Season to date: 84.9 PFF grade | 0.29 EPA per play

Mahomes was on a well-deserved bye week and will return to action against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday night. His odds of winning the award decreased slightly because both Allen and Hurts played well and won.

QB Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles

Week 8 stats: 87.7 PFF offense grade | 0.32 EPA per play
Season to date: 85.3 PFF passing grade | 0.21 EPA per play

Our simulations roughly estimate a 13% chance of the Eagles winning 16 or 17 games, and it’s not surprising that we give Hirts almost exactly the same chance of winning the MVP Award. Given the kind of seasons Allen and Mahomes are having, it will take a 16- or 17-win season for Hurts to beat them to the finish line.

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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.

Note that negative numbers indicate better defenses in this chart.

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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