We have arrived at that somewhat depressing part of the NFL season, where we must face the sad truth that the NFL regular season is already roughly half over. As a consolation to this rather morose reality, this is also that part in the regular season where speculation abounds for a myriad of topics, such as who might be destined to be crowned the 2022 regular season MVP.
Interestingly enough in ’22, not a single one of the top five candidates for MVP is a veteran such as Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers.
We as Chiefs fans have already become somewhat spoiled to have a player who should be in the MVP conversation year in and year out and this season is no different. After eight weeks of watching eight formidable opponents, let us take a look at where Patrick Mahomes currently stands in the race for the 2022 NFL MVP.
How does Kansas City Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes look as a potential NFL MVP candidate at midseason?
One of the biggest splashes in the pool of free agency over the offseason was the trade of Chiefs star wide receiver Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins. After this trade took place, there was much speculation and debate over what the Chiefs’ prolific offense would look like after the departure of its top wide receiver—and how Mahomes himself would fare with the loss of one of his favorite targets. As it turns out, Mahomes is faring just fine. In fact, a case could be made that Hill’s absence has forced Mahomes to become a more efficient, patient passer, spreading the ball around to a litany of targets.
So where does Mahomes stand at present? I shall endeavor to argue the case for Mahomes for NFL MVP.
Against the Titans on SNF, Mahomes had a whopping 68 passing attempts (his most attempts in a single game this season) 43 of which were completions. He passed for 446 yards, 1 TD, 1 interception, 6 rushes for 63 yards, and 1 rushing TD.
The overtime victory over the Titans would not have been possible without Mahomes’s scrambling ability and of course his rushing touchdown. The Titans stout defense kept the Chiefs’ offense pretty stymied throughout the night, but Mahomes would find a way to win.
vs. San Francisco:
During the Super Bowl LIV rematch against the 49ers, Mahomes went 25 for 34, 423 yards, 3 TDs, and only 1 interception.
The Chiefs are currently 6-2 in the regular season, and it comes as no surprise that one of those losses came at the hands of the Buffalo Bills and Josh Allen (who we will discuss more at length later in this piece).
In this game, Mahomes would go 25-40, for 338 yards, 2 TDs, but also 2 interceptions, and 4 rushes for 21 yards. Mahomes would account for 92% of the Chiefs’ offensive output. Unfortunately, while Allen led the Bills on a late touchdown drive to take the lead, Mahomes would respond by throwing an extremely costly pick, spelling doom for the Chiefs and victory for the Bills.
vs. Las Vegas:
During the Week 5 divisional rivalry game, Mahomes went 29-43, for 292 yards, but tossed 4 TDs and 0 picks. He also tacked on 4 rushes for 28 yards.
vs. Tampa Bay:
Week 4 would boast a Super Bowl LV rematch on SNF, and the game would not disappoint. Mahomes would go 23 for 37 for 249 yards, 3 TDs, 1 pick, and 4 rushes for 34 yards.
The Chiefs would obtain revenge over the Bucs for their molly whopping of the Chiefs in Super Bowl LV. Also, I relish in mentioning once again that Tom Brady is not even sniffing MVP honors this season.
Mahomes would go 20 for 35, for 262 yards, 1 TD, 1 pick, and 4 rushes for 26 yards.
Despite being strong favorites going into the game, the Chiefs would suffer the other of their two losses during Week 2 against the Colts.
vs. Los Angeles:
During the week 2 divisional match-up, Mahomes would go 24 for 35, for 235 yards, 2 TDs, and 0 picks. Mahomes would outduel Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert who should be sitting just outside the top 5 MVP candidates.
During one of his best outings this season, Mahomes would go 30 for 39, for 360 yards, 5 TDs, and 0 picks.
Overall season totals
At this point (just after week 8 of the 2022 regular season), Mahomes has completed 219 of 334 passing attempts for 3,605 yards (less than 1,500 more to match his 5,000 mark of his first season as a starter back in 2018), 21 touchdowns, only 6 INTs, and a QBR of 75.4.
As it stands at this moment, the top two competitors who stand the best chance of wrestling the MVP honors away from Mahomes are Bills QB Josh Allen, and Eagles QB Jalen Hurts.
I confess, that the Oklahoma Sooners fan inside of me (which makes up for exactly half of my football fandom) would not mind seeing Hurts take home MVP honors, but of course, I do not want to see Mahomes robbed of those same accolades.
Hurts has vastly improved since his first season in the league. He is currently the QB of an undefeated Eagles team, a team who has been not much more than an afterthought since their Super Bowl appearance against the Patriots at the end of the 2017 season. Hurts is also only the fifth player in league history to pass for 1,500 yards and rush for 250 yards in his team’s first six games.
A very real rivalry has certainly formed (at least on the field) between Mahomes and Allen, who would probably be the 2022 regular season MVP if the year ended today. Many have already stated that Allen is the undisputed best QB in the league, and he strengthened his own case during Week 6, when he outdueled Mahomes and engineered a game-winning drive, with a little more than a minute left on the clock. In doing so, Allen would become the first starting QB to beat Mahomes twice at Arrowhead Stadium, which could possibly give him a leg up over Mahomes in the MVP race. That would also be the second game-winning drive he lead the Bills on during the month of October, the other coming against the Baltimore Ravens.
Now, Allen has recently suffered an elbow injury, which may present Mahomes with an opportunity to gain ground on him, but the injury is apparently not serious, and Allen should be back in action in no time—possibly even this Sunday.
Mahomes is most certainly in talks for league MVP, but he is not in the driver’s seat or even the passenger seat. There are still nine weeks of the regular season to go, which is more than enough time for Mahomes to separate himself from the other contenders, but he will need to find a way past Allen and Hurts if he hopes to bring home regular season league MVP honors for the second time in his five year career as a starter.