I HATE to be this guy, but sometimes the debate must be had, even if just for fun. The past two MVP seasons in the NFL have featured extraordinary individual performances. 2018 Patrick Mahomes vs 2019 Lamar Jackson.
Hello again, I am Michael Karvelis of Mike Said It First (show details below). I am a huge fan of the previous two winners of the NFL's coveted Most Valuable Player award. It's funny how both stars are not only revolutionizing the game, but also happen to be very young. Let's recap, shall we?
2018 Patrick Mahomes (CHIEFS) The trick throw artist himself. The gunslinger. Andy Reid's next product. The list goes on for this young stud. Prior to gracing the cover of iconic video game Madden NFL 20, this former Texas Tech quarterback lit up the league. It's rare to show the poise and moxy this kid displayed in his first full year as a starter.
Mahomes replaced Alex Smith for the Kansas City Chiefs. Patrick had played in one game prior to his MVP campaign. The expectations were high, but not many could have seen this. The weapons at his disposal were dynamic speed demon WR Tyreek Hill, tough RB Kareem Hunt, and arguably the best TE in the league Travis Kelce. It also helped that Andy Reid was the head coach. Say what you want about his crew, Patrick still delivered.
Peyton Manning and Tom Brady threw 55 and 50 touchdowns in a single season, respectively. Do you know what's crazy about Mahomes tossing 50? The previous two were not only 30+ years of age a piece, they are first ballot Hall of Famers! It's crazy to think a then 23 year old suddenly entered a conversation with those guys. (NOT saying he's already a HOF quarterback, but Mahomes IS legit.)
On top of the aforementioned, Patrick Mahomes had a pretty stinky defense. Nevertheless, the kid balled out. 52 total touchdowns and 5369 total yards! This guy took the lead by storm. The fans also were loving it due to his side armed screens and bomb passes to wide outs.
2019 Lamar Jackson (RAVENS) This backstory is a little different. Lamar Jackson won the Heisman while a sophomore at Louisville. After the majority of his team left, Lamar's junior season was quiet nationally. Still, he put up numbers.
After landing in Baltimore as legendary Ozzie Newsome's last draft pick, Jackson took over for franchise QB Joe Flacco about mid season. He didn't do much as the offensive scheme was not built for his game. It showed in a Playoff game against the Chargers where Lamar was just 3 for 9 passing and under 100 yards through 3 quarters.
In 2019, the Ravens added former 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman under the same position. Why is this significant? This is the same guy who helped Colin Kaepernick become a good quarterback rather than a political activist. I guess this was Lamar's Andy Reid.
To say 2019 was a breakout year for Lamar? Complete understatement. Not only has Lamar passed for nearly 3000 yards and 33 touchdowns, he's added 7 rushing touchdowns while breaking Michael Vick's 2006 QB rushing record at 1103 yards rushing! Clearly, Lamar has been incredible.
It's been speculated that Lamar will win the league's MVP award unanimously and rightfully so. Along the way of putting up unreal stats, the Ravens star has taken out teams like the Patriots and Texans while shining in prime time.
THE DEBATE (#sorrynotsorry) As I said, I hate to be this guy. But for the sake of argument, whose season was more impressive? Was it the trick throwing fan favorite? Or perhaps the dynamic dual threat?
The first criteria for this argument is that both guys had their play calling masterminds. That has to be mentioned because I feel like nobody gives credit to Greg Roman like they do Andy Reid.
How about revolutionizing the game? While some Packers and Lions fans will argue that their guy did this, Patrick Mahomes made the trick throws a thing. I mean, I love Aaron Rodgers, but his call to fame is outside the pocket Hail Mary stuff. Matt Stafford can complete a side armed throw, but NOBODY does it cooler than Mahomes.
Lamar has revolutionized the game by being the ultimate dual threat. Peyton Manning and Drew Brees can pass, but they can't run. Michael Vick could run, but passing was not a big threat. Lamar Jackson is showing you can do both. The stats are there and watching it passes the eye test.
Let's talk about offensive supporting cast. I already told you the three headed monster Mahomes had. Lamar Jackson has WR Hollywood Brown, TE Mark Andrews, and RB Mark Ingram. In other words, Lamar had the same guys in a 'Tier 2' fashion.
What about defensive help? Mahomes found himself in shoot outs with the Patriots and Rams. Meanwhile, Jackson's team allowed 20 against the Patriots and 7 against the Texans. It's pretty easy to win when your defense surrenders sub 20.
THE DECISION If you're asking me personally who I would rather have based on their MVP campaigns, I'd take Mahomes because his running ability is not bad by any means. I think people find themselves giving less credit to Lamar because he is putting up RB numbers at the QB position. I have to be fair and recognize he can still pass.
I guess the bottom line is based off of your cup of tea. Do you want the guy who can pass with the goats and still run? Or the guy who can run with the best and pass well enough? It's definitely not wrong to choose either one, but people like to because it's sports.
THANK YOU for reading. If you want more of my takes, catch Mike Said It First on Tuesdays and Thurdays at 10:00AM EST on this radio network!
DISCLAIMER Lamar Jackson has not even won the MVP yet, but it's time to realize Russell Wilson ain't getting it over Lamar.
PREDICTION I believe Lamar Jackson will be the cover of Madden NFL 21. Unless somehow that Christian McCaffrey finds a way on. It's up to who EA Sports wants to ruin more...
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