- Aaron Rodgers has sewn up first place in the NFC and the first round playoff bye for the Packers
- Derrick Henry bulldozed his way to 250 yards on the ground to lead the Titans to their first division title since 2008
- Is there any value in wagering on Henry to be NFL MVP or has Rodgers all but clinched his third career MVP award?
Aaron Rodgers entered this season with a bee in his bonnet after the Packers traded up in the first round of last year’s draft to select QB Jordan Love instead of giving Rodgers more help on the offense.
In turn, the Green Bay signal caller has thrown for his most TD passes (48) of his career and his best completion percentage for a full season. In the week 17 finale against Chicago, Rodgers went 19-for-24 for 240 yards and four touchdowns to earn the first round bye in the NFC playoffs.
Derrick Henry was stellar Sunday as well, churning up 250 yards on the ground and hitting paydirt twice to set personal records in TD rushes (17) and the first 2,000 yard season of his brilliant five-year career.
Rodgers entered the final week of the season leading the NFL MVP Odds by a wide margin at -370 and it’s hard to imagine him ceding that to Henry or anybody else. The Titans running back was a heavy +7500 longshot to win the NFL’s most valuable player award heading into the final week of the season, so it’s hard to see him grabbing it away.
NFL MVP Odds
|Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers)||-3000|
|Josh Allen (Buffalo Bills)||+1000|
|Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City Chiefs)||+1400|
|Derrick Henry (Tennessee Titans)||+5000|
|Ryan Tannehill (Tennessee Titans)||+10000|
|Davante Adams (Green Bay Packers)||+30000|
Odds as of Jan. 3 at FanDuel
Aaron Rodgers Poised to win Third MVP Award
Heading into Week 17, it was realistically a two-man race to win MVP between Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes, with Josh Allen having an outside shot at +1200. The Bills quarterback was solid, throwing three TDs to move into the second shortest odds while Mahomes rested since the Chiefs had already locked up the first round bye in the AFC.
This is wild! ?
Aaron Rodgers finishes the season with more touchdown passes than the number of times the Packers punted. pic.twitter.com/qqgSKsWWDj
— NFL Memes (@NFL_Memes) January 4, 2021
Rodgers was otherworldly this season, throwing four touchdowns in a game seven times, including the last two weeks of the campaign to really solidify his case for the MVP. With twelve of the last thirteen MVPs being quarterbacks (Adrian Peterson in 2012 being the lone exception), it’s virtually impossible to expect that Rodgers won’t win the award for the third time.
Aaron Rodgers this season:
70.7 COMP% (1st)
48 TD (1st)
5 INT (1st, min 300 att)
121.5 RTG (1st)
— StatMuse (@statmuse) January 4, 2021
Team success also has something to do with these individual award winners too, and with Green Bay having a better season than Tennessee and Rodgers throwing for ten more TD’s than Mahomes, the path is clear for Rodgers.
Derrick Henry Had a Monster Season
Just because he’s not likely to win the award doesn’t mean Derrick Henry wasn’t dynamite this season. Conventional wisdom states to not give running backs big contracts but the Titans eschewed that theory and handed him a four-year, $50 million dollar deal in the off-season. He’s made their return on investment worthwhile and then some.
Welcome to the #2000 yard club @KingHenry_2 pic.twitter.com/fbbzKgflQN
— Barry Sanders (@BarrySanders) January 4, 2021
Henry put the team on his back and led the Titans to their first division title in twelve years and he also had 470 more rushing yards than the next best at his position (Dalvin Cook). He’s attempting to become just the fifth 2,000 yard rusher to win MVP, and just the second since 1998.
2000 Yard Rushers in NFL History
|O.J Simpson (1973)||2,003||Yes|
|Eric Dickerson (1984)||2,105||No|
|Barry Sanders (1997)||2,053||Yes|
|Terrell Davis (1998)||2,008||Yes|
|Jamal Lewis (2003)||2,066||No|
|Chris Johnson (2009)||2,006||No|
|Adrian Peterson (2012)||2,097||Yes|
|Derrick Henry (2020)||2,027||???|
Though Henry has been amazing this year, he just realistically doesn’t stand a chance to unseat Rodgers, and even those with shorter odds like Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes would be very surprising if they walked away with the hardware.
Rodgers threw for 18 more touchdowns this season compared to last, and only his first NFL MVP award winning season in 2011 did he throw for a higher passing rating than this year, making the choice very clear.
Pick: Aaron Rodgers (-3000)