Does Jonathan Taylor deserve the MVP?

Does Jonathan Taylor deserve the MVP?

NFL

Does Jonathan Taylor deserve the MVP?

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The NFL presents awards at the end of every season, including the Most Valuable Player (MVP) honor. This player is considered the most valuable to their team and around the league. The idea of who people think the award should go too differs from week to week.

The MVP has been awarded primarily to the quarterback position in 13 of the last 15 seasons with Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers winning the honor last year. The two non-quarterbacks that were voted to win the award were both running backs with Adrian Peterson most recently winning in 2012 and LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006. Only twice has a defensive player won MVP with that being defensive tackle Alan Page winning in 1971 and linebacker Lawrence Taylor in 1986. A kicker won the award in 1982 but no other positions have ever recieved the honor of being named the NFL MVP.

However this season, there is one running back who seems to be squarely in the hunt for the award, Jonathan Taylor from the Indianapolis Colts. Taylor has already surpassed his statistics from last season with two games remaining on the schedule and has shown that he can truly be a workhouse back in the league. In order to understand his chances at possibly winning the award, we need to look back at the most recent running back winner to gauge all of it.

Coming off of a torn ACL, Adrian Peterson in the 2012 season put up a career high of 2,097 yards on 348 carries in his sixth year in the NFL at 27- years-old. Peterson averaged 6.03 yards an attempt in his MVP year and helped lead the Minnesota Vikings to a 10-6 regular season record. For the fourth time in his career, Peterson finished with 12 rushing touchdowns and only lost two fumbles in the 16 games he played. 

Adrian Peterson’s MVP season was an incredible feat, but in just his second year, Jonathan Taylor is rivaling the stats and value to his team put up by Peterson. Taylor currently has 1626 rushing yards on the season on 297 carries. Taylor has 17 rushing touchdowns on the year, which leads running backs, and all skill position players in the NFL. Taylor also has two receiving touchdowns and a total of 336 receiving yards on the year. Taylor is averaging 5.5 yards per rushing attempt and 108.4 rushing yards per game. At the age of 22, Taylor is certainly bringing extreme value to the Colts as they currently sit at a 9-6 record and as the number five seed in the AFC playoffs. 

The question remains if the most valuable player honor should go to Jonathan Taylor, but he certainly has the statistics and value to back it up. Some other notable players in the running for the MVP accolade include quarterbacks Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Matthew Stafford. Additionally, an arguement can be made for Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp but Taylor and the value he brings to the Colts can’t be understated. 

With two games left in the NFL season, Aaron Rodgers has yet to put up the same calibar statistics that he did during his MVP season last season whereas Taylor is rivaling previous MVP winning running backs seasons. These final two games will show whether we’ll see these superstars add on to their outstanding seasons, and we can then decide if Jonathan Taylor has done enough to be the NFL MVP in 2021. 

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