2019 NFL MVP favorites and odds

The NFL quarterbacks’ MVP dynasty

Two gifted running backs — Shaun Alexander and LaDainian Tomlinson — won the Associated Press NFL MVP Award in consecutive seasons, 2005-2006. Since then, 11 of the past 12 MVPs have been quarterbacks, including 2018 top dog Patrick Mahomes who earned 41 of the 50 first-place votes. Fellow quarterback Drew Brees finished second. So Adrian Peterson’s 2012 season — less than a year removed from a torn ACL — remains the last time somebody other than an NFL quarterback hoisted the NFL MVP hardware.

Spoiler alert: Based on the favorites to win the 2019 MVP, don’t expect this trend to change anytime soon.

Odds via Bovada 2 of 16

Cam Newton

Odds: +2,500
2018 Stats: 3,395 pass yards, 24 TDs and 13 INTs | 488 rush yards  and four TDs

A shoulder injury may have cost Newton the final two games on paper, but anybody who watched the Panthers quarterback grind out the 2018 season knows it cost the team much more. Carolina started the season 6-2 and in a prime position to reach the playoffs. However, the severity of Newton’s shoulder injury prevented him from throwing balls down field and allowed defenses to cheat up and play the underneath routes. After the hot start, the Panthers lost seven of their last eight games. Newton had offseason surgery to repair the shoulder, and he’s expected to be back at 100 percent by the start of the season. His MVP chances ride on improved play of DJ Moore, Jarius Wright and a healthy Greg Olsen. The veteran tight end has missed 16 games over the past two seasons due to injury, but when healthy he’s Cam’s most trusted target. If Olsen misses time, running back Christian McCaffrey’s MVP odds could be just as high as Cam’s. 3 of 16

Philip Rivers

Odds: +2,000
2018 stats: 4,308 pass yards, 32 TDs and 12 INTs

Rivers may be the NFL equivalent of MLB’s Cal Ripken. The Chargers ironman has not missed a game for 13 consecutive seasons. While the league has gone to great lengths to protect the quarterback, the fact Rivers hasn’t sustained a serious injury over the past 208 games is nothing short of a miracle. Led by Keenan Allen, his receiving corps remains intact and receives a slight upgrade with the full-time return of tight end Hunter Henry who missed the 2018 regular season with a torn ACL. The one constant who is missing as of press time is Melvin Gordon. The Chargers starting running back is holding out in hopes of a new contract. If Gordon’s holdout lingers into the regular season, Rivers’ odds of winning the 2019 MVP should take a notable hit. 4 of 16

Jimmy Garoppolo

Odds: +3,300
2018 stats: 718 pass yards, five TDs and three INTs (in only three games due to torn ACL)

The saying goes, “we don’t know what we don’t know,” and when it comes to Jimmy G. what we don’t  know outweighs his elite hype. Garoppolo has yet to play in more than six regular-season games and missed the final 13 games of the 2018 season with a torn ACL. So the 2019 season will be a fresh canvas on which to either paint a masterpiece and fill in those unknown gaps OR post pedestrian stats as he has through his first nine games as the 49ers quarterback: 12:8 TD:INT ratio. If you’re looking for a reason to back this long shot, Kyle Shanahan’s offensive schemes will benefit — not hurt — Jimmy G’s shot at the 2019 MVP. 5 of 16

Matt Ryan

Odds: +3,000
2018 Stats: 4,924 pass yards, 35 TDs and seven INTs

Ryan was one of only four quarterbacks last season to finish with more than 600 pass attempts. Aside from a pass-first offense, the primary reason his pass attempts reached a three-year high is due to a host of injuries on the defensive side of the ball, which turned the secondary into Swiss-cheese city, and opponents racked up early leads. So Ryan, Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley (10 TDs as a rookie) and others spent most of the game in rally mode via the pass. If the defense can stay healthy, the Falcons are one of those squads that could flip the script and qualify for the playoffs one year after missing them. Ryan is as consistent as they come and despite turning 30 years old, Jones will go down as one of the top targets in NFL history. 6 of 16

Ben Roethlisberger

Odds: +3,000
2018 Stats: 5,129 pass yards, 34 TDs and 16 INTs

Without Le’Veon Bell last season, Roethlisberger led the NFL in completions (career-high), attempts (career-high), passing yards (career-high) and pass yards per game. The loss of both Bell and Antonio Brown will no doubt change the Steelers’ offensive dynamic, but don’t sleep on wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster to fill Brown’s shoes as Big Ben’s primary receiver in addition to a healthy running game of James Connor and Jaylen Samuels behind one of the NFL’s best offensive lines. While many believe the AFC North torch has been passed to Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns, an MVP season by Roethlisberger would mute any chance of that happening. 7 of 16

Deshaun Watson

Odds: +2,000
2018 Stats: 4,165 pass yards, 26 TDs and nine INTs | 551 rush yards and five TDs

The good news for Watson is that he’ll probably compete for an NFL MVP one day. The bad news is that unless his offensive line play improves 1,000 percent, he won’t be among the 2019 MVP finalists. Remember: Despite mobility that rivals Russell Wilson, Watson was sacked a league-high 62 times. To be fair some of those sacks were no doubt Watson’s fault. However, as of early August, head coach Bill O’Brien admits he still doesn’t know who will start on the offensive line. How does this not get addressed in the offseason? Forget Watson’s MVP chances. The Texans could find themselves on the outside looking in come playoff time. 8 of 16

Mitch Trubisky

Odds: +2,000
2018 Stats: 3,223 pass yards, 24 TDs and 12 INTs

The Chicago Bears 2018 defense ranked first in points allowed and against the rush, third in turnover differential (+12) and seventh against the pass. Its pass offense ranked outside the top 20. So the obvious question becomes where can Trubisky improve in his third year when the top three receiving targets remain the same and the Bears front office elected to shake up the running back depth chart after averaging 121 rush yards per game last season (11 th)? It’s a loaded question. Despite an above-average arm and 421 rush yards and three rush TDs last season, it’s hard to fathom Trubisky making enough of a statistical leap toward MVP when the most valuable players — plural — on the team likely reside on the defensive side of the ball. 9 of 16

Russell Wilson

Odds: +2,500
2018 Stats: 3,448 pass yards, 35 TDs and seven INTs

Because the Seahawks averaged a league-leading 160 yards per game last season, Wilson’s passing totals were the lowest since 2014. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but for the Seahawks to make another Super Bowl run, the offense needs to find a consistent passing game aside from Wilson running for his life on third and long. Wilson was sacked 51 times last season, but that total could have been higher if not for his elite mobility out of the pocket. So the offensive line play must improve, and Pete Carroll needs to find lighting in a bottle with second-round draft pick DK Metcalf. The 6-foot-4, 228-pound receiver out of Ole Miss is a polarizing brand, but Wilson has no choice but to embrace the rookie because without Doug Baldwin, No. 3’s primary target is 5-foot-11, 175-pound speedster Tyler Lockett. 10 of 16

Carson Wentz

Odds: +1,200
2018 Stats: 3,074 pass yards, 21 TDs and seven INTs (11 games)

Wentz’s 2017 season was cut short due to an ACL tear, and he missed the final three games of the 2018 season with a stress fracture in his back. The knock of Wentz is that these annual ailments date back to high school. However, when you place the injury history on the back burner and assess a potential 16-game campaign for the Eagles quarterback, it’s evident he has the talent and players around him to make a run at an MVP and Super Bowl title. One guy who will help him reach those goals is DeSean Jackson. The speedy, downfield receiver returns to Philadelphia at age 32 and should allow for Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor to enjoy softer coverages this season. Also, the arrival of Jordan Howard should improve the Eagles 28 th-ranked running game of a season ago, which should also boost Wentz’s MVP odds.

By: Ryan Fowler


Winners and losers from 2019 Pro Bowl

Meaningless football is still football, so of course we still watched the 2019 Pro Bowl even though defense was optional, along with any semblance of urgency.

And you know what? There were some pretty fun moments out there in the pouring rain in Orlando, Fla. as the AFC All-Stars ran away with the game, 26-7.

There were, of course, some stinkers on display, too.

These were the biggest winners and losers from the 2019 Pro Bowl.

Winner: Patrick Mahomes got the AFC off to a hot start

It should surprise absolutely nobody that the future MVP of the league came out firing and got his team up early on Sunday.
Following up his legendary 2018 season, Mahomes helped the AFC All-Stars go up 14-0 before exiting the game for good. Along the way, he threw for 156 yards and a way-too-easy touchdown to Eric Ebron.


No other quarterback came close to matching what Mahomes did in the Pro Bowl, and the AFC never looked back after Mahomes left the field.

Loser: NFC offense was awful

Sure, it was wet. Sure, these players don’t really have any chemistry. But, my goodness, what the NFC’s offense did (or more aptly, what it didn’t do) was staggering.

No matter how you look at it, the NFC offense failed miserably. Giving up six sacks. Going for a grand total of 159 yards. Gaining just 10 first downs. It all stunk. And then, as if to highlight the entire pathetic outing, Amari Cooper let a sure touchdown bounce right off his facemask in the fourth quarter.

But hey, at least Saquon Barkley, Ezekiel Elliott and Alvin Kamara got to rush the passer, right?

Winner: Keenan Allen rose to the occasion

Out of all the big-time playmakers in Sunday’s Pro Bowl, Los Angeles Chargers receiver Keenan Allen stood out as the biggest winner. In the first half, he had four catches and went for 95 yards, including a 50-yarder from the hand of Patrick Mahomes.

That 50-yard catch set up the second touchdown of the game for the AFC All-Stars, and he also hauled in a key 22-yard reception on 3rd-and-10 in the second quarter to keep a drive alive that led to a field goal.

Loser: Trubisky really struggled

Chicago Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky has a bright future ahead of him. But his performance on Sunday was about as cloudy as the sky in Orlando.

Sure, he completed 5-of-9 total passes, but he managed just 34 yards. Even worse, he should have thrown two interceptions.

The first awful throw ended up being an incompletion thanks to Jamal Adams (more on that soon), and then his second — on the first play of the third quarter, was picked off.

Just an awful, terrible decision that he’d love to have back.

Winner: Sherman shows fullbacks can ball, too

One of the most underrated, yet key players for Kansas City all year, fullback Anthony Sherman made his presence felt during the 2019 Pro Bowl.

For starters, the powerful runner plowed his way into the end zone to help the AFC go up 14-0 early in the second quarter.


Sherman also added three catches for 92 yards!

Not bad for a guy who touched the ball a grand total of nine times all year.

Loser: Jamal Adams blew it (up)

Earlier in the week, Jamal Adams made national headlines when he blew up the New England Patriots mascot during practice.

Well, he had another huge hit in the Pro Bowl, too. Only this one was against his own teammate, and his big hit caused cornerback Xavien Howard to drop an interception.

Even worse, Adams himself dropped an easy pick earlier in the first half. So, he was responsible for two missed opportunities on what should have been easy turnovers.

Though, he did have some fun in the second half when he illegally lined up on the line of scrimmage and blew up Mitch Trubisky on a would-be flea-flicker. Then, just a couple plays later, he came up with a very easy pick on a trick play gone terribly wrong.

So, we can’t necessarily say Adams was a huge loser, but we can’t say he was a winner, either.

Winner: Kyle Fuller wasn’t messing around

On a wet, rainy day that saw stellar ball hawks like Jamal Adams and Malcolm Jenkins drop easy interceptions, Chicago Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller was locked in.

In the second quarter as Andrew Luck took over for the AFC offense, Fuller read the route JuJu Smith-Schuster was running and actually beat him to the spot. Then, as Luck tried to fire the ball to his receiver, Fuller made a tremendous play to pick the ball off.

By: Jesse Reed

All the Winners and Losers


Marshawn Lynch To Retire

Written by Bill Chappell at NPR.com

Tweeting an image of football cleats hanging on a wire and one emoji – of a peace sign – was all running back Marshawn Lynch needed to do to get people thinking that he’s retiring from football. Lynch, whose reticence among the media is legendary, was quickly saluted by his Seattle Seahawks teammates.

The Seahawks haven’t officially said Lynch is retiring, and it’s highly unlikely that he would hold a news conference to make his plans known and to banter with reporters about his favorite moments in the NFL.

After all, this is the same Lynch who made headlines last year for attending a mandatory pre-Super Bowl news conference at which he repeatedly answered, “I’m just here so I won’t get fined.”

Citing Lynch’s tweet and the reactions from teammate Richard Sherman and team owner Paul Allen thanking the man nicknamed “Beast Mode,” the Seahawks’ site says it looks like Lynch is retiring after nine years in the NFL.

Allen thanked Lynch “for a great career as a Seahawk.” Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson said, “Going to miss sharing the backfield with you 24.”

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