The return of the NFL saw some familiar faces make an early statement for their MVP campaign this season. Many quarterbacks continued to show why their position continuously get the honor, but a pair of non QBs showed the fans flashes of greatness as well in week one. Although 3 QBs made the list, a receiver and lineman also received a nod.
5. Lamar Jackson
Lamar Jackson started off his reigning MVP season really strong as he led his Ravens to a crushing 38-6 win. His stats included only 5 incompletions (20-25) for 275 yards and 3 TDs with no picks. He also compiled 45 rush yards on 7 carries (6.4 ypc) to cap off a dominant performance. He finished week one with the highest QBR of all quarterbacks (94.1) and isn’t going to slow down. Many players showed some rust this week but Lamar was among the sharpest performers which is why he is number five on the list. If this kind of execution continues, we can see our first back-to-back MVP since Peyton Manning in ’08-’09.
4. Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers is on a mission to prove the Packers’ front office wrong for selecting a QB in the first round of this past draft. At 36, “AR-12” looked absolutely dominant against his NFC North rival Vikings. He went 32/44 for 364 yards and 4 TDs in a 43-34 shootout win. Rodgers has received a lot of hate since his NFC Championship loss to the Niners last season and definitely quieted the critics this week. He could earn his 3rd MVP (first since 2014) if this level of play continues.
3. Davante Adams
What a game for Adams. Every QB looking to win MVP usually has an amazing wideout to help his resume, and Adams is exactly who Aaron Rodgers has. He went off against Minnesota and was a hero for many fantasy league players who were lucky enough to add him to their teams. The Fresno State product hauled in 14 catches for 156 yards and 2 of Rodgers’ 4 touchdowns on Sunday. No wide receiver has EVER won the honor of MVP and Adams certainly made a statement for a shot at recognition.
2. Aaron Donald
Words simply cannot describe the machine that Aaron Donald is. The 5 time All-Pro and 2 time Defensive Player of the Year has been the most consistent defender in recent memory. In the prime-time win against Dallas, Donald finished with 4 tackles and a sack and had 10 pressures on 35 pass-rush snaps. His overall percentage of defensive pressures against Dallas was 28.6% and he is only going to let loose from here on out. The NFL hasn’t seen a lineman win MVP since Lawrence Taylor did in 1986 and it would be no surprise to see Donald be the third lineman to lift the trophy.
1. Russell Wilson
The constant snubs and slander on Russell Wilson have been insane. He has done so much over the years with whatever he is given and always ranks among the best QBs at the end of the season. This year, Russ decided to start off with a bang against Atlanta. Out of all players, Wilson looked the most dangerous and that is why he is number 1 on this list. He ended the night a shocking 31/35 for 322 yards and 4 TDs to go with 3 rushes for 29 yards. He finished the first week as 4th in QBR (87.5) and can show off why he deserves an MVP in the Sunday Night game against New England.