The 2021 NFL season has already offered diehard football fans a lot of thrills, and it seems like the fun is only beginning. In fact, between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers trying to put together another Super Bowl run, the Arizona Cardinals looking to change the balance of the league, and all the other contenders in the fray, things could get downright exciting by the end of it.
What team has that X factor on their squad, though? That one player that can take the game into their own hands and get the needed result? While football is a team sport, an MVP award is given at the end of the season to determine who exactly made the most significant difference for their team. Here are our picks for the final four MVP candidates in 2021.
Can we just take a moment to appreciate the unstoppable beast that Kyle Murray has become this season? In his third season with the Cardinals, Murray, has already led the team to big wins against some of the NFL’s most challenging opponents and shows no sign of slowing down. His numbers are also spectacular, making it hard to argue that the Cardinals would have the same success without him.
Murray has racked up 1741 yards, 14 touchdowns, and only four interceptions in his first five games this season for those who don’t know. He even has a completion percentage of 73.8 and a passer rating of 116.2. If nothing else, this is a guy that could be on the verge of his first NFL MVP and might even take over the league at this rate.
It wouldn’t be an MVP conversation without the one, the only, Tom Brady, and he is steadily making a case for himself to take the award home for himself. Of course, he has a stellar running game and great defense working in his favor with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but Brady has once again proved he is the difference-maker on this squad.
For example, the defending Super Bowl-winning Quarterback is already the leading passer in the league this season and keeps delivering outstanding performances. Overall, Brady sits with a 68.5 % competition percentage, has passed for over 2000 yards in six games, and has a touchdown to interception ratio of 17-3. It’s going to be hard for anyone to match those kinds of numbers.
Just crown this man already! Not the media hasn’t already with the nickname, king Henry, but this is a guy that is putting up MVP candidate numbers. Furthermore, he is doing so in a league that has shifted to more passing plays over the years, leaving fewer opportunities for men like Henry to shine. He does anyway though.
So far, he has 162 carries for 783 yards, ten touchdowns and 4.8 yards a carry. This is a man that can straight up run over other players and break away for huge gains when his team needs him too. Finally, he is a huge reason why the Tennessee Titans are 4-2 and have a win over the Buffalo Bills despite Quarterback issues holding the team back. In the end, Henry is the embodiment of an X factor, and he brings that ability every time he steps on the field. He’s almost impossible to stop and that’s what sets him apart from many of the other possible MVP candidates. He just contributes so much.
It’s no secret that Trevon Diggs has become the nightmare that haunts every Quarterbacks before game day, and it seems like his best is yet to come. He is just the definition of an impact player, bringing down 7 interceptions for 142 yards and two touchdowns in the first six games of the season. He also has 23 combined tackles this year and 21 solo tackles.
Diggs also has recorded a interception in every game he has played in this season, making it not a matter of if, but when he gets his hands on the ball. Whether that is enough to earn him MVP honors or not remains to be seen, but he is the class of the field when it comes to MPV candidates on the defensive side of the ball.
Kyler Murray: Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images + Tom Brady: Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports + Trevon Diggs: Photo by Ron Jenkins/Associated Press