In The Zone

In The Zone

In the Zone with Brandon Kravitz weekdays from 3-6pm on FM 96.9 The Game - Catch up with the best segments, interviews, and features from that day’s show.


Brandon Kravitz Officially Reveals His NFL MVP For The 2021 Season

As many of you know, I keep a running list of my top 8 NFL MVP’s week-2-week during the NFL season…A lot of great candidates pile up over the course of the season, tough to keep the list to 8 – but that’s what makes it so very special. The Myspace Top 8 of NFL MVP’s. And we have reached the final week. Which means, 2 through 8 don’t matter any more. It’s all about who is #1. Drum roll please:

This year’s Brandon Kravitz NFL MVP Award – for excellence out on the gridiron goes to…


Had to do it. Even though he missed a game due to COVID, even though he didn’t play in the last game of the season, he was the most outstanding player of the year. He is the reason the Packers won 13 games and he didn’t even need play the final week of the season. Rodgers doesn’t lead the league in pass yards, in fact he’s 10th. He doesn’t lead the league in TD’s, in fact he’s 4th. But where he does lead the league is efficiency within his offense. Rodgers has the top QB rating in the league, by far the best TD-INT ratio, and he went the last 7 weeks of the season without throwing a pick. That is winning football. Plus, extra points for the fact that he played against all of the NFC West and AFC North teams – which were 2 of the best divisions in the league this year. It wasn’t easy. But Rodgers is the MVP of 2022 in my book.

Below is the running list I kept throughout the season, from week 1 to week 17 and my reasoning for each position:

Week 1.

8- TJ Watt- He was all over Josh Allen yesterday in Buffalo. He hit Josh Allen 5 times in that game – 4 more than any other defender in the game! On either side. 2 sacks, 1 tackle for loss. He was elite.

7- Justin Herbert- Stat line was just OK but what he did was no easy task. Going into Washington against the best D-line in football, he was basically flawless. 31-47 337, 1 TD, and he came up big at the end of the game to ice it.

6- Jalen Hurts- Um, is he elite? He looked it. 264 through the air, 62 rushing, 3 touchdowns and he only took 1 sack. 32-6 was the finish.

5- Russell Wilson- Russ cooked! Only he can do this on a regular basis…Wilson threw a touchdown on every 5th throw. Seriously. Insane. He was the difference on the road in Indy.

4- Matt Stafford- Only 6 incompletions, has already completely changed this offenses potential. 321 – 3 touchdowns. Elite on Sunday night against a good pass rush.

3- Patrick Mahomes- Seriously, ridiculous. Out scored 22-10 in the 1st half, completely outclassed by the Browns. Then Mahomes happened. 23-7 in the 2nd half. 337 – 4 touchdowns

2- Tom Brady- Hyper efficient. 32/50, 379, 4 touchdowns – 2 interceptions but they weren’t his fault. Bucs still on top of the NFL until someone knocks them off.

1- Kyler Murray 309 total yards of offense – accounted for 5 TD’s, lead his team to a 38-13 win over Tennessee.

Week 2.

Off the list from last week: Herbert, Wilson, TJ Watt, and Jalen Hurts

8- Tyler Lockett- I Bumped Wilson because Lockett is to thank for all of his production early on.46% of Wilson pass yards and 50% of his TD’s have gone the way of Lockett. Lockett is #2 is receiving yards behind Deebo and #2 in TD’s behind Gronk.

7- Derrick Henry- Henry single handedly beat the Seahawks and revived the season of the Titans. Rough start to the year with 58 yards on the ground to go with no touchdowns but he more than made up for it in week 2. 237 total yards and 3 scores. He also led the team in receptions with 6.

6- Lamar Jackson- Not only did Lamar put his you know whats on the table and tell John Harbaugh he was going for it on 4th down to end the game on SNF…he’s 3rd leading rusher in the NFL. Lamar is in peak Lamar form.If the Ravens defense had figured out a way to slow down Darren Waller, they’d be a cool 2-0.But you have to give Lamar extra credit for dealing with the litany of injuries facing this team.

5- Patrick Mahomes- Not his fault his defense sucks. He did everything he could to win that game Sunday night. This should be a great statistical season for Mahomes. 6 TD’s, 1 interception, and for a guy who throws a lot, he’s completing an absurd 76% of his passes.

4- Matt Stafford- Not his best game against the Colts but this was a tough game to win and he went on the road and did it. The Rams now sit at 2-0 and while their defense is their calling card, Matt Stafford is clearly making a big difference.

3- Derek Carr- Who is leading the league in pass yards? Who is the only QB averaging over 400 yards per game? Who is 2-0 with a prime-time win vs Baltimore and a road win vs Pittsburgh? Derek Freaking Carr. I know, I’m as surprised as you are.

2- Tom Brady- The GOAT is doing GOAT type things. I’m sure you’ve see this stat by now but Tom is on pace to throw more TD’s in his 40’s than he did in his 20’s, the dude is absurd. The Bucs of the past would’ve found a way to lose to the Falcons, but Brady didn’t let it happen. Fire the Cannons.

Number 1!- Kyler Murray- Murray is a magician masquerading as a QB in the NFL. Everytime it looks like this guys is in more trouble than he can get out of, he finds a way out. He is truly sensation, far and away the #1 option on this list, and if he keeps pace, you can basically go ahead and start etching his name on the trophy.(7 touchdowns in the air, 2 on the ground, and a 2-0 record.)

Week 3.

Off the list: Patrick Mahomes, Tyler Lockett, Tom Brady

8- Justin Herbert- Back on the list after a one-week hiatus! Herbert has been playing lights out. Sundays win @ Kansas City, the most impressive win on the young season for ANY quarterback.

7- Myles Garrett- I’ve been wanting to get a defensive player on this list, Garrett has earned it. Myles set a Browns single game record on Sunday with 4.5 sacks. He also accounted for 4 stuffs at the line of scrimmage, and 7 tackles in total. Dude is a game-wrecker and a cannibal – because I’m pretty sure he ate Justin Fields alive.

6- Cooper Kupp- This man has been a monster early on this season. 25 catches, tied for the most in the league, 5 TD’s leads all wide-receivers, only Travis Kelce has converted more first downs for his offense in the receiving game. The Rams are unbeaten and he’s a big reason why.

5- Derrick Henry- Another dominant performance on the ground game and he did so in a game where the Titans needed him most. Julio Jones was in and out of the game with hamstring tightness, AJ Brown left the game, Corey Davis is on the Jets – Tannehill becomes average really quick when that happens. Henry is the only back in the league averaging over 100 yards per game right now.

4- Derek Carr- Slides back one spot this week, but its not his fault…Carr is throwing this team into relevancy right now, he leads the NFL in pass yards by 200 (1,203), and only Tom Brady as attempted more throws. His QB rating is outside of the top 10 right now and I see some regression coming for Carr, but right now, he can’t be denied.

3- Lamar Jackson- He is putting this Ravens team on his back right now. RB’s all banged up and the ones that are left are just not that good. Hollywood Brown dropped 14 points worth of catches thrown his way on Sunday and Lamar STILL made key plays to put Justin Tucker in position to break an NFL record. Very impressed with what I’ve seen from him early on.

2- Kyler Murray- You’re allowed to have a bad game. He’s held firm at the top spot for the first 2 weeks of the season and while he didn’t do anything to inspire real confidence (outside of running in another touchdown where a defender wasn’t within 10 yards of him) I’ll allow the lull. You get one more week Murray! This top 8 is a meat grinder.

Number 1!- Matt Stafford- Up to the top spot after an impressive showing against the GOAT. Stefan called this one last week, Stafford was either moving up or way back after the game against the Bucs. Couldn’t stay at 4 for 3 weeks in a row. 343, 4 TD’s and no turnovers against a good Bucs defense. He was only sacked once on top of it. Really impressive. On the season, 9 scores, 1 INT. This is a new man.

Week 4.

Off the list: Cooper Kupp, Derek Carr, Derrick Henry,

8- Tyreek Hill- This man has 2 games over 180 receiving yards this season. If you can’t figure out a way to stop him, you lose, it’s that simple. Mahomes will find him every time if you let him run free in the open field.

7- Myles Garrett- The Browns/Vikings game was ugly and Garrett was a big reason why, 2 tackles for loss in that game, he leads the NFL with 6 sacks. Absolute game-wrecker. He’s the #1 reason the Browns sit @ 3-1.

6- Trevon Diggs- Not only on the list but sky-rocketed onto the list @ #6. He completely shut down Mike Evans in week 1 and has been making plays for the Cowboys much improved defense ever since. QB’s he’s faced this season: Brady, Hurts, Darnold, and Herbert. Nobody has made him look bad yet. League leading 5 INT’s on the season.

5- Matt Stafford- I wanted to drop him off the list after an abysmal showing vs Arizona this week (280 2 scores, 1 pick) but given the fact that he held the top spot on my list in week 3, I figured I’d give him 1 more shot. 3 elite games, 1 bad, we’ll see how he bounces back against the Seahawks.

4- Josh Allen- The Bills have outscored their opponents 118-21 over the last 3 weeks, I ought to give this man his due credit. Allen makes it look ridiculously easy out there.

3- Justin Herbert- Can not praise him enough, they had a lot of weird plays not go their way through the first 2 games of the season but yet they still sit @ 3-1. This shows me he’s great, he’s doing what the greats do, cover up their teams warts. 9 touchdowns, 3 turnovers, QB rating over 100, 1,100 pass yards. Not a lot not to like.

2- Lamar Jackson- The Ravens are falling apart health wise, they’re trotting out a backfield that would’ve been really good in 2015, and they lost key pieces to their defense in the off season, only you wouldn’t know it by looking at their record. Lamar has put this team on his back and he’s ranked 12th in pass yards on the season right now – mark my words, if that hold true, he’ll win the MVP.

Number 1! Kyler Murray- Had to knock him down a peg after a rough week 3 in Jacksonville but he’s back! The Cards remain the only undefeated team in the NFL, largely thanks to their magician of a QB.

Week 5.

Off the list: Matt Stafford, Myles Garrett, Tyreek Hill

8- Dak Prescott- Cracking the list for the very first time, Dak’s Cowboys are 4-1, looking like the best team in the NFC, have to give the man his due. Ask yourself, what would the Cowboys be without Dak? Answer- not very good. Their team has scored 41, 36, and 44 in the last 3 weeks, they went toe-to-toe with the Bucs, and are the only team to hold a win over the Chargers. Dak has 13 TD’s and just 3 INT’s on the season.

7- Tom Brady- Tommy Terrific is playing so well, he’s actually setting career records for himself at the age of 44. 400+ and 5 TD’s for the first time in his career last week against the Phins. Tom makes no sense and his Bucs are still awesome despite a depleted defense.

6- Derrick Henry- The Titans should rename themselves the Henry’s because they are NOTHING without him. Henry has 100 yards on 2nd place in the rushing department in the NFL. 640 yards on the ground, Nick Chubb has 523. Zeke is 3rd with 450. Henry is also the 2nd leading receiver on the Titans this year with 14 receptions. This team is bad and he covers it all up because no oen can tackle him.

5- Trevon Diggs- Stefon’s brother is officially the best Diggs in the family. He just continues to produce week in-week out. 6 INT’s on the season, that’s twice as many as 2nd place in that category and more than 27 teams in the NFL have in total. But that’s not even my favorite Diggs stat…Diggs passer rating allowed when QB’s throw his way is 38.9. If a QB were to spike the ball into the ground on every play, they would leave the game with a rating of 39.6. That means you’d be better off throwing the ball at the dirt than in the direction of Diggs.

4- Josh Allen- This doesn’t even feel like its going to be Josh Allen’s best statistical season but it doesn’t need to be, the Bills defense is playing really well and Allen isn’t making any mistakes with the ball. 12 TD’s through the air, another 2 on the ground, and only 2 turnovers this season. Buffalo looks unstoppable right now.

3- Kyler Murray- Down from #1 last week, I was underwhelmed with the Cardinals performance on Sunday against a rookie QB in Trey Lance, but we know, those divisional matchups can be tough, and at the end of the day, Murray got the job done. What’s strange is that he’s not running all that often, his attempts per game are down by 2 compared to last season, curious to see if that becomes something he picks up as the season goes along.

2- Justin Herbert- Herbs is on an absolute tear right now. 4th in the league in pass yards, 3rd in TD’s, QB rating over 100. He’s checking all the usual boxes. But it’s the last 3 games that have really blown me away. 14 TD’s and zero turnovers. And he’s done so against the Chiefs, Raiders, and Browns – all who have playoff aspirations. He is playing picture perfect football right now. No other way to put it.

Number 1!- Lamar Jackson- If you look at the Ravens roster right now they shouldn’t be anywhere near 4-1. Lamar Jackson has been bailing them out left and right. The Ravens had to score 28 points in the 2nd half to comeback against the Colts on MNF. Jackson had more yards in the 2nd half of that game than he’s had in any full game in his career! Amazingly, only one of those throws was made outside the pocket. This man has put this team squarely on his back.

Week 6.

Off the list: Josh Allen, Justin Herbert

8- Derek Carr- Back on the list for the first time since week 3 and he probably won’t stay on for very long, but you have to give the man the leadership cred for being the man to lead the charge through all of this Gruden drama. The team is 4-2 and in the thick of the AFC West race. Statistically he hasn’t been great the last few weeks, but this goes beyond that.

7- Davante Adams- A-Rod might be the rightful owner of Chicago after their 24-14 win over the Bears, but without Adams, I’m not sure what Rodgers really is this year. Honestly, I’m not even sure he knows that other WR’s play on this team. Adams leads the NFL in receiving yards and has a whopping 43 target lead on 2nd place on his own team. Adams leads the NFL in yards per route run as an outside receiver by a significant margin, dude is on fire.

6- Tom Brady- Cue up the “Tom Brady is 40+ and doing amazing things” graphic. Brady leads the NFL in passing yards, in fact, he’s the first QB to go over the 2k mark this season. I’ve run out of nice things to say, Brady is awesome, the end.

5- Dak Prescott- Up from #8 last week after an impressive road win. 445 passing yards, most ever against a Bill Belichick coached defense. Prescott is playing some great football right now, he’s getting everyone involved, and the Cowboys look like a top 3 team in the NFL. Prescott got 8 different receivers involved in Sundays win over the NE Patriots.

4- Trevon Diggs- A defensive player cracks the top 5 for the first time this year! Diggs has an INT in 6 straight games, including his pick 6 against the Pats on Sunday. How about this- Trevon Diggs has 7 catches 142 and 2 TD’s on the season…Jalen Reagor, the #2 WR in Philly has 17 catches, 140 yards, and just 1 TD.

3- Derrick Henry- You watched the game last night. Do I really need to explain this one? He has over 200 yards on 2nd place in rushing yards and he’s the only RB to score double digits in TD’s already this season.

2- Kyler Murray- Kyler has sparked something special in this Cards team. Only 6-0 team in the NFL and he hasn’t thrown a pick in 3 weeks. Murray is hitting the next level as an NFL QB and its awesome to watch.

Number 1!- Lamar Jackson- I said prior to the season, if Lamar Jackson can crack the top 12 in pass yards, he will run away with the NFL’s MVP award. Right now he’s 9th and the Ravens are flying high after kicking the Chargers right in the teeth. I don’t know what this team is without him, but I know what they are with him. PAY THE MAN!

Week 7 missed

Week 8.

Off the list- Derrick Henry, Dak Prescott, Davante Adams

8- Tom Brady- Down 2 spots from #6, losing to Trevor Siemian will do that. But, Brady is still excellent, even in an “off-game” he still threw for 375 and 4 TD’s. Brady leads the league in pass yards and I don’t need to remind you how old he is.

7- Cooper Kupp- Kupp has had 1 game this season where he brought in less than 90 receiving yards. That was the one game the Rams lost this season. When Kupp goes off, and he often does…an average of 133 yards per game over the last 3…the Rams don’t lose. Kupp is 7-Eleven. Always open!

6- Derek Carr- Carr the beneficiary of a bye week and bad performances around the league. He really did nothing to move up from the 8-spot, I’m just really impressed with the fact that the Raiders are in 1st place in a loaded AFC West. 5-2. With an interim coach. I thought he would stick on the list very long, but hey, here he is. Also, last 2 starts, Carr is completing nearly 80% of his throws!

5- Kyler Murray- Murray slides down from #2 to #5, he’s been a monster this season but last week looked like a mere mortal against the Packers. 22-33, 274 through the air, just 21 on the ground, no TD’s and 2 picks. I feared that defenses would catch the way the did last year. If that happens again, he could find himself off the list rather quickly.

4- Aaron Rodgers- Talk about a sky-rocket! Rodgers wasn’t even on the list last week and now he is all the way up to #4. Rodgers had the single most impressive win of the week 8 slate. I can no longer deny the man access into my exclusive club. A win over an undefeated Cardinals team, on the road, without his top 2 WR’s. Rodgers is playing light out, only 1 INT over the last 7 games.

3- Trevon Diggs- The Cowboys have now won 6 straight, they just won their last game without their star QB…and this is the reason I’ve had Trevon Diggs on my MVP list for the last 3 or 4 weeks and Dak has only appeared once. Dak is great, but this defense is the difference, and Diggs is the straw that stirs the drink. QB’s are completing just south of 50% of their passes against the Cowboys. That’s a massive advantage!

2- Matt Stafford- I have Cooper Kupp on the list, well how about the man who is setting him loose? Stafford has been the clear difference on this team. The Rams were really good last year, now, they’re the best team in the NFL. And he’s not playing game manager either, Stafford is #2 in pass yards, #2 in TD’s, #1 in QB rating among QB’s to make at least 7 starts.

Number 1! Lamar Jackson- Ric Flair said it best: To be the man, you’ve got to beat the man! And well, no one is beating the man. Sure, the last time we saw Lamar he was losing 41-17 to the Bengals (who just lost to the Jets) but everyone is allowed a stinker. Lamar helped the Ravens rattle off 5 straight wins before stumbling, he’s still my MVP if I’m voting today.

Week 9.

Off the list: Trevon Diggs, Derek Carr, Aaron Rodgers

8- Cordarrelle Patterson- It took way too long to get this guy on the list. Patterson is doing everything for the Falcons. RB, WR, TE, Slot…and this past weekend he led the NFL in receiving yards with 126. Patterson Swiss army knifing his way into the top 8.

7- Justin Herbert- He is back. And damn, when this guy is good – he is great. 32-38 for 356 and 2 TD’s. Chargers games are pretty easy to figure out, when he’s lights out, they don’t lose. His team sits atop the AFC West and he is the #1 reason why.

6- Jonathan Taylor- With Derrick Henry on the shelf, Jonathan Taylor becomes the new #1 RB in the NFL between the tackles. He is #2 in the league (behind Henry) with 821 yards and 8 TD’s on the ground. He’s already over 1k scrimmage yards when you add in his receiving #’s. This is the Taylor I thought we’d get out of Wisconsin, beast mode.

5- Matt Stafford- Not impressed Stafford! But, he was #2 on my list last week so I didn’t feel comfortable free falling him off the list entirely. He still leads the league in passing yards and is 2nd in TD’s. And his team is 7-2. We’ll give him one more pass for the stinker on Mon.

4- Tom Brady- Stafford is #2 in TD’s and guess who #1 is…Tom Brady…even more impressive when you consider he didn’t play this week. Brady moved up from #8 to #4 without playing a game…that’s an indictment on the play in the NFL amongst the star level players this week and a credit to him for being the leader that Aaron Rodgers is not.

3- Cooper Kupp- Kupp is the first player to surpass 1k receiving yards this season and his 95 yards on Monday night was a 5 week low for the wide-receiver. He has been on another planet, completely uncoverable this year.

2- Kyler Murray- Another riser on my list despite not playing in a game this weekend, and in fact, his team won without him! I’m going to reference again the fact that the stars didn’t step up this weekend and the fact that the Cardinals have clearly had an organizational shift in their approach, they believe in themselves at a level I have not seen from this organization in quite sometime. Kyler has changed things for the Cardinals and that goes a long way with me.

Number 1!- Lamar Jackson – Answer me this…who is #6 in rushing and #9 in passing in the NFL? Lamar Jackson. Who has led his team back from the dead to win in OT twice this season? Lamar Jackson. Who doesn’t have a legitimate #1 WR and is on his 5th RB this season? Lamar. He is BY FAR the leagues MVP right now and it is not even remotely close. According to ESPN Stats & Info: Lamar Jackson is the 1st player in NFL history with 2,000 pass yards and 600 rush yards through 8 games of a season. Jackson is on pace for 4,694 pass yards and 1,275 rush yards.

Week 10.

Off the list: Cordarrelle Patterson, Matt Stafford, Justin Herbert, Kyler Murray

8- Josh Allen- He’s a specialist at beating up on bad teams, the Bills are 6-3 right now with the largest margin of victory in the NFL. Allen coming off a game where he threw for 366 and 2 scores. I think he’s the odds on favorite in Vegas, I don’t see it, but he’s on the list.

7- Tom Brady- I don’t think the Bucs problems fall on Brady, in fact, I think he’s the only reason they might find themselves out of this mess. Brady is still a statistical wizard, top 3 in touchdowns and passing yards. He’ll need to be on this list if the Bucs are going to have a shot to stay in it at the top of the NFC.

6- Deebo Samuel- Admittedly, took me way too long to get this guy on the list. He’s mister do-it-all for the 49ers. When I saw him lineup at RB last night, I said, alright…this guy is on the MVP list. So versatile and he’s getting it done as a wideout, he’s the only guy even close to Cooper Kupp’s production.

5- Dak Prescott- Easy to sour on Dak after that let down against the Broncos 2 weeks ago, but he bounded back strong – led the Cowboys to a 43-3 win, 296 yards, 2 touchdowns, and a 127 passer rating. Dak is a great leader and he’s got this Cowboys team believing in themselves right now.

4- Ryan Tannehill- He’s not doing anything spectacular but he’s the only QB in the NFL that’s winning consistently right now. Tannehill has now quarterbacked the Titans to wins over the Bills, Colts, Rams, Saints, and Chiefs – they’ve won 6 in a row, and what’s most impressive is, his o-line is actually doing him no favors. RT has been sacked the 4th most in the NFL at the QB position this year.

3- Jonathan Taylor- Now tied atop the league in rushing with Derrick Henry, so with one more yard he’ll take the top spot. Taylor has 200 more yards than Nick Chubb who sits @ #2. JT hasn’t had a game with less than 100 scrimmage yards since September 26th.

2- Cooper Kupp- Kupp is lapping every one else at wide-receiver this season, its kind of comical. He’s the only receiver in the NFL averaging over 110 yards per game, he’s the only receiver with double digit receiving TD’s, and even in a bad game for the Rams last night – he still finished as the 3rd most productive WR of the week.

Number 1!- Lamar Jackson- I’m not even praising him with this selection anymore. He’s had 2 absolute stinkers in the last 3 weeks. I just don’t know who else to put @ #1 and at least Lamar still has this going for him: 9th in passing in the NFL, 7th in rushing. That’s insanity. But one more bad game and he is going to slip and slide down this list. Big game @ Chicago this Sunday @ 1pm.

Week 11.

Off the list: Josh Allen, Dak Prescott, Ryan Tannehill

8- Justin Herbert- This guy is like a hot potato. On the list, off the list, on the list, off the list. Herbs is dynamic, he’s electric, but sometimes he downright stinks. The reality is, when he’s on his A game, his A-game is as good as anyone in the NFL. 30-41 382 yards, 3 passing TD’s, to go with 90 yards on the ground. Unreal performance against the Steelers in primetime.

7- Mac Jones- Look, he isn’t doing anything spectacular, there’s no debate about that. But you know what he is doing? Winning. 5 straight wins for the Patriots and while his numbers aren’t going to blow you away – you have to ask yourself, would the Pats be able to do this with anyone playing QB? Or does it have to be the exact right guy. I think that’s the answer and Mac deserves credit for that.

6- Jalen Hurts- This guy has been a breath of fresh air, one of the most exciting players to watch in the league and he just seems to get better each week. 3 rushing touchdowns against one of the best run defenses in the NFL in the New Orleans Saints. Truly impressive stuff. Hurts currently ranks 9th in the league in rushing.

5- Deebo Samuel- One spot up from where he was in last week, continuing to impress me in a very collegiate way. Deebo is 2nd in the NFL in receiving yards but what I love even more is that he’s been the team’s best rusher the last 2 weeks. 8 carries 79 yards and a touchdown on the ground alone against the Jags. Niners are rolling right now, winners of 3 of their last 4.

4- Lamar Jackson- 1st time he hasn’t been #1 on the list since week 4! Put yourself in bubble wrap and don’t go outside Lamar, now is no time to be getting sick. This team needs you if they are going to be successful. A little hand sanitizer and some Day Quil and you’ll be right back up to #1 in no time. Ravens upcoming schedule BTW- Browns, Steelers, Browns, Packers, Bengals, Rams, and Steelers. Yikes.

3- Cooper Kupp- From #2 to #3, no fault of his own, bye week for the Rams. Really nothing new here, Kupp is the most dominant WR in the NFL and him falling on this ranking says more about the fluid nature of the list than it does about him. Comically, even with a bye week, he still leads all WR’s in receiving yards by 200.

2- Tom Brady- The Bucs are back on track after another efficient performance from the GOAT. The Bucs had dropped 2 in a row and the Bucs of old would’ve turned a 2 game losing streak into a 4 game losing streak with ease. Brady doesn’t let that happen, he exemplifies excellence…307 yards 2 touchdowns – still stands atop the league in passing touchdowns. Truly amazing.

Number 1!- Jonathan Taylor- The first RB to take the top spot this year, he has officially eclipsed the Derrick Henry mark and JT is all alone at the top of the NFL. He leads the league with 1,122 rush yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground. Jonathan Taylor has now tied the NFL record of 8 straight games with 100 scrimmage yards and a Rush TD. A record held by Ladandian Tomilinson and Lydell Mitchell a former Baltimore Colt.

Week 12.

Off the list: Jalen Hurts, Justin Herbert, Cooper Kupp.

8- Aaron Rodgers- I know, I know. Aaron wins, the media loses…yadda yadda. Look, he’s been great, COVID toe or no COVID toe. The Packers are 9-3, they went completely limp with him off the field and I dinged him for that, but he’s back and he’s playing phenomenal. 307 2 TD’s and no turnovers against the Rams. Masterful performance on Sunday, the Packers are legit.

7- Lamar Jackson- 4 INT’s! I almost bumped him off the list for that dreadful performance. Lucky for him he was playing the Browns but had that not been the case, this would have gone down as one of his worst outings of his impressive career. Since 2015, QB’s are 0-37 when they throw 4 INT’s.

6- Deebo Samuel- He got hurt on Sunday and will likely miss some time, but he still did damage in the Niners win on Sunday vs Minnesota…what was he this week you ask? RB. 6 carries for 66 yards and 2 touchdowns. While still holding it down as a top 5 WR in the NFL statistically, he’s having a tremendous season.

5- Jonathan Taylor- Held the #1 spot last week and couldn’t quite hang on. Its tough out there for the RB’s but JT is definitely the best of the bunch. He was outshined by Lucas Oil Lenny who rumbled for 4 TD’s but Taylor still compiled 97 yards and a TD…thus ending his streak of 8 consecutive games with 100 or more scrimmage yards.

4- Josh Allen- Boy when he plays well there’s no stopping him. Allen and CO. absolutely dominated the Saints at every turn on Thanksgiving Day. Allen racked up 260 pass yards, another 43 on the ground, and 4 touchdowns. He’s now compliled 28 total TD’s on the season, right up there with the best in the league.

3- Joe Burrow- For Joe, I’m less concerenced about stats and more concerned with what he’s done to the Bengals. This is not the Bengals I grew up with. They are confident, cocky, and tough. Joe Burrow has breathed new life into this team and don’t sleep on the fact that they swept the Steelers in dominant fashion – that’s a huge deal for that organization.

2- Mac Jones- With a win, Jones became the 3rd rookie QB over the last 15 seasons to win 6 straight starts. Dak and RG3 being the others. He’s also won 3 straight by 20 points or more, becoming the 2nd rookie QB all-time to do that – the other. Russell Wilson. Mac is the straw that stirs the drink, he’s the pilot to this luxury plane, and he’s doing a phenomenal job. Hasn’t had a game with multiple turnovers since week 3.

Number 1!- Tom Brady- Those 2 are on a collision course! Brady is just Brady, what else is there to say? He didn’t have a great game on Sunday but it was another one in a long line of game where Brady has the ball with 2 min left and you just know his team is going to score. The Bucs trailed the Colts by 10 on the road, a team that likes to run and play with a lead, and he still found a way to win. GOAT status.

Week 13.

Off the list: Deebo Samuel, Lamar Jackson, Joe Burrow, Josh Allen

8- Aaron Rodgers- He was @ 8 last week and has done nothing to dissuade me from that opinion, mostly because he didn’t play. But the Packers look like the most well-balanced team in the NFL and Rodgers is obviously the straw that stirs the drink, this is the best shot he’s had to win a Super Bowl in a while, he’ll probably blow it – but he still deserves praise as being one of the league’s best.

7- TJ Watt- It is such a noticeable difference when he’s on and off the field for the Pittsburgh Steelers, an absolute game-wrecker. 16 sacks, leads the NFL. The Steelers as a unit rank 18th in QB pressure rate, yet he leads the NFL in sacks, that basically tells you he’s running this show by himself.

6- Mac Jones- Ok, so, I had him @ 2 last week and while that seemed a little aggressive even then – you just see the steady impact he’s had on the Patriots who now stand atop the AFC by themselves. Jones however threw the ball 3x against the Bills so I had to slide him down. Those are not MVP #’s even if he just did what he was supposed to do. Give some credit to Damien Harris, Mattew Judon, and JC Jackson – big time play makers for this team.

5- Tua Tagovailoa- Yep, just had to do it. 5 straight wins, and this week in particular- highest graded QB in the league according to Last 4 games, 4-0 / 78% comp rate / 5-1 td to int ratio / 109.2 QB rating. Dude is getting it done. Yes its vs inferior competition for the most part but the dude has been lights out for the Phins.

4- Kyler Murray- Back with avengence, very efficient outing after missing the last few games. 11/15 123 through the air…but he threw 2 TD’s and ran 2 in. He finished the game with 59 yards rushing and the guy is just a cheat code, he’s one of the best runners in the league – not relative to his position, he’s just one of the best, and he’s an elite passer. Cards right now are the best team in the NFL.

3- Justin Herbert- On one week, off the next, its like Yoyo with this guy but he’s just so sensational when he’s on the money. Chargers beat the Bengals 41-22 on the road. Impressive. And I might be too hard on the up and down nature of Herbs…last 3 weeks, over 300 yards in each and 8 total TD’s.

2- Jonathan Taylor- Oh just another 140+ yard day for Jonathan Taylor. This is a passing league now – clearly JT (and the Patriots) didn’t get the memo. He’s had 4 games this season where he’s rushed for more than 140 yards. He’s scored a TD in every game since week 3. And as much as he’s carrying the ball, he’s still averaging 5.6 YPC, those are like college numbers. He has 1,348 yards on the ground, next closest is Joe Mixon with 978.

Number 1!- Tom Brady-GOAT. What else can I say?! I’m out of words. Bucs have the 2nd best record in the NFC. Unbeaten at home. Brady leads the league in pass yards and touchdowns. He’s got 6 games where he’s thrown at least 4 TD’s…that’s insanity.

Week 14.

Off the list: Kyler Murray, TJ Watt, Mac Jones

8- Cooper Kupp- Another monster week from the #1 WR in the NFL. Even after his running mate in Robert Woods went down, and teams knew he was going to be the sole focus for the Rams in the pass game, he is still going nuts. This week 13 catches, 123 yards and a score. The all-time record for receiving yards in a season is 1,946 from Megatron in 2012. That is within reach with Kupp @ 1,489 yards and an extra game to play.

7- Micah Parsons- Parsons is a rookie who has 12 sacks on the season! And really its what he’s done over the last month that has me taking notice. At least 1 sack in 6 straight games, 2 or more in 3 of those games, and 3 forced fumbles over that time. He is on the rise and this Cowboys D is the #1 reason they are atop the NFC East.

6- Tua- 5 straight wins, 77% completion rate from a clean pocket this season, that’s #1 in the NFL. And he’s doing this from PFF’s worst graded offensive line since 2019.

5- Patrick Mahomes- Mahomes had a serious slump, the first of his career, and we wondered if he had just lost it for a minute…well, he did not. Mahomes has been much better. 6 game win streak and he’s only turned the ball over 3x in that span, as opposed to the 9 he had prior.

4- Aaron Rodgers- Talk about a guy playing flawless football right now, 341 yards, 4 TD’s and no INT’s against the Bears on Sunday night football. With the Cardinals falling to the Rams, the Packers take the top spot in the NFC. Rodgers has this team playing at an unreal level.

3- Jonathan Taylor- Taylor didn’t play this weekend but he’s got the Colts in playoff position, they are among the many teams vying for a playoff spot in the AFC. Interestingly, the Colts are favored against the Pats on Saturday, that will be a big test for him- but you have to figure, the oddsmakers are only giving the Colts that level of respect against a team that’s won 7 straight because of JT. (league leader in rushing by over 300 yards)

2- Justin Herbert- Justin Herbert joins Dan Marino as the only QBs in NFL history with 60 passing touchdowns over their first two seasons. Every week he does something that amazes me, I think he’s the most talented QB in the NFL today. His consistency is growing with each week, last 4 games- At least 275 yards in each, 71% comp rate, and 11 TD’s.

Number 1!- Tom Brady- 3 total touchdowns this week, including a game-winning drive in OT, 363 pass yards- he continues to lead the NFL in that statistic. Just broke Drew Brees record for total completions in a career. He has been playing flawlessly, Brady won back in 2017 and it looks like he’s well on his way to his 4th MVP award.

Week 15.

Off the list: Micah Parsons, Cooper Kupp, Tua

8- TJ Watt- Every time I watch a Steelers game, this guy is making big plays. I can’t keep him off the list. He is such a high impact player, always comes up big when the Steelers need him most…5 tackles, 1 crucial sack on Sunday and he leads the league with 17.5 sacks.

7- Deebo Samuel- How about this…7 rushing TD’s, most by a WR in the Super Bowl era. 5 straight games with a rushing TD…also the most since the merger and he could become the only WR ever to lead his team in rushing TD’s. And he’s #6 in receiving yards among WR’s this season. Amazing.

6- Joe Burrow- I was back and forth between Burrow and Tua for this spot and I just can’t go with my guy. Burrow ranks 8th in pass yards, Tua is 27th. Burrow is 8th in TD’s, Tua is 22nd. Tua does have a higher QB and he’s turned the ball over less but all things considered…the Bengals are 8-6 and Burrow has really led that charge, so I’ll give him the nod.

5- Justin Herbert- This one’s not as difficult, I love everything about Justin Herbert’s game, but he falls from 2 to 5 because he was vastly outplayed by Patrick Mahomes on Thursday night. Herbert had gained some consistency within the past few weeks but the inability to convert on key 4th down situations his coach put him in, leads me to knock him down a few notches. Still love ya though Herbie…and thanks for the 26 fantasy points this week.

4- Pat Mahomes- Mahomes played great on Thursday, 410 – 3TD’s – just 1 pick, this Chiefs offense seems to have turned the corner just in time for the playoffs.

3- Tom Brady- He’d been #1 for 3 straight weeks so that’s why I’m only dropping him to 3, but you can’t get blanked at home Tom, I don’t care who is in and out of the lineup. Interested to see how they bounce back on the road against the Panthers in week 16.

2- Aaron Rodgers- Rodgers is dropping some gorgeous dimes this season, he’s got to be right up there in anyone’s rankings, he’s been masterful yet again. Rodgers won the real-life MVP last season and he’s playing basically just as well as he did last year. 30 TD’s just 4 picks all year long. Last 4 games- 13 touchdowns and zero turnovers.

Number 1! Jonathan Taylor- In Saturday's win over the Patriots, Jonathan Taylor had his 11th straight game with a rushing touchdown, the longest streak since LaDainian Tomlinson went 18 straight from 2004-05. He broke through for a game sealing 67 yard touchdown, the dude is just on a different level right now. He has 500 more yards than the next best RB. They threw up a metric on the screen Saturday and I wish I could remember exactly what it was, but basically it was – all the RB’s in the past that have been as productive as JT is this year, won the MVP award.

Week 16.

Off the list: TJ Watt, Justin Herbert.

8- Deebo Samuel- Not exactly a winning effort on Thursday night against the Titans but still he was the focal point of the 49ers offense and he had another spectacular game – this time as a WR. 9 catches, 159 yards – to go with 5 carries for 32. No one in the league is gadget-ing like Samuel, he is the definition of a Swiss Army Knife.

7- Josh Allen- He’s been a little up and down this season, but he’s coming off the heels of arguably his biggest regular season win of his career. Going into Foxborough, where he typically struggles, and dominating – 30/47 for 314, 3 TD’s, and 64 yards rushing – and he was clutch in the 4th quarter. This dude made Isaiah McKenzie relevant for a weekend, and he’s enabled Dawson Knox to the point that he looks like an elite TE. He IS the Buffalo Bills and they’ve now reclaimed their spot at the top of the AFC East.

6- Pat Mahomes- Yawn. Just another 11 win season for the Chiefs. 8 straight wins for Mahomie, the only man who is winning more consistently than Tua (had to throw that in there). I’d have him higher but his defense is really pulling the load. This Chiefs team is mighty dangerous given the way they’re playing on both sides of the ball. Its funny how this felt like a down year for Mahomes, but if you look statistically, he’s basically step for step with what he produced last year.

5- Cooper Kupp- Extra week or no extra week, Cooper Kupp is just 230 yards away from Calvin Johnson’s record for most yards in a single season (1,964). Truly remarkable, especially when you consider he’s been in the league for 5 seasons and only has one season where he cracked 1k yards. No doubt an MVP candidate.

4- Tom Brady- Tom is holding onto this spot because of his ability to steady a sinking ship. He hasn’t been producing monster numbers recently but he’s been winning games – 5 of the last 6 to be exact. Plus, even with some down weeks, he still leads the league in passing yards…and have I mentioned how old he is?

3- Joe Burrow- Color me impressed! Call me a prisoner of the moment, go ahead, I can take it! Joe Burrow is cooler than the other side of the pillow and he’s the singlular reason the Bengals have 9 wins and are cruising to an AFC North title. A prediction that NO ONE had prior to the season starting. We had all 3 other teams potentially winning, but Joe has put this team and this sorry organization on his back. Flowers my man, flowers.

2- Aaron Rodgers- In a season of inconsistency, Aaron Rodgers has proven to be the most consistent player in the league. I’m not even sure its close, watch his games, look at his game log, he is the same amazing QB every single week. 200+ yards, 3 scores, no turnovers. Literally, every week…and the Packers are the best team in football because of it.

Number 1!- Jonathan Taylor- I’m convinced the Colts would be fighting with the Texans and the Jags at the bottom of the AFC South if not for this man, he has carried the load for the Colts this season, and has truly put together one of the most remarkable RB years we’ve ever seen. Which is made even more impressive when you consider, WE’RE IN A PASSING LEAGUE! Taylor is currently on pace for 328 carries for 1,843 yards with 21 rushing touchdowns and 44 catches for 408 yards with two touchdowns.

Week 17.

Off the list: No one.

In fact, I haven’t changed anything. It’s the exact same list as it was last week, I couldn’t justify making any changes. So here’s the top 8:

8- Deebo Samuel

7- Josh Allen

6- Pat Mahomes

5- Cooper Kupp

4- Tom Brady

3- Joe Burrow

2- Aaron Rodgers

Number 1!- Jonathan Taylor

My only debate was really that 7/6 spot, Allen is coming off another great performance and a win, Mahomes took the L, but I think if you look on the season- Mahomes has been better.

The other one that I’m struggling with is leaving Ryan Tannehill off the list, I mean I defnintely have enough QB representation, but the fact that he’s QB’d a team without its best player, missing pieces all over the place and still they sit atop the AFC, it is truly impressive. My thing is though, if you are giving him that nod, its only because he’s the QB. I think the Titans 11 wins truly embody the phrasing of a ‘total team effort’.

One more week left, we’ll see if week 18 shakes any of this up!

Dallas Cowboys v Carolina Panthers

Photo: Getty Images

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