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NFL MVP: The Hidden Trick

While quarterbacks are the front runner for MVP year in and year out.  What really drives them to win? Is it stats, wins, highlights, or a combination of all these things? Every year, Aaron Rodgers is a frontrunner for MVP. The one thing he has year after year is a top ten offensive line. In 2020 his line ranked #2 according to PFF.  Let’s look at the list all the way back to 2013.

Year

MVP

Offensive line rank

2020

Aaron Rodgers

2

2019

Lamar Jackson

2

2018

Patrick Mahomes

13

2017

Tom Brady

3

2016

Matt Ryan

6

2015

Cam Newton

2

2014

Aaron Rodgers

4

2013

Peyton Manning

4

 

As we look through the list the only MVP without top 6 Offensive line is Mahomes in 2018.  He is a generational talent and is a outlier.  Every year as QBs put up huge numbers regardless of weapons or defensive they play with what they have is protection.  Look at Brady, Jackson, and Rodgers none of which had more than one major weapon receiving the ball.  People have said Kirk Cousins is a dark horse candidate for MVP.  The only time a Offensive line made a large enough jump from preseason ranking to the end of the season was Newton in 2015. They went from 22 to 2.  What would take for the Vikings Offensive line to move up 20 spots?

Looking at the line starting with Left Tackle Christian Darrisaw.  He is the presumed starter. As a rookie it is not unprecedented for him to be a top 20 LT. He is coming off a groin injury which did limit him in college. This is going to be tough but not improbable.

 On to who I believe will be a Left Guard Ezra Cleveland. Last year he moved inside and struggled to start with.  As the year went on, he did improve but still needs to be more consistent.  For him to take the step forward he should move back to the left side. He always played there, and the footwork should be move natural for him. Also, the way the draft played out I believe he knew he was staying at guard. He will be able to add the strength to better anchor against interior defensive lineman.

Mister Garrett Bradbury our starting center. He needs to be able to trust the men on his left and right. When any player is worrying if he going to have to cover another players job he will make mistakes. If Cleveland and Davis handle their jobs, Bradbury can just do his job and ball out.

The forementioned Wyatt Davis should win the starting Right Guard spot. He has all the skills and tools to become a Pro Bowl guard. Like Darrisaw he played 2020 hurt and still started every game. Played at a very high level.  Once he is a 100% again regaining his lateral quickness he will make a instant impact for the interior of the offensive line.

Saving the best for last Brian O’Neill. He is the best Lineman the Vikings have. He’s going to get paid next offseason and he’s going to get paid a lot.  Provided he continues on the same path.

All of this comes together which is a long shot to start with.  Then Cousins has a shot at MVP. At this point it’s all about hope that things will fall right and as long as fans can still believe there is a chance. We can all still have hope!

 

Skol

Aarron Mollema

 

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