Top Five NFL MVP Candidates Headed into Week 14

As we approach the end of the regular season, multiple players have made their case for the league's best. The following five players have put together what is the best body of work of any player in the NFL so far. Below are my top five candidates for this year's NFL MVP.

 1. Dak Prescott, Quarterback, Dallas Cowboys

This may come as a surprise due to his heavy criticism, but Dak's placement here is nearly undeniable when you watch the tape and look at the stats. The Cowboys sit at 9-3 and have won six of their last seven games, the one loss being a narrow loss to last year's NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles. Within those seven weeks, Dak has thrown 21 touchdowns to just two picks. It was a level of efficiency that many thought wasn't possible for Dak after being tied for the league lead in interceptions just a year ago despite missing games. His total of 26 touchdowns leads the NFL, and his 108.3 Passer Rating is second only to Brock Purdy, who will be mentioned later on this list. This coming Sunday Dallas travels to Philadelphia for a game that could give Dallas the first seed in the NFC, depending on a few other teams. Prescott's efficiency and ability to rally his team as a leader are enough to earn him the number-one spot on my list.

2. Brock Purdy, Quarterback, San Francisco 49ers

I mentioned that Brock Purdy would crack this list and sure enough, here he is. Mr. Irrelevant has the 49ers as the topic of conversation this week as they dismantled the Philadelphia Eagles this past Sunday. Purdy has played very well this season and, like Dak, has stepped it up as of late. Mid-October presented a tough stretch for San Francisco as they lost three straight games to close out the month. Since then, Purdy has the 49ers’ offense rolling at a high level. Currently, Purdy leads the league in completion percentage for qualified passers and is tied for third in touchdowns with 23. His six interceptions are tied with Prescott for some of the lowest in the NFL for Quarterbacks who've started most of their team's games this season. An argument can be made for Purdy to be number one on this list due to the strength of the opponents he's beaten compared to Prescott. Purdy has not only beaten Dak and the Cowboys handedly, he also beat the Eagles by nearly 30 points. The only things that keep Dak ahead of him for me are the strength of Purdy's surrounding cast and how he performed when they were injured, along with Head Coach Kyle Shannahan being the offensive mastermind that he is.  

3. Tua Tagovailoa, Quarterback, Miami Dolphins

The leader of the league's most potent offense, Tua has been exceptional this season and has put his connection with Tyreek Hill on full display for all to see. Tua is tied for second in the NFL in touchdowns with Bills Quarterback Josh Allen, both have 24. Coming into this week, the Dolphins hold the number one spot in the AFC with a record of 9-3. Tagovailoa's play has been a significant factor in that success as he puts points on the scoreboard. His lack of success versus winning teams and reliance on Tyreek Hill keeps Tua at three on this list. Despite being 9-3 on the year, the Dolphins have not beaten a single winning team and, when faced with competition, have folded. In their three games versus the Chiefs, Bills, and Eagles, Tua has three touchdowns to two interceptions. For Tua to ascend on this list and for the Dolphins to make a serious run, they must prove they can get it done against the NFL's elite. 

4. Jalen Hurts, Quarterback, Philadelphia Eagles

Last year's MVP runner-up, Hurts again sees himself in the conversation for the league's best. Hurts‘ 31 total touchdowns puts him second to Josh Allen's 33 for the most in the NFL. Hurts’ 12 rushing touchdowns, tied for second in the league, are a major contributor to his success. The acclaimed "Brotherly Shove" play has been controversial this season, with people like Commissioner Rodger Goodell saying he hopes it is "banned" this offseason. Many have tried, yet no one does it as well as Hurts. While his rushing ability is excellent, his passing has been just as good. Leading this high-powered offense with Aj Brown and Devonte Smith, Hurts has the Eagles sitting atop the NFC with a record of 10-2. 

5. Tyreek Hill, Wide receiver, Miami Dolphins

Including two players so close together may be cheating, but what Tyreek is doing needs to be recognized. Hill has 1,481 yards and 12 touchdowns through twelve games, leading the league in those categories. Averaging 123 yards a game, Hill is on a historic pace, which projects him to break the 2,000-yard mark, a feat that has never been done. Hill's impact can be seen on the field and throughout the stat sheet. Not only does he lead the league in TDS and yards, respectively, but he also leads in explosive plays of 20 and 40+ yards. A genuine deep threat who is a nightmare for defenses when the ball is in his hands, this translates to his league-leading 604 yards after the catch. Tua is on this list largely due to having the undebatable best Wide Receiver in the sport. If Hill can continue his dominance and breaks the single-season receiving record, he should be a top candidate for MVP despite not being a quarterback.