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Two Darkhorse Candidates To Win NFL MVP In 2023 And Shock The World

As we inch closer to the next NFL Season, many questions are on everybody’s mind. Who’s going to win the Super Bowl? How will my team do? Who will they draft? Perhaps one of the most burning questions is, who will win Most Valuable Player? The options are endless. Maybe not endless, as the MVP Award in the NFL feels so quarterback-dominated. Well, it feels that way because it is. On top of the fact that 68% of MVPs are quarterbacks, the last ten NFL MVPs have been quarterbacks.

Now that that’s out of the way, you’re probably thinking somewhere along the lines of Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, or Jalen Hurts. Very possible, but that’s no fun. There must be a couple of diamonds in the rough, a couple of long shots that could swoop in and win the prestigious honor. Young quarterbacks seem to be getting better and better by the year, so a young gun is due to win the award at some point, right?

Leader Of The New Look Bears

Justin Fields was a highly touted prospect out of Ohio State, so much so that the Bears traded up and picked him 11th overall in 2021. Although he was bottled up in the small action he saw in his rookie year, he burst onto the scene in 2022.

Fields fell just 63 yards short of Lamar Jackson’s single-season rushing record by a quarterback. The Bears might not have won many games, but Fields shined all year. He ran the ball for 7.1 yards per attempt and averaged 76 rushing yards a game to go with his 149.5 passing yards per game average. A solid year two in the Windy City for the kid from Ohio State.

The Bears have found a way to gather assets for Fields heading into the 2023 NFL Season. New General Manager Ryan Poles acquired wide receiver Chase Claypool from the Steelers midseason to play alongside Darnell Mooney. Claypool has shown flashes early in his career but hasn’t found a way to put it all together.

This offseason, Poles have gone out, and acquired Fields a new WR1, DJ Moore, and a plethora of draft picks from the Carolina Panthers for the first overall pick. Moore has spent five seasons in Carolina with poor quarterback play and still posted 364 receptions for 5,201 yards and 21 touchdowns. Not a bad new toy for Justin Fields to tinker with.

On top of getting wide receiver help, Poles has signed former Green Bay Packer Tight End Robert Tonyan. Fields had a good connection with Cole Kmet; this is only an upgrade. The Bears have also significantly upgraded defense, signing linebackers TJ Edwards, Tremaine Edmunds, Defensive End Demarcus Walker, and Defensive Tackle Andrew Billings.

Chicago lost Running Back David Montgomery but signed D’Onta Foreman, who showed spurts last season in Carolina. Fields’ name should certainly be floated around in the MVP conversation if the Bears can put things together and compete in the NFC North.

The Prince Who Was Promised

One of the best quarterback prospects since Peyton Manning, Trevor Lawrence, had a shaky rookie season, throwing many interceptions under Urban Meyer. But in year two, under the tutelage of Doug Pederson, Lawrence seems to be seeing the game clearer.

After a poor start to the season, Lawrence and the Jaguars went on a run to end the season and make the playoffs. Lawrence led three comeback victories in 2022. He finished 2022 with a 66.3% completion rate for 4,113 yards, 25 touchdowns, and eight interceptions. In addition, Lawrence trimmed his interceptions down from the year prior, where he threw 17—significant improvement with the addition of Christian Kirk and Evan Engram.

Lawrence cooked up a pretty good meal with his weapons last year. He had Kirk, Marvin Jones, Zay Jones, and Engram. Now let’s not forget, at the trade deadline last year, the Jaguars made a trade that brought in former Atlanta Falcons Wide Receiver Calvin Ridley. Ridley spent all last year at home, serving a suspension for gambling. The Jags should be lethal on offense if Ridley can return to form. In his four years as a Falcon, Ridley pulled in 248 catches for 3,342 yards and 28 touchdowns. If Lawrence can build on last season and breakthrough in year three, he could be in the conversation.

Long Shots For Certain

Both quarterbacks are young and just breaking onto the scene. An MVP Award in year three could elevate you in some conversations. However, the MVP also seems team dependent, meaning your team has to be competitive. It shouldn’t be a problem for Fields or Lawrence, as they’ve both been surrounded by good weapons and had good second seasons. While they aren’t the sexy pick of Allen, Mahomes, or Hurts, Fields and Lawrence could wiggle into the conversation.

 
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