Column: It is time to hand out the NFL MVP

With only four weeks remaining in the 2019 National Football League season, the race for the title of Most Valuable Player is more competitive now than it has been all year. With reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes II sidelined for two games in late November, the award was up for grabs. 

Among the top candidates for the award is rising star Lamar Jackson. Jackson has been one of the NFL’s most polarizing players so far this season with jaw-dropping scrambles, impossible touchdowns and a powerful arm. These plays have landed Jackson firmly in the discussion among NFL voters to take home the 2019 MVP award. As the league’s most prolific dual-threat quarterback there were many questions about Jackson’s throwing capabilities coming into the 2019-20 season, with some members of the media claiming that Jackson was better suited to line up in the backfield as a running back instead of under center as a quarterback. As Jackson has proved with his play this season, this opinion could not be further from the truth. 

For starters, Jackson leads the league in total quarterback rating, which is the overall measure of how well a quarterback is playing by factoring in all relative stats. In other words, Jackson has been the best overall quarterback in the league this season. He has been not just the best running quarterback, but the best in all facets of the game. Jackson has thrown 25 touchdowns this season and only five interceptions with a touchdown-to-turnover rate of 5-1, which would rank him 21st in NFL history. These 25 touchdowns don’t include the seven rushing touchdowns that Jackson has accumulated in his 12 starts this season. This is the fifth best total in the league and second best total by a quarterback. 

 If his stats aren’t enough proof, Jackson’s team, the Baltimore Ravens, are now tied for the best record in the NFL at 10-2, and have won eight straight games including wins over the then undefeated New England Patriots and the then 10-1 San Francisco 49ers. Without Jackson, this winning streak and the two victories over two of the league’s top teams would not have been possible. All seven of Jackson’s rushing touchdowns this season have been scored during the team’s eight-game winning streak, and Jackson has not turned the ball over since week five of this season. If he continues this dominant streak not only will he be the best player in the NFL this season, but Jackson could find himself breaking records set by some of the NFL’s all-time greats, such as Tom Brady. 

Jackson’s efficiency and ball security alone are enough to put his name in the MVP race, but his intelligence in the pocket and his ability to make plays with his feet make him not only the most electrifying player in the NFL, but should more than qualify him for this season’s MVP.