Patrick Mahomes. Joe Burrow. Jalen Hurts. Josh Allen. One of these four quarterbacks has a chance to do something that hasn’t been done in 23 years — win the MVP and the Super Bowl in the same year.
A lot of people in the sports world still believe the MVP should go to the best player on the best team. How the award gathered such a distinction, I have no idea, but for some reason, many fans still hold onto it as if it isn’t the dumbest saying in all of sports. That might be the distinction for individual football games, and that’s why we have the Super Bowl MVP Award. However, that’s not the case for a season-long MVP title.
History backs up my argument as well. As I’ve pointed out before, NFL award winners have a very difficult time in the Super Bowl, specifically MVP winners. Ever since Kurt Warner won the Super Bowl as well as the MVP Award in 1999/2000, zero players have accomplished that feat. None! Many have tried, and even come very close. MVPs have reached the Super Bowl nine times since Warner accomplished the feat. They’re an abysmal 0-9 though. Funny enough, a few of these MVPs did win the Super Bowl the following season. Mahomes won the award in 2018 and won the Super Bowl in 2019. Tom Brady won MVP in 2017, lost to Nick Foles in the Super Bowl, and then won the big game the following year against Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams. The closest any individual has ever gotten to breaking the streak was Matt Ryan, the 2016 NFL MVP, who went up 28-3 in the Super Bowl, but blew the lead and lost in overtime to Brady’s Patriots.
So, could the streak be broken in 2023? There’s a pretty good chance. The MVP frontrunner is none other than Patrick Mahomes. He’s the top seed in the AFC and, although he isn’t assured home-field advantage through the playoffs, has proven capable of leading his team to a Super Bowl victory before. Even without Tyreek Hill, the Chiefs’ offense is diabolical, and is able to keep up with any other team in the league, even if the opposing defense is one of the best in the NFL as well. That said, there’s still a chance that Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow, Buffalo’s Josh Allen, or Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts could come away with the award. They do have the second, third, and fourth-best odds respectively.
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That’s half of every team remaining with a chance to win it all and have their quarterback win the Super Bowl. That seems like pretty good odds, don’t you think? In reality, though, the odds aren’t as great as you might think. Since only one of those names is a quarterback in the NFC (and he has the worst MVP odds of the bunch), there’s only a 25 percent chance that we see an MVP candidate come out of the NFC. While the AFC is loaded with those MVP-caliber quarterbacks, only one can emerge to represent their conference. The best-case scenario for breaking this curse would be if Mahomes and the Chiefs went up against Hurts and the Eagles. However, that’s under the assumption that neither Allen nor Burrow takes home the hardware. Even still, the right quarterback would have to win.
It would take a miracle for everything to line up so perfectly this year, but this might be our best chance to see the streak broken. I can’t remember the last time we had every legitimate MVP candidate reach the Divisional Round. That, in and of itself, should be celebrated. Seeing the MVP win the Super Bowl though, even now, seems like an astronomically improbable occurrence.