“Mounting a Russell Westbrook-like case” - Tyreek Hill’s sensational season like Russell Westbrook's MVP campaign, claims Mina Kimes
The NFL MVP race is wide open, but Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill is the only non-quarterback candidate with a real shot at claiming the award.
Dallas Cowboys' Dak Prescott, San Francisco 49ers' Brock Purdy, and Philadelphia Eagles' Jalen Hurts have the lowest betting odds of winning NFL MVP for the 2023 season. Kansas City Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes, Hill's teammate Tua Tagovailoa, and Baltimore Ravens' Lamar Jackson are among the dark horses, along with the wide receiver, to win the award.
History is stacked against Hill. A wide receiver has never been named the NFL MVP, and the award usually goes to the best quarterback in the league. Since 2007, only one player, Adrian Peterson in 2012, has won the NFL MVP award despite not being a quarterback.
However, ESPN analyst Mina Kimes believes that with no clear frontrunner and Hill closing in on creating history, the wide receiver has a chance of winning the award. Responding to a question about whether the Dolphins superstar should be MVP if he breaks the 2,000 receiving yards mark, Kimes said:
"This is the debate right now, imo. Who you pick depends on how you define the award--QB is inherently more valuable for obvious reasons, but Hill is mounting a Russell Westbrook-like case bc he's making history."
During the 2016-17 NBA season, Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook won the MVP award despite his team finishing with only the sixth-best record in the Western Conference.
The guard won the NBA MVP award for averaging a triple-double, a feat previously achieved only once in NBA history. Oscar Robertson was the first player to do it during the 1961-62 NBA season. Since then, the feat has been achieved only four times, each time by Westbrook.
Most receiving yards in a season: Tyreek Hill closing in on history
Ahead of Week 14, Hill has 1,481 receiving yards, averaging 123.4 per game. He needs 519 receiving yards in the Dolphins' five remaining games to become the first player in NFL history to finish a season with 2,000 receiving yards.
NFL Hall of Famer Calvin Johnson holds the record for most receiving yards in a season with 1,964 in 2012. Los Angeles Rams' Cooper Kupp came closest to breaking the record with 1,947 yards in 2021. However, Kupp played 17 games, while Johnson could feature in only 16.
Hill, like Kupp, gets one more game than Johnson did to go past the 2,000-yard mark. However, it's worth noting that the Dolphins superstar is averaging more receiving yards per game than the former Detroit Lions wide receiver did in 2012.
If Tyreek Hill breaks the record and surpasses the 2,000-yard mark, his case to win the NFL MVP award will get stronger. It remains to be seen if the Dolphins wide receiver can rewrite history.