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Does Joe Burrow deserve to be in the conversation for 2021 NFL MVP?

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow
Adam Hulse

Joe Burrow has been one of the best quarterbacks of the 2021 NFL season. His stellar play has helped the Cincinnati Bengals achieve a 10-6 record with one game remaining. They have the second-best record in their conference and have already clinched the AFC North title, one of the most difficult divisions in the NFL.

In just the second season of his career, Joe Burrow has already established himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the league. His performance this year has him among the elites, but the question is whether or not he deserves to be in the conversation for the 2021 NFL MVP award.

Joe Burrow is making his case for the 2021 NFL MVP award

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow

Joe Burrow's 2020 rookie season was unfortunately cut short due to injury. He still recorded solid production, including 2,688 passing yards and 16 total touchdowns in ten games. Through 16 games of the 2021 NFL season, Joe Burrow has taken his game to the next level. He has recorded 4,611 passing yards and 36 total touchdowns.

Across his last four games entering the final week of the season, Joe Burrow has been spectacular. During Burrow's recent hot streak, he has thrown for a combined 1,476 yards and 11 touchdowns with zero interceptions while completing 76 percent of his passes.

Aaron Rodgers is now the OVERWHELMING favorite to win MVP 🏆Top 5 Odds @DKSportsbookAaron Rodgers -400Tom Brady +500Joe Burrow +1000 Jonathan Taylor +1600Cooper Kupp +2000 https://t.co/gcwDESpX4z

According to oddsmakers, Joe Burrow (+1000) is the third favorite to win the 2021 NFL MVP award. He trails only Tom Brady (+500) and the heavy overall favorite Aaron Rodgers (-400). Burrow's recent surge of dominance has catapulted him into the top three candidates for the award, but he still trails Rodgers and Brady by a significant margin.

Tom Brady leads the entire NFL with 4,990 passing yards and 40 passing touchdowns. Burrow ranks 5th in passing yards and 6th in passing touchdowns. Aaron Rodgers' 111.1 passer rating is the highest in the NFL, with Burrow's 108.3 ranking second. Rodgers' 67.7 QBR and Brady's 66.9 are the two best in the NFL, while Burrow's 53.9 ranks 11th.

Joe Burrow leads the NFL in completion percentage (70.4%) and yards per attempt (8.9).That’s incredible when you factor in that he’s taken a league-leading 51 sacks.Burrow should absolutely be an MVP finalist this season. https://t.co/eUS82xdibp

While Joe Burrow leads the entire NFL with a 70.4 completion percentage, his 14 interceptions are 5th most. His 2.43 touchdown to interception ratio trails Brady's 3.33 and Rodgers' massive 8.75 ratio. Although Burrow is having an impressive season and is one of the among the top quarterbacks, he still trails Aaron Rodgers by a wide margin and hasn't caught Tom Brady yet either.

The question of whether or not Burrow belongs in the conversation to win the 2021 NFL MVP award is a matter of perspective. If being in the top three means that he is squarely in the conversation, then he absolutely is.

As for his realistic chances of winning the award, that remains highly unlikely. He will have one more chance to improve his odds however, as the Bengals take on the Cleveland Browns in Week 18.


Edited by David Nyland

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