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NFL MVP Race: It's come down to Aaron Rodgers vs. Patrick Mahomes

Green Bay Packers v Kansas City Chiefs
Green Bay Packers v Kansas City Chiefs
Hanen Musa
ANALYST
Modified 28 Dec 2020, 13:07 IST
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The race between NFL MVP contenders cracks down to two top quarterbacks: Green Bay Packers legend Aaron Rodgers and Kansas City Chiefs rising superstar Patrick Mahomes

Mahomes reached for lead in the two-person MVP race midway through the season, but Rodgers is trailing close behind after charging the Packers to a victorious 40-13 decision over the Tennessee Titans on "Sunday Night Football" in Week 16. 

It's a pull and push kind of race.

When Rodgers had a mediocre showing against the Carolina Panthers last week, Mahomes seemed to take the lead front and center.

Rodgers is refusing to go down, however, responding by going 21 for 25 for 231 yards, four touchdowns, one interception, and a passer rating of 128.2 on Sunday against the Titans.

Rodgers' 84-percent completion rate and league-leading 44 passing touchdowns are exceptional, but the same can't be said for his total yardage. The Packers have a strong running game led by running back Aaron Jones, so Rodgers doesn't have to throw for a lot of yardage each week for Green Bay to move the ball down the field.

Meanwhile, Mahomes is in a more pass-heavy offense with the Chiefs, and leads the NFL in passing yards.

Rodgers was in complete control against Tennessee on Sunday, unlike Mahomes during Kansas City's game against the Atlanta Falcons. 

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Despite the Chiefs' victory over the Falcons, Mahomes was just adequate. He was 24 of 44 for 278 yards with two touchdowns, one interception, and a low passer rating of 79.6. The Falcons have one of the NFL's worst defenses, and the Chiefs only managed to score 17 points against them.

Rodgers sauntered in the lead for the league's passer rating at 118 after Sunday's showing. Rodgers is expected to increase in that category. 

Rodgers also leads with 44 TD passes and has the least interceptions (5) for a quarterback playing more than ten games. 

Meanwhile, Mahomes has 38 TD passes and six interceptions but leads in passing yards per game (399.5) 

Working in Mahomes' favor, the Chiefs improved to 14-1 on Sunday; they can advance to 15-1 with a likely win against the (6-9) Los Angeles Chargers in the regular-season finale. 

A misfortune for Mahomes is that he might not play next week. The Chiefs already clinched a first-round playoff bye, so they won't benefit from beating the Chargers. 

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Green Bay clinched the NFC North division and has the top record in the conference. The win allowed the Packers to stay a game ahead of the new Orleans Saints.

However, Rodgers needs to play against the Chicago Bears next week because the Packers, who are 12-3, have not clinched a first-round bye. 

Published 28 Dec 2020, 13:07 IST
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