3 Players not named Brady, Rodgers, or Ryan who Could Win the 2017 NFL MVP
It would be easy to write an article about the upcoming 2017 NFL season listing MVP candidates. Of course, the first three would be Brady, Rodgers, and Ryan, they would just be assumed. So I figured, let’s do it a little different and look at the underdogs who could win the award.
1) Phillip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers have appeared to be snake bitten the past few years, as injuries have destroyed their seasons before they have even started. But, make no mistake about it, Phillip Rivers is still a franchise QB, even at the advanced age of 35. The biggest question will be does he have enough weapons to give him a shot at the playoffs. I think that answer is a resounding yes now.
In the backfield, Melvin Gordon was vastly improved last year after a sub-par rookie season. Keenan Allen will return healthy, plus you can’t forget about Tyrell Williams, who played very well in Allen’s absence last year. They also have depth at the receiver position with Travis Benjamin and Dontrelle Inman. The addition of Clemson standout receiver Mike Williams really will give Rivers the playmakers he has needed for years. Don’t sleep on veteran tight end Antonio Gates and rookie addition Hunter Henry.
The offensive line was upgraded in the draft when the Chargers added Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney to the offensive line. These are two players that could start right away.
I think Rivers is set to have a monster year and thrust the Chargers into contention in the AFC playoff picture.
2) Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
Carr was at least in the MVP conversation until an injury late last year ended his season prematurely. With that being said, it seems obvious that Carr would find himself on this list. His offense will be even more explosive this year with the addition of running back Marshawn Lynch. The Raiders should still have a top ten offensive line protecting Carr once again, which will make the Raiders offense a handful for anybody to contain.
The impressive thing about Carr is that he seems to constantly improve. It doesn’t hurt when you are throwing to Amari Cooper either. His shot at MVP could be helped by a stronger defense in 2017. The Raiders had a star-studded defense in 2016, but they did not live up to their preseason billing. Look for Carr and the Raiders to battle Rivers and the Chargers all season long.
3) Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers
The best back in the game on one of the most complete offenses in the game. The Steelers have a dominant offensive line and a Hall of Fame QB at the helm, and I haven’t even brought up Antonio Brown yet. The big key to Bell having a shot at this is to keep healthy. Just as important is keeping Big Ben healthy. When the Steelers are healthy they are probably the most explosive offense in the game.