Final August, I stated up to now that Tyreek Hill was a high tide who could lift Tua Tagovailoa’s boat. I didn’t anticipate Miami’s subterranean offense to morph right into a seaplane.
Hill watching the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs win the Tremendous Bowl with out him ought to have been a humbling expertise. Not solely did Patrick Mahomes lead your entire league in passing, however he became the first-ever quarterback to win the Super Bowl in the identical 12 months. In a 17-game season, I’m not precisely certain the place the midpoint is, however with Week 9’s Thursday Night time Soccer contest now within the books, it feels overdue time to proclaim Hill as Midseason MVP. It looks like heresy to seek advice from a receiver as a very powerful participant in an offense, however Hill has been such a juggernaut in 2023 that it feels lazy to return to the quarterback nicely.
Defenses may be capable to suppress Tagovailoa or pressure him to make a mistake, however they will’t suffocate Hill for 60 minutes. And amid a gritty first half to the NFL season, wherein no quarterback has jumped out to a blazing begin, it’s time to look elsewhere for the reply to MVP questions.
As an alternative, ESPN requested 12 analysts to rank and explain their MVP frontrunners, but someway Hill can’t make up floor within the race. The 5 names ESPN got here up with? Tagovailoa, Mahomes, Christian McCaffrey, Josh Allen, and Jalen Hurts as an honorable point out. They threw a bone to non-quarterbacks with McCaffrey, however someway Hill couldn’t make the minimize regardless of main his total place group in yards, yards after catch, receptions into first downs, and touchdowns. What else does he have to do? He’s three catches behind Stefon Diggs from making this a clear sweep.
There are not any gimmicks to what Hill is doing. I get that quarterbacks are graded on a curve, however as nice as Tagovailoa is, Hill has helped him pull off the best turnaround since Lance Alworth saved Dan Fouts’ floundering profession. Mahomes and Hurts have been too good to disclaim final season, however each are grinding out tighter wins lately. Within the context of the MVP race, it’s OK to maneuver on.
Throughout a gritty first half of a season wherein no quarterback has jumped out to a blazing begin, it’s time to look to different positions for the reply to this 12 months’s MVP query. As an alternative, 12 analysts ESPN asked to rank and explain their MVP frontrunners got here up with the next: Tagovailoa, Mahomes, Christian McCaffrey, Josh Allen, and Jalen Hurts as an honorable point out. They threw a bone to non-QBs with McCaffrey, however couldn’t be bothered to incorporate a receiver who leads his place group in yards, yards after catch, receptions into first downs, and touchdowns.
NFL.com, in the meantime, had Mahomes, Tagovailoa, then Lamar Jackson as its 1-2-3 slots within the early MVP race, adopted by Myles Garrett and Jared Goff. The disrespect for receivers is egregious.
Quarterbacks have at all times had a monopoly on the MVP, and no huge receiver has ever gained the award since its inception. Exceptions needs to be made this 12 months. When Cooper Kupp gained the triple crown, main the league in receptions, catches, and touchdowns, he solely got here in third. Nevertheless, this subject of quarterbacks is extra flawed than Kupp’s 2021 MVP opposition. The winner in 2021 was peak Aaron Rodgers, who registered a 70.9 QBR after throwing 37 touchdowns to 4 interceptions. Tagovailoa’s numbers this 12 months are commendable, however not as immaculate as Rodgers’ 2021 marketing campaign.
Bless Tagovailoa’s coronary heart, however his season simply doesn’t evaluate. And worse but, his favourite goal is answerable for almost half of his manufacturing. As nice as Mahomes is, he’s having a down 12 months. NFL voters don’t have to feed him MVP votes out of some odd sense of responsibility. An precise historic season is going on and the NFL cognoscenti have brainwashed themselves into supporting the quarterback.
Groups throughout the league have begun scheming to take the deep cross away due to Hill and he nonetheless ranks second in 20-yard positive factors on catches and first in 40-yard positive factors. This week is a big alternative for him to place a everlasting stamp on the season and insert himself into the thick of the race in Germany on Sunday morning by taking his former group to the woodshed.
Comply with DJ Dunson on X: @cerebralsportex