NFL MVP could be on the line when Brock Purdy’s 49ers host Lamar Jackson and the Ravens

by Michael Nguyen
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MVP Race

The potential stakes are higher than ever as the San Francisco 49ers, led by quarterback Brock Purdy, prepare to host the Baltimore Ravens in a December showdown between the NFL’s top two teams. This Monday night matchup could hold the key to determining the NFL MVP for the 2023 season.

Brock Purdy, once the final pick of the 2022 draft, has emerged as the frontrunner for the MVP award. His journey from obscurity to potential MVP is nothing short of remarkable. Another standout performance on this grand stage may very well solidify his claim to the prestigious title.

Lurking closely behind Purdy is Lamar Jackson, the Ravens’ quarterback, who is no stranger to MVP honors, having previously won it in his career. According to FanDuel Sportsbook, Jackson possesses the second-best odds to secure his second MVP.

In the event that the quarterbacks falter, Christian McCaffrey, the 49ers’ running back, is a dark horse candidate with the fifth-best odds to clinch the MVP award.

When questioned about his preference between Purdy and Jackson, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan remained diplomatic, not wanting to diminish either player’s chances. He pointed out that Christian McCaffrey should not be overlooked, especially if the MVP goes to a non-quarterback. Shanahan emphasized that statistics alone might not tell the whole story; watching game film reveals the true impact of these exceptional athletes.

The case for Purdy as the MVP has perplexed many experts, who grapple with attributing credit to him versus the supporting cast of playmakers like McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and George Kittle, as well as Shanahan’s strategic brilliance. Nevertheless, Purdy’s ability to drive the ball downfield and make unconventional plays has transformed the 49ers’ offense from good to the best in the league. They lead the NFL with an average of 29.9 points per game and boast an impressive 6.79 yards per play, ranking among the top three in the Super Bowl era.

Purdy’s exceptional performance is even more astonishing given his recent recovery from major elbow surgery. He currently leads the NFL in passer rating (119), yards per attempt (9.9), and touchdown passes (29), with his yards-per-attempt figure poised to set a record not seen in nearly seven decades.

Niners linebacker Fred Warner firmly believes that Purdy should win the MVP based on his outstanding performance, despite any reservations about his draft position or physical attributes.

Christian McCaffrey, on the other hand, presents a compelling case for the MVP award, despite the recent trend of quarterbacks dominating the accolade. McCaffrey leads the NFL with 1,801 yards from scrimmage and shares the lead with 20 touchdowns. His versatility as both a traditional runner and a receiver has significantly contributed to the 49ers’ offensive success.

McCaffrey’s presence not only bolsters the run game but also sets the standard for the passing attack, making him an invaluable asset to the team.

If neither 49ers player secures the MVP, Lamar Jackson remains a formidable candidate to win his second MVP title. Although his statistics may not match Purdy’s, Jackson’s exceptional running ability propels Baltimore’s top-ranked rushing offense. Furthermore, under the guidance of offensive coordinator Todd Monken, Jackson has been enjoying one of his most prolific passing seasons, demonstrating his adaptability.

Jackson is on the cusp of breaking his career-best passing yardage record, needing just 23 more yards to surpass his 2019 mark. His impressive stats include 17 touchdown passes, 741 rushing yards, and the ability to strike fear into opposing defenses.

Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey recognizes Jackson’s unique talent, as even the best-laid plans to contain him often fall short.

While many view this game as a pivotal moment in the MVP race, Ravens coach John Harbaugh remains focused on the game itself, prioritizing the team’s success over individual accolades.

In conclusion, the Monday night clash between the 49ers and the Ravens carries immense significance not only for the teams but also for the NFL MVP race. Whether it’s Purdy, Jackson, or a dark horse like McCaffrey, the outcome of this showdown could sway the MVP discussion in a new direction. Ultimately, what matters most is the game itself, where these exceptional athletes will continue to dazzle football fans.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about MVP Race

Q: Who are the key contenders for the 2023 NFL MVP?

A: The primary contenders for the 2023 NFL MVP are Brock Purdy, the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, and Lamar Jackson, the quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens. Both have put forth outstanding performances, making them frontrunners for the prestigious award.

Q: Why is Brock Purdy considered a strong candidate for the MVP?

A: Brock Purdy’s rise to MVP contention is remarkable. He was the final pick of the 2022 draft but has elevated the 49ers’ offense to lead the league in points per game and yards per play. Purdy leads the NFL in passer rating, yards per attempt, and touchdown passes, showcasing his exceptional skills.

Q: What sets Lamar Jackson apart in the MVP race?

A: Lamar Jackson’s unique dual-threat abilities make him a formidable MVP candidate. He fuels the Ravens’ top-ranked rushing offense and has been delivering a prolific passing season under a new offensive scheme. His impact on both the run and pass game sets him apart from others.

Q: Is there a dark horse candidate for the MVP?

A: Yes, Christian McCaffrey, the 49ers’ running back, is a dark horse candidate. Leading the NFL in yards from scrimmage and sharing the lead in touchdowns, McCaffrey’s versatility and impact on the team’s offense make him a strong contender if the award doesn’t go to a quarterback.

Q: What do experts and players say about the MVP race?

A: Experts are divided on the MVP race, with debates about how much credit should go to quarterbacks versus supporting cast and coaching. Players like Fred Warner believe that Purdy’s outstanding performance should secure him the award. However, Christian McCaffrey’s contributions are also highly regarded.

Q: How does this Monday night matchup impact the MVP discussion?

A: The Monday night matchup between the 49ers and the Ravens is significant as it could sway the MVP discussion. A standout performance by either Purdy or Jackson in this high-stakes game could solidify their claim to the MVP title.

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