The NFL MVP race last season compared to this season is completely different, as last year Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton ran away with the MVP award, leading the Panthers to a 15-1 record and playing almost flawlessly.
Newton has struggled a bit this season though, leaving the MVP race wide open, and some other players have taken advantage of it.
Going into Week 17, no one has taken control of the race as there are still many worthy candidates.
Among them are Tom Brady of the New England Patriots, a pair of Dallas Cowboys in Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott, Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons, Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers and Derek Carr of the Oakland Raiders.
Since the race is too close to call at the moment, it may come down to who performs at a high level in Week 17 to help their team.
Unfortunately Carr does not have that luxury, as he broke his fibula in Week 16 against the Indianapolis Colts and recently underwent surgery.
Despite the injury, the current MVP, Newton, believes Carr still deserves to win the MVP because of what he meant to the Raiders all season, via Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times:
“For him, and his important to his team,” Newton said. “When we played Oakland, it was a different team. When he came back in … the energy was just as impactful as anybody coming back in the game, and what he meant to his team was everything. That’s why I’d vote for him.”
In 15 games this season Carr led the Raiders to a 12-3 record while completing a career-high 63.8 percent of his passes for 3,937 yards, 28 touchdowns and only six interceptions, He was also sacked a league-low 16 times times.
While all of the candidates are worthy, Carr demonstrated week in and week out just how valuable he is to this Raiders team, and hopefully the voters can see that.