It’s hard to believe that the 2019 NFL season is down to its final three weeks as some teams begin to prepare for the playoffs with others having the draft and offseason squarely in sight.
LaMVP Jackson A Notch Above the Rest
Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson all but wrapped up the MVP award with another stellar performance in a 42-21 victory over the Jets on Thursday Night Football. Jackson tossed five touchdowns (career-high) to bring his total to 33 on the year. In addition, he broke Michael Vick’s record for rushing yards by a quarterback in a single season en route to 86 yards total on the night.
As it stands, the Ravens sit at 12-2 and in the driver’s seat for the top seed in the conference. Thanks in large part by the excellent play by their second-year signal-caller. So, the question of whether or not he WILL win the MVP is moot. He will win. He will win by a lot. The only question that remains is… Will he become only the second unanimous MVP in league history?
— Full Press NFL (@FPC_NFL) December 14, 2019
If he does, he will join only Tom Brady (2010) as they only two players with that honor. Speaking of Brady…
Who Will Break First?
Both Brady and Saints quarterback Drew Brees enter Week 15 within a few touchdown passes of Peyton Manning’s career regular-season record of 539. Currently, Brady sits at 536 and Brees at 537 with the latter not playing until Monday Night. Whoever breaks the record first will have some bragging rights on the level of “which identical twin is older” as the two will likely be trading the title back and forth for as long as they both are still playing.
Despite missing several games with an injury this year, Brees has 166 more pass attempts than Brady in his career and has kept pace with Brady this season. He also holds a slight edge in regular-season yards with 76,577 to Brady’s 73,951. Of course, this is strictly regular-season numbers. If you factor in the playoffs, then Brady already holds both the touchdown record (609) and career yards record (85,130), however, watching these two battle it out over the foreseeable future will be exciting.
Battle of the South
The NFC is clearly the more intriguing conference when it comes to the playoff race with teams one-through-six being shuffled on a week-to-week basis. Seeding is not quite determined in the AFC but there is a far clearer picture as to who will be occupying those spots. However, the most intriguing divisional battle is the all-of-a-sudden up for grabs AFC South.
With the retirement of Andrew Luck at the beginning of the year, there was a clear path for the Houston Texans to control this division. At least in the immediate future. And, for much of the season, it appeared as though that would be the case as Deshaun Watson was playing at an MVP level as the Titans and Jags floundered and the Colts exemplified mediocrity. Boy, have things changed.
Former Dolphins quarterback, Ryan Tannehill took over for Marcus Mariota following a Week 6 loss to the Broncos and since then he has gone 6-1 in seven starts. He is completing 73 percent of his passes for 1,849 yards, 18 touchdowns, three rushing touchdowns, and four interceptions and 121.7 passer rating. His season rating of 118.5 is tops in the NFL. He now has the Titans tied with the Texans atop of the AFC South with identical 8-5 records. The Texans have the tie break at the moment, however, in an odd bit of scheduling, they meet twice in the final three weeks with the first matchup coming this Sunday in Tennessee.