Patrick Mahomes Tops Peter King's Week 18 NFL MVP Rankings, Jalen Hurts Drops to 4

Adam WellsJanuary 9, 2023

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JANUARY 07: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs looks to pass against the Las Vegas Raiders during the first half of the game at Allegiant Stadium on January 07, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)
Chris Unger/Getty Images

After leading the Kansas City Chiefs to the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs, Patrick Mahomes looks to be in the driver's seat for NFL MVP.

In Monday's Football Morning in America column, Peter King of NBC Sports ranked Mahomes as the top contender for the award.

Quarterbacks Joe Burrow, Josh Allen and Jalen Hurts round out the top four. San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa is ranked fifth.

King wrote of Mahomes' MVP candidacy:

"The five new wideouts he and the KC coaches had to train from scratch this year caught 171 balls for 2,356 yards—which is 45 percent of his league-leading yardage total. The wideouts he lost this year, including Hill, totaled 2,071 yards last year. (And when I say train from scratch, I mean Mahomes took a lot of that on his own shoulders, working with them individually and collectively through the offseason and for longer hours than normal in training camp.)"

It's hard to argue anyone other than Mahomes should win the award now that we have seen the totality of the regular season.

Head coach Andy Reid praised Mahomes' leadership skills, particularly during the offseason when the Chiefs brought in multiple new skill-position players, while speaking to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer:

"Maybe the best thing he did was take all those guys down to Texas and get to know them, and that helped him when they came back, kinda being on the same page, at least on the fundamental stuff. And then we were able to add our new stuff in, and he had a relationship with these guys where he would tell them what to do and they respected that. So I think his leadership—just overall leadership—has been astronomical.

"And then his play on the field, he obviously has made some spectacular plays, knows where everybody's at, knows when to move, when to stay in the pocket. He's gotten better with that every year."

Hurts has been the most likely challenger for Mahomes for most of the stretch run, though he did miss two games with a shoulder injury.

The Eagles signal-caller did return for Sunday's regular-season finale to help them secure a first-round bye, but he didn't have an impressive outing with 229 passing yards, no touchdowns and one interception in a 22-16 victory over the New York Giants at Lincoln Financial Field.

Sitting out the previous two games may have ruined Hurts' chances simply because his counting stats aren't close to Mahomes. He still had an excellent season with 3,701 passing yards, 760 rushing yards and 35 total touchdowns.

Mahomes led the NFL in passing yards (5,250), passing touchdowns (41) and QBR (77.6). The Chiefs tied the Philadelphia Eagles for the best record in the regular season (14-3) and are the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs for the third time in the past five years.

Kansas City led the league in scoring offense and Football Outsiders' DVOA. Mahomes' EPA+ ranking was the best among all quarterbacks, and it wasn't close.

Mahomes won his first MVP award following the 2018 campaign. When the NFL Honors ceremony takes place in February, he should add a second one to his growing trophy collection.