The MVP Award has been dominated by quarterbacks in recent history. Nine of the past ten NFL MVPs were quarterbacks, with the lone exception being running back Adrian Peterson in 2012. In 2017, the trend will continue, with third year pro Marcus Mariota taking home the hardware for the Tennessee Titans.
Why Marcus Mariota Will Win the 2017 MVP Award
One of the biggest factors in winning the MVP award is team success. If a candidate is on a playoff team, they have an edge over one on a losing team. With Marcus Mariota, his Tennessee Titans are a trendy pick to win the AFC South. While the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts are formidable competition, the Titans have a great chance to win the division.
They improved their offense by adding wideouts Corey Davis and Eric Decker. Davis was a standout receiver at Western Michigan who holds the NCAA record for career receiving yards. Decker is a reliable veteran who eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards in 2015. In addition, they vastly improved their defense by adding cornerbacks Logan Ryan and Adoree’ Jackson. Ryan played a key role in the New England Patriots Super Bowl run last season, and Jackson is a versatile player who also adds value to the Titans on kick and punt returns.
Keep in mind, the Titans were 9-7 last season and might have won the division if not for Mariota breaking his fibula in Week 16. Add in the expected improvement for 2015 Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry and the Titans are looking like a true contender. All told, the Titans look the part of a potential 11 win team.
Without a doubt, Marcus Mariota is one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the NFL. He has a 61.6% career completion percentage and has thrown 45 touchdowns with only 19 interceptions. Mariota was praised in college for his tremendous accuracy, as he threw a whopping 105 touchdowns to only 14 interceptions in his three years at Oregon. Of course, no one is expecting Mariota to put up those otherworldly numbers in 2017. However, people are expecting him to build on his NFL success and have his best season yet this year.
The injury bug is the only thing that can get in Mariota’s way in 2017. Each of his first two seasons ended with him on the Injured Reserve. Mariota has tremendous speed and is an incredibly mobile quarterback, but this mobility may decline if he continues to get injured. While he is still only 23 years old, injuries are something to be concerned of. Especially for Mariota, who sprained his MCL in 2015 and fractured his right fibula last season. As long as Mariota can stay on the field, the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner has a legitimate chance at winning the MVP Award.
To conclude, Mariota has the opportunity to walk away from the 2017 NFL season with the MVP Award. While he will face competition for the award from players like Tom Brady, Andrew Luck, and Aaron Rodgers , Mariota can still win the award. If he stays healthy and the Titans win the AFC South, expect him to be the front runner for the MVP Award at the end of the season.
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