It’s Patrick Mahomes’ MVP trophy to lose.

Anyone watching the first quarter of the NFL season would be hard-pressed to name a better candidate for NFL MVP. That’s why, with the first four games of the season completed, SportsBettingDime has Mahomes as the clear frontrunner at +300 to win the annual award.

Even in a tough week 4 matchup, Mahomes had an MVP moment, when he threw the ball left-handed to keep a late drive alive. It’s those kind of moments, along with throwing no interceptions so far this season, that has him as the clear-cut favorite.

Are there other options available? With only a quarter of the season complete, it would foolish to not believe someone else could burst onto the scene as a potential MVP candidate.

Here’s three players I’m eyeing as possible candidates to get into the mix for the MVP trophy by season’s end.

Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons, +2500

A major component of the MVP award usually means you have to be on a winning team, competing for a playoff berth. If the losing ways continue for the Falcons, then Ryan would likely be left out of the discussion.

However, if Atlanta can get back on the winning track, Ryan has the offense capable of being in the conversation.

Ryan ranks sixth in passing yards, with 1,316. He’s averaging 9.1 yards per pass attempt, the third-best mark in the NFL. He also has a 10-to-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

Before the season began, the Falcons should have been considered one of the better teams in the NFC. Injuries have derailed that defense, but with a little time to adjust, this team can get back to playing playoff-caliber football.

This offense is competing with the Los Angeles Rams as being one of the best offenses in the NFL, so don’t dismiss Ryan so quick.

Jared Goff has an opportunity to be in the NFL MVP race. Flickr

Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams, +2200

Speaking of the Rams, Goff should have as good of a shot as anyone to be mentioned as an MVP this season.

Goff is quarterbacking an offense that is the best in the NFL, with a head coach who is one of the most innovative in play-calling. Goff has the second-most passing yards with 1,406, and is averaging an NFL-best 10.5 yards per pass attempt.

The highlights are a regular occurrence with the Rams, which is necessary to be included in the MVP discussion. One of the drawbacks for Goff is having Todd Gurley in the same backfield, who also will garner attention.

Despite the added attention, I still believe Goff will shoulder the majority of credit. He’s playing in a division now with bad defenses, so he’ll have several opportunities at putting up major numbers this season. With the new “Greatest Show on Turf,” Goff will get plenty of headlines to bolster his MVP campaign.

Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans, +5000

If I was going to pick a complete dark horse, I’d favor Watson.

He’s shown ability in the past at being one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Even though this year hasn’t gone the way many in Houston believed it would, it doesn’t mean that Watson has been bad.

He ranks ninth in passing yards with 1,246 and is second among quarterbacks in rushing.

The Texans have been close in many of their games, despite being 1-3. If Houston can catch fire, with Watson leading the way, he could sneak into this MVP race as a major dark horse.


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