Just when Derek Carr found himself leading the MVP race two weeks ago, he had the worst game of his career in the team’s week 14 Thursday night match-up with the Chiefs, promptly dropping him below Tom Brady in the eyes of an ESPN panel.
Since then Carr had a solid game in a win over the Chargers. While we don’t yet know what the ESPN panel thinks this week, Peter King of Sports Illustrated’s Monday Morning Quarterback remains unswayed in his belief that Derek Carr is the leading MVP candidate.
Said King of his reasoning for having Carr ahead in the MVP race:
The egg-laying in Kansas City hurts, but there’s very little Carr has done otherwise to denigrate him. The Raiders are 11-3, contenders for the second seed in a strong conference, and week after week Carr has shown he’s the biggest reason why.
King leads out his list by noting that the MVP race is still wide open.
Brady, who led the ESPN poll despite missing the first four games of the season to his Deflategate suspension, is fourth on the list behind Carr, Matt Ryan, and Cowboys rookie sensation Dak Prescott. Prescott’s fellow rookie Ezekiel Elliott rounds out the top five.
King rightfully notes that the Patriots were 3-1 in the four games without Brady, adding “The word ‘valuable’ is in the title of this award, not ‘outstanding.’”
By that metric, Carr won’t need to put up gaudy numbers in the final two games in order to be the MVP in King’s eyes. He would just need to do what he’d done most of this season -- lead the Raiders to victories.