Even if the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers get a welcome week off before prepping for the big game, it doesn’t mean that CSB takes a week off from covering Super Bowl LVIII! Today, we’re gonna break down the contenders for Super Bowl MVP.
Patrick Mahomes to win Super Bowl MVP
Both Kansas City and San Francisco boast a wealth of potential MVP winners but let’s address the elephant in the stadium right off the bat, the Super Bowl MVP is, and has forever been, dominated by quarterbacks. Quarterbacks have won the MVP trophy 32 times (55.2%), eclipsing the combined total of 26 won by all other positions.
Second to the pivots, wide receivers clinched victory eight times, running backs seven, defensive players have combined for 10 and a single special teams player (Green Bay Packers kick returner Desmond Howard) secured the award once in Super Bowl XXXI. Though defensive players have won 10, they’ve earned the MVP in only two of the last 20 Super Bowls and the most recent non-quarterback recipient was Los Angeles Rams WR Cooper Kupp in Super Bowl LVI.
It goes without saying that when it comes to betting on the Super Bowl MVP you have to give overwhelming attention and consideration to the two quarterbacks, and I’d go one further and suggest that the consideration be tied to which team you think will win the game outright. Pairing the bet to the anticipated Super Bowl winning team’s quarterback has proven successful in five out of the last seven Super Bowls.
All that being said, this is the time of year for wild speculation! And picking the obvious choice isn’t always the most fun. So while history may not be on their side, we’re going to give the proper respect and time to the non-QB hopefuls for Super Bowl MVP.
Let’s break down the field!
|SUPER BOWL LVIII MVP
I’ve taken the liberty of selecting nine players to highlight in our odds table. They’re the nine players I believe have a good-to-remote chance of claiming the MVP trophy. Of these nine players we have the prerequisite two quarterbacks, three wide receivers, two running backs, a tight end, and one defensive player. I think we’ve got our bases covered here positionally, so let’s break down the players one by one.
Unsurprisingly, Mahomes stands out as the top choice in the race for the MVP Award. Widely regarded as the best player in the league, even with somewhat of a downturn statistically this year, Mahomes heads to Las Vegas looking pretty hard to beat. Should the Chiefs beat the 49ers and claim the repeat championship, it’s awfully hard to envision any scenario where Mahomes doesn’t also win the individual accolade for being the most outstanding player on the field.
As I mentioned, the MVP tends to favour quarterbacks pretty heavily, claiming 32 out of the 57 awards to date. Consequently, if the Niners manage to break their 29-year championship drought and secure the Lombardi Trophy, there’s a strong case for Purdy to come away with the MVP. Much has already been made of the fact that Brock Purdy was once Mr. Irrelevant, i.e. the final pick in the NFL draft, the fact that he’s in this position, and a legitimate hopeful for not only an NFL championship but a Super Bowl MVP is pretty wild.
The obvious frontrunner out of the non-quarterback contenders is the NFL’s leading rusher, McCaffrey. He’s been a force to be reckoned with throughout the season, a consistent TD scorer and a multi-threat weapon that can tilt the scales towards San Francisco. It is worth noting, however, that it has been 27 years since a running back last secured the award (Terrell Davis for the Broncos in Super Bowl XXXII).
The Super Bowl MVP honour has eluded tight ends thus far, but Kelce stands out as arguably the greatest player in his position ever to grace the grand stage. Despite a subdued regular season, Kelce has emerged as a pivotal force in the Chiefs’ playoff journey. It’s noteworthy to recall the MVP selection process, with a panel comprising 16 writers and broadcasters contributing 80% of the vote, while the remaining 20% comes from the public vote. I have a funny feeling that Kelce could garner significant support from the public this year. In any event, it should be a swift vote.
Travis Kelce to win Super Bowl MVP
Samuel undoubtedly possesses the playmaking skills to emerge as a pivotal game-changer. Although his involvement in San Francisco’s rushing game may not be as prominent as it was in previous years, he displayed resilience by returning from a shoulder injury in last week’s NFC Championship Game. Deebo had a significant impact with eight catches for 89 yards, solidifying his integral role in the 49ers’ offence. Although he’d have to blow that performance out of the water to have a chance at landing the MVP.
The 49ers’ receiver executed a remarkable play in their Conference Championship victory over the Lions, a pivotal moment that ignited the team’s comeback, making a spectacular diving catch following a Purdy pass that rebounded off Kindle Vildor’s face mask. If he can replicate another standout performance in Vegas, and I mean really stand out, there may be a chance at a longshot win. With KC’s superior pass defence busy keying on Deebo and CMC, we could see Aiyuk get some big-play looks.
The Chiefs’ running back played a crucial role in securing their Super Bowl victory against the Eagles last season during his rookie year. This season, he’s improved on his 2023 form, showcasing a robust running style that has tended to give the 49ers headaches this season. It’s hard to imagine Pacheco overshadowing Mahomes should the Chiefs win but there’s an outside chance he gives San Fran enough fits to win the day.
The rookie wide receiver has enjoyed an impressive postseason, securing 20 catches for 223 yards. However, the prospect of Rice delivering a big enough performance to overshadow all the other offensive superstars on display in this game is slim.
It’s notable that the first defensive player mentioned in this list is a substantial underdog, but I figured I’d throw the pass rushers a bone. To be a legitimate contender, Bosa must surpass his previous two-sack display against the Lions and effectively neutralize Mahomes, and I mean neutralize him so hard that Bosa being the reason for a San Francisco victory is undeniable.
I’ll get the obvious one out of the way first, before adding a little spice to the affair. I’m predicting that Chiefs QB and all-around football superhero Patrick Mahomes will claim the MVP trophy when it’s all said and done. For one, though I haven’t officially made my Super Bowl LVIII pick (stay tuned for Jake’s Takes next week!), I am leaning towards Kansas City repeating. Being the straw that stirs the drink, should the Chiefs emerge victorious it’s almost impossible that a player other than Mahomes be named the most valuable player. The heavy favourite is the favourite for a reason, bet accordingly.
To add a little fun to the MVP debate, I’ll throw Brandon Aiyuk in here as my Hail Mary bet. As I touched on above, Aiyuk has the unique position to lay claim on some game-breaking plays. While KC keys in on Christian McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel, Aiyuk may be in line to make an iconic Super Bowl play or two. In my experience, for a non QB to win MVP, their plays need to define the Super Bowl game. I plan on staking Aiyuk for a chance that he puts his stamp on the highest stage.