The 2023 NFL season is only a few short months away. Let’s look at three darkhorse candidates to win the MVP award this season. However you feel about this, it’s clear that the MVP award is simply the best QB award. Honestly, the best player in football last year was Justin Jefferson, so I think he could have been the MVP.
Anyway, we haven’t seen a non-QB win the award in over a decade, and that streak does not appear to be ending anytime soon. A QB will win the award yet again in 2023 in all likelihood, no matter how we feel about that.
I think some of the obvious choices for this award are Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, and Jalen Hurts, and I would bet that a lot of the betting monies are latching onto those four players to win the award.
Well, what about some more under-the-radar players who can win the award in 2023?
2023 NFL Season: Three darkhorse candidates for the MVP
Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys
Just in 2021, Dak Prescott threw for 37 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions. The Cowboys have also had one of the best offenses in the NFL the past few years, and Prescott has been under center for that offensive success.
The departure of Kellen Moore to the Los Angeles Chargers is a bit concerning, but Mike McCarthy calling plays should be good for the veteran QB. To be fair to McCarthy, Aaron Rodgers won two MVP award under his offenses in 2011 and 2014 in Green Bay.
Whose to say that Prescott can’t put together a great season? He’s got a nice new weapon in Brandin Cooks who can stretch the field, Tony Pollard returning as the feature back, and Michael Gallup even further removed from his ACL injury. This could be a bit year for Prescott.
Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Miami Dolphins
Tua Tagovailoa broke out in 2022 in his first year playing under Mike McDaniel, and the 2023 NFL season could be even better for him. The Dolphins’ main issue on offense is their offensive line, but maybe switching to Butch Barry coaching the unit will have greater returns.
They also added Devon Achane in the 2023 NFL Draft and signed Chosen (Robbie) Anderson as well, who is a speedster at receiver. Year two in this Shanahan-style system should pay off for Tagovailoa, who apparently worked on a ton on his side this offseason.
If “Touchdown Tua” can stay healthy, then he’ll be a viable MVP candidate in 2023.
Russell Wilson, QB, Denver Broncos
This one might get me some eye rolls, especially since I’m a Broncos’ fan, but hear me out for a second. Sean Payton has been one of the very best offensive coaches of this generation. In 15/16 seasons as the New Orleans Saints’ head coach, Payton had scoring offenses ranked 12th or better.
So, there was only one year during his HC career where Payton fielded a scoring offense worse than 12th, and that was in 2021, when the Saints’ offense ranked 19th in points scored.
Payton has never really worked with a QB who has the skillset of Wilson. The QB also shed some weight this offseason. He comes loaded with a rocket arm, nice accuracy, and great mobility.
This might be a perfect chance for Payton to craft an efficient offense that Russell Wilson can benefit from, and perhaps be considered for the MVP award.