The 2023 NFL regular season will come to a close in less than two weeks and the postseason will commence. In February, the league will then determine the winners of their various awards, including the honor of Most Valuable Player.
There have been several standouts this season but New York Giants defensive coordinator Wink Martindale has it narrowed down to two — one of whom he will face this coming Sunday.
“I think that (Matthew) Stafford is playing at a Hall of Fame-type level,” Martindale told reporters on Thursday. “He’s a great football player, but I think that he and (Ravens quarterback) Lamar (Jackson) should be up for the MVP candidate.”
As of right now, the Ravens lead the AFC and have already clinched a playoff berth. Unless something drastic happens, they’ll likely be the top seed in the conference and secure a Wild Card Week bye. Jackson is a dual-threat quarterback who has amassed over 3,300 yards passing and nearly 800 yards on the ground in 2023.
Stafford, whom the Giants will get a good look at on Sunday, is a pocket passer currently ranked 8th in the NFL with over 3,600 passing yards. Not much of a ground threat, Stafford uses his arm to get down the field. What gives him an edge over other quarterbacks is the consistency in his play and his ability to spread the love between his receivers.
This year’s MVP race is different because there’s not really one single player who stands out above the rest. Patrick Mahomes has been okay, Aaron Rodgers played all of four snaps, Tom Brady is retired, and no one else has stepped in to steal the show.
Wink has faced a multitude of quarterbacks over the years, and as a defensive guy, he can certainly tell you which quarterbacks are good and which are easier to prepare for. Stafford and Jackson are very different quarterbacks, but both are future Hall of Famers and both are having MVP-like seasons.
The MVP race should be fun to watch this year and it will be interesting to see who ends up with the prestigious award.