Bleacher Report’s Maurice Moton takes a look past the perennial MVP candidates in his under-the-radar 2018 NFL MVP candidates and tabbed Los Angeles Rams QB Jared Goff in his top five:
As a rookie, the No. 1 overall pick from the 2016 draft didn’t complete 55 percent of his passes. In 2017, he resembled a skilled maestro leading a symphony. Goff tossed 28 touchdown passes and only seven interceptions. The California product moved the ball downfield in chunks, leading the league with 12.9 yards per completion.
Moton mentions the narrative we are all familiar with: Goff went from zero-to-hero between years one and two. Of course, a lot changed around Goff between these two seasons, but he was a major factor in the Rams’ turnaround.
He lost wideout Sammy Watkins, who signed with the Kansas City Chiefs, but welcomed Brandin Cooks—a speedy receiver capable of stretching the field. The fifth-year pass-catcher has three consecutive campaigns with 1,000 yards.
The supporting cast around Goff has remained largely intact. The only major change this season will be swapping WR Sammy Watkins with Brandin Cooks. Cooks has proven to be a productive receiver so far in his career with a three-year string of consecutive 1,000 yard seasons. And while that may be in jeopardy in 2018 (despite having over 4,000 passing yards as a team, WR Cooper Kupp led the team with less than 900 receiving yards), it stands to reason that he will be more frequently utilized than Watkins, who never quite lived up to the expectations many set on him.
(Todd) Gurley deserves consideration. He’s been a workhorse over the past two seasons, logging the third-most rushing attempts in that span with 557.
RB Todd Gurley receives a lot of love here and rightfully so. Gurley was the 2017 Offensive Player of the Year and runner-up to MVP last season, so he wouldn’t exactly warrant an “under the radar” status.
What this implies is that the Rams have two reasonable MVP candidates leading their offense. Will stellar seasons from both players cancel each other out when it comes to MVP voting? It’s certainly possible. But if both play at an MVP level, there might be a bigger trophy the Rams will play for the day after the MVP is announced.