Halfway through the NFL season, three players seem to have separated from the pack in the race to win the league MVP award.
Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and Jalen Hurts all have odds of +300 or better, according to the SI Sportsbook, with the next-closest player, Lamar Jackson, at +1100.
But a prominent former NFL head coach has a different pick for who would win MVP if the season ended today.
Former Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Tony Dungy tweeted Thursday that he would give the award to Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
"Tua Tagovailoa," Dungy tweeted. "The Miami Dolphins are playing very efficient offensive football. They are 6-0 when he plays the entire game and 0-3 when he doesn’t. I think that demonstrates some value."
Dungy picked Tagovailoa in part due to his efficiency. Tagovailoa leads the NFL in quarterback rating and yards per attempt this season.
The biggest knock on Tagovailoa's MVP case would likely be the fact that he missed two games and most of a third due to injury.
But Dungy believes that actually bolsters Tagovailoa's candidacy, as the fact that the Dolphins are 6-0 when he starts and finishes the game versus 0-3 when he does not illustrates his value.
Tagovailoa has also been criticized for his arm strength, or lack thereof, but the Dolphins are tied with the Kansas City Chiefs for the most passing plays of 20 or more yards this season with 36.
Tagovailoa has certainly benefited from throwing to the dynamic wide receiver combination of Tyreek Hill, who leads the NFL in receiving yards, and Jaylen Waddle, plus from first-year coach Mike McDaniel's scheme. But as the player orchestrating the Dolphins' offensive attack, Tagovailoa deserves some credit, as well.
Mahomes, Allen and Hurts are each having great seasons, but Dungy believes Tagovailoa should at least be in the conversation as the league's most valuable player.