Skip to main content

NFL MVP Watch Entering Week 6: Top Candidates Set for Sunday Showdown

Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen set to face off again this Sunday with plenty on the line.

For better or for worse, the NFL MVP Award is all about the narrative. Voters love a good story — especially a new one — and that can often trump a great statistical case.

That makes Week 6 a pivotal one for MVP narratives, as the top two candidates will go head-to-head when the Buffalo Bills face the Kansas City Chiefs.

Related: Top 5 Games for NFL's Week 6 Schedule

But that's not all that's important narrative-wise as we pass the quarter-mark of the season. Only one team is left undefeated, and their quarterback, Jalen Hurts, will only rise on this list as his Eagles keep exceeding expectations. He's our biggest riser of the week after another strong performance.

Once again, only quarterbacks make our top five, which is to be expected after nine straight MVPs have gone to QBs. But before diving into the main list, let's honor the top defensive player, for a world in which all 22 starters had a chance to win.

Top Defensive Player

Micah Parsons, LB, Dallas Cowboys
Everyone wrote off the Cowboys after Dak Prescott went down with a thumb injury in Week 1, and all they've done is win four straight. Backup quarterback Cooper Rush hasn't been the reason, although it's a fun story. It's a dominant defense that's led by Parsons, who has somehow taken another leap after being named Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2021. Parsons is tied for the league lead with six sacks and has added seven tackles for a loss, 12 QB hits, and a forced fumble. He's on pace for a record-setting season — and a record-setting career.

Top 5 MVP Candidates Entering Week 6

5. Justin Herbert, QB, Los Angeles Chargers
Herbert just maintains his edge over Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, among others, Although he didn't put up many passing yards (228) and lost his league-leading mark, he had his third game of the season without a turnover. The Chargers are 3-0 in those games, a signal of how important he is to his team.

4. Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens
Jackson's numbers remain better than the peer one spot ahead of him on this list, although his supporting cast may be dragging him down. He was held under 200 passing yards and 100 rushing yards for the second straight game. But with juicy matchups against the Giants and Browns up next, Jackson remains a good bet to head into his Week 10 bye higher on this list.

3. Jalen Hurts, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
Hurts is unique among elite quarterbacks this season in that his touchdown rate is extremely low (2.5 percent). But that's in large part because he's tied for second among all players with six rushing touchdowns. He still ranks second in the league at 8.5 yards per pass attempt, and an undefeated season is only boosting his stock.

2. Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills
Normally an outstanding QB tossing four touchdowns and 424 yards while not taking a sack would be enough to move into the top spot. But Allen will remain at No. 2 for at least one more week because of how special the guy in the top spot is. That's no knock on Allen. The narrative is there for him this season. But beating up on the Steelers doesn't mean much at this point. If he survives the Chiefs and (to a lesser extent) the Packers, it will be hard to deny his favorite status.

1. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
Mahomes leads the league with 15 touchdowns, and his 15:2 TD-to-INT ratio would be a career best over a full season. Simply put: it's incredible to see how he hasn't missed a beat without Tyreek Hill. He hasn't put up as many yards (in part because his pass attempts per game are down), but the former MVP's rate stats (career-best 66.7 percent completion rate) are better than ever.