Can Jalen Hurts or Tua Tagovailoa catch Patrick Mahomes in MVP race?

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The NFL is nearing the final stretch of the season as the calendar flips to December this week. There have been countless interesting storylines throughout the first few months of the season, and one of them that will continue is the MVP race.

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Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers is the two-time reigning MVP, but it hasn’t been smooth sailing for the injured quarterback or the Packers this season.

Patrick Mahomes looks to take back his crown after winning his first MVP award in the 2018 season. He may not come close to the 50 touchdowns he threw then, but the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback has a clear path to the second MVP award of his career.

Then there are a few up-and-comers in the mix -- two former college teammates, in fact. Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts continues to impress as the Birds moved to 10-1 on Sunday night, and Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has been mighty impressive as well.

Danny Parkins and Andrew Fillipponi of the Audacy Original Podcast “1st & Pod” talked about Tua’s chances in the MVP race and if anyone can catch Mahomes.

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“All I’m saying is that yeah, right now (Tua’s) probably maybe like fourth or fifth. He’s in the conversation. He’s an honorable mention,” Fillipponi said (1:57 in player above). “But if they sweep Buffalo, if they win that division, if Mahomes just kind of plays OK and not great. If Dallas ends up winning the NFC East Dak’s not going to get the MVP, Micah Parsons isn’t going to get the MVP. I mean there is a path for Tua to win the MVP award. Absolutely. It’s there.”

“Yeah, it’s there, that’s a couple too many ifs for me,” Parkins said.

Mahomes is still the odds-on favorite to win MVP with odds as short as -180. Jalen Hurts is between +350 and +400 behind him, with Tua in the conversation between +500 and +600.

“You can’t bet (Mahomes). There’s no value there,” Fillipponi said. “But I get why he’s the favorite.”

“Yeah, but I can see Hurts winning that award as just the new thing on the block, and the record, and we’ve talked about their schedule,” Parkins replied. “I could see Hurts winning that award over Mahomes.”

There is certainly a case to be made for Hurts, who opened at +2200 to win the award. The quarterback showed out under the bright lights of Sunday Night Football with two touchdown passes and 157 yards rushing in the win over the Packers.

But Tua has a case as well. The Dolphins have yet to lose a game that he started and finished, and he has multiple impressive games under his belt as well.

“Mahomes deserves to be the favorite, but non-Mahomes -- and this is an obvious statement because he’s got better odds than him -- but I think Hurts has a cleaner path and narrative to it than Tua does largely because of the presence of Tyreek Hill.”

Mahomes leads the league with 3,585 passing yards -- over 400 more than Josh Allen in second place. He also has a league-best 29 passing touchdowns -- six more than any other quarterback. The guy is the MVP favorite for a reason.

Things can change on a dime in the MVP race and there are still five weeks left in the regular season. Mahomes is the favorite right now but we’ll see what happens in the final weeks of the season.

Featured Image Photo Credit: © ANDRES LEIVA/PALM BEACH POST / USA TODAY NETWORK