A poll of 12 media members at ESPN picked Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr as the NFL’s MVP after 12 weeks.
Carr received three first place votes and four second place votes. He narrowly edged out Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott for the honor.
Other players receiving votes included Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees.
Carr has led the Raiders to a 9-2 record. He’s thrown for 3,115 yards and 22 touchdowns, with a passer rating of 100.5.
ESPN pointed to Carr’s production in the biggest situations:
“Carr has a 122.5 passer rating with 10 touchdown passes and one interception in fourth quarters and overtimes this year. Oakland is also 5-0 on the road, where Carr has passed for 11 touchdowns and one interception this season.”
Carr overcame a dislocated pinky to lead the Raiders to a comeback win over the Carolina Panthers last Sunday. Oakland now has five come-from-behind wins in the fourth quarter or overtime this season.
However, Carr can’t afford any letdowns over the final five games. The rest of the top vote getters have an equally strong case for MVP.
Ryan has thrown for 3,516 yards and 26 touchdowns for the NFC South-leading Falcons, Brady has 18 touchdowns and just one interception over just seven starts and Elliott leads the NFL in rushing yards (1,199) and rushing touchdowns (11).
Carr is the NFL’s king, for now. The final five weeks will determine if he keeps the crown.