The finalists for The Associated Press 2022 NFL Most Valuable Player award were announced Wednesday, and three of those players will play in a conference championship game this Sunday.
Two of the finalists, Bills quarterback Josh Allen and Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson, are already out of the postseason, but Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts will all come up with one this weekend Play a chance to earn your team a spot in Super Bowl LVII.
The AFC Championship game will have MVP candidates on both sides, with Mahomes and Burrow set to go head-to-head on Sunday night
Mahomes is in the running for the second MVP award of his career, having previously been selected for the 2018 season honors. That year, Mahomes finished with 5,250 passing yards and 358 rushing yards, both career highs, led the league in passing yards and passing touchdowns (41) and finished second in quarterback scoring (105.2).
Burrow’s Bengals had a difficult start to the season but are now in the AFC Championship game after not losing a game since Halloween and posting their best regular-season record with Burrow at center. Burrow finished the year in the top five in passing yards (4,475), touchdowns (35), and completion percentage (68.3), the latter two ranking second in the NFL.
“He deserves everything that comes his way. He’s one of the greatest players in the league, and those are usually the types of guys that should be in this conversation,” Cincinnati head coach Zac Taylor said of his shortlisted QB for the award. “I’ve said it a million times, we’re lucky to have him.”
Speaking on the NFC page of the playoff bracket on Wednesday, Hurts said he was “at a loss for words” when he heard he had been named a finalist.
“It’s a cool honor,” he said.
Hurts was 14-1 as a starter for the Eagles this season and amassed a career-high 3,701 passing yards, 22 passing TDs and 13 rushing TDs despite missing two games late in the season with a sprained shoulder.
“His work speaks for itself. He’s had a phenomenal year,” said Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni on Wednesday.
The first order of business for these three players will be Championship Sunday with a chance to appear on the line in the Super Bowl. Only then will the NFL Honors ceremony take place on February 9, where one of the five finalists will take home one of the sport’s highest honors.