Picking This Year’s Super Bowl MVP in 2020 – Patrick Mahomes or Jimmy Garoppolo?

January 25, 2020
How is the NFL MVP chosen -Patrick Mahomes currently Fav

Updated: February 21, 2024

Picking this year’s Super Bowl MVP in 2020.

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If you are betting on this year’s Super Bowl MVP, there are really only two choices that make any sense. It’s either Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes or San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo.

In the history of the Super Bowl, 46 players have won the game’s Most Valuable Player award. Yes, there have been 53 Super Bowls played, but a few players have been fortunate enough to win more than one Super Bowl MVP.

New England quarterback Tom Brady leads the way with four such awards. Hall of Famer Joe Montana won three Super Bowl MVPs and only three other players have won two. All three are quarterbacks. Bart Starr won the first two Super Bowl MVP awards leading the Green Bay Packers to consecutive wins.  Terry Bradshaw also won consecutive awards in Super Bowls XIII and XIV. Eli Manning won two MVPs as the New York Giants won Super Bowl XLII and XLVI.

It’s pretty easy to see that one position dominates the Super Bowl MVP – quarterback. Of the 53 Super Bowl MVPs awarded, 29 of them have gone to quarterbacks. That’s 55 percent. With the emphasis on the passing game in modern football, the quarterback is even more important. That is why Super Bowl LIV’s most valuable player will likely be a quarterback.

Early MVPs

As mentioned, Green Bay QB Bart Starr won the first two Super Bowl MVP awards. In fact, the first four such awards went to quarterbacks. Joe Namath famously guaranteed that his New York Jets would beat the NFL champion Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. Namath delivered with a 206 yards passing, a Jets victory, and an MVP award.

The following year, Kansas City QB Len Dawson completed 12-of-17 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown as the Chiefs beat the heavily favored Minnesota Vikings 23-7 in Super Bowl IV. Dawson was awarded the game’s MVP.

Roger Staubach threw for 119 yards and two touchdowns to lead Dallas to a win over Miami in Super Bowl VI. Staubach became the fifth quarterback to win the game’s MVP.

In a game that was much different than today, the next six Super Bowls would feature a most valuable player that was not a quarterback.

If Not Me, Then Who?

If you’re not going to bet on Mahomes or Garoppolo, your best bet might be a surprising one. While quarterbacks have captured the most MVPs, defensive players have won the award nine times. Dallas linebacker Chuck Howley became the first defensive player to win a Super Bowl MVP doing so while playing for the losing team. The Cowboys lost to the Colts 16-13.

Four linebackers have won the award with Denver’s Von Miller the most recent to do so. Miller had six tackles, 2.5 sacks, and one pass break up to win the award at Super Bowl 50. Ironically, Miller was the second linebacker in three years to win. Two years earlier at Super Bowl XLVIII, Seattle LB Malcolm Smith earned the MVP when he recorded 10 tackles, a fumble recovery, and an interception return for a touchdown.

While it is rare for a defensive player to win the Super Bowl MVP, it is even rarer for a running back or wide receiver to win the award. Seven running backs and seven wide receivers have won the Super Bowl MVP. All seven running backs won the award before 1999 with four coming in the first 18 Super Bowls.

The last running back to win the game’s MVP was Hall of Famer Terrell Davis. In Super Bowl XXXII, Davis carried the ball 30 times for 157 yards and three touchdowns.

With today’s game focused on the passing game, it’s easy to see a wide receiver winning the Super Bowl’s MVP. Last season, that was the case as New England’s Julian Edelman caught 10 passes for 141 yards in the Patriots 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.

Prior to Edelman, wide receivers won back-to-back MVPs in Super Bowls XXXIX and XL. New England WR Deion Branch had 11 receptions for 133 yards in Super Bowl XXXIX and Pittsburgh’s Hines Ward caught five passes for 123 yards and a touchdown as the Steelers beat Seattle in Super Bowl XL.

Branch and Ward were not the first pair of wide receivers to win back-to-back Super Bowl MVPs. Back in Super Bowl X and XI, Lynn Swann of Pittsburgh and Oakland’s Fred Biletnikoff pulled off the feat. Swann made some of the most acrobatic catches in NFL history in Super Bowl X catching just four passes but for 161 yards and one touchdown. Biletnikoff also caught four passes for 79 yards as the Raiders beat Minnesota 32-14.

Bet on the QB

The 29 Super Bowl quarterback MVPs have been spread out fairly well over the 53 years in which the game has been played. Starting just after Davis’s MVP win at Super Bowl XXXII, quarterbacks have won 13 of the 21 Super Bowl MVP awards.

It started with John Elway in Super Bowl XXXIII. Brady has won all four of his MVPs in that time frame his first coming at Super Bowl XXXVI at the end of the 2001 season. Peyton Manning won his only MVP in Super Bowl XLI followed by brother Eli in Super Bowl XLII. Eli would win a second MVP four years later.

The most recent quarterback to win the award was Philadelphia’s Nick Foles, who had a season to remember. Foles was the backup to Eagles starter Carson Wentz but took over in Week 14 of the 2017 season when Wentz tore an ACL. Foles led Philadelphia all the way to a Super Bowl victory over New England in a game in which he completed 28-of-43 passes for 373 yards and three touchdowns. He also caught a touchdown pass becoming the first player to throw for and catch a touchdown in the same Super Bowl.

With the Chiefs favored to win this year’s Super Bowl, Mahomes makes for a great MVP candidate. He threw for 4,031 yards and 26 touchdowns during the regular season while missing two games. In two games this postseason, Mahomes is completing 66 percent of his passes for 615 yards and eight touchdowns. He has also been the Chiefs’ leading rusher in both playoff games.

The 49ers are a run-first offense, but still Garoppolo threw for 3,978 yards and 27 touchdowns during the regular season. Unlike Mahomes, Garoppolo has not had to throw as much in the postseason. He has thrown just 27 passes in two game completing 17. He has only thrown one touchdown, but the potential is there for a big game from the 49ers quarterback.

Author Andy

Hi I'm Andy and as a regular bettor on sports I know where to spot a good sportsbook sign up deal. With over 25 years of placing wagers on horse racing and football I can lend my expertise to writing and advising you on everything sports and NFL betting. To your success.

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