Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady remains a favorite to win the NFL Most Valuable Player Award which, at 44, would break his own record set four years ago as the oldest player to win the league's top individual award.
ESPN ranks Brady ahead of fellow former MVP Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens, as well as several others, in its latest MVP rankings for the 2021 NFL season published on Wednesday, which was compiled by a group of the network's NFL analysts -- Stephania Bell, Matt Bowen, Mike Clay, Courtney Cronin, Dan Graziano, Jeremy Fowler, Domonique Foxworth, Kevin Seifert, Field Yates, and Seth Walder.
Brady, who won the award three times during his 20-year stint with the New England Patriots (2007, 2010, 2017), is coming off a double-digit upset loss to the Washington Football Team as part of the Buccaneers' two-game losing skid, but still remains "consistently excellent" -- excluding his last performance -- according to ESPN's Courtney Cronin.
"If he throws at least 130 passing yards and three passing touchdowns against the Giants this week, he'll be the first QB with 3,000 passing yards and 30 passing touchdowns through his team's first 10 games of a season since Patrick Mahomes achieved that feat during his MVP year in 2018. Brady currently leads the league in passing TDs (27) and has the easiest schedule of any candidate the rest of the way -- including matchups with the Giants, Jets and Panthers (twice) -- to capture his sixth MVP title," Cronin wrote.
ESPN's latest MVP rankings include the following players:
- Tom Brady, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens
- Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys
- Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals: Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills (tied)
- Matthew Stafford, QB, Los Angeles Rams