Lamar Jackson is now emerging as a leading candidate for NFL MVP, largely due to his consistent performance.

The 2023 NFL season has been characterized by a downturn in offensive performance, introducing uncertainty regarding the MVP award, which has increasingly become synonymous with the best quarterback on a successful team.

While Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill initially stood out as a non-quarterback contender, his chances have diminished due to the unlikelihood of reaching the 2,000 receiving yards mark—a level of production necessary for serious MVP consideration. As a result, the focus has shifted back to quarterbacks, leading to a crowded field of MVP contenders without a clear frontrunner.

Brock Purdy held the betting lead before Week 16, but a challenging matchup against the Ravens’ defense saw Lamar Jackson emerge as the current MVP frontrunner. Over the past month, Jalen Hurts, Dak Prescott, Purdy, and now Jackson have all been favored for the MVP, indicating considerable fluctuation in predictions.

At this stage, it appears the MVP winner will be determined by the quarterback who makes the fewest errors in the final weeks of the season. Purdy’s four interceptions against Baltimore likely dashed any hopes he had of clinching the historic MVP award as the last pick in the 2022 draft. Jackson’s performance in securing a crucial road win for the Ravens and maintaining their top spot in the AFC playoffs has made him the favorite for the award.

While Jackson’s overall statistical performance may not be as dominant as when he won the MVP in 2019, his pivotal role in the Ravens’ offense is undeniable. His ability to compensate for deficiencies in pass protection, accuracy, and mobility distinguishes him as a crucial asset, even in a challenging season.

The matchup between Jackson and Purdy showcased their differing calibers, despite Purdy’s impressive stats this season. Quarterbacks who can effectively drive their offense under adverse circumstances have garnered significant attention from voters this year, with Jackson epitomizing this capability.

Jackson’s potential to secure his second MVP award is further highlighted by the opportunity to solidify the Ravens’ top seed in the AFC by defeating the Dolphins. In contrast, winning outcomes typically bolster quarterbacks’ MVP prospects, suggesting that Bills quarterback Josh Allen could re-enter the race if the Bills secure victories and possibly clinch the AFC East title.

Both Jackson and Allen emerge as strong contenders for the award, particularly given the inconsistency of previous frontrunners like Hurts, Prescott, and Purdy. Ultimately, the player who can lead their team to success with minimal errors in the final weeks of the season is likely to claim the MVP title in 2023.

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