At the end of every regular season in the NFL, one player stands above the rest and is named the Most Valuable Player.
That player is often on a winning team, giving them a chance to showcase their value in the playoffs as the MVP tries to lead his team to a Super Bowl.
However in strange turn of events, every player that has won the MVP over the last 20 years has come up short in their Super Bowl hopes and often in dramatic fashion.
Over the past five years, we have seen some dramatic instances of the NFL MVP losing in the playoffs.
- Last year, Patrick Mahomes lost at home to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.
- In 2018, Tom Brady was named the MVP, only to lose to Philadelphia Eagles’ backup quarterback Nick Foles in the Super Bowl LII.
- In 2017, MVP Matt Ryan led his team to 28-3 lead over the Patriots in Super Bowl LI, only to watch that lead evaporate as Brady led his team to one of the most unbelievable comebacks in NFL history.
- In 2016, Cam Newton led the Carolina Panthers to a sterling 15-1 record in the regular season and was named the league MVP. Then in Super Bowl 50, Von Miller and the Broncos defense held the Panthers to just 10 points, beating Carolina 24-10.
Finally we have this season, where Lamar Jackson showcased his transcendent talent, leading the Baltimore Ravens to a 14-2 record.
Jackson is NFL’s presumptive MVP and everyone was counting on him to lead the Ravens through the playoffs as true Super Bowl favorites.
Now we know that won’t be the case though, as they just suffered from a stunning loss at the hands of the Tennessee Titans.
In sports you can often explain strange history in many different ways. Either these repeating themes are simply coincidence, or they could be the product of something much deeper. A curse.
Let’s now explore the “MVP Curse”, which has been laid before us since the 2000 NFL season.
Peyton Manning and Tom Brady combined to win eight NFL MVP’s and eight Super Bowls in their respective careers. Neither quarterback ever achieved both in the same season.
Aaron Rodgers led the Green Bay Packers to a victory in Super Bowl XLV for the 2010 season. Rodgers went on to win his first of two MVP awards the following season, but he never won another Super Bowl.
Shaun Alexander (2005), LaDainian Tomlinson (2006) and Adrian Peterson (2012) are all running backs that have won MVP’s since 2000, but none of them have ever became Super Bowl champions.
Now you may be wondering how often there ever were players that won both the MVP and the Super Bowl in the same season. Yet prior to 2000, it was actually a somewhat regular occurrence.
As previously mentioned, Kurt Warner won the MVP and the Super Bowl with the “Greatest Show on Turf” back in 1999.
The year prior, Terrell Davis was the league MVP and the Super Bowl champion as the Denver Broncos went on to win Super Bowl XXXIII.
In the 1990s, Warner, Davis, Brett Favre (1996), Steve Young (1994) and Emmitt Smith (1993) all won Super Bowls in their respective MVP seasons.
The same feat was accomplished by Joe Montanta (1989), Lawrence Taylor (1986) and Mark Moseley (1982) in the 1980s.
Still, we are now two full decades removed from ever seeing a player accomplish what has become this rare feat.
Maybe the 2020 NFL season will bring an end to the “MVP Curse”.
Or maybe history will just continue to repeat itself and the curse will live on to the turn of the next century.
San Francisco 49ers Clinch NFC Championship in Dominate Victory Over the Green Bay Packers
The San Francisco 49ers have long been considered the best team in the NFC. They went 14-2 in the regular season, headlined by a championship-caliber defense.
In the NFC Championship Game, San Francisco proved their dominance over the conference definitively, handing Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers an embarrassing loss.
This game really felt like it was over before it even started, as Rodgers could do nothing against the vaunted Niners defense in the first half.
San Francisco took a dominate 27-0 lead in halftime, all but sealing their trip to Super Bowl LIV.
For most of the game, the 49ers simply put the ball in Raheem Mostert’s hands and let him do the rest, as the running back put together an historic performance.
Mostert rushed for 220 yards on a remarkable 7.6 yards per carry. He also rushed for four touchdowns.
Mostert’s game was historic in many ways, as he set the franchise record for the most rushing yards in any single game. He also set countless postseason records, as no running back has ever accomplished that stat-line.
With Mostert running the ball that effectively, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo didn’t have to do much.
In fact, Garoppolo only threw eight passes, completing six of them for 77 yards.
Meanwhile Aaron Rodgers put together a valiant effort to make the game a little interesting in the second half, at one point cutting the Packers deficit to just 14 points.
It was too little, too late for the Packers, as the Niners continued to run the ball effectively to take time off the clock.
Still, Rodgers final statistics looked impressive by game’s end. He completed 31 of his 39 passes for 326 yards and two touchdowns. Rodgers also passed Brett Favre for the most playoff touchdowns in franchise history.
Despite the statistical success, Rodgers has once again been eliminated from the playoffs. Now the quarterback so many have called the G.O.A.T. at points during his career, has gone a decade without winning a Super Bowl.
Meanwhile the 49ers have completed a massive turnaround under head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch.
That duo inherited a 2-14 football team when they took over in 2017. After making steady improvements in their first two seasons, everything has come together in San Francisco this year.
Now we are set for an incredible Super Bowl matchup, pinning the 49ers dominate defense against Patrick Mahomes and his explosive Chiefs offensive attack.
It is not every year that the best team from each conference makes it to the Super Bowl, but this season it really feels like that is the case.
The Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers both appear to be evenly matched and heading towards one hell of a showdown in two weeks.
Kansas City Chiefs Beat the Tennessee Titans to End 50-Year Super Bowl Drought
The last time the Kansas City Chiefs played in a Super Bowl was 50 years ago.
In the final AFL-NFL World Championship Game prior to the merger, Kansas City squared off in Super Bowl IV against the Minnesota Vikings and won 23-6.
Since then, the Chiefs had never been back to the Super Bowl, representing the longest time in between Super Bowl appearances in the NFL. But that drought is now no more.
Behind another incredible performance from Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs are heading to Miami to play in Super Bowl LIV in the NFL’s 100th season.
The Chiefs actually played a very similar game as to the one from a week ago, when they beat the Houston Texans in the AFC Divisional Round.
Both teams came out hot against the Chiefs, building an early lead and keeping Mahomes’ offense at bay.
Tennessee scored the first 10 points of the game, playing into the story lines of their Cinderella playoff run and the Chiefs past playoff woes.
After withstanding that opening punch though, Mahomes has a way of figuring out the game plan being used against him. He then begins to pick that defense apart.
Tennessee was committed to not letting Mahomes beat them over the top, forcing him to rely on his speedy weapons to do damage on short passes and runs.
Tyreek Hill was the first Chief to reach the paydirt, scoring on a jet sweep where he used his elite speed to beat everyone around the edge.
The Titans resorted to some trickery of their own on their next drive, capping off a long drive with a touchdown pass to offensive tackle Dennis Kelly.
Mahomes was back targeting Hill on the next drive though, finding the speedster every time the Titans tried to hold him with single man coverage.
With the Titans basically taking tight end Travis Kelce out of the game, Hill and Sammy Watkins led the Chiefs receiving core.
Hill had five catches for 67 yards and those two touchdowns, while Watkins led the team with seven catches for 114 yards.
Running back Damien Williams was a huge factor in the offense as well, racking up 89 total yards on 22 touches.
But for the second week in a row, it was Mahomes that was the Chiefs leading rusher, picking up key first downs all game with his legs.
The turning point in the game came at the end of the first half, with the Chiefs trying to score a touchdown to take the lead. Kansas City started on their own 14, but marched all the way down field with ease.
Then with just 23 second remaining, Mahomes made the play of the game.
Thirty yards away from the end zone, Mahomes avoided a sack and scampered his way down the side line for a remarkable touchdown.
As great as the Titans played in the first half, just like the Texans before them, they had to go into halftime trailing.
After neither team scored in the third quarter, Kansas City score the first two touchdowns in the fourth to put Tennessee away for good.
Mahomes delivered the dagger on a deep pass to Watkins, finding the receiver for a 60-yard touchdown.
Mahomes finished the day with 294 passing yards and three touchdowns, while playing turnover-free football.
He also added 53 yards on the ground, becoming just the fourth quarterback in NFL history to rush for 50 or more yards in two consecutive playoff games.
Mahomes is playing just his second season as the starting quarterback for the Chiefs and has already accomplished so much.
Last year, Mahomes put together incredible numbers en route to winning the Most Valuable Player Award. Now he is Super Bowl bound, putting himself in elite company for the best start to a young quarterbacks career.
It was great getting them there, but Mahomes is now tasked with finishing the job, as he tries to lead the Chiefs to their first Super Bowl victory in 50 years.
New York Giants Hire Jason Garrett as Offensive Coordinator
The New York Giants have found their new offensive coordinator and it just happens to be someone that they are very familiar with.
Jason Garrett was chief rivals with Giants for years, as he held the position of being the Dallas Cowboys head coach for the better part of the last decade.
Garrett, 53, was just relieved of his duties though, opening the door for him remain in the division with the Giants.
This is actually a return to the Giants organization for Garrett as he spent the tail-end of his playing days in New York.
After famously serving as Troy Aikman’s backup quarterback for seven seasons in Dallas, Garrett become Kerry Collins backup for the Giants.
Garrett stayed in New York for four seasons, then played one last year in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, before becoming a coach.
Garrett began as a quarterbacks coach with the Miami Dolphins for two seasons in 2005 and 2006. He went on to take a job with the Dallas Cowboys as their offensive coordinator in 2007.
Jerry Jones was always grooming Garrett to be his next head coach and in the middle of his fourth season as the offensive coordinator, Jones fired Wade Phillips and named Garrett his interim head coach.
Garrett led the Cowboys to an 85-67 record across his tenure in Dallas. While he enjoyed plenty of regular season success, Garrett’s Cowboys never won an NFC Divisional Round playoff game.
Now Garrett returns to a position he once had a lot of success in, leading an offense and not having to worry about anything else.
The Giants new head coach, Joe Judge, is only 38 years old and has no experience being a head coach at any level.
Judge served under two of the best head coaches in football history, first being a special teams assistant under Nick Saban at Alabama. Then eventually becoming Bill Belichick’s special teams coordinator in New England.
Still, Judge does not have a ton of experience to lean on and adding a veteran coach like Garrett could prove to be a key hire for the Giants.
The biggest key to Garrett’s job as the offensive coordinator is developing young quarterback Daniel Jones. Garrett was crucial to the development of Tony Romo and Dak Prescott and now serves as the mentor to Jones.
Jones had some pretty impressive statistics in his first season, throwing for 3,027 yards and 24 touchdowns in 13 games played. He also showed the ability to be a dual-threat, rushing for 279 yards and two touchdowns.
While some of the numbers looked great, Jones turned over the ball far too much. He threw 12 interceptions and fumbled 18 times. Jones led the league both in fumbles and in fumbles lost (11).
If Garrett can help Jones clean up his turnover woes and progress as a quarterback, the Giants could become a dynamic offensive team in 2020. Especially with their array of explosive offensive weapons.
That group includes superstar running back Saquon Barkley and a receiving core of Golden Tate III, Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton and tight end Evan Engram.
It is now just up to Jason Garrett to put all the pieces together.
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