It is no secret that the NFL is a quarterback-driven league and that those are the players that are given the spotlight.
However, they are not the only players that carry a team to a potential Super Bowl run.
With the NFL in chaos with top teams losing, the race for the NFL MVP is wide-open. One player that should be given a bigger spotlight for the NFL MVP award is Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor.
Taylor had a great rookie season last year for Indianapolis, as he rushed for 1,169 yards and 11 touchdowns on 232 carries and caught 36 receptions for 299 yards and a touchdown. In 11 games this season, Taylor has already topped his rookie numbers by rushing for 1,122 yards and 13 touchdowns on 193 carries. He has also caught 32 receptions for 322 yards and three touchdowns this season.
In a season where quarterback Carson Wentz still has not been the star that the Colts wanted him to be, Taylor has carried the team past a rough 0-3 season start to becoming an NFL playoff contender.
Last Sunday, in the 41-15 road win at Buffalo, Taylor played the best game of his young professional career by rushing for 185 yards and four touchdowns on 32 carries. He also caught three receptions for 19 yards and a touchdown. When given the task to be the main producer of Colts's offense against a great Bills defense that ranks second in points allowed per game (17.6), Taylor showed he could be a star player in the league by accounting for 100 total yards in rushing and receiving for the eighth game in a row.
With the demand for running backs lower in the NFL Draft, the Colts stole a dynamic playmaker in the second round (41st overall pick). Taylor is playing with one of the most stacked and talented offensive line units in the NFL, led by guard Quenton Nelson and center Ryan Kelly. The Colts's offense ranks fifth in the league in points per game (28.1) and fourth in rushing yards per game (147.9). Taylor and an impressive offensive line are creating a high-scoring offense that ranks 23rd in passing yards per game (216.1) despite having some talented, young wide receivers. Taylor has helped carry the Colts to a key position for their third playoff appearance in four years.
After the chaotic Week 11 this past weekend, BetMGM released their betting odds for favorites to win the NFL MVP award. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is the betting favorite (+240). Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen (+500) dropped to the player with the second-best odds to win MVP after their home loss to Indianapolis. Los Angeles Rams's Matthew Stafford (+900), Dallas's Dak Prescott (+900), Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers (+900), Los Angeles Chargers's Justin Hebert (+1100), Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes III (+1100), Arizona's Kyler Murray (+1200) and Baltimore's Lamar Jackson (+1400) are all quarterbacks with better odds to win the NFL MVP award than Taylor, but he has the highest odds of all non-quarterbacks (+2000).
The league has not seen a non-quarterback win the NFL MVP award since Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson in 2012. If Taylor gets injured, the Colts would not be a playoff contender; that is a direct definition of the most valuable player. Taylor is on a fast track to an All-Pro selection if he keeps this pace up.