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Four Early NFL MVP Candidates

Offensive stars dominated the first portion of the NFL schedule, leading to some easy decisions when it came to our early nominations on the MVP list.

RB Dalvin Cook, Vikings

Kirk Cousins’ issues might’ve been clear when it comes to big games, but Cook has shown no such issues in his young career. His third season opened with 111 yards in a dominant first Sunday effort against the Atlanta Falcons. Cook has had some injury issues– ailments have cost him 17 games in his young career already– but if Minnesota can wrangle a full season out of him, they can stage a surprising NFC North takeover.

QB Lamar Jackson, Ravens

Not bad for a wide receiver! Jackson’s follow-up to one of the worst playoff games in NFL history was one of the most dominant Week 1 efforts ever. Baltimore has witnessed VERY imperfect throwing in 2019 (after all, the Orioles have a 5.76 ERA as a team), but Jackson was literally perfect with a 158.3 rating. His 324 yards were by far a career-high, and his five scoring throws outpaced every other NFL quarterback.

RB Marlon Mack, Colts

Indianapolis is in far better shape than the last time they had a quarterback crisis, and Mack is a big reason why. Obtainer of 148 yards in last year’s playoff win over Houston, Mack leads the NFL with 174 rushing yards after the first week. Jacoby Brissett has improved since he was last thrust into action back in 2017, but having a strong rushing attack will undoubtedly relieve some stress in a situation no one expected him to be in as recently as last early August.

QB Dak Prescott, Cowboys

Yes, the Cowboys bullied a lowly Giants team that can’t seem to get out of its own Manning-roadblocked way, but an all-around dominant effort was punctuated by Prescott’s takeover. For the second time in his last five regular season games, Prescott broke the 400-yard plateau. He also threw four touchdown passes for the second time in his career. Perhaps more importantly, from a Dallas fan standpoint, Prescott’s equally prefect day allowed him to move past his predecessor Tony Romo for the highest career passer rating in team history. He’ll need to keep it up, but it’s hard not to like his candidacy if Dallas ends up with one of the better records in the league.