Now that the Buffalo Bills are tied with two other teams for the best record (4-1) in the AFC and quarterback Josh Allen has appeared to find his rhythm after a slow start, Allen has become the odds-on favorite in Las Vegas to win his first NFL MVP award.
According to SI Sportsbook, Allen is listed as +450, just ahead of undefeated Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (+500). Quarterbacks Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers and Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are next at +600.
Allen earned a 139.1 passer rating in a 38-20 win over the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday night. He completed 15 of 26 passes for 315 yards and three TDs (no interceptions) and ran for 62 yards on eight carries before taking three a knee three straight times to run out the clock at the end of the game.
For the year, Allen's 62.3% completion rate actually is lower than his personal best of 69.2, achieved last season. But he already has 12 TD passes, putting him on pace to finish with a career-high 40 in this 17-game season.
Allen also is averaging 5.4 yards on 35 rushing attempts, with two more TDs. And his interception rate of 1.1% is a career low.
The Bills have crushed every opponent since dropping their opener to the Pittsburgh Steelers, outscoring their competition 172-64 for the season to own the largest point differential in the league.
"For me, 17 is special," wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders raved after the game. "Special. I know everybody was kind of, `hey, what did you do.' But really I just got open, and the balls he's delivering on the run, it's just ridiculous what he's doing out there. When when he shuffled over a defender, he showed a whole other level tonight."
The praise is significant because of Sanders' experience. A 12-year veteran, Sanders also has been teammates with Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, who have combined to earn 33 Pro Bowl berths. Manning also won five MVPs on his way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and helped Sanders earn his only Super Bowl ring in the 2015 season with the Denver Broncos.
But Sanders has been in awe since arriving in Buffalo this year.
"I think, you know, prime-time spotlight, I think the hurdling over the guy and then the pass to me was just ridiculous," Sanders said. "I mean, it was on a line, rope, and after I caught it, I didn't even know what to do because I just kept thinking like, `yo, that bro was crazy.'
"... Like literally he just put it there and it just stuck in my hand. I was like, `this dude is special tonight. He's a special quarterback, and I played with a lot of great ones. He's special."