Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is in the driver's seat when it comes to being the favorite to win the NFL’s 2020 MVP award. But he clearly thinks Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson deserves to be riding shotgun.
"That man is special!''' Mahomes tweeted on Thanksgiving after watching Watson do ... well, what Watson does. And if Deshaun - who knows plenty about grabbing hardware, having done so at the highest level in high school and college - finishes this season at the level at which he's been performing lately?
His goal of being "legendary'' in terms of at least some MVP votes is within his grasp.
"That's top priority,'' Watson said at the start of the season. "I'm trying to pull a big three. I won a state championship, won a national championship. So, of course, I'm trying to get a Super Bowl. I'm trying to, of course, be 'legendary.' That's my word since college.
"For me to be that, I have to win a Super Bowl, and definitely win it with the Houston Texans."
Those goals aren't happening this year for Texans. The steps are smaller ones, including what Watson and company did to the Lions on Thanksgiving in a 41-25 win in which he completed 68% of his passes (17-for-25) for 318 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. That's a 150.4 passer rating ... and folks in Detroit are pondering whether that's the greatest performance ever on Thanksgiving.
Watson's had a lot of those, though. Over the last six games, the former Clemson star has completed 141 of 200 passes for 1,750 yards. He has thrown 15 touchdown passes, and zero interceptions. That passer rating: 122.29.
What makes an MVP? Big stats. High profile. And, unfortunately for the 4-7 Texans, lots of wins. There's no "rule'' about that; it's just the way it's done.
But there is also no rule against pinpointing a player who is so incredibly valuable to his team that he's carrying it to whatever level it achieves ... no rule against wondering just how bad Houston would be without its top star.
Watson has as much value to Houston as Mahomes has to the Chiefs ... as any candidate has to any team.
The Texans could keep winning; that would help their cause, of course, and his. The beauty of Watson, though, is at age 25 and with a new "Texan for Life'' contract, is that he's a drawing card for the next GM and the next coach, and that he clearly has the ability to sit in that front seat of the MVP train alongside Mahomes ...
And to maybe someday grab the MVP steering wheel in the same way he's always grabbed trophies.