It’s time to take Derrick Henry seriously as a 2020 NFL MVP candidate

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Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Quarterback is the most important position in football. So, it should come as no surprise that since the 2000 season, only four non-quarterbacks have taken home NFL MVP honors.

Despite the odds being stacked against it happening, a fifth non-quarterback has a very real chance joining that list in 2020.

Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, and Russell Wilson remain the three front-runners (by a fairly wide margin), but it’s time to start considering Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry among the league’s top ‘Most Valuable Player’ candidates.

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Through 11 games, the former Alabama star has carried the ball 256 times for 1,257 yards (both league highs) and 12 touchdowns. At his current pace, Henry will finish the season with 376 carries for 1,829 yards and 18 touchdowns. (For what it’s worth he is also on pace to finish 2020 with 21 catches for 136 yards as well)

If he continues on to meet his current pace, or perhaps exceeds it, Henry will have completed one of the greatest single seasons by a running back in NFL history.

Henry’s team, the Titans, are currently 8-3 and lead the AFC South. Their record is currently good for third in the AFC.

Without Henry, it’s very possible that the Titans record would be reversed (3-8).

That alone should be enough to make the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner a legitimate candidate to add NFL MVP to his career resume.

Here’s a quick rundown on Henry’s competition through Week 12 (Wilson still has a game to be played on Monday night):

  • Mahomes: 3,497 yards, 30 touchdown passes, 2 interceptions, 115.5 quarterback rating, 2 rushing touchdowns
  • Rodgers: 3,100 yards, 33 touchdown passes, 4 interceptions, 117.6 quarterback rating, 1 rushing touchdown
  • Wilson: 2,986 yards, 30 touchdown passes, 10 interceptions, 111.5 quarterback rating, 1 rushing touchdown

As you can see the competition for 2020 NFL MVP is going to be stiff — Henry, Mahomes, Rodgers, and Wilson are all on track to have career years in 2020.

The voting for the award only factors in the regular season, so how each player and their respective team finishes the season will go a long way in deciding the who will take home the league’s most prestigious individual honor.

In terms of betting value, though, Henry is in a class all by himself. Here’s a look at the current MVP betting odds for each of the aforementioned players at the time of publication:

NFL-point spreads-week 12-over under
  • Mahomes: -400
  • Rodgers: +500
  • Wilson: +700
  • Henry: +3300

Is Henry a longshot to actually win the award?


But the value in betting Henry is much higher than any other player in the NFL right now.

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