CJ Stroud and DeMeco Ryans could both bring home the hardware. Composite Getty Image.
A rookie has only won the MVP once. Jim Brown in 1957.
Only two MVPs have won the award and missed the playoffs. Johnny Unitas in 1957, and O.J. Simpson in 1973.
Of the 57 MVP winners, 54 have been offensive players. 38 of that 54 have been quarterbacks.
C.J. Stroud can win NFL MVP as a rookie quarterback. It's possible.
I know what you're thinking. “Oh boy! Jermaine is about to go off on another one of his tangents again!” You'd be half right. I do have a bone to pick and something to say, but it's a legit thing that could happen. What helped me arrive at this conclusion was looking at the factors that go into something like this actually coming to fruition.
First off, let's look at the odds. As of this writing, Stroud is at +2000 betting odds for MVP. He's the sixth best betting favorite. He's coming off a game in which he beat (and outplayed) the fifth betting favorite in Joe Burrow who's at +1200. He's currently the runaway favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year at -2000. Jahmyr Gibbs and Puka Nacua are next up at +1400 each. What I found EXTREMELY odd is Stroud isn't listed as a betting option for Offensive Player of the Year. As a frame of reference for how odd this is, Christian McCaffrey is tied with Stroud at +2000 for MVP, but is the betting favorite for Offensive Player of the Year at +125 along with Tyreek Hill. Hill is at +5000 for MVP. As they say: the math ain't mathin!
Next, I looked at the supporting cast around him. From coaches to teammates to staff/front office, the organization is completely behind this guy. His teammates love and respect him. He's constantly praised for his leadership skills. The coaching staff appreciates his work ethic and dedication to the craft. The staff/front office has spoken highly of him every chance they're asked. He and offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik are totally in sync. They can currently do no wrong. There's a reason why he's second in the league in passing yards overall, and leads the league in passing yards per game.
Finally, I looked at team success. Currently, the Texans are in second place in the AFC South. The Jags are in first by a game, but the Texans won their first matchup this season. In fact, the Texans have won 11 of the last 12 games in this series. They own the Jags over the last few years. The Colts lost their prized rookie quarterback for the season and are relying on their defense and offensive line to carry them. The Titans are run by Will Levis and Derrick Henry. Remaining opponents have a combined .446 winning percentage this season. That's fourth easiest in the league.
It's that final factor that I believe will help propel him to unforeseen heights. Nothing and nobody in the AFC South should scare this team after what they've been able to accomplish this season so far. The Carolina and Atlanta losses were inexplicable. They really should've beaten the Colts in that first matchup after Richardson got hurt. A few plays here and there, this team is 7-2. A little more fire and fewer injuries earlier on, and maybe they're 8-1. It really isn't as farfetched as it may seem.
We can't ignore the fact that he's having as good or arguably a better rookie season than any quarterback before him. His drive, focus, and work ethic will propel him to great heights. If he's going to continue to do the impossible, he'll need his organization to fully back him. Everyone has a job to do. If they all continue to do it as well as they all have, particularly over the last few weeks, Stroud should win MVP while the team makes the playoffs. Coming from the depths at which this team was to make the playoffs in one season mainly due to the play of Stroud should not only earn him MVP, but DeMeco Ryans should be Coach of the Year as well. He's the second betting favorite at +250 behind Dan Campbell at +175. Excuse me while I go place some bets.
(*All betting odds are courtesy of BETUS.com)
The Houston Astros were in need of some serious help in the bullpen with Phil Maton, Hector Neris, and Ryne Stanek likely leaving this year in free agency.
The Houston Astros have acquired RHP Dylan Coleman from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for RHP Carlos Mateo. pic.twitter.com/hDYuBLn2Kv
— Houston Astros (@astros) December 6, 2023
While some fans were getting concerned about the quiet offseason, the club has made two moves this week to get the ball rolling.
First the team signed Victor Caratini to be the backup catcher, and now they have added some relief pitching.
The Astros traded pitching prospect Carlos Mateo to the Royals for RHP pitcher Dylan Coleman.
Coleman appeared in 96 games in the past three seasons for KC, including 68 games in 2022 and 23 games last season. He has a career 3.88 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. He’s fastball (95 mph), slider (81) and cutter (90) and walked 57 batters and struck out 99 in 92 2/3 innings.
— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) December 6, 2023
Coleman is under club control for the next several years, and made just over $700,000 in 2022. With the Astros right up against the tax threshold, this is a good way to add to the bullpen without having to hand out a large contract.
The Royals had a tough roster decision to make with Coleman, and the Astros made the decision easy for them by making the trade.
Something to note
There's a reason Kansas City wasn't determined to protect Coleman from the Rule 5 Draft. Despite his decent numbers over the last three seasons, 2023 was a rough year for him, posting an 8.84 ERA over 23 games.
In fact, Coleman pitched more innings (30.2) for the Royals AAA team than he did for the big league club (18.1) in 2023.
Hopefully, the Astros can get him back on track this season with some help from their highly touted player development program.
You can watch some of his 2022 highlights above.