The NFL MVP talk has certainly ramped up over the last few weeks, but after Monday night’s monster performance by Lamar Jackson, he has catapulted to the top of the list of 2019 candidates. His playmaking ability is one-of-a-kind, and he is having an incredible season that could rank among the best in recent years when all is said and done. With that in mind, we decided to take a look back at the best NFL MVP winners since 2000, headlined by Tom Brady’s perfect regular season.
2005 Shaun Alexander, Seattle Seahawks
Stats: 348 rush, 1,815 rush yds, 28 rush TD, 56 rec, 508 rec yds, 3 rec TD
In 2005, Shaun Alexander exploded onto the scene, breaking the record for most rushing touchdowns in NFL history. Of course, he’s one of the most unmemorable MVPs of the bunch, since his career fell off after this incredible season. Nevertheless, this is one of the best rushing seasons of all time, rushing for almost 1,900 yards and 28 touchdowns. He helped lead the Seattle Seahawks to an NFC-best 13-3 record and a Super Bowl appearance. Unfortunately, they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 21-10.
2015 Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
Stats: 59.8%, 3,837 pass yds, 35 pass TD, 10 INT, 67.0 QBR, 132 rush, 636 rush yds, 10 rush TD
Similar to Alexander, Cam Newton’s 2015 season seems like a bit of a one-hit wonder. In fact, he might be dealing with injuries this season, but most people believe that his time is up in Carolina. Nevertheless, Newton combined for 45 regular season touchdowns and led the Panthers to an NFL-best 15-1 record and a Super Bowl appearance. With that being said, the MVP has an absolutely atrocious performance in the big game, as Von Miller and the Broncos took the trophy.
2012 Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
Stats: 348 rush, 2.097 rush yds, 12 rush TD, 40 rec, 217 rec yds, 1 rec TD
Rushing for more than 2,000 yards in a season in an absolutely unreal feat. In fact, only seven players have ever done that in NFL history. Peterson’s incredible 2012 rushing total ranks second all-time, just eight yards behind Eric Dickerson’s 2,105 yards in 1984. Oh, and don’t forget that Peterson did this one year after tearing his ACL, which is just unheard of. He ran for more than 100 yards in each one of his last ten games, including seven 150-plus-yard performances and two 200-yard performances, leading the Vikings to the second Wild Card spot.