Stafford favored to win Super Bowl MVP honors, but don't overlook Chase
Sun, February 13 2022, 11:30 PM
Before the conference championship round, Stafford was the second choice (+325) on the odds board, behind Patrick Mahomes, who was eliminated by the Bengals in an overtime thriller in the AFC Championship Game.
Stafford topped the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC title game, where he completed 31 of 45 passes for 337 yards, and threw a pair of touchdown passes against one interception.
Kupp, Donald offer value in MVP odds
Stafford's No. 1 target, Cooper Kupp, is the third choice (+700) to win Super Bowl MVP.
Super Bowl LVI MVP odds
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Kupp led all receivers in the conference championship round, with 142 yards on 11 catches. The game before, he registered 183 yards on nine receptions and caught two deep passes on the Rams' final drive to set up a game-winning field goal to defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 30-27.
A wide receiver has won the Super Bowl MVP award seven times, including most recently in Super Bowl LIII (the Rams' last appearance in the big game), when former New England Patriots wideout Julian Edelman received the honor after tallying 141 yards in a 13-3 win against LA.
A defensive tackle has been the recipient of the award just once (Randy White in 1978), but three-time Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald could be next in line.
In the NFC Championship Game, he helped force a Jimmy Garoppolo interception on the 49ers' final possession to seal a 20-17 win.
Donald has totaled 1 1/2 sacks, six QB hits, nine total tackles, and one pass defensed in the postseason. Against Cincinnati's shaky offensive line, he could play a huge role in shutting down second-year quarterback Joe Burrow on the NFL's biggest stage.
Burrow, Chase in the hunt for MVP
Burrow has been the catalyst in a major franchise turnaround for Cincinnati and has the young and feisty Bengals riding a wave of momentum into Super Bowl Sunday.
The former Heisman Trophy winner went from a +1000 choice on the Super Bowl MVP odds board last week to the second choice (+225) ahead of the championship tilt.
Burrow ranks third in postseason passing yards (842) behind Mahomes (1,057) and Stafford (905), and owned the top completion percentage in the regular season (70.4%).
A huge part of his success this year can be attributed to the addition of his former college teammate, Ja'Marr Chase, who set a rookie record for receiving yards in a game (266), and a season (1,455) in 2021.
Chase went from a +5000 longshot to win MVP to the fourth choice to claim the award (+1500) ahead of the Super Bowl.
Keep in mind, no rookie has ever won Super Bowl MVP. But Chase is special. He caught for more than 100 yards in both the Wild Card Round and Divisional Round, and scored a game-tying touchdown in the third quarter of the AFC Championship Game.
The last time he was in a title game — during his final season at LSU — he caught nine of Burrow's passes for a game-high 221 receiving yards and two scores in a 42-25 beatdown of Clemson.
Don't be surprised if this rookie sensation has another huge outing under the Super Bowl limelight and makes the difference in a matchup of old talent vs. new.