4 SEC players with the best chance to win Super Bowl LIII MVP
The SEC has won more Super Bowl MVPs than any other league. I know, that’s about as shocking as discovering it snows a lot in the Midwest.
Will the SEC add to its MVP haul Sunday? That’s a bit more intriguing.
Neither starting quarterback played in the SEC, so it will be an uphill battle. But these 4 players have the best chance to win the league’s 11th Super Bowl MVP award.
4. Stephon Gilmore (South Carolina/New England)
Gilmore has a few factors in his favor. The most notable is: Jared Goff is going to put the ball in the air Sunday. Goff threw it 40 times in the NFC Championship Game against New Orleans. The Rams rely on Goff’s right arm every bit as much as the Patriots do Tom Brady’s.
Will Goff challenge Gilmore? If so, he better be careful.
Stephon Gilmore was the highest graded cornerback in the NFL in the regular season. pic.twitter.com/kckXkPLqKa
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) January 2, 2019
Stage fright won’t be an issue. Gilmore, a 2-time Pro Bowler, played exceptionally well in last year’s Super Bowl against Alshon Jeffery.
3. Dante Fowler Jr. (Florida/L.A. Rams)
Fowler just makes plays. He’s perhaps best known for his strip fumble/return in last year’s AFC Championship Game against New England. Officials prematurely blew the whistle, negating a potential clinching touchdown return. He’s no longer with the Jaguars, obviously, but he made more big plays in the NFC Championship Game, registering 2 tackles for loss, including a sack.
Oh, and this … which resulted in Drew Brees throwing an interception.
Dante Fowler. Monster spin move. pic.twitter.com/GelYCeOc37
— Chris Trapasso (@ChrisTrapasso) January 20, 2019
With all of the focus on the Rams’ dynamic duo of Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh, Fowler will have opportunities to make plays, either pressuring Tom Brady or in coverage against New England’s running backs or Rob Gronkowski.
2. Todd Gurley (Georgia/L.A. Rams)
Why isn’t Gurley No. 1?
First of all, your team has to win. As much as people despise Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and all things Patriots, betting against them typically isn’t wise.
Secondly, his usage in the NFC Championship Game was just flat-out weird. Gurley has been dinged up, but if that were the case, nobody mentioned it. He had just 4 carries — but scored the Rams only rushing TD. C.J. Anderson had 16 carries but didn’t do anything with them.
Rams coach Sean McVay blamed himself for not making Gurley a bigger part of the plan.
Gurley has had an extra week to get right. We all know when he’s right, there aren’t many, if any, better.
1. Sony Michel (Georgia/New England)
Tom Brady has won 4 Super Bowl MVPs. He’ll no doubt lead any discussion of possible winners Sunday. But Michel dominated the AFC Championship Game, rushing for 113 yards and 2 touchdowns. He was the Patriots’ rushing offense. He wasn’t targeted in the passing game, but Brady completed 8 passes to running backs against Kansas City. Michel hasn’t been part of the passing game all season, probably because of blocking concerns, but he’s more explosive than New England’s other backfield options. What better time to unleash that aspect of his game than in the biggest game?