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Young and Promising or Old and Wise – Who will be the 2019 NFL MVP?

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The National Football League’s (NFL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) award is one of the most honorable acclaims for an individual American Football player to receive.  The MVP award will be based on the individual player’s achievements in the game, however, also takes into consideration their past performance both on and off the field, overall statistics records, and contribution to the overall team spirit and performance.

NFL players are named MVPs in various occasions across individual games, positions, conferences and more.  However, the highest MVP honor is awarded once a year in an award gala that takes place in February and presents the Associated Press (AP) MVP award for the previous year.

The AP MVP is voted by a panel of 50 judges (mostly sports journalists, past players and coaches which handpicked by the NFL).  The vote takes place at the end of the regular season (which will be concluded on December 29th, with the Seattle Seahawks hosting the San Francisco 49rs), and prior to the playoffs, and results will be announced only on the day prior to the Super Bowl (which takes place on February 2nd, 2020).

So now that we mapped out the road that leads to the AP MVP 2010 award ceremony, let’s look at what we should expect.

With the quarterback and his offensive team being at the center of attention in every NFL game, it is no surprise the majority of NFL MVPs are selected from mostly from the teams’ offensive line ups.

Since the first AP NFL MVP Award was given 1961, offensive players took 54 awards (38 and 16, Quarterbacks and Running Backs respectively) out of a total of 57 AP NFL MVP Awards.  This trend continues, wherein the past ten years all AP MVPs were again Quarterbacks, except for one Running Back MVP in 2012 (Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings).

There is no surprise then, that the odds, picks and predictions for the 2019 NFL Season MVP comprise a list of Quarterbacks, let’s take a look at a few:

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs: Starting with the reigning NFL MVP, Mahomes was the 2018 AP NFL Season MVP.  Graduating from Texas Tech, and joining the Kansas City Chiefs in 2017, Mahomes also holds the NFL passing touchdown leader title, passing as a quarterback 50 touchdowns in the 2018 season.

Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs are also one of the favourites to make an appearance in, and win Super Bowl LIV according to ESPN’s Football Power Index (PFI).

At the young age of 23, Patrick Mahomes is already crowned with the most touchdown passes thrown in his first three NFL games, the youngest Quarterback throwing 50 touchdowns in a season, and the youngest Quarterback to throw across 5,000 yards in a season.  So completing a fantastic season and taking the AP MVP for 2018, is Patrick Mahomes going for the double? Will he also become the NFL MVP for 2019?

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts: A bit more experienced, and known to be making great decisions in the pocket, Luck has been one of the favourites to win the AP MVP Award for a few years now.

Andrew Luck played at Stanford before graduating and being drafted to the NFL in 2012 and has been with the Indianapolis Colts ever since.  Known for his great passing, as well as being very mobile on the field and thus imposing a threat to the opposition’s defence, Andrew Luck is certainly in the running to become the NFL’s 2019 MVP.

Andrew Luck finished the 2018 NFL season with a Pro Ball title (his fourth), and NFL Comeback Player of the Year.  So, Luck is definitely one to watch in the NFL 2019 MVP race.  As former Indianapolis Colts Center Jeff Saturday put it in an interview with the IndyStar: “He’s an MVP…man, he played lights-out football, made really good decisions, put the ball where he should”.

So, does the AP NFL 2019 Season MVP has Luck’s name on it? Definitely a strong possibility.

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers: Another NFL Quarterback powerhouse that has many titles under his belt is Aaron Rodgers.  Still, Rodgers is yet to pick the AP MVP title, and is looking to tick that box also at the height of his NFL career.  Can Aaron Rodgers become the AP NFL MPV of 2019?

In college, Rodgers played for the California Golden Bears in University of California, Berkley.  Upon graduation he was selected in 2005 in the first-round NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers, where he played as backup Quarterback for another Green Bay legend: Bret Favre.

In 2008 Rodgers stepped into the big shoes that Favre left, and soon started to establish himself as a Packers legend in his own right.  Aaron Rodgers wrote his own page in Packers and NFL history by leading Green Bay to a 31-25 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV in February 2011.  In addition to being crowned as Super Bowl Champion, he also picked up the Super Bowl MVP title for that win.

So will Aaron Rodgers be the NFL MVP for 2019? Many believe that the odds are in his favour, and he is on the favourite list of many predictions alongside reigning 2018 NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes.

Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints: Sitting on the spot of the older and wiser Quarterback is New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees.  In 2010, Brees led the New Orleans Saints to their first ever Super Bowl appearance, and there he orchestrated a 31-17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV.  He also won the MVP title for Super Bowl XLIV.

Drew Brees started his career in Purdue University, and from there was selected in the 2001 draft by the San Diego Chargers.  Brees spent five seasons with the Chargers, and from there moved in 2006 to play for the New Orleans Saints, where he still plays today.

Beyond his athletic leadership on the field, Drew Brees is also considered a true leader of his team, and inspiration for many other NFL players and fans alike, he shared recently the three most important lessons he learned from playing in the NFL: the power of Gratitude, Humility and Respect.

The idea of Bigtime Daily landed this engineer cum journalist from a multi-national company to the digital avenue. Matthew brought life to this idea and rendered all that was necessary to create an interactive and attractive platform for the readers. Apart from managing the platform, he also contributes his expertise in business niche.

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Preview on the USA vs Wales game at World Cup Group Stage

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The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar begins in less than 35 days and one can’t help but be ecstatic about this fact even though football is going through one of its most hectic periods ever. 

On the 18th of November, the 32 best national football teams in the world will converge in Qatar for the chance to attain supremacy and become World Champions. Eight groups have been drawn for this tournament and the best two teams will qualify for the knockout stages. The results of the draw made on April 1, 2022 are as follows:

Group A: Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal, Netherlands
Group B: England, Iran, USA, Wales
Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland
Group D: France, Australia, Denmark, Tunisia
Group E: Spain, Costa Rica, Germany, Japan
Group F: Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia
Group G: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon
Group H: Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, South Korea

This article places its focus on group B. More precisely it focuses on the group game between the United States of America (USA) and Wales. This match takes place on the 21st of November and will be the second group B match of the day with England facing Iran before this fixture happens. This gives fans enough time go get in their late USA Wales prediction if they haven’t already. 

Before we dive deeper into the match itself, we first need to have a brief history of how they qualified for the World Cup. 

Wales 

The Welsh national team were put in a qualification group with giants Belgium, the Czech Republic, Belarus and Estonia. They were able to earn 15 points from their 8 games played and finished second below group winners Belgium who won the group by five points. Finishing second meant they had to go through two more playoff matches before getting qualifying for the World Cup. They were able to best Austria and Ukraine, ending both countries hopes of qualifying for the World Cup and booked a flight to Qatar for themselves. 

United States 

The United States were placed in a group with the likes of rivals Canada, Honduras, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, Jamaica and El Salvador. They finished third in that group and qualified for the World Cup on goal difference after they finished level on points with Costa Rica (25 points).

On the 21st of November the 19th ranked Wales will face off against the 16th ranked USA at the Al Rayyan stadium and that match could be the most important for both teams who aspire to qualify for the knockout stages. This is because the other two teams in the group are England and Iran and the favorites to win the group and one of the favorites to win the entire tournament and an Iran team not fancied to come away from the group with even a point. Football isn’t a sport played on paper but these facts are undeniable and it makes their opening fixture against each other the most important one and a win for each team might all but secure qualification to the next round. 

If you go by their world ranking, the 16th ranked USA will be seen as slight favourites against the 19th ranked Wales but the form of both teams heading into the World Cup may indicate that the match will be much closer. 

In their last five games, Wales have not been able to win any of them. In fact, you would have to go back to their win against Ukraine in May, which secured them World Cup qualification as the last time they were able to win a competitive game. They didn’t win any of their UEFA Nations League group games and go into the tournament in bad form.

Since their 5-1 World Cup Qualifier win over Panama in March, the US have been able to win two of their last seven international matches with those wins coming against Grenada in the CONCACAF Nations League and Morocco in an international friendly. 

Their recent result was a 0-0 draw against Saudi Arabia which caused a lot of upset among fans in the US. You could argue that their form going into the tournament is slightly better, but only slightly. 

It isn’t looking good for either team in the lead-up to the tournament but when they walk out onto the pitch for their encounter, the form book goes out the window and each player on both sides will have to produce the performance of their lives. 

Who will be the key players?

Wales 

For Wales, you’ve got to look no further than the legendary Gareth Bale. The Welsh wizard has almost singlehandedly dragged his national team to the World Cup with huge performances during qualifying stages and will definitely be there to help his team achieve success against the Americans and beyond. He will be by far the best player on the pitch come the 21st of November and will assert his authority on the match as the greatest players do. 

Right behind him is Aaron Ramsey. The 31 year old midfielder has been there over the years as a key cog in the Welsh midfield machine and will be key in helping Wales control the middle of the park with his experience and quality. 

United States

Captain America aka Christian Pulisic has already led his country to huge wins in the past but this tournament will be his biggest challenge yet. At 24, Pulisic has already graced some of the biggest stages in world football and will be looked at by his young teammates as a talismanic figure. 

His lack of consistent playing time at Chelsea may be a bother going to the World Cup but Pulisic will be up to the challenge when the time comes. 

Weston McKennie has had difficult time with injuries in recent times but it looks like he has found some fitness now and his timing couldn’t be better. The Juventus man is an important part of that US midfield and his partnership with Tyler Adams and Yunus Musah will be crucial if they are to secure victory over the Welsh. 

This is Wales’ first World Cup appearance since 1958 which means that this is a first World Cup appearance for these players. The same could also be said for the young United States team to an extent. It has been eight years since their last World Cup appearance and they have assembled a very young crop of talented players and the majority of the squad will be participating in their very first World Cup. 

The nerves will be high on both sides and the sense of occasion will be nauseating but they will have to shake off all of the nerves and anxiety in order to play the match and not the occasion. Glory awaits one or none of these two teams in Qatar but it’s up to them to decide their destiny.

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