Wait, what? Josh McCown? That guy who went from Chicago to Cleveland to New York? That Josh McCown? Yep, that is the man who I am referring to. The seasoned veteren has taken on a challenged envied by no-one this season: guiding the dumpster truck organisation masquerading under the title of the New York Jets.
Let’s be honest here, the Jets are simply awful (though they are taking huge strides to improve), and McCown has simply made it work in New York. Heading into week six the Jets were tied for first in the division, despite many believing they would severely struggle to gain one win this season.
You may be questioning: “So the Jets have won games this season, who cares?” That doesn’t really answer why he should be the MVP. Hold up, you’re getting ahead of us here. I’m getting to it.
The Jets are a franchise in disarray. Before the season started, they let former key parts go to free agency, such pieces like offensive lineman Nick Mangold, receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, and perhaps the biggest of them all, ageing cornerback Darrelle Revis – a massive turnover, and the team did very little to replace that talent. Sheldon Richardson was traded away before the season began to Seattle in exchange for Jermaine Kearse, and the drafting of Marcus Maye and Jamal Adams will have domino effects in the Jets secondary in years to come, but it feels like a stagnating offense simply won’t compliment an okay defense. It seemed likely that Head Coach Todd Bowles was leading his team into an 0-16 season, ready for the #1 overall pick and drafting a franchise quarterback.
However, the NFL rarely turns out as predicted. The Jets stormed into a 3-2 record at the Week five mark, before slipping to the Patriots and Falcons at home and the Dolphins on the road to fall to 3-5 (a highly respectable record for a predicted 0-16 side, let me remind you!) before a win at home to the Bills, two losses to the Bucs and Panthers before a win at home to the Chiefs in Week 13.
Look, the Jets are not a good football team. However, it is likely to be Josh McCown’s last (or penultimate) season in the NFL, and his play this season has been phenomenal, especially for the mediocre offense the Jets have. However, Robby Anderson has impressed me these last few weeks.
McCown has thrown for 2,880 yards so far this season, tossing 18 touchdowns and eight interceptions with a respectable 96.7 passer rating. Those stats rank him higher than Derek Carr, Case Keenum (who, by the way, would be my #2 pick for MVP this season), Andy Dalton and former NFL MVP Cam Newton! While McCown is 12th out of all quarterbacks for passing touchdowns, I think there is a serious argument for him to be at least in the running for NFL MVP. In my mind, there is no question about him being a 2017 Pro Bowler, I will honestly be outraged if he doesn’t make it (especially considering the only top-tier QBs in the AFC at the moment are Tom Brady, Alex Smith, Ben Roethlisberger and maybe Philip Rivers.), as he has earned it by steering this atrocity of a franchise to more than zero wins.
Unless I am very much mistaken, MVP stands for Most Valuable Player. While Brady and Carson Wentz have both played outstandingly this year, they both have excellent coaching and a dynamic receiving core. Russell Wilson has good receivers and Smith has a defense (well… sometimes a defense). The Most Valuable Player should go to someone who has few elite pieces around him, but still gets the job done. This is why Matt Stafford should have been MVP last season, for his excellent play, resurrecting wins from fourth-quarter deficits, despite the lack of true elite pieces – Golden Tate isn’t an elite receiver in my opinion.
This is Josh McCown’s best ever season, the stats don’t lie. It is even more impressive so considering he plays for the New York Jets, let me remind you, a franchise predicted to rank dead last in the NFL standings this year. I don’t expect him to be receiving the MVP honours this season, but he gets it in my opinion.