Pick 6: Is Taylor running his way into MVP consideration?
Whatever your bet, the NFL always delivers.
The Week 11 Sunday slate gave us a little bit of everything.
Jonathan Taylor became the third-youngest player in NFL history with a five-touchdown game as the Indianapolis Colts beat up on the Buffalo Bills.
A few hours later, Austin Ekeler became the first player with two rushing touchdowns and two receiving touchdowns in a game since 2011, as the Los Angeles Chargers held on for the win in a wild one against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
What about another double-digit upset?
The 1-8 Houston Texans beat the 8-2 Tennessee Titans 22-13 as a 10-point underdog, which matched the third-largest upset in the NFL this season.
All seven outright wins by underdogs of 7.5 points or more have come since Week 8.
What about the best bet to win NFL MVP?
Josh Allen, Dak Prescott and Aaron Rodgers all lost on Sunday.
Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson missed their Week 11 games due to injury and illness.
In fact, Tom Brady, whose Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the New York Giants tonight, went from the second choice to the favourite before even playing his Week 11 game.
Here’s the TSN EDGE Morning Coffee for Monday, Nov. 22, 2021.
Taylor shines in lopsided win over Bills
Any time that a running back delivers such an impressive performance that people immediately start looking for his odds to win NFL MVP, it’s worth talking about.
Taylor became the fourth player in NFL history with at least 200 scrimmage yards and five touchdowns in a road game, joining Jamaal Charles, Jerry Rice and Billy Cannon.
It was the 18th time in NFL history that a player has scored five touchdowns in a game.
For those wondering, Taylor’s rushing yards over/under was 73.5.
Taylor has posted at least 100 scrimmage yards and a rushing touchdown in eight straight games, joining LaDainian Tomlinson and Lydell Mitchell for the longest such streak in NFL history.
Indianapolis is 6-2 in those eight games.
Taylor, who is undoubtedly the Colts’ MVP, will have an opportunity to take sole possession of that record when the Colts visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 12.
As for the actual odds, Taylor entered Sunday at 100-to-1 to win NFL regular-season MVP.
As of this morning, he’s now 25-to-1 to win that award, which makes him the 10th choice and the top non-quarterback option.
Perhaps more interesting is the fact that Taylor remains the second choice to win the AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year award at +250.
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp, who leads the league with 1,141 receiving yards and 10 touchdown catches, remains the favourite to win that award at +200.
Those two stars have made bettors a lot of money through the first 11 weeks of the NFL season. It will be interesting to see which of those two win the battle for the award.
Right now, it’s a two-star race as no other player has shorter than 25-to-1 odds to win that award.
MVP carousel continues
The top nine choices to win NFL MVP are all quarterbacks.
Three of them lost on Sunday. Another three didn’t play due to injury, illness or a bye week.
Two of them led their teams to wins on Sunday: Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes.
Herbert, who was 16-to-1 to win MVP entering Sunday, threw for 382 yards and three touchdowns in a 41-37 win over the Steelers.
Mahomes, who was 17-to-1 to win MVP entering Week 11, threw for 260 yards with an interception and no touchdowns in a 19-9 win over the Dallas Cowboys.
As of this morning, Herbert and Mahomes have the sixth-shortest odds to win MVP at 10-to-1.
Allen’s odds lengthened from +200 to +500 following the ugly loss to Indianapolis.
Prescott’s odds lengthened from +700 to +900 after the Cowboys were beat up by the Chiefs.
Rodgers is +900 to win MVP after a close loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
Add the Texans to THE LIST!
Through the first seven weeks of the season, there wasn’t a single upset by an underdog of 7.5 points or more.
Since Week 8, there have been seven such upsets.
On Sunday, we added Houston to THE LIST!
The Texans beat the Titans 19-13 as a 10-point underdog.
They were +360 on the money line. Based on the closing number, it matched the third-largest upset in the NFL this season.
If you managed to avoid some of those notable upsets in Survivor Pools over the past couple of weeks, only to lose with Tennessee on Sunday, that’s a tough beat to accept.
On the other hand, if you’re still alive that’s pretty impressive.
The four double-digit upsets over the past four weeks matches the total number of upsets that we had all last season.
As for the Texans in particular, check out this note from ESPN Stats & Info: Houston’s win over the Titans was the latest into the season that the team with the worst straight up record in a conference has beat the team with the best straight up record since the 1970 merger.
If you’re still alive in your Survivor Pool, then congratulations from the rest of us and best of luck the rest of the way!