We’re one week away from Super Bowl 57, and all eyes are on the quarterbacks: Jalen Hurts and Patrick Mahomes. MVP awards typically go to the gunslingers because these are the players that steal the show, but there have been times when other positions receive the spotlight.
Last season, Cooper Kupp took home the award and is one of three non-quarterbacks to win since Super Bowl 50. Quarterbacks have been the focal point of the Super Bowl MVP for years, but don’t count out a dark horse on Sunday. Here are some of our favorite picks based on the Cold, Hard Football Facts.
AJ Brown +1200
AJ Brown has been quiet at times this season, but his boom ability is vast, especially in big games. The receiver has hauled in 88 catches for 1,496 yards with 11 touchdowns on the season.
The Eagles rely on running the football to set up the passing game. However, they may have to take a different approach on Sunday and rely on the aerial attack. Kansas City is top ten in Defensive Rusher Rating, but 27th in Defensive Passer Rating. Brown took a backseat against the 49ers, but don’t expect this to occur on Sunday.
Travis Kelce +1200
If one player is going to shine for the Chiefs outside of Mahomes, it’s Travis Kelce. The matchup isn’t great for Kelce, according to the Cold, Hard Football Facts. The Eagles are third in Defensive Passer Rating and first in Defensive Real Passing Yards/Attempt. However, the tight end is good enough to get open against the best competition.
The Chiefs have an explosive passing attack, and Kelce is the focal point. I would refrain from going heavy on the tight end, as Philadelphia will have an eye on him all night. Yet, he cannot be left off the dark horse list!
DeVonta Smith +2500
We expect the Eagles to have success throwing the ball downfield, and the passing game starts with Brown. However, he will attract a lot of attention from Steve Spagnuola’s defense. The next man up for Philadelphia is DeVonta Smith, who has also been fantastic in 2022-23.
The receiver is 11th in receptions with 95 and ninth in yards with 1,196. There will be opportunities for Smith to exploit the Chiefs down the field because of their poor play in the secondary, especially around the goal line.
Isiah Pacheco +3500
The most dark horse player on this list is Isiah Pacheco, but the matchup is present for him to have a strong performance. There is probably a 99% chance it won’t be enough to unseat Mahomes from the MVP award, but in sports, anything is possible.
Philadelphia’s one defensive flaw is their rushing defense. The unit ranks 18th in Defensive Rusher Rating and 14th in Defensive Hog Index, so this could be an area that Andy Reid attempts to exploit.