THOUSAND OAKS — It’s something referred to as the MVQB award, for Most Valuable Quarterback.
A quarterback has won the NFL MVP award nine times in the last 10 seasons, and 40 times in the 60 years that the current incarnation of the award has been handed out. Todd Gurley’s numbers have been eye-popping for the Rams this season, and he certainly is a strong contender for league MVP.
Gurley’s chances of becoming the Rams’ first MVP since Kurt Warner (and the only Los Angeles Rams MVP other than Roman Gabriel in 1969) possibly took a hit this week when Coach Sean McVay announced that Gurley and other Rams would sit out Sunday’s season finale against San Francisco.
Gurley leads the NFL in yards from scrimmage, rushing yards, rushing touchdowns and total touchdowns, and a strong December has boosted his MVP chances, but will it be enough?
“I don’t know,” Gurley said after Thursday’s practice at Cal Lutheran. “I just try to go out there and try to have the best game of my career every week. I just try to show that I can be the best player in this league, week-in and week-out. That’s what the NFL is about, what you can do for me week-in and week-out and a year-to-year basis.”
A quarterback has an inherent, and understandable, advantage in MVP discussions. He touches the ball on every snap and is the on-field leader, so the “value” level is extraordinarily high. That’s why New England’s Tom Brady has the edge this year, and Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz remains in the running despite his knee injury.
Gurley’s biggest obstacle might be that his season requires context, and closer examination. Gurley has helped elevate the Rams’ offense from worst in the NFL in 2016 to No. 1 in 2017.
“He’s the MVP, that’s for sure,” Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said. “When you go from 4-12 to what we are now, he’s a dramatic part of that. Obviously the offense has done great, and it’s been built around what he has done….