Yahoo Sports Senior NFL Writer Charles Robinson and Senior Writer Frank Schwab debate their preseason picks to win MVP of the 2022 NFL season.
CHARLES ROBINSON: The MVP-- who do you like that's not named Trey Lance as a potential MVP pick going into the season?
FRANK SCHWAB: I almost picked Trey Lance to win MVP just to spite you, Charles. I pick Lamar Jackson. It's easy to pick Josh Allen. And look, a lot of these times, when I pick, I do have the odds in mind because we don't want to be boring. I can pick Josh Allen to win MVP and all the favorites and all that, but that's boring.
So I took Lamar Jackson. I just think that we're sleeping on Lamar. We've just forgotten that this guy is unbelievable football player. He's gonna be in a much better situation with a Ravens team that should be a lot, lot healthier this year. I think they win the division. I think they're a Super Bowl contender.
And Lamar Jackson, in a, quote unquote, "down year" last year, was on pace for 4,400 passing yards and 1,150 rushing yards. If that's the worst we're getting out of Lamar Jackson, he's gonna be in the MVP race every year. And we forget, he's, I believe, 25 still, so he's ascending, physically. The contract thing could be a distraction, but it also could be one of those Aaron Judge type of things where you're like, I'm gonna show you. I'm gonna go out and win an MVP, and you're gonna pay me.
So I think everything lines up for Lamar. He's my MVP pick. If all the odds were equal, I'd probably pick Josh Allen, but whatever. That's boring. What fun is that? So who do you got?
CHARLES ROBINSON: I picked. Justin Herbert when I made my picks previously. I like the AFC West producing the MVP, and I like it to be a quarterback. I think it's gonna be one of those four guys, and I think any one of those four guys potentially could do it.
FRANK SCHWAB: Even Derek, huh?
CHARLES ROBINSON: Even Derek.
FRANK SCHWAB: I can see the path, sure.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Say the Raiders go 13 and 4. To me, there's no quarterback who wins that division who doesn't put up big numbers. I think whatever team, whether it's the Chargers, which is part of why I picked Herbert-- because I looked at the line, I looked at the skill positions, and then I looked at the kid's ascension every single season, and I'm like, this just lines up.
This feels like the season where he takes that big leap, like I felt like last season. Oh, this is Josh Allen's big MVP-year leap.
I also like Russ, though. You look at Russell Wilson's line. Again, you look at the skill positions. Granted, he loses Patrick in the preseason. But overall, I think the surrounding pieces are good enough that he could put up huge numbers, bigger numbers than any numbers he's ever put up in Seattle. And I would say if the Broncos win the AFC West, Russ puts up huge numbers, guess what? He's gonna get MVP votes.
Whereas I look at Carr and I look at Mahomes, and it's almost like you said with Lamar Jackson. I think Mahomes manages a Mahomes-like season. And last year, I felt like it was 50/50. Half of the season, it felt like Mahomes. The other half felt like he was forcing things. If he can put together any other season in his career where it's a complete 17 games, or whatever, and the typical numbers that we're used to with him, I'm gonna look at those surrounding players and be like, holy [BLEEP], how did he do that?
FRANK SCHWAB: Yeah, no Tyreek.
CHARLES ROBINSON: It's the Lamar Jackson situation. Obviously, he's got Kelce. I get that. I'm not gonna say the cupboard's completely bare there.
And then, with Carr, I think Carr, because of the offensive line he's got to work with, which is [BLEEP]-- it's not a good offensive line. I'm sorry, I don't have any other word to use for it now. The Raiders offensive line is not good at all. I don't like the fact that Waller is like an MIA preseason, basically.
FRANK SCHWAB: That's not a good vibe.
CHARLES ROBINSON: So to me, I look at the team that wins this division, and I look at the quarterback on the team that wins this division. I just don't see that not being a player where he hasn't put up just a sickly impressive season.
So I will stick with Herbert because that was the prior pick that I made, and it makes the most sense to me. But I still think AFC West quarterback-- whoever wins the division is gonna be a guy that is gonna be ballistic this season.
FRANK SCHWAB: I could see that.
Real quick, I wrote at some point this week, in one of our preview stories-- and I wrote that all four quarterbacks could throw for 5,000 yards in this division. I thought, that's ridiculous. And I thought about it, and I'm like, it's not ridiculous. Every one of these guys could throw for five grand.
CHARLES ROBINSON: In a 17-game season?
FRANK SCHWAB: It sounds crazy.
CHARLES ROBINSON: In a 17-game--
FRANK SCHWAB: Yeah, right. And it sounds ridiculous, but it's all on the table for every one of them. AFC West is just endlessly fascinating to me.