Independent Country

James Leroy Wilson's one-man magazine.

Thursday, December 01, 2022

NFL MVP Chase heading into Week 13

Welcome to the MVP Chase, where I look for, or chase, the best objective criteria in determining greatness without personal bias.

Today's topic: NFL MVP Chase and Week 13 picks

Photo credit: Torsten Bolten

Attention: If you enjoy The MVP Chase and my other writing, please read this. I need your support right now to continue.

Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts had a 96.3 passer rating in last week's win over the Packers. That wasn't good enough to earn a point in the MVP Chase, but his 157 yards rushing was. 

To earn an MVP point:

  • A quarterback must have a 100.0+ passer rating in a win or tie.

  • A back or receiver must have 100+ yards from scrimmage in a win or tie.

Multiple players on the same team can earn an MVP point in the same game.

This week, we have two players in the lead, including Hurts.

7 MVP Points

Justin Jefferson, WR, Vikings

Jalen Hurts, QB, Eagles

6 MVP Points, 5 players

Joe Burrow, QB, Bengals

Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs

Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Dolphins

5 MVP Points, 5 players

Josh Allen, QB, Bills

Stefon Diggs, WR, Bills

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, 49ers

Derrick Henry, RB, Titans

Geno Smith, QB, Seahawks

Nine players have four MVP Points, eight have three, 29 have two, and 53 have one.

NFL Picks: I'm not picking games for the remainder of the year due to futility and time constraints. I'm seeking a "magic formula" to reliably predicts 57% of games each week, but who isn't? I may try again next year.

James Leroy Wilson writes Daily Miracles (subscribe), The Daily Bible Chapter (subscribe), JL Cells (subscribe), and The MVP Chase (subscribe). Thanks for your subscriptions and support! You may contact James for your writing, editing, and research needs: jamesleroywilson-at-gmail.com

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

NFL MVP Chase and Week 12 Picks

Welcome to the MVP Chase, where I look for, or chase, the best objective criteria in determining greatness without personal bias.


Today's topics: NFL MVP Chase and Week 12 picks



Photo credit: Torsten Bolten


Attention: If you enjoy The MVP Chase and my other writing, please read this. I need your support right now to continue.


NFL MVP Chase


Miami had a bye and Minnesota lost, so Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Jefferson didn't add to their MVP resumes. They were joined at the top by three more players.


In review, to earn an MVP point:


  • A quarterback must have a 100.0+ passer rating in a win or tie.

  • A back or receiver must have 100+ yards from scrimmage in a win or tie.

  • Multiple players on the same team can earn an MVP point in the same game.


Here are the standings:


6 MVP Points, 5 players


Joe Burrow, QB, Bengals (6-4)

Jalen Hurts, QB, Eagles (9-1)

Justin Jefferson, WR, Vikings (8-2)

Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs (8-2)

Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Dolphins (7-3)


5 MVP Points, 5 players


Josh Allen, QB, Bills (7-3)

Stefon Diggs, WR, Bills (7-3)

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, 49ers (6-4)

Derrick Henry, RB, Titans (7-3)

Geno Smith, QB, Seahawks (6-4)



4 MVP Points 5 players


Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants (7-3)

Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings (8-2)

Tyreek Hill, WR, Dolphins (7-3)

Daniel Jones, QB, Giants (7-3)

Tony Pollard, RB, Cowboys (7-3)


Ten players have 3 MVP Points, 29 have 2, and 49 have 1.


Along with virtually everyone, as of right now I'd vote for Mahomes. In a seventh victory his passer rating was 97.7. In his game against the Titans his rating was just 80.9, but that was his season high in yards as the Chiefs made a 4th-quarter comeback to win in overtime. 


In two of his three sub-100 passer rating victories, Jalen Hurts had 86 and 61 yards rushing. (In the Eagles' remaining victory he was below-average in passing and ho-hum in rushing). Justin Jefferson had 98 yards in a seventh victory, but in the Vikings' remaining win he had just 14 yards.


With one vote, I'd have Mahomes. If the NFL had a weighted voting system, it would be 


1. Mahomes 

2. Hurts 

3. Jefferson


Week 12 NFL Picks


I was 7-7 last week and am 60-71 for the year (I began picking in Week 3). Things will have to break well from here on out for me to get over .500 for the year.


But here goes:


Bills at Lions: Lions by 1

Giants at Cowboys: Cowboys by 13

Patriots at Vikings: Patriots by 4

Broncos at Panthers: Broncos by 2

Buccaneers at Browns: Buccaneers by 1

Ravens at Jaguars: Ravens by 12

Texans at Dolphins: Dolphins by 16

Bears at Jets: Jets by 8

Bengals at Titans: Bengals by 1

Falcons at Commanders: Commanders by 6

Chargers at Cardinals: Chargers by 2

Raiders at Seahawks: Seahawks by 11

Rams at Chiefs: Chiefs by 18

Saints at 49ers: 49ers by 5

Packers at Eagles: Eagles by 10

Steelers at Colts: Steelers by 1


HAPPY THANKSGIVING!


James Leroy Wilson writes Daily Miracles (subscribe), The Daily Bible Chapter (subscribe), JL Cells (subscribe), and The MVP Chase (subscribe). Thanks for your subscriptions and support! You may contact James for your writing, editing, and research needs: jamesleroywilson-at-gmail.com

 

Sunday, November 20, 2022

College Football Playoff Chase after Week 12

 Welcome to the MVP Chase, where I look for, or chase, the best objective criteria in determining greatness without personal subjective bias.

Today's Topic: College football playoff chase 

Photo credit: Torsten Bolten

Attention: If you would like to continue reading The MVP Chase and James Leroy Wilson's other newsletters, he needs your help right now to continue. Please read this and send your support.  Thanks!

As the College Football Playoffs are drawing near, I'm focusing on teams that are still in contention for the College Football Playoff.

My standard is two losses or less: I think upsets are possible in the final week of the regular season and in the championship games the following week and that at least one two-loss team will sneak into the playoffs.

Any further ranking would largely have to do with ideal bowl game matchups. Frankly, I'm indifferent.

I've ranked teams based on:

  • Strength of schedule over FBS competition

  • Margin of losses

After week twelve, here is how I've ranked all FBS teams 9-2 or better:

  1. Georgia (11-0) 

  2. Ohio State (11-0)

  3. TCU (11-0)

  4. Michigan (11-0)

  5. USC (10-1)

  6. Clemson  (10-1)

  7. Penn State (9-2)

  8. Alabama (9-2)

  9. LSU (9-2)

  10. Tennessee (9-2)

  11. Coastal Carolina (9-1) 

  12. Troy (9-2)

  13. Oregon (9-2)

  14. South Alabama (9-2) 

  15. North Carolina (9-2)

  16. UTSA (9-2)

  17. Tulane (9-2)

  18. Washington (9-2)  

  19. Cincinnati (9-2)

James Leroy Wilson writes Daily Miracles (subscribe), The Daily Bible Chapter (subscribe), JL Cells (subscribe), and The MVP Chase (subscribe). Thanks for your subscriptions and support! You may contact James for your writing, editing, and research needs: jamesleroywilson-at-gmail.com.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

The baseball awards

 Welcome to the MVP Chase, where I look for, or chase, the best objective criteria in determining greatness without personal subjective bias.


Today's Topic: Baseball Award results



Photo credit: Tage Olsin


The Baseball Writers Association of America announced its major awards this past week. They agreed with me on all four awards: NL and AL MVP and Cy Young.


I will list the BWAA MVP results followed by (in parentheses) where I put them on my hypothetical ballot.  Then I'll do the same for the Cy Young Awards.


BWAA National League MVP (My ballot)


  1. Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals (First)

  2. Manny Machado, Padres (Fourth)

  3. Nolan Arenado, Cardinals (Fifth)

  4. Freddie Freeman, Dodgers (Second)

  5. Mookie Betts, Dodgers (Sixth)

  6. Austin Riley, Braves (Ninth)

  7. J.T. Realmuto, Phillies (Eighth)

  8. Pete Alonso, Mets (Third)

  9. Francisco Lindor, Mets (Off)

  10. Sandy Alcantara, Marlins, (Off)


I had Hunter Renfroe, Brewers seventh, and Kyle Schwarber, Phillies, tenth. I didn't have Alcantara because I haven't yet figured out the metrics to make pitchers viable MVP candidates. The Marlins, however, were a losing team and Alcantara was unlikely to be on my ballot anyway.


BWAA American League MVP (my ballot)


  1. Aaron Judge, Yankees (First)

  2. Shohei Ohtani, Angels (Off)

  3. Yordan Alvarez, Astros (Second)

  4. José Ramírez, Guardians (Third)

  5. Jose Altuve, Astros (Fourth)

  6. Andrés Giménez, Guardians (Sixth)

  7. Julio Rodríguez, Mariners (Seventh)

  8. Mike Trout, Angels (Off)

  9. Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox (Off)

  10. Justin Verlander, Astros (Off)


Ohtani, Trout, and Bogaerts missed my ballot because their teams didn't win enough games. Verlander (like Alcantara in the NL) wasn't on my ballot because I haven't figured out how to value pitchers for MVP.


Instead, I had Teoscar Hernandez, Blue Jays fifth, Randy Arozarena, Rays eighth, Yandy Diaz, Rays ninth, and Alex Bregman, Astros tenth.


Great players on losing teams can still be all-stars, all-league, Silver Sluggers, Golden Glovers, and stat monsters. They can build Hall of Fame credentials. But MVP isn't a "Best Player" award. It's about contributions to team success.


BWAA National League Cy Young (my ballot


  1. Sandy Alcantara, Marlins (First)

  2. Max Fried, Braves (Off)

  3. Julio Urias, Dodgers (Off)

  4. Aaron Nola, Phillies (Second)

  5. Zac Gallen, Diamondbacks (Fifth)

I had Corbin Burnes, Cardinals third, and Yu Darvish, Padres fourth.

BWAA American League Cy Young (my ballot)

  1. Justin Verlander, Astros (First)

  2. Dylan Cease, White Sox (Off)

  3. Alex Manoah, Blue Jays (Fourth)

  4. Shohei Ohtani, Angels (Off)

  5. Framber Valdez, Astros (Off)

I had Triston McKenzie, Guardians second, Gerrit Cole, Yankees third, and Zac Gallen, Diamondbacks fifth. 

James Leroy Wilson writes The MVP Chase, Daily Miracles, The Daily Bible Chapter, and JL Cells. Thanks for your subscriptions and support! You may contact James for your writing, editing, and research needs: jamesleroywilson-at-gmail.com.


Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Week 11 NFL MVP Chase and Picks

 Welcome to the MVP Chase, where I look for, or chase, the best objective criteria in determining greatness without personal bias.


Today's topics: NFL MVP Chase and Week 11 picks



Photo credit: Torsten Bolten


Attention: If you enjoy The MVP Chase and my other writing, please read this. I need your support right now to continue.


NFL MVP Chase


We're back to a crowded field in the NFL MVP race!


In review, to earn an MVP point in a game:


  • A quarterback must have a 100.0+ passer rating in a win or tie.

  • A back or receiver must have 100+ yards from scrimmage in a win or tie.

  • Multiple players on the same team can earn an MVP point in the same game.

The consensus pick in the media for MVP might be Patrick Mahomes at this point, and I have him one point behind the leaders. An argument for Mahomes is that the Chiefs keep chugging along after losing their most dangerous receiver, Tyreek Hill. Tua Tagoaviola, tied for the MVP Chase lead, acquired Hill, who's leading the league in receiving yards, and that has certainly helped Tua's game.


It can also be pointed out that the Dolphins are 7-0 when Tua plays a complete game and 0-3 when he was (famously) knocked out and missed two subsequent games. Even if he's being helped by a perfect situation of coaching, scheme, and surrounding talent, he's playing as efficiently as any quarterback ever has, and that is to his credit.


Justin Jefferson is 88 yards behind Hill, having played one less game. He's contributed 100 or more yards in six of eight Viking victories (and 98 yards in another). Jefferson's on  a Vikings team that's 7-0 in one-score games and that's tied for the best record in the league.


In the NFL, MVP voters can vote for just one player; there is no "weighted voting" for multiple players. If you're voting for just one, I don't see a strong enough case to go against the best player on the winningest team.


My pick after ten weeks would be Justin Jefferson.


6 MVP Points, 2 players


Justin Jefferson, WR, Vikings

Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Dolphins


5 MVP Points, 5 players


Stefon Diggs, WR, Bills

Joe Burrow, QB, Bengals

Jalen Hurts, QB, Eagles

Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs

Geno Smith, QB, Seahawks


4 MVP Points 7 players


Josh Allen, QB, Bills

Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants

Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, 49ers

Derrick Henry, RB, Titans

Tyreek Hill, WR, Dolphins

Daniel Jones, QB, Giants


3 MVP Points 8 players


Nick Chubb, RB, Browns

Kirk Cousins, QB, Vikings

Aaron Jones, RB, Packers

Trevor Lawrence, QB, Jaguars

Tony Pollard, RB, Cowboys

Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers

Matt Ryan, QB, Colts

Jaylen Waddle, WR, Dolphins


24 players have two MVP points, and 52 have one.


WEEK 11 Picks

Last week, I was  6-7 against the CBS Sports line. Week 3 was my first one making picks, and I'm 53-64 for the season.  

Week 11 has a slate of 14 games. Here are my picks:

Titans at Packers: Titans by 8

Bears at Falcons: Bears by 3

Browns at Bills: Bills by 6

Eagles at Colts: Eagles by 12

Commanders at Texans: Commanders by 13

Rams at Saints: Saints by 2

Jets at Patriots: Patriots by 1

Lions at Giants: Giants by 4

Panthers at Ravens: Ravens by 3

Raiders at Broncos: Broncos by 1

Cowboys at Vikings: Vikings by 3

Chiefs at Chargers: Chiefs by 7

Bengals at Steelers: Bengals by 6

49ers at Cardinals: Cardinals by 1


James Leroy Wilson writes Daily Miracles (subscribe), The Daily Bible Chapter (subscribe), JL Cells (subscribe), and The MVP Chase (subscribe). Thanks for your subscriptions and support! You may contact James for your writing, editing, and research needs: jamesleroywilson-at-gmail.com