Well, it’s rare that one of our miniseries ends just at the right time to add the most recent season to the archive. However, that’s where we find ourselves for our second NFL Thursday miniseries. It will be a year before we come back to this sequence of documentation, so enjoy the moment for what it’s worth in your little corner of the interwebs—along with our partnered entry today for the league MVP award.

Super Bowl LVII MVP: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City (original, confirmed)

The Kansas City Chiefs won their second Super Bowl in four seasons with a last-minute 38-35 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. The winners were down 24-14 at halftime, becoming just the second team in Super Bowl history to overcome a double-digit halftime deficit. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes was named the MVP for leading his team to scores on all four of its second-half drives after a relatively lackluster first half. His numbers? 21-for-27 for 226 total yards and 3 touchdown passes (131.8 rating).

We have taken away too many awards from Mahomes, and it sucks, because we love the guy. Yet we think this is going to stick as the defense gave up 35 points and 417 total yards to the Eagles, even though K.C. did get a valuable defensive score in the second quarter to tie the game up at 14-all. But that one play alone can’t really call for an MVP vote. Now, if linebacker Nick Bolton had had his second TD return upheld, maybe we’d be singing a different tune.

Offensively, the Chiefs did get good performances from running back Isiah Pacheco (15 carries, 76 yards, 1 TD) and tight end Travis Kelce (6 catches, 81 yards, 1 TD), but really it was Mahomes doing the magic. He ran for 44 yards on a bum ankle, and Mahomes also was good enough to make sure that wide receivers Skyy Moore and Kadarius Toney collected their only targets of the game for second-half TDs. So throw in the ankle injury suffered earlier in the postseason, and we’re down with Mahomey!

2022 NFL ROTY: Garrett Wilson, WR, New York Jets & Sauce Gardner, CB, New York Jets (original); Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Detroit (revised)

When the New York Jets got off to a 7-4 start, they were the talk of the East Coast media (bias). But then they lost their last six games to finish 7-10 and out of the playoffs. The mediots didn’t notice as they voted for two Jets in the ROTY balloting. Not gonna fly here, of course, so here is our vetted list of real candidates: San Francisco QB Brock Purdy, Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III, and Detroit Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson. This will be tough for a lot of reasons.

Purdy only started 5 games (170 pass attempts), but he won all of them as a third-string rookie, posting a 107.3 QB rating along the way. Yet he was supported by a lot of talent around him and the best defense in the NFL. So, that takes down his value a bit even as he helped secure the NFC West Division title. Walker only started 11 games, but he posted 1,215 total yards and 9 TDs for a 9-8 team that squeaked into the postseason on a tiebreaker despite the 25th-ranked defense. We see Walker over Purdy here.

Hutchinson’s Lions also went 9-8 and lost that tiebreak to the Seahawks, so we’re including him here. He actually had more interceptions than Sauce Gardner did, despite the position disadvantage. Throw in the 9.5 sacks and 9 more TFLs, and Detroit doesn’t come close to sniffing the postseason during a year when the team went 4-5 in games decided by a touchdown or less. He also got better as the season went on, helping the Lions win four of their final five close matchups. That’s a tough way to 9 wins.

So, let’s look at the respective impacts of these two former college adversaries: In 2021, the Lions defense improved by 40 points, which is a good, solid number—while the Seahawks offense improved just 12 points. That advantage seems to go to Hutchinson, even though the Seattle franchise was able to replace its longtime, star QB for a relatively untested career backup, who, by the way, happened to win our MVP analysis today. Detroit didn’t have that going for it, so we go with Hutchinson here. Facts!