Recently, AOL announced that it has sold its advertising technology to Microsoft. The sale was worth $5.8 billion and the company will receive a payment of approximately $3 billion in cash on closing which is scheduled for September 30th 2018 with an additional ~$2 billion in earn-outs over the next three years if certain targets are met. What does this mean? Well, firstly it means that AOL no longer sells advertisements directly through their own platforms but rather they sell them to third party companies who use these ads via platforms like MSN/AOL Search Engine or Bing/AOL Search Engines as well as some other programs within their networks such as AIM and Yahoo Messenger). It also means that since Google’s acquisition of DoubleClick back in 2008; AOL now owns two of the top 3 internet data collection agencies (DoubleClick) and Microsoft just bought another one!
6:45 a.m. Eastern Time
ESPN’s NFL Nation
The NFL Power Rankings takes the selection of Most Valuable Players very seriously. However, we also recognize how simple it is to choose a quarterback, write a few things about him, and name him the team’s MVP. So we won’t be doing it in 2021.
You won’t find names like Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes, or Lamar Jackson on the following list of team MVPs, which was compiled by our respected group of NFL Nation writers. Instead, you’ll witness a wide range of non-quarterbacks from various positions on the field. We’re using this space to honor players who usually sit in the background while quarterbacks get all the attention. From top running backs to record-setting pass catchers to the best of the best pass rushers and pass defenders, we’re using this space to honor players who usually sit in the background while quarterbacks get all the attention. There’s even a kicker and a punter on this list, but we’re not sure how happy New York Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars fans will be.
Our authoritative panel of more than 80 journalists, editors, and TV personalities examines how teams stack up during the season to establish our Power Rankings.
Preseason: 16 | 15 | 14 | 13 | 12 | 11 | 10 | 9 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | Previous rankings: 16 | 15 | 14 | 13 | 12 | 11 | 10 | 9 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 |
ARI | ATL | BAL | BUF | CAR | CHI | CIN CLE | DAL | DEN | DET | GB | HOU | IND JAX | KC | LV | LAC | LAR | MIA | MIN NE | NO | PHI | PIT | SF SEA | TB | TEN | WSH
Previous position: 2
Tyrann Mathieu, S Tyrann Mathieu, S Tyrann Mathieu, S Tyrann Mathieu,
With Patrick Mahomes out of the picture, the Chiefs have a few other contenders for this award, but none have been as consistent as Mathieu. He’ll be the first to admit that this season hasn’t been his greatest, but he still leads the Chiefs in interceptions (three) and fumble recoveries (also with three). He’s also the locker room leader who wouldn’t allow the Chiefs give up despite a poor start to the season. Adam Teicher’s remark
1st place previously
Davante Adams, wide receiver, was named non-QB MVP.
Yes, we’re all aware that the Packers are 7-0 in games when Adams has been absent since the start of the 2019 season. However, as Aaron Rodgers has said several times when this topic is up, the Packers are not a better team without him. Adams is the finest wide receiver in the NFL right now, and his bond with Rodgers is unrivaled. Furthermore, like the Ravens did in Week 15, opponents have been known to devote so much attention to him that his presence alone is priceless. Demovsky, Rob
Previous position: 4
Micah Parsons, LB, was named MVP in the non-QB category.
While Trevon Diggs may make a case for himself, Parsons has done more to improve the Cowboys’ defense. Parsons has the most sacks on the team, has made crucial plays at critical times, and has dominated at the line of scrimmage and off the ball. And to think, the Cowboys were frustrated that they were unable to sign either Jaycee Horn or Pat Surtain II, two of the best cornerbacks available. It should be considered a coup that they were able to trade back and still obtain Parsons. He should be a lock for Defensive Rookie of the Year and one of the leading candidates for Defensive Player of the Year. Todd Archer is a writer.
3rd place before.
Chris Godwin, wide receiver, was named non-QB MVP.
Godwin is now on injured reserve, but despite falling two catches short of 100 receptions, he still managed to earn 1,103 receiving yards in 14 games. With a 77.2 percent catch rate, he was QB Tom Brady’s most dependable target. In addition, Godwin shown his versatility as a downfield blocker. “Not just on the field, but off the field as well in his leadership and clutch plays,” Brady remarked. “It’s impossible to replace him.” Jenna Laine is a writer who lives in New York City.
Previous position: 6
Cooper Kupp, wide receiver, was named MVP of the non-QB category.
This year’s Aaron Donald Award goes to Kupp, who is a strong contender for NFL Offensive Player of the Year. Kupp, who was named to his first Pro Bowl in five seasons, is on track to win the NFL’s “triple crown,” as he leads the league in receptions (132), receiving yards (1,734), and receiving touchdowns (four) (14). If Kupp receives it, he would join Steve Smith Sr., Sterling Sharpe, and Jerry Rice as the only players in NFL history to accomplish so. Kupp has also established a new record by receiving more than 90 yards in 11 straight games. Kupp is on track to tie both the single-season catches record and surpass the single-season receiving yards record in his 17th game. Lindsey Thiry (Lindsey Thiry)
Previous position: 10
MVP (non-QB): RB Jonathan Taylor is a writer who lives in the United
This is just too simple. Taylor isn’t just the Colts’ MVP; he’s a real MVP candidate in the league. Taylor has the most running attempts (297), yards (1,626), and touchdowns (1,626) in the NFL (17). Taylor’s contributions have greatly reduced quarterback Carson Wentz’s workload, and his ability to dominate on the ground helps keep a defense that has forced 31 turnovers this season fresh throughout the game. Mike Wells’ remark
Previous position: 9
S Jordan Poyer/Micah Hyde are the non-QB MVPs.
This may be a little unfair, because neither Poyer nor Hyde could win this honor on their own. Wide receiver Stefon Diggs was also considered, but the safety combo anchors the league’s best pass defense in a multitude of categories. This season, Poyer and Hyde are the only safety duo in the NFL with at least five interceptions each. They have combined for 19 passes defensed and are tied for the fourth most interceptions in the NFL this season (10 Hyde, 9 Poyer). It’s possible to argue that Poyer is deserving of this honor on his own, but it’s the two of them that make this defense work. Alaina Getzenberg is a writer who lives in New York City.
Previous position: 8
DT Jeffery Simmons was named MVP of the non-QB category.
Even though Simmons leads the league in sacks (7.5) among interior defensive lineman, his disruptive, game-changing actions aren’t always reflected in the stat sheet. However, every time the Titans’ defense makes a huge play, Simmons is likely to be the cause. The Titans have gotten many interceptions thanks to Simmons’ ability to collapse the pocket from the inside. By often blowing up inner offensive lineman and stopping opposition ball carriers for a loss, he anchors the defensive line’s middle. Because of the way Simmons uses blockers, the linebackers and safeties are able to make clean hits on opposition running backs. Turron Davenport (Turron Davenport)
Previous position: 5
MVP (non-QB): LB Matthew Judon (Matthew Judon) is
Even though Judon is coming off probably his worst performance of the season, a 33-21 defeat to the Bills in which he failed to consistently produce a pass rush, he still gets the nod for his overall body of work (12.5 sacks). He and CB J.C. Jackson had been the team’s most disruptive defenders up until Week 16. Kicker Nick Folk (34-of-37 on field goals) is also in the mix. — Reiss, Mike
14th place before.
WR Ja’Marr Chase is the non-QB MVP.
Chase has helped the offense become more dynamic. He provided the Bengals with the explosive plays they were expecting for when drafting him with the fifth overall choice at the start of the season. As teams began to pay more attention to him, it created opportunities for other wide receivers to shine. Tee Higgins, in particular, was able to surpass 1,000 receiving yards for the first time in his career. When Cincinnati picked Chase, it was looking for an instant playmaker, and it looks that it has found it in the 2019 Biletnikoff Award winner. – Ben Little
Previous position: 7
C Rodney Hudson is the MVP who isn’t a quarterback.
On the line of scrimmage, Hudson is Kyler Murray’s eyes and ears, helping to establish the protection, alerting Murray and the rest of the offense to formations, and apparently taking care of the rest of the linemen on a play-by-play basis. The Cardinals suffer in some fashion whenever Hudson is absent. This season, he has missed five games, three of which Arizona has lost. Hudson has supplied the seasoned presence at center that Arizona has lacked for years, providing the sort of steadiness and comfort that has enabled the Cardinals to get out to a strong start. Josh Weinfuss (@JoshWeinfuss)
• Late failures send Browns to the edge of the playoffs • Legs suggest Prescott might be back • The Jets end a tense week with a satisfying victory. • WFT’s wheels fall off in a defeat to Dallas • The 49ers have a simple playoff recipe • The Patriots’ defense is scrambling for solutions
Previous position: 11
MVP (non-QB): DE Nick Bosa is a football player who plays for the New York
Given how vital OT Trent Williams and WR Deebo Samuel have been, this will be incredibly tough. This honor is due to all three of them. Bosa, on the other hand, gets the nod for two reasons: He hasn’t missed a game this season, which is even more amazing given his damaged ACL, and it’s difficult to see how the Niners’ defense would function without him. San Francisco’s cornerback situation isn’t ideal, but Bosa’s ability to generate a pass rush (he has 15 sacks) while facing more double teams than any other edge rusher in the league has not only kept the defense competitive, but also helped it stay in the top 10 in defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA). Nick Wagoner is a writer.
Previous position: 23
Darius Slay, a cornerback, was named the non-QB MVP.
With five defensive touchdowns, the Eagles are tied with the Cowboys for the most in the NFL. That’s mostly due to Slay, who has two fumble returns for touchdowns and a pick-six on the season. Slay, who was chosen to his fourth Pro Bowl last week, has three interceptions, nine passes defensed, and five sacks while reducing opposing quarterbacks to a 77.2 passer rating when throwing to him. His strong performance has aided a defense that has allowed the second-fewest 20-yard catches in the NFL (30), behind only the Buffalo Bills, and ranks ninth against the pass (215.6 yards per game). — McManus, Tim
Previous position: 13
Mark Andrews, tight end, was named MVP of the non-QB category.
At this moment, Andrews is the clear favorite for Ravens MVP. He has the most receptions (93) and receiving yards (1,187) among tight ends in the league, and is 15 yards away from breaking the Ravens’ single-season receiving record. What makes him so important, though? When Baltimore’s top player went down, he stepped up. Andrews has 376 yards since Lamar Jackson hurt his right ankle, running over tacklers to garner additional yards. He’s evolved into an emotional leader for a squad that has faced so much this season. Jamison Hensley (Jamison Hensley)
Previous position: 12
S Derwin James Jr. is the non-QB MVP.
James is the team’s defensive MVP by a long shot. He was held out of Sunday’s defeat to Houston and the conclusion of the Chargers’ Week 15 overtime loss to the Chiefs due to a hamstring injury, underlining how important he is to the Chargers’ defense. He recorded 103 tackles, three forced fumbles, and two interceptions prior to it. Even though he was wounded, he remained on the sideline and assisted with playcalling. Coaches believe no one in the NFL compares to him, and the Chargers will need him back for their last two regular-season games if they are to make a meaningful postseason run. Shelley Smith says:
Previous position: 16
WR Jaylen Waddle is the non-QB MVP.
Because I’m fairly sure I can’t give this honor to the whole Miami defense, I’ll give it to the guy who keeps the Dolphins’ offense relevant. Only missing the team’s Week 15 triumph against the Jets while on the reserve/COVID-19 list, the team’s top receiver has also been the most consistent. Due to Waddle’s absence, Miami’s receivers only produced 2.2 yards of separation on average against the Jets’ coverage. Waddle has the ninth greatest season average of 3.3 yards of separation among qualifying receivers in the NFL. With 96 receptions, he has already surpassed a club rookie record and is five catches away from matching the NFL rookie record. — Louis-Jacques Marcel
Previous position: 21
MVP (non-QB): DE Crosby, Maxx
The first-time Pro Bowler may not have eye-popping numbers (six sacks in 15 games), but as the spiritual leader of a reinvented and much-improved defense, he is more than impacting games. Crosby is also a Pro Football Focus favorite, with much of the season rating him in the top two among all edge rushers in pressures and pass rush grade. Crosby, who went to treatment for alcoholism in 2020, is leading by example both on and off the field, according to interim coach Rich Bisaccia. Gutierrez, Paul
Previous position: 17
Alvin Kamara, RB, was named MVP in the non-QB category.
Since the defense has been New Orleans’ driving force this season, it was difficult not to choose LB Demario Davis or CB Marshon Lattimore. However, because to injuries to wide receiver Michael Thomas, quarterback Jameis Winston, and the offensive line, Kamara has essentially become the whole offense. Kamara is averaging over 100 yards from scrimmage per game (97.7) and has eight touchdowns in 11 games this season. And the offense was much worse when he was out due to injury from Weeks 10 to 13, with the Saints going 0-4 during that time. Triplett, Mike
15th place before.
T.J. Watt, OLB, was named non-QB MVP.
This season, Watt has been a harbinger for the Steelers. The Steelers are 0-4-1 when Watt plays less than 50% of snaps, including games he has missed entirely due to injury. Watt is five sacks shy of matching Michael Strahan’s NFL record of 22.5 with two games remaining in the regular season. Watt received a large contract before the season, and despite missing two games due to injury, he has shown to be a wise investment by keeping the Steelers afloat in a confused AFC. Brooke Pryor is an actress who plays Brooke Pryor.
Here’s how the playoff bracket currently stands, as well as the possible outcomes. • Playoff picture and potential clinchers « • ESPN’s NFL Playoff Machine is interactive » • Football Power Index » | Standings
Previous position: 18
MVP (non-QB): DE Garrett, Myles
Whether or whether he wins the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award, Garrett has undoubtedly been Cleveland’s MVP this season, smashing the franchise’s season sack record. Garrett has been a force all season, from his 4.5 sack effort against Chicago in Week 3 to his strip, sack, and touchdown in Week 14’s victory over Baltimore. Garrett trails just T.J. Watt in the NFL in pass rush win rate, which he shares with Pittsburgh’s T.J. Watt (25.8 percent ). Garrett has been among the NFL’s best overall performances all season, despite battling a groin issue recently. Jake Trotter’s remark
Previous position: 20
S Justin Simmons is the non-QB MVP.
Vic Fangio feels Simmons is an All-Pro, not merely a Pro Bowler, and was perplexed by Simmons’ omission from the Pro Bowl last week. In Fangio’s approach, Simmons is expected to accomplish a lot of things. The Broncos are tied for first in scoring defense despite selling Von Miller last month, Bradley Chubb missing eight games, and the club deploying eight different inside linebackers due to injuries. And Simmons is an important part of it, as he is often expected to perform in the deep sections of the field while also providing run support and working in coverage against a variety of players. He has the second-most tackles on the team, the most interceptions, and is tied for the second-most passes defensed overall. — Legwold, Jeff
Previous position: 19
WR Justin Jefferson is the non-QB MVP.
At the halfway point of the season, the Vikings made a deliberate effort to get the ball to Jefferson, and their season started to turn around. This resulted in victory against the Chargers and Packers, as well as come-from-behind victories in Detroit and against the Rams if the rest of the team had kept up its half of the bargain. When Jefferson surpasses 100 yards receiving, the Vikings are 4-2 this season, and it’s evident that the young wideout — who now holds the NFL record for most receiving yards by a player in his first two seasons (2,851) — is a franchise player the team wants and needs to develop. Minnesota has changed its strategy and now runs the majority of its offense via Jefferson, who has over 37 percent of his team’s receiving yards. — Cronin, Courtney
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Previous position: 24
RB Cordarrelle Patterson (non-QB MVP)
Patterson, who had spent the most of his career as a special teams dynamo with hints of offensive potential, became a revelation in 2021, posting career highs in nearly every statistic, including running yards (579) and receiving yards (579). (523). He also has a career-high 11 running touchdowns and has contributed for 39.2 percent of Atlanta’s total rushing and receiving touchdowns. Atlanta went scoreless for six quarters earlier this season without Patterson on the field. While cornerback A.J. Terrell and tight end Kyle Pitts all have excellent arguments, Patterson plays such an important down-to-down role for the Falcons that no one can compare. — Rothstein, Michael
22nd in the previous ranking
Jonathan Allen, DT, was named MVP in the non-QB category.
Despite a bench brawl with teammate Daron Payne on Sunday, Allen has had a fantastic season, earning his first Pro Bowl invitation. He’s been Washington’s most consistent player this season, at least on a high level. Allen has 8.5 sacks, which is a career best, and he also has 10 tackles for a loss, which is seven more than last season. Allen claims that he is playing his best basketball of his career, owing to his increased consistency. He’s won with a variety of inside techniques, including a hump that was once a Reggie White mainstay. Allen’s problems aren’t to blame for Washington’s defensive woes this season. ‘John Keim’
Previous position: 28
MVP (non-QB): DE Quinn, Robert
The seasoned campaigner has put up his greatest effort yet. And since Khalil Mack was gone for the season, he hasn’t slowed down. Quinn has actually improved since Mack’s foot injury, with 11.5 sacks in eight games. Quinn is one of the few bright spots in a season that has otherwise been a disaster. Roquan Smith is another, and he was the only other Bears player in the running for this award, having racked up 149 tackles this season, good for fourth in the league. Jordan Raanan is a writer.
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Previous position: 25
FS Quandre Diggs is the non-QB MVP.
Even if quarterbacks were eligible, Russell Wilson would not win team MVP for the first time in years. Wide receivers Tyler Lockett (1,052 yards) and DK Metcalf (nine touchdown catches) have a case to make, but you can’t give an MVP award to an offense that has failed so severely. With a team-high 170 tackles and the most in the NFL this season, linebacker Bobby Wagner might easily be the pick. But Diggs, who was named the NFC’s starting free safety for the second consecutive Pro Bowl, gets the honor for the huge plays he’s made and avoided. He has five interceptions to lead the Seahawks, and his work on the defensive back end is one of the reasons they’ve allowed the third-fewest completions (15) on passes of at least 20 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. Brady Henderson’s quote
Previous position: 26
Haason Reddick, OLB, was named non-QB MVP.
Reddick not only leads the team in sacks with 11, but he’s also been instrumental in teaching new players the process that coach Matt Rhule emphasizes when it comes to turning the organization around. Reddick was a part of that process at Temple under Rhule, so he knows how much work and effort goes into it, and he can verbally describe it as well as lead by example. David Newton is an author.
30th in the previous ranking
WR Brandin Cooks is the non-QB MVP.
It was evident going into the season that the Texans lacked depth at receiver behind Cooks. Cooks has been the team’s top player despite missing the Texans’ Week 16 game while on the reserve/COVID-19 list (a game Houston won). Cooks is only 55 yards short of 1,000 receiving yards for the sixth time in his eight NFL seasons, and he’s done it this season with a quarterback combination of Tyrod Taylor and 2021 third-round selection Davis Mills. Cooks is a team leader, and without him, the offense would have suffered much more this season. Sarah Barshop is a writer.
Previous position: 27
K Graham Gano is the MVP who isn’t a quarterback.
When your kicker is the only viable choice for team MVP, it’s a horrible situation. But it’s the truth, as Gano has scored 40% of the team’s points and made 88 percent of his field goal tries this season. This includes seven of ten kicks from 50 yards or more. Safety Logan Ryan was a possibility, but he was suspended for two games after testing positive for COVID-19, while defensive end Leonard Williams (5.5 sacks) has been unreliable. Jordan Raanan is a writer.
This week’s essentials include: • Check out the full schedule » | Check out the standings » • Every team’s depth chart » • Injuries » | Transactions » • Rankings of the Football Power Index » Additional NFL coverage »
Previous position: 31
MVP (non-QB): RB Carter, Michael
The Jets’ RB1 has a team-high 865 yards from scrimmage, which ranks him 25th among NFL running backs, despite missing three games. He is eighth in the league in yards per touch (5.2) among running backs with at least 100 touches. Carter’s two most productive games occurred in two of the Jets’ four victories. C.J. Mosley, a dependable MLB player, is deserving of consideration, but it’s difficult to give him the nod when this defense is 32nd in yards and points allowed. Cimini, Rich
Previous position: 29
Jalen Reeves-Maybin, LB, was named MVP in the non-QB category.
With more famous names on the roster, such as running back D’Andre Swift, tight end T.J. Hockenson, and even rookie wideout Amon-Ra St. Brown, this isn’t an easy option. Reeves-Maybin, on the other hand, embodies the culture of hard effort and toughness that first-year Lions coach Dan Campbell is attempting to establish in Detroit for the future, which is why his expanded position on defense this season has been so important. When Campbell was recently asked for some of his most useful players during the season, Reeves-Maybin was the first name that sprang to mind. “I know he’s missed a few of games due to injuries,” Campbell said, “but when he’s out there on defense and special teams, he just makes plays.” “He’s a football player, and that makes an impression.” Eric Woodyard’s remark
32nd in the previous ranking
P Logan Cooke (non-QB MVP)
Cooke has been the best Jaguars player this season in terms of regularly performing at a high level. He is third in the NFL in net punting yards (43.6) and punts inside the 20-yard line (28). He’s also tied for second in the league in punts inside the 10-yard line (12). Cooke’s ability to flip the field has made it more difficult for opposition offenses to score points. That’s the status of the franchise these days: the punter is the MVP — and he’d still win if quarterbacks were allowed to compete. Mike DiRocco’s remark