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2017 MVPs for every NFL team

2017 MVPs for every NFL team

Which players had the biggest impacts across the league in 2017? NFL Nation reporters pick regular-season MVPs for all 32 teams.

AFC East | AFC North| AFC South | AFC West
NFC East | NFC North | NFC South | NFC West


AFC EAST

Buffalo Bills

Running back LeSean McCoy

He finished with an average of 4.0 yards per rush, the worst of his career, but with 1,586 yards from scrimmage, McCoy gained over 1,000 more than any other Bills player this season. He was playing his best football before a Week 17 injury, having trailed only Todd Gurley in rushing yards from Weeks 11 to 16. — Mike Rodak

Miami Dolphins

Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh

It can be difficult for the causal football fan to notice Suh’s great season. But despite constant double-teams, Suh was able to do it all for Miami with 47 tackles, 4.5 sacks, eight tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. Suh also made players around him better, which was a change from previous years. — James Walker

New England Patriots

Quarterback Tom Brady (and running back Dion Lewis)

The obvious choice is Brady, who is a strong candidate for NFL MVP honors, and one can never go wrong with that. While his performance dipped over the last few weeks, he still finished the season with a league-high 4,577 passing yards. With Brady always in the lead position, it’s always good to add the “non-Brady-MVP” category, and that would be a toss-up between Lewis and Rob Gronkowski. Since taking over lead-back duties on Oct. 15 against the Jets, Lewis has been the team’s most consistent, dynamic, dual-threat playmaker as he finished the season with 180 rushes for 896 yards and six touchdowns, with 32 catches for 214 yards and three touchdowns. — Mike Reiss

New York Jets

Quarterback Josh McCown

The journeyman QB posted career highs in completions, yards and touchdown passes, galvanizing the team with his upbeat leadership style. The Jets were only 5-8 before McCown’s season-ending hand injury, but at least the offense was respectable with him under center. As one player said: “We lost a lot when Josh went down.” McCown, 38, is a free agent. — Rich Cimini

AFC NORTH

Baltimore Ravens

Linebacker Terrell Suggs

Suggs led the Ravens with 11 sacks and four forced fumbles. Baltimore was 6-1 in games in which Suggs recorded a full sack. A fourth-quarter strip sack sealed a 23-16 win over the Texans in late November. He ranks as the franchise’s all-time leader in sacks (125.5) and forced fumbles (36). –Jamison Hensley

Cincinnati Bengals

Defensive tackle Geno Atkins

There weren’t many options this year, as even reliable wide receiver A.J. Green didn’t have his best year. But Atkins was one of the most consistent players, despite playing on an injured toe the last part of the season. He was one of two Bengals to make the Pro Bowl and led the team with nine sacks through 15 games, an impressive feat for a defensive tackle. — Katherine Terrell

Cleveland Browns

Running back Duke Johnson Jr.

In a winless season, there aren’t a lot of players who jump out for excellence. Linebackers Chris Kirksey and Joe Schobert played every down and had more than 100 tackles, but Johnson was the team’s most reliable playmaker on an offense that lacked reliable players. Johnson led the Browns with 74 receptions and seven touchdowns, and had 1,041 combined yards rushing and receiving. — Pat McManamon

Pittsburgh Steelers

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger

The Steelers have legit candidates in Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell and Cam Heyward. But Roethlisberger gets the slight nod for his electric late-season surge. No QB finished hotter than Big Ben, who threw for 1,953 yards and 16 touchdowns from Weeks 11 to 16. He ranked second in passing yards before sitting the season finale against Cleveland, and his 28 touchdowns ties for fifth league-wide. Take out that five-interception game against Jacksonville — which was clearly an aberration — and Roethlisberger’s season line of 14 interceptions doesn’t look so bad. Brown was brilliant all year, but so was Roethlisberger, who was near-perfect in the Steelers’ game against New England without Brown. — Jeremy Fowler

AFC SOUTH

Houston Texans

Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins

The soon-to-be-All-Pro receiver signed a five-year, $81 million deal before the season, and he lived up to the contract this year. Hopkins led the NFL with 13 touchdown receptions and has 96 catches for 1,378 yards. His numbers were especially ridiculous with Watson under center (38 catches for 551 yards and six touchdowns in six starts) but Hopkins has also thrived with Tom Savage and T.J. Yates. — Sarah Barshop

Indianapolis Colts

Tight end Jack Doyle

This is sort of a matter of winning the award by default because of the team’s nonstop struggles. Doyle, who moved into the No. 1 tight end role for the first time in his NFL career this season, had a team-high 80 receptions while consistently being quarterback Jacoby Brissett‘s security blanket while he learned the offense on the fly after being acquired from New England a week before the start of the regular season. Doyle caught 75 percent of the passes thrown to him. The 80 receptions are the second most in team history by a tight end. — Mike Wells

Jacksonville Jaguars

Defensive end Calais Campbell

Campbell recorded a career-high 14.5 sacks — which helped the Jaguars finish with 55, just one shy of Pittsburgh’s NFL-high 56 — and was the biggest key to the defense finishing No. 1 in pass defense and second in yards per game, takeaways and points allowed per game. Campbell played inside for his entire eight seasons in Arizona before moving outside with the Jaguars and was energized by the move. In addition, he provided the much-needed veteran leadership the team craved. It took only a few weeks in OTAs before coaches and players (offensive guys included) were raving about that. Don’t overlook that as one of the reasons the Jaguars are in the playoffs for the first time since 2007. — Mike DiRocco

Tennessee Titans

Safety Kevin Byard

In a defensive locker room full of overachieving starters, Byard separated himself as a star in the making with 10 total turnovers (eight interceptions and two forced fumbles). Byard finished the season as the NFL’s co-leader in interceptions, and his playmaking ability came in bunches. What impressed his teammates and coaches even more was his evolution as a complete safety and leader in his second pro season and first as a full-time starter. Byard was snubbed for the Pro Bowl, but he’ll make future ones, and soon the world will know his name. He’s the Titans’ MVP, with defensive lineman Jurrell Casey and linebacker Wesley Woodyard deserving honorable mentions. — Cameron Wolfe

AFC WEST

Denver Broncos

Linebacker Von Miller

Miller finished with 10 sacks — his fourth consecutive season with double-digit sacks and the sixth of his career — and while that was not what he or perhaps the Broncos expected, he earned every one of those against a wave of blockers consistently tipped his way. Denver didn’t move him around the formation as much as the team said it might in training camp, but in a troubled season on so many fronts, Miller consistently performed and might’ve had his best season against the run. Cornerback Chris Harris Jr. also enjoyed a standout season. — Jeff Legwold

Kansas City Chiefs

Quarterback Alex Smith

Smith rose to the challenge after the Chiefs drafted Patrick Mahomes II — the first serious threat to his starting job since joining the Chiefs in 2013. Despite sitting out the season finale, Smith set personal career bests for yardage (4,042) and touchdowns (26). He’s the fifth QB in NFL history to throw 25 touchdowns and five or fewer interceptions, joining Tom Brady (twice), Aaron Rodgers and Nick Foles. — Adam Teicher

Los Angeles Chargers

Wide receiver Keenan Allen

Allen proved he’s one of the best receivers in football. Coming off rehab for a torn ACL in his right knee that ended his 2016 campaign after just one half of football, Allen totaled a franchise-record 102 catches for 1,393 receiving yards and six touchdowns. During a four-week span from Weeks 11 to 14, he totaled 39 catches for 547 yards and four touchdowns, and became the first receiver in NFL history to record at least 10 catches, over 100 receiving yards and a touchdown in three straight games (Weeks 11-13). — Eric D. Williams

Oakland Raiders

Defensive end Khalil Mack

The reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year did not take over games as he did in 2016, but he was still a force to be reckoned with in Oakland. His 10.5 sacks led the team and his 78 tackles were a career high. Pro Football Focus also had Mack second in the league among edge-rushers with 78 QB pressures on the season. Mack, the No. 5 overall pick of the 2014 draft, is the cornerstone of the Raiders’ defense and is due for a major payday via contract extension this offseason. Now if only he starts getting those holding calls against him by officials, he’d rack up even more stats. — Paul Gutierrez

NFC EAST

Dallas Cowboys

Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence

Lawrence had a breakout season with 14.5 sacks and nearly 50 QB pressures after recording just one sack in 2016. He picked the right time, too. Lawrence, who was healthy for the first time since the early part of the 2015 season, is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent and, at the very least, will likely receive the franchise tag or sign a lucrative long-term deal with the Cowboys. Sean Lee said Lawrence should be in the running for defensive MVP of the league, not just for how he rushed the passer, but for how he defended the run. — Todd Archer

New York Giants

Defensive tackle Damon Harrison

Harrison is perhaps the only Giants player on the roster who has played consistently well from start to finish this season. Harrison has been a force in the middle and once again led the NFL in run stops (39), according to Pro Football Focus. — Jordan Raanan

Philadelphia Eagles

Quarterback Carson Wentz

A star was born in 2017. Wentz emerged as one of the top quarterbacks in the league in his sophomore season. His 33 touchdown passes are second only to Russell Wilson (34) despite missing the last three games with a torn ACL. Wentz helped the Eagles capture their first NFC East title since 2013 while guiding them to the top playoff seeding. The offensive drop-off in his absence over the past couple of weeks has reinforced just how valuable he is to this team. — Tim McManus

Washington Redskins

Quarterback Kirk Cousins

The offense still moved the ball despite losing several key players: running back Chris Thompson, tight end Jordan Reed and left tackle Trent Williams, who combined to miss 22 games. Even with those losses, Cousins still threw for 4,093 yards and 27 touchdowns to 13 interceptions. He improved at using his legs to help make plays. It’s not as if Cousins stood out all season, and he did have some clunkers late — notably against the Chargers and Giants. But he helped keep the Redskins competitive much of the season. — John Keim

NFC NORTH

Chicago Bears

Running back Jordan Howard

It’s a toss-up between Howard and defensive lineman Akiem Hicks (career high in sacks), but Howard gets the nod because of his impressive statistics. He’s the first Bear to start his career with consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons. He also has 12 100-yard rushing games since the beginning of the 2016 season and was named a first-team Pro Bowl alternate. — Jeff Dickerson

Detroit Lions

Cornerback Darius Slay

The Lions’ only Pro Bowl player, Slay was a lockdown corner for the entire season. He held Julio Jones, Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr. — among others — without touchdowns when matched up against them. He helped a defense that couldn’t get much of a pass rush to keep teams from annihilating the Lions through the air. His seven interceptions are the most in the NFL. He’s been trending toward this for a while and could be one of the league’s elite corners in 2018. — Michael Rothstein

Green Bay Packers

Wide receiver Davante Adams

Even in Aaron Rodgers’ absence with a broken collarbone, Adams was one of the few players whose production did not decline. He caught just as many touchdown passes from Brett Hundley (five) as he did from Rodgers. He has surpassed Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb as the Packers’ most important non-QB on the offense. — Rob Demovsky

Minnesota Vikings

Safety Harrison Smith

Smith was the best safety in the NFL and had one of the best seasons of any player in the league, which is what makes his Pro Bowl snub so laughable. He’s so dangerous for opposing QBs because of everything he does pre-snap in addition to his elite versatility and ability to move around the secondary, play slot corner, take snaps as an off-ball linebacker, free safety, edge-rusher and so on. He was targeted 42 times, allowing 23 of those passes to be caught for 140 yards, no touchdowns and an opposing passer rating of 22.0, which is the lowest allowed by any defensive back, according to Pro Football Focus. Case Keenum and the entire Vikings O-line are worth mention, but Minnesota’s standing as the No. 1 defense in 2017 is a product of Smith’s contributions. — Courtney Cronin

NFC SOUTH

Atlanta Falcons

Wide receiver Julio Jones

For all the talk about Jones not being targeted enough or getting extra attention from opposing defenses, he still finished second in the league with 1,444 receiving yards. And although he has just three touchdowns, he created opportunities for others such as Mohamed Sanu to score by drawing the defense. Disruptive nose tackle Grady Jarrett would be a close second in the team MVP balloting. — Vaughn McClure

Carolina Panthers

Quarterback Cam Newton

This has been far from Newton’s best season, but when he’s at his best, the Panthers have been at theirs. His play was key over a 7-1 stretch after a 4-3 start. He led the team in rushing with 754 yards and still managed 22 touchdown passes. Defensively, the MVP would have to be middle linebacker Luke Kuechly. He led the team in tackles (125) and interceptions (three). He also had five passes defensed, more than any non-secondary player. — David Newton

New Orleans Saints

Defensive end Cameron Jordan

Rookie cornerback Marshon Lattimore has to be considered here, since his arrival did so much to transform New Orleans’ defense. But Jordan’s elite season shouldn’t be shortchanged just because he’s been doing it for seven years. He completed a rare “triple-double” with 13 sacks, 17 tackles for loss and 11 passes defensed (a feat that only J.J. Watt has accomplished since batted passes started being counted over the past decade). He turned one of those batted passes into an interception in the end zone. He also ranked third in the NFL with 28 quarterback hits. He led the defense in snaps, playing 93 percent of them this year. He should be a leading candidate for NFL Defensive Player of the Year. — Mike Triplett

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Linebacker Lavonte David

In a season in which few things went right for the Bucs, David was one of the most — if not the most — dependable players on defense, and he frequently took the ball away. In 13 games, David had five forced fumbles (second in the NFL). His five fumble recoveries were the most in the league. He also had a fumble return for a touchdown against the Cardinals that helped spark a four-touchdown spree in the fourth quarter and nearly overcame a 31-0 deficit. Defensive coordinator Mike Smith said, “He has, without a doubt, had a year for us in terms of his productivity, in terms of attacking the ball, and I think no one has ever in league history done what he has done in terms of taking the ball away and recovering it.” — Jenna Laine

NFC WEST

Arizona Cardinals

Linebacker Chandler Jones

The Cardinals jumped from 24th in total defense to sixth over the last half of the season, and Jones was a major reason why. He finished the season leading the league with 17 sacks — the first player in franchise history to do so — 28 tackles for loss and 33 quarterback hits. He was an all-around force. His numbers were evidence that even when he wasn’t dragging quarterbacks down, he was still having an impact on the field. Jones set a franchise record for sacks in a season and became the first player in franchise history to have a sack in at least 13 games. — Josh Weinfuss

Los Angeles Rams

Running back Todd Gurley II

Forget team MVP; Gurley might be the MVP of the entire league. He finished the season leading the NFL with 2,093 scrimmage yards and 19 touchdowns, even though he sat out the regular-season finale. Gurley rushed for only 885 yards on 278 carries in 2016, but ran for 1,305 yards on 279 carries in 2017. He added another 788 yards on 64 catches; his contributions in the screen game and as a check-down option are a major reason the Rams went from worst to first in scoring from 2016 to 2017. And when the games mattered most, Gurley was at his best. In Weeks 15 and 16, Gurley accumulated 456 scrimmage yards and six touchdowns to help capture road wins against the Seahawks and Titans. — Alden Gonzalez

San Francisco 49ers

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo

Yeah, he started only five games, but Garoppolo’s contributions were so far-reaching and had such a direct impact on the team’s final record that he has to be the team MVP. Garoppolo led the Niners to a victory in each of his five starts after the team began the season 1-10. Along the way, he set a record for passing yards by a quarterback in his first five starts with the team (1,592), and he now has seven wins in his first seven starts, which is tied for third among QBs in league history. Garoppolo isn’t just the team MVP, he’s the franchise’s most valuable person after breathing life into the organization in a very short period of time. — Nick Wagoner

Seattle Seahawks

Quarterback Russell Wilson

This is an easy call, though linebacker Bobby Wagner had a strong enough season to warrant serious consideration for NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Wilson became only the fifth quarterback since 1970 to lead his team in rushing, which he did by over 300 yards. He led the NFL in touchdown passes with 34 and rushed for three more. In fact, Wilson accounted for all but one of Seattle’s 38 offensive touchdowns as he had to carry more of the load than he did in any of his first five seasons. It’s not crazy to wonder whether the Seahawks (9-7) would have managed even five wins without him. — Brady Henderson

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