Baltimore Ravens superstar quarterback Lamar Jackson reached rarified territory these past few days, as he became just the 11th player in NFL history to win two MVP awards. This is slightly bittersweet for Ravens fans, as he was just one vote away from making history.
Jackson received 49 of 50 first-place votes, making him one shy of becoming the first player in NFL history to be named a unanimous MVP twice. Almost immediately after he won the award, the voter who did not fall in line with the other 49 outed themself.
Aaron Schatz, who does a ton of good work in the football statistic community in his role as DVOA patron saint, was the voter in question. Schatz put Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen as his MVP, denying Jackson that historic achievement.
Schatz, who believed he wouldn't be the only one that would vote for a non-Jackson candidate gave a detailed explanation of why he chose Allen. The argument hinges almost entirely on DVOA and DYAR, both of which rank Allen and Cowboys MVP runner-up Dak Prescott ahead of Jackson.
DVOA and DYAR are two of the most useful stats out there, but they aren't the be-all and end-alll, especially when casting an MVP vote.
Writer explains denying Ravens QB Lamar Jackson unanimous MVP
Allen certainly had an impressive season, leading all quarterbacks in touchdowns and helping drag a lifeless Bills team to the playoffs. However, the consistency Jackson brought to the table all season long on a team that ended up as the top seed in the conference should have sealed his case.
Jackson's raw box score numbers may look ordinary when compared to other MVPs, but that is wilfully ignoring the context in which he put those numbers up. With his top running back and pass-catching target in JK Dobbins and Mark Andrews both missing large chunks of time, Jackson has arguably his best season as a dropback passer.
DVOA is a very unique stat that paints an accurate picture of how dominant some teams can be, but leaning on it almost exclusively underrates Lamar's season. This situation brings back memories of 2007, as Tom Brady didn't win MVP after throwing 50 touchdowns and going 16-0 because one writer thought Brett Favre was more deserving.
No team asks their quarterback to do more for them on the offensive end than Jackson, and he managed to have Baltimore roasting virtually every opponent before running into the set of road spikes known as Patrick Mahomes in the playoffs.
Looks like he'll have to settle for 99 first-place MVP votes out of 100. Tough break.