If you don't know what to ask for come Christmas Day, well, let me offer you a delightful treat: a primetime matchup between the NFC-leading San Francisco 49ers (11-3) and the AFC-leading Baltimore Ravens (11-3) at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
This game won't entirely decide who goes and goes not on a bye, let alone who will win the Super Bowl, but it's the closest thing we'll get to it. And you already know the tale of the tape, as two MVP candidates will go against each other with Brock Purdy facing Lamar Jackson on Monday.
The 49ers' quarterback Brock Purdy, the last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, has exceeded expectations by a mile. Even though he does not have the typical NFL build for a player at the position, Purdy leads the league in passing touchdowns, yards per attempt, QBR, and passer rating.
Entering Week 16, Purdy has 3,795 passing yards, 29 touchdowns, and a completion rate of 69.8% with an average of 9.9 yards per attempt.
On the other end of the field, Lamar Jackson is about to be crowned MVP for the second time in his career (most probably) if he can defeat the Niners on Christmas. He leads the league in rushing yards with 741, has accrued 3,105 passing yards, and completed 17 passing touchdowns to go with five rushing scores.
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh praised Purdy's abilities, noting his quick decision-making, range of throws, and ability to scramble and operate a pro system efficiently.
"He sees things. He gets the ball out quick. He can make every throw. He throws a beautiful ball, moves around the pocket, scrambles when he needs to, throws on the run when he needs to, operates the system really well," Harbaugh said on Wednesday. "[He does] all the things that I’m sure their coaches want to see in a quarterback."
Ravens safety Kyle Hamilton said something similar, going the distance to dismiss the notion of Purdy being a mere "system quarterback" carried by the loaded 49ers offensive unit.
"The word around the league is he’s a system quarterback, and I just think that’s not true from what I’ve seen," Hamilton said. "He’s making every throw that you could make as a quarterback."
Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey also recognized Purdy's talents. "When you put on the film, he’s putting throws right where he needs to be, he’s reading coverages. He does a lot of good things," Humphrey said.
Finally, defensive tackle Justin Madubuike added that he "heard he’s the MVP frontrunner," before making his thoughts clear about said award's race: "I know my real MVP frontrunner is in this locker room here."