Michael Thomas has been fantastic for the New Orleans Saints this season and has not only been the best receiver in the league but might be the best player.
The New Orleans Saints have overcome the biggest possible hurdle that could be thrown their way: losing Drew Brees for an extended period of time. The New Orleans Saints went 5-0 in the five games without Brees and now look primed to be the team representing the NFC in the Super Bowl.
There have been two constants that have helped the Saints win games throughout the season: the overall defensive effort of the team and Michael Thomas. Thomas, despite losing his starting quarterback, has been the best receiver in the NFL thus far this season.
Thomas leads the NFL in both receptions (73) and receiving yards (875) and is two behind the league lead in touchdowns with six, a number that is likely going to go up with Brees back in the fold.
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Not only has Thomas been the best receiver in the league, however, but he is also carving out a legitimate MVP case that, if the chips fall in a certain way, could lead to Thomas making history in 2019.
My buddy Tyler first brought the Thomas MVP buzz to my attention. There has been talk around New Orleans Saints blogs about Thomas being the team MVP, making the league MVP case takes more work.
First of all, we have to evaluate the field. The frontrunner for the award right now is probably Aaron Rodgers, who is having a great season after a few years of irrelevance on the Green Bay Packers and if the Packers continue their winning ways, Rodgers will win the award.
For Thomas to win the award we would need Rodgers to have a slow second half of the season and for the Packers to lose more games. If Rodgers has a good, not great season and the Packers end up being a wild-card team behind the Minnesota Vikings then we will be set.
Last year’s winner, Patrick Mahomes, is probably not going to win the award after missing time with an injury, especially if the Chiefs are not as good as they were last season.
Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson both also have cases, however, Watson is not even first in his division and Wilson has come down to earth some in recent weeks. If those two trends continue then they probably won’t win it, either.
There is another skill player in Christian McCaffrey that can win the award. However, he would have to continue at a record-setting pace that leads the Carolina Panthers to the playoffs. In the deep NFC, I don’t think the Panthers can be a top-six team.
You know who is on a record-setting pace? Michael Thomas. Thomas is one pace to beat the all-time record for receptions in a season by three and is on pace to finish with the sixth-most receiving yards all-time.
If he averages what he has averaged in the two complete games that Brees has played over the rest of the season then Thomas will have 940 receiving yards in the second half. That would give Thomas the fifth 1,800 receiving yards season in NFL history.
And most importantly to Thomas’ MVP case is the fact that he does not have a quarterback to outshine him on his own team. Drew Brees missed five games and Teddy Bridgewater will hopefully only have to start five games. That is the perfect situation for a wide receiver to win MVP.
What do you think? Do you think there is a legitimate case that Michael Thomas could make history and become the first wide receiver in NFL history? Let us know.