With the Chiefs offense struggling to produce points, this year's MVP race could be a quarterback battle from the NFC's consensus top three teams: the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers.
Jalen Hurts has taken a step back in the odds, so this week's MVP discourse has centered around Dak Prescott and Brock Purdy. In reality, you can make arguments for both players to win the award. Predictably, 49ers fans will back Purdy to the heavens, while Cowboys fans will fight tooth and tail on Prescott's behalf
Sure enough, we endorse Prescott as MVP over Purdy. That goes beyond fandom and it's in no way meant as a Purdy smear campaign. The former Mr. Irrelevant is arguably a top-10 quarterback in year two and San Francisco is far and away the best team in football when he's under center.
With that said, there are multiple reasons he shouldn't win MVP over Prescott.
3. Purdy is expendable, Prescott is irreplaceable
What's the single biggest reason folks wouldn't pick the 49ers to win the Super Bowl?
Because of their offensive line led by Trent Williams? Because of their defense that's allowed the second-fewest points in the NFL, second-fewest rushing yards and created the third-most takeaways? Because they failed to surround Purdy with enough talent? Of course not.
Purdy is the 49ers' biggest question mark. Nobody knows how Purdy will perform when adversity strikes, largely because he's almost always playing with a lead in the second half. How can a team's biggest question mark be the league's most valuable player?
Conversely, Prescott is the only thing that's been consistently great for the Cowboys. His defense struggles against good offenses. His running game has been a disappointment all year. When Prescott is healthy, Dallas boasts the most prolific offense in football. The 49ers only entered that equation when they traded for Christian McCaffrey last season.
Bottom line? Prescott is irreplaceable. Purdy is expendable.
The Cowboys wouldn't be where they're at without No. 4. As great as Purdy has been this season, you can't make that same argument on his behalf. The 49ers are built for a deep playoff run so long as they get adequate QB play. Purdy has been more than adequate, and that shouldn't be held against him, but it doesn't take a football savant to recognize that Prescott is more important, or valuable, to his franchise.
There's a reason the 49ers made it to a Super Bowl and another NFC Championship Game with Jimmy Garoppolo quarterbacking the offense.