Denver Broncos: Two MVP candidates from each AFC West team
Offense: Derek Carr, QB
Derek Carr had a down year in 2017 but he was an MVP candidate in 2016 and is looking for a big bounce-back season under new head coach (and play-caller) Jon Gruden.
Carr has the ability to be a top-five quarterback in the NFL and with the talent around him now in Oakland, especially at wide receiver, it would be a shocker if he didn’t improve upon last year’s decline.
Carr’s QB rating took a 10 point dip in 2017, so obviously, he struggled with consistency and the Raiders relied too much on him and the offense carrying their team, which they were able to do in 2016.
Defense: Khalil Mack, DE
If Khalil Mack ends up playing for the Raiders, he’s a safe pick to be the team’s top MVP candidate on defense.
This is a defense that has added a lot of pieces over the past couple of years, but no one is as dynamic as Mack.
If the Raiders trade Mack, it had better be for a King’s bounty.
Even though Mack’s stats have been padded by some big games against bad offensive tackles (specifically against the Broncos…), he’s a dominant edge player as a run defender and pass rusher.