The NFL MVP award has forever been an award dominated by quarterbacks.
Each of the last nine seasons, a QB has won the award.
With Adrian Peterson being the last non-QB to win the MVP in 2012.
But, what if an unforeseen player breaks on the scene in 2022?
It has happened twice in the past five seasons when Lamar Jackson won the award in 2019 and Mahomes in 2018.
Despite neither player being one of the favorites heading into the season.
Who might those dark horse players be in 2022?
Here are a few options.
1. Trey Lance, Quarterback, San Francisco 49ers
The new starting quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers has been making plenty of noise in the preseason.
Taking the starting job from Jimmy Garoppolo, who just led the team to the NFC Championship Game, will be no small task.
But, San Francisco has fully committed to Trey Lance as their guy and it is time to unleash him.
— NFL (@NFL) August 30, 2022
Lance is not unlike Jackson from 2018.
No one knew what to expect but the talent was there.
That is the same type of situation around Lance.
The third-overall pick from the 2021 draft played sparingly last season and was not overly impressive throwing the ball.
But, he has speed and is a dynamic runner.
Also, the 49ers have good weapons around Lance that should make his job easy.
All Lance needs to do is improve his passing accuracy and he could be in for a huge season.
Head coach, Kyle Shanahan is a great play-caller and he will put Lance in a position to succeed.
Watch out for a huge breakout season from the dual-threat QB.
2. Tua Tagovailoa, Quarterback, Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins need Tua Tagovailoa to be their quarterback of the future.
After having two rough seasons to start his career, the time is now for him to produce.
Tagovailoa has been one of the most accurate QBs in the league over the past two seasons but did not have a plethora of skilled players around him.
Miami also improved their struggling offensive line by adding offensive tackle Terron Armstead.
This is the best roster Miami has had since they drafted Tagovailoa.
Also, it should be noted that Tua was recently named team captain.
His Dolphins teammates believe in him and the pressure is on his left arm to produce.
Tagovailoa is not a very mobile QB, but he has always been lauded as a pure passer.
The 24-year-old is in line for his best season yet and if he can get Miami back to the playoffs a chance to add some hardware could soon follow.
3. Christian McCaffrey, Running Back, Carolina Panthers
Only five running backs have won the MVP award since 2000.
With all of them having historic statistical seasons en route to winning the award.
Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey is the type of RB that is due for one of those historical seasons.
Not only is he a great runner, but he also has elite hands.
In 2019, McCaffrey had a historic season including 2,392 scrimmage yards and 19 touchdowns.
Including, 1,000 rushing and 1,000 receiving yards.
We don’t know what to say… Christian McCaffrey is not human 🤯
— FanDuel (@FanDuel) October 6, 2019
He can match or exceed those numbers in 2022 if he can stay healthy.
The former first-round pick has only played in 10 games the past two seasons.
But, he comes in 2022 fully healthy and hopes to stay that way.
The Panthers added QB Baker Mayfield who has plenty of experience checking down to running backs.
All CMC will need is touches for him to have a huge season.
He is the Panthers’ best offensive player and should be given the opportunity to have a giant statistical season.