Let's turn the clocks back a bit. Actually, let's turn them to about 4:30pm EST, October 24th, 2010. The Jaguars had just lost to the Kansas City Chiefs and were dead in the water at 3-4. Most Jaguar fans were resigned to a lost season and praising Todd Bouman for a gutty performance.
In addition, Jaguar fans were beginning to question their All-Pro runningback. After being shot out of a cannon to start 2009, it appeared that Jones-Drew has lost his MoJo. In a 15 game stretch, he only had two 100 yard games, both against the Colts porous run defense.The criticism came pouring in. He's just a #2 back. He's already washed up. He has to be in a backfield by committee.
Where is all of that now?
In his last 5 games, Jones-Drew has rushed for 667 yards and has essentially carried the Jaguars offense. While the resurgency of David Garrard can be attributed for some of the Jaguars recent 4-1 surge, Jones-Drew deserved the bulk of the credit. With Maurice now running at full speed, it means defenses once again have to keep a seventh or eight guy in the box to try and contain him, making life easier for the passing game.
In the last five games, MJD has carried the ball more times (126) than David Garrard has thrown it (95), carrying it at least 21 times in each game. Not to mention that MJD is averaging 5.3 yards per carry in this stretch.
Some are going to call Jones-Drew's season a disappointment, but those are mostly jaded fantasy owners who wanted his touchdown scoring prowess. However, MJD has now become far more than just a fantasy football stud. Like his predecessor Fred Taylor, he is becoming a feature back that does his best when the weather turns it's worst.
So then, as for the title of this article. The current MVP race this season has been a rather bland one. The current sexy picks are Michael Vick, Tom Brady, and Philip Rivers. All of them are deserving, but are they the most valuable to their team? The Eagles have one of the most stacked rosters in the league and the Chargers might end up missing the playoffs.
Jones-Drew has almost single handily drug the Jaguars back from the brink and (with a little help from the rest of the AFC South) put the Jaguars into first place.
They talk about a Heisman winner needing to have his "Moment" and it's much the same for a NFL MVP. Jones-Drew has that. His 75 yard catch and run to setup the game winning score vs Cleveland would be any other team's play of the year.
With four games left, Jaguar fans are already chanting "Why Not Us" for the AFC South title. Why not Maurice Jones-Drew as the NFL's MVP?