The San Francisco 49ers are living the good life. They improved to 11-3 to clinch the NFC West division and remain the conference's top seed following a dominant 45-29 victory over the 3-11 Arizona Cardinals. As a virtue of being one of the NFL's top teams, San Francisco has two players in the top five of the NFL MVP odds, according to Caesar's Sportsbook: quarterback Brock Purdy (-225, odds-on favorite) and running back Christian McCaffrey (+1000, fourth-best MVP odds).

2023 NFL MVP odds

PlayerMVP odds

QB Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers


QB Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys


QB Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens


RB Christian McCaffrey, San Francisco 49ers


QB Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills


Purdy, who was called "a game manager" by former league MVP Cam Newton last week, leads the NFL in the following metrics: yards per pass attempt (9.9), passing touchdowns (29), touchdown-to-interception ratio (29-7), passer rating (119.0) and expected points added/play among qualified quarterbacks (0.32). He is even on pace to break the NFL's all-time record for passing yards per attempt in a season among those who have thrown a minimum of 375 passes. 

However, Purdy doesn't believe he should be the league MVP. He says that honor should go to McCaffrey. 

"I think Christian should be the MVP," Purdy said postgame Sunday, via KNBR. "I really do believe that. He does everything for us. Runs the ball well. Can catch the ball. He does everything, so in my eyes that's an MVP. I'm the guy that hands him the ball off and then turns back and watches what he does. Bounces off guys, making cuts, twisting off guys when he has all these guys holding onto him. I just see the beating that he takes and just his grit to continue to drive his legs and get extra yards and inches. Then he's immediately on the sideline using theraguns and moving his body. Just non-stop moving and so we all respect it. 

"He's the guy that does it all," Purdy continued. "We put him out in the slot and throw him the ball. He does everything. He is smart. We definitely look up to him and his toughness. He sets the standard, and we follow his lead. ... Thankful and blessed to be playing with him."

There is plenty of empirical evidence, on top of Purdy's anecdotal case, for McCaffrey to be the first running back to take home the MVP hardware since Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson did so in 2012. He leads the NFL in the following statistics: rushing yards (1,292), scrimmage yards (1,801) and touchdowns from scrimmage (20). McCaffrey is the only running back in the NFL with over 1,000 yards through Week 15, and he leads his position in receiving yards (509) and receiving touchdowns (seven). Earlier this season, he had a streak of scoring a touchdown in 17 consecutive games dating back to last season which tied the NFL record with Baltimore Colts Hall of Famer Lenny Moore.

Christian McCaffrey
SF • RB • #23
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After leading the league in rushing yards after each week of the 2023 season, McCaffrey has a chance to accomplish a feat that would certainly put him in line to be the NFL's MVP. He can become the first player in 28 years, and just the fourth since the 1970 AFL/NFL merger, to lead the NFL in rushing yards after every week of a full season. The other three are all in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and won the MVP award in two of those four seasons they achieved this accomplishment: O.J. Simpson (1973 and 1975, won MVP in 1973), Walter Payton (1977, won MVP), Emmitt Smith (1995, did not win MVP).

Players to lead NFL in rushing yards after each week of season
Since 1970 AFL/NFL merger

SeasonPlayerRush YardsScrimmage YardsScrimmage TDWon NFL MVP


Christian McCaffrey* (49ers)






Emmitt Smith (Cowboys)






Walter Payton (Bears)






O.J. Simpson (Bills)






O.J. Simpson (Bills)





* Three games remaining in 2023 regular season

While today's NFL in many ways is a quarterback-driven league, the quarterback of the league's best unit believes San Francisco is a Christian McCaffrey-driven team.