The NFL’s MVP race has been in a constant state of flux this season, but it now looks to be a two-man race between New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley.

It’s rare for a non-quarterback to win the award. Quarterbacks have won nine of the past 10 MVP awards and the six rushers who have won over the past 30 years have been historically good, either establishing a record for touchdowns or rushing for more than 2,000 yards in a season. However, that shouldn’t stop Gurley from serious consideration in 2017. After all, a player’s purpose is to help his team reach the playoffs, not set or break NFL records.

Gurley is the catalyst for one of the league’s top offenses this season. The Rams are scoring 2.4 points per drive, the third-highest in the NFL in 2017, and Gurley leads the league in rushing yards (1,305), rushing touchdowns (13) and total touchdowns from scrimmage (19) – even though the Rams’ offensive line has allowed their rushers to be stopped at or behind the line of scrimmage 23 percent of the time, worse than all but eight teams this season.

Just a few weeks ago I argued Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell was an MVP candidate based on his usage rate and his effectiveness with the ball, but Gurley has since surpassed him, and everyone else in the league, in this regard.

Gurley accounts for 38 percent of his team’s yards from scrimmage and 43 percent of his team’s rushing and receiving touchdowns, both league highs in 2017. Not even the past three running backs to be named MVP – Shaun Alexander (2005), LaDainian Tomlinson (2006) and Adrian Peterson (2012) – ranked at the top of the league for both percentage of yards and touchdowns from scrimmage in their respective seasons.

Gurley is also rated as the league’s best running back in 2017 by Football Outsiders’ defense-adjusted yards above replacement, which is adjusted for situation and opponent, and by the game charters at Pro Football Focus. In fact, among offensive skill players that aren’t quarterbacks, no player has a higher PFF rating than Gurley in 2017.

Brady is the highest-rated quarterback per PFF and Football Outsiders, but he ranks 17th for the percentage of offensive touchdowns he is responsible for (67 percent), making him barely an above-average quarterback in this regard (the league average is 64 percent). Brady’s stats this season, relative to the league, don’t compare favorably to other quarterbacks who have won the award over the past 18 seasons.

The average MVP winner since 2002 produced a completion rate that was 20 percent higher than the league average, with the median of that group 25 percent higher than the average passer in the NFL that season. Through Week 16, Brady sits below both marks in completion rate (18 percent higher), touchdown rate, passer rating and adjusted net yards per attempt.

Even though quarterbacks have the inside track when it comes to the MVP award, it is clear Gurley is worth more to his team than any player in the league this season.