We're down to the final quarter of the 2020 NFL season, which means it's time to take stock of the MVP race. Halfway through the year, most of the NFL community would've dismissed anyone other than Russell Wilson as a legitimate candidate to claim this season's top honors. But a lot can change quickly in this league, as evidenced by our updated look at the MVP race.

Now, it's apparent the NFL's top individual award will come down to two players: Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes.

Aaron Rodgers
NYJ • QB • #8
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Patrick Mahomes
KC • QB • #15
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Or at least that's according to our panel of CBS Sports voters. Some suggested prior to 2020 that Rodgers was headed toward a big decline, and perhaps his final days in Green Bay, but the 37-year-old signal-caller has proceeded to dominate opponents during the Packers' march through the NFC. Mahomes, meanwhile, has effortlessly posted some of the NFL's best passing marks on the league's most dangerous offense, making him a logical contender for a second MVP in three years.

Casting five-man ballots (with five points for the first-place pick and one point for the fifth-place pick), we assessed the entire race ahead of Week 14. The results: Rodgers and Mahomes are neck and neck, with Wilson now a distant third and a handful of others still clinging to contention.

The panel of voters: CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora, Pick Six Podcast host Will Brinson, senior reporter Jonathan Jones, NFL writers John Breech, Jared Dubin, Cody Benjamin, Bryan DeArdo, Jeff Kerr and Josh Edwards

The full MVP tally

  1. QB Patrick Mahomes (43)
  2. QB Aaron Rodgers (37)
  3. QB Russell Wilson (14)
  4. DT Aaron Donald (10)
  5. QB Ben Roethlisberger (6)
  6. QB Josh Allen (9)
  7. RB Dalvin Cook (7)
  8. RB Alvin Kamara (4)
  9. RB Derrick Henry (3)
  10. WR Davante Adams (1)
  11. DE Myles Garrett (1)
  12. CB Jalen Ramsey (1)

Most first-place votes:

  • Patrick Mahomes (7)
  • Aaron Rodgers (2)

Most second-place votes:

  • Aaron Rodgers (6)
  • Patrick Mahomes (2)
  • Aaron Donald (1)

Positional representation:

  • QB (5)
  • RB (3)
  • WR (1)
  • CB (1)
  • DE (1)
  • DT (1)

So who will actually win?

Barring an absolutely red-hot December in which Wilson and Seattle finish with four straight wins, this really does feel like a two-man race between Rodgers and Mahomes. The former will finish against the Lions, Panthers, Titans and Bears; while Mahomes will close against the Dolphins, Saints, Falcons and Chargers. Both the Chiefs and Packers have reason to give it their all through the end of the year as they vie for top playoff seeding.

Both Rodgers and Mahomes should have no trouble boosting their numbers against those opponents, with the possible exceptions of maybe the Bears, Saints and Dolphins. Both QBs are obviously instrumental to their teams' respective playoff runs. But by Week 17, when the playoff picture is finally rounding into form, it's hard not to see Kansas City on top in the standings and another Lombardi legitimately in sight. For that reason, Mahomes feels like the justified No. 1 here. Rodgers has been lights-out, but Mahomes -- on the league's most talented, feared contender -- seems like he can't help but own the big stage.