Alabama Football: Crimson Tide Midseason Offensive MVPs

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The offense for Alabama football has struggled to establish a rhythm this season. It sputtered in an early season road game against Texas. Then, just as it seemed to be finding its stride, quarterback Bryce Young suffered a shoulder injury and missed over six quarters of football. Young has since returned to the lineup, but he needs a little more help from his receivers.

In its most recent outing, Alabama football gained just 290 yards of offense in a 30-6 win over Mississippi State. It will need to improve coming out of the bye week in order to close out the regular season strong.

The indisputable offensive MVPs for Alabama football through eight games are Bryce Young and Jahmyr Gibbs. These are the only two members of the offense that have performed with any semblance of consistency.

Alabama Football: Bryce Young

Bryce Young has thrown for 1,906 yards and 18 touchdowns in just over six games. The junior’s impact goes far beyond the stat sheet, as he regularly keeps plays alive and invents production out of thin air for the Alabama offense.

Young is so valuable in part because of how well he protects the ball. He rarely turns it over or makes critical mistakes. Bryce Young has thrown just three interceptions this season, and just 10 in his career on 790 pass attempts.

He has also been more of a threat to run the ball this season. Young was previously reluctant to run the ball, and entered the 2022 season with -23 career rushing yards. This year, he has already netted 137 yards (5.3 YPC) and three touchdowns. This includes sack yardage, so Young has been even more impactful as a runner than the stats indicate.

He wisely picks his spots to run and is very unpredictable to defend. His decision making in both the running game and the passing game make this offense go.

Alabama Football: Jahmyr Gibbs

Junior running back Jahmyr Gibbs is one of the nation’s most versatile skill players. Through eight games, he leads Alabama football in rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, pass receptions, yards from scrimmage, and touchdowns from scrimmage. He is third in the SEC in rushing yards (672) and yards per carry (6.9).

While he is capable of running through arm tackles, Gibbs is a finesse runner who is difficult to corral in the open field. His running style sometimes leads to negative or no-gain plays, but he is a threat to score at any time from anywhere on the field. This boom-or-bust style is not always conducive to establishing a consistent running game, but it gives the Alabama offense an element it hasn’t had in several years.

In the passing game, Gibbs has been mostly a checkdown weapon. He hasn’t generated a lot of big plays catching the ball, but he is a chain-moving safety valve. Gibbs’ receiving ability also provides Alabama with opportunities to get him the ball in open space, where he is electric and dangerous. Given his track record, it will only be a matter of time before he breaks off an explosive play after the catch.

On a week-to-week basis, Alabama football knows what it’s getting from Bryce Young and Jahmyr Gibbs. This offense needs regular contributions from a few more guys in order to function optimally. Despite appearing to be far from its potential, this unit ranks fifth nationally in points per game (43.7), tenth in yards per play (7.0), and third in yards per rush (6.0).

Next. Must-wins for Aggies and Barners. dark

It looks ugly at times, but Alabama football is a few minor adjustments from having a top three offense in the country.