Despite their bye week in Week 9, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady scored a major win as he now leads the race for the Most Valuable Player (MVP) trophy, according to odds posted by DraftKings Sportsbook. The 44-year-old Brady is now a +350 favorite to win the award, tied with Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen while Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray follows with a +750 odds, per Timothy Rapp of Bleacher Report. The other quarterback contenders are Matthew Stafford of the Los Angeles Rams (+800), Baltimore Ravens’ Lamar Jackson (+1,000), Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers (+1200), Dallas Cowboys’ Dak Prescott (+1200), Los Angeles Chargers’ Justin Herbert (+1400), Tennessee Titans’ Ryan Tannehill (+3500), Las Vegas Raiders’ Derek Carr (+5000), Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes (+6500) and Cincinnati Bengals’ Joe Burrow (+6500).

Brady currently leads the league in touchdown passes (25), second in passing yards (2,650), second in completions (231) and 10th in completion percentage (67.3 percent) for the 6-2 Buccaneers, who still lord it over the NFC South. Rapp said Brady is on pace to finish with 53 touchdown passes and 5,631 yards, which would be both career highs for the 22-year NFL veteran. Brady recently set three all-time NFL records previously held by Drew Brees and could clinch another one before the season ends. He also reached the 600-touchdown milestone in their 38-3 win over the Chicago Bears.

Bucs get boost in NFC playoff seeding

The Buccaneers had their bye week in Week 9, but they gained some important ground in the NFC playoff race after several contenders in the division lost their respective games, according to Luke Easterling of USA Today.

The Buccaneers kept the top spot in the NFC South after the Atlanta Falcons defeated the New Orleans Saints, 27-25. The Denver Broncos stunned the Dallas Cowboys, 30-16; the Chiefs defeated the Green Bay Packers, 13-7; and the Rams lost to the Titans, 28-16. With their respective losses, the Cowboys, Packers and Rams now have two losses each, the same as the Buccaneers, through the first nine weeks of the regular season.

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The Cardinals still lead the NFC with an 8-1 mark followed by the Rams and Packers with 7-2 while the Buccaneers are third with a 6-2 record.

Bucs receive some good news

After their bye week, the Buccaneers practiced on Monday, where some injured players made their return, according to head coach Bruce Arians. Arians said cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting (elbow) and wide receiver Scotty Miller (toe) returned to practice on Monday, The two players are a week into a 21-day window where they could be activated at any time.

"They looked really good today, so we'll see how it goes," said Arians. However, the head coach said the return of wide receiver Antonio Brown and tight end Rob Gronkowski remains unknown. Brown is wearing a walking boot as he deals with an ankle injury while Gronkowski sustained back spasm in their loss to the Saints in Week 8. The Buccaneers will take on the Washington Football Team on Sunday.