Super Bowl 2012: Victor Cruz and Non-QBs Most Likely to Be MVP

Kyle VassaloFeatured ColumnistJanuary 23, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 22: Victor Cruz #80 of the New York Giants celebrates after the Giants won 20-17 in overtime against the San Francisco 49ers during the NFC Championship Game at Candlestick Park on January 22, 2012 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Though Tom Brady seeking revenge over Eli Manning and the Giants will be the story leading up to Super Bowl XLVI, it won't be a quarterback who takes home Super Bowl MVP honors.

With the incredible crop of playmakers littering the field in the season finale, Brady and Manning's shootout will be overshadowed by the play of their weapons.

Here are three players who'll push their elite gunslingers for MVP honors.

Victor Cruz

Victor Cruz is the breakout player of the year. The salsa dancing phenom went from virtually unknown to a household name, racking up 1,536 yards and finding the end zone nine times this season.

Cruz has become Manning's go-to guy, and after he torched the 49ers for a whopping 142 yards, the Patriots have no shot at holding him in check.

The Pats rank 31st in the NFL in pass defense, allowing 293.9 YPG through the air. Cruz will prove once and for all that he's a top wide receiver in the league by slaying the inadequate New England DBs.

Rob Gronkowski

This was the year of the tight end, and Rob Grownkowski has been at the forefront of the movement. The Patriots love to roll out in their double-tight set and Gronk is a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses.

In the postseason and regular season, Gronkowski has an incredible 20 touchdowns. This TD machine is capable of scoring multiple times in the big game, and as incredible as Brady will inevitably be, Gronk has the means to take over this game.

Wes Welker

The Giants have to watch out for Aaron Hernandez and Gronkowski. Focusing their attention on the two talented tight ends will allow for Wes Welker to break loose.

Welker has racked up over 1,500 yards as well, and done so rather quietly. All of the hype surrounding the Patriots' lethal tight end tandem has drawn the focus away from Welker.

If Gronkowski and Hernandez draw the attention of the Giants defense, Welker is going to make New York pay dearly.

The Giants love to bring the heat with their ferocious front, but Welker can turn a routine catch into a monster play in a hurry. Just ask the Dolphins.