5 Dark-Horse Candidates to Win 2012 NFL MVP

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5 Dark-Horse Candidates to Win 2012 NFL MVP
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Nobody is talking about them, but Rivers and Romo are both dark-horse MVP candidates headed into 2012.

While the most prestigious, the NFL MVP is also one of the more predictable awards in professional sports.

For five consecutive seasons, a quarterback has won it, and it's typically won by one of the "hot" preseason names. Following the Packers' run to Super Bowl XLV in 2010, many predicted Aaron Rodgers to win last year's MVP, and he did.

This offseason, Rodgers is joined by Super Bowl XLVI MVP Eli Manning, two-time MVP Tom Brady and last year's passing leader Drew Brees as the most popular picks to be rewarded as this season's MVP. As well, after Cam Newton's record-breaking rookie season with the Carolina Panthers, some expect his rise to continue down an MVP path in his second season.

But let's go in a different direction and look at five dark-horse candidates to win the award.

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