Updated 2012 NFL MVP Odds Through Week 6
Week 6 in the NFL was... well, we're still trying to figure out what happened in Week 6.
All the comeback wins and underdog victories started to jumble up what we thought we knew about the NFL this season.
Despite the chaos, there are still players who stood out more than others and jumped into, or solidified their case for, the MVP race.
It is only Week 6, but here are the favorites so far.
10. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals - 50/1
Green has been almost unstoppable so far this season. His 628 receiving yards leads the NFL, and his six touchdowns are only behind James Jones' seven. Green has also been targeted 67 times; only Reggie Wayne and Victor Cruz have been thrown to more.
Green is coming off a huge seven-reception, 135-yard game with two touchdowns. If he keeps this up, he could solidify his case for best receiver in the NFL.
9. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos - 40/1
At halftime of the Monday Night Football game against the Chargers, Philip Rivers actually sat in this spot. Then, Rivers forgot he was supposed to throw to the guys wearing the powder blue jerseys and let a 24-0 halftime lead slip away.
I wrote earlier in the season that Manning wouldn't have to play like an MVP for the Broncos to succeed, but I don't think they'll have any objections if he continues playing like he has.
8. Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings - 35/1
Coming off an 11-catch, 133-yard performance against the Washington Redskins, Harvin currently ranks first in receptions, sixth in targets and seventh in receiving yards. He's also blowing away every other receiver in the NFL in yards after the catch (316). The next-closest is Cincinnati's Andrew Hawkins with 221.
Harvin also leads the league in kick-return average. He could be the most dangerous player in the NFL right now with the ball in his hands.
7. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens - 25/1
Flacco hasn't been overly impressive this season, but his team is 5-1—MVP voters seem to like that kind of thing. Flacco has definitely improved this season, and outside of the 9-6 win over Kansas City which everyone tried to lose, he has been a big reason for the Ravens' success.
More of the weight for the Ravens' success has been put on Flacco's shoulders. Time will tell if that's a good thing.
6. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks - 20/1
Lynch has been the main reason for the Seahawks being 4-2 this season. Lynch only had 15 carries against the Patriots in Week 6, but before that he hadn't had fewer than 20 in a game this season. The Patriots defense focused on Lynch and wouldn't let him beat them.
Seattle's reliance on the run helps Russell Wilson use the play-action pass to open things up through the air. No other team runs play-action like Seattle right now, and it works so well because teams are terrified of Lynch running them over or carrying them for 10 yards.
5. Tom Brady, New England Patriots - 15/1
Brady leads the NFL in passing yards and has only three interceptions on the season, after throwing two against Seattle. He has only thrown for fewer than 300 yards in a game twice this season.
Brady's team, though, is only 3-3 and tied with three other teams in the AFC East for first/last place. That's cool for now, but we all know that won't last. The Patriots are going to pull away, and Brady is going to get MVP consideration.
Because hey, he's perfect, right?
4. J.J. Watt, Houston Texans - 10/1
While the rest of the Texans defense was being embarrassed by Aaron Rodgers on Sunday night, Watt was actually having a good game. Watt had two sacks and a team-leading four tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
Watt has at least a half a sack in every game this season, and in Week 6 he surpassed Clay Matthews for the league lead by a sack and a half.
Watt also has eight passes defensed, which is tied for eighth in the NFL. The closest defensive lineman to Watt in that category is Seattle's Chris Clemons, who is tied for 54th with four.
3. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers - 5/1
"What's wrong the Packers offense?" is a question no one is asking anymore. Rodgers and the Packers are clearly still capable of putting up points at will, and they did so against what many thought to be the best defense in the league in Houston.
Rodgers is now first in the league in touchdowns, third in completion percentage and eighth in passing yards. He's not slowing down.
Also, I'm starting a support group for anyone who had the misfortune of going against Rodgers in fantasy this week. Remember, it's okay; being blown out for one week doesn't ruin your entire season—it just feels like it does.
2. Eli Manning, New York Giants - 9/2
Eli's 193-yard performance against the 49ers snapped his streak of 24 straight games with at least 200 passing yards, the second-longest such streak in NFL history.
Eli is third in the league in passing yards, seventh in touchdowns and first in reasons why the Giants are currently 4-2.
Eli has reached Peyton territory in being able to make any receiver better. This year, Manning has thrown to Ramses Barden, Domenik Hixon, Rueben Randle and Martellus Bennett. It doesn't matter who he is throwing to, it seems like the passes are going to get caught. Just ask the Patriots.
1. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons - 7/2
Ryan played most of the game against the Oakland Raiders like he didn't want to be on top of this list, but the Falcons pulled out a victory. Three interceptions against an awful Oakland secondary is not exactly MVP material, but it's only one game.
Ryan obviously had his worst game in Week 6, but his first five weeks of work keep him as the MVP favorite early in the season.
Ryan ranks second in touchdowns and fifth in passing yards. He also leads the only remaining undefeated team in the league, so he's got that going for him, which is nice.
For more NFL fun, follow Dan on Twitter @DanPizzuta and listen to the Between The Twenties podcast
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