Updated NFL MVP Odds After NFL Week 9
This week's list of NFL MVP odds sees one prolific rookie quarterback being replaced by another. It also includes an honorable mention for two ball-hawking members of the league's best defense.
There are still spots for the usual cast of characters, most of whom are quarterbacks. Here are the updated odds after Week 9.
Honorable Mention: Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman
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Last week, several readers bemoaned the absence of Chicago Bears defensive back Tim Jennings. Well, that popular demand is enough to see Jennings included this week, albeit as an honorable mention.
Jennings' six interceptions and 42 tackles are exceptional numbers for a cornerback; however, for a corner to take the award, Jennings would likely have to repeat those numbers in the final seven weeks. As valuable as he is to the Bears' defensive schemes, Jennings is unlikely to be judged the league's MVP.
Joining Jennings is fellow corner Charles Tillman. The quintessential Cover 2 corner, Tillman continues to display a knack for turnovers that surpasses any other defensive back.
Two interceptions (both for touchdowns) and seven forced fumbles are ample proof of that. However, like Jennings, Tillman can expect to be overshadowed either by a pass-rusher or quarterback.
Most Notable Player To Fall off the List: Robert Griffin III
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Two straight subpar performances are enough to finally knock Robert Griffin III off this list. After receiving little help against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 8, Griffin continued to struggle against the Carolina Panthers.
His completion rate was a lowly 59 percent, and he didn't produce a touchdown through the air or on the ground.
Griffin wasn't helped by an offensive line that couldn't keep the Panthers' front four at bay. His receiving corps also continues to get thinner by the week.
The more the Redskins rely solely on the No. 2 overall pick, the easier it will be for defenses to corral him.
8. J.J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans
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Accumulating 10.5 sacks and 10 batted passes is enough to keep J.J. Watt on this list. He continues to dominate as the defensive player most likely to win the league-wide award.
The Houston Texans' 5-2 front now relies on Watt as its chief playmaker. He is, however, still yet to force a fumble or score a touchdown.
As well as he's played, Watt needs a few more so-called "splash" plays if he is going to upset the odds.
7. Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings
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It should be getting easier to consider Adrian Peterson for NFL MVP. At least it would be if he weren't a running back.
Position aside, it is impossible not to marvel at Peterson's performances this season. He has taken only nine starts to rush for 957 yards, good for the league lead.
In Week 9, he simply destroyed a usually fearsome Seattle Seahawks run defense. Peterson rushed for 182 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 10.7 yards a carry.
Considering the seriousness of his offseason knee surgery, Peterson's achievements during this campaign warrant some kind of accolade.
Sadly, running backs hardly ever win the NFL MVP, and the Vikings' slow fall from playoff contention doesn't help, either.
6. Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts
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Replacing Robert Griffin III on this list is the rookie quarterback selected one place ahead of him. Leading the Indianapolis Colts to a 5-3 mark and close to playoff contention recommends Andrew Luck for MVP.
He also has an increasingly impressive stat sheet, having thrown for 2,404 yards and 10 touchdowns. His 79.0 QB rating is just as impressive.
Eight interceptions and the rookie-averse MVP odds stand between Luck and the award.
MVP conversation aside, it's hard to believe anyone ever actually questioned the Colts' decision to take Luck over Griffin.
5. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
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A bye week denied Tom Brady the chance to pad his already impressive numbers and boost his MVP odds. That's the only reason the New England Patriots signal-caller takes a tumble.
Brady has a 100.6 passer rating and a superb 16-to-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio. The Patriots look like they might just be starting to hit their stride.
With Brady as efficient as ever, that's bad news for the rest of the AFC.
4. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
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Ben Roethlisberger deservedly makes his first appearance on this list after a superb showing in Week 9. The Pittsburgh Steelers gunslinger engineered a comeback win over the New York Giants.
Roethlisberger rebounded from a heavy beating to make the big plays when it mattered most. He was an impressive 21-of-30 and threw two touchdowns to help beat Big Blue.
Roethlisberger's 101.1 rating and 4-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio are exceptional. It seems that the two-time Super Bowl winner isn't finding it hard to work with offensive coordinator Todd Haley after all.
3. Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons
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Matt Ryan continues to put up big numbers, and the Atlanta Falcons remain undefeated. It's hard to overlook that dynamic, but Ryan isn't quite as impressive as the two passers who still lead this list.
He has fewer touchdown passes, and many of his recent performances have been steady rather than spectacular. The Falcons have begun to struggle, as opposed to the dominance they displayed earlier in the season.
There's also another reason to take a cautious approach when evaluating the Falcons under Ryan: Until they conclusively deliver in a big game, it's hard to be totally convinced.
A 103.0 QB rating, 17 touchdowns and 2,360 yards help to silence the doubters. However, Ryan's odds won't improve until he performs well in the season's biggest games.
2. Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos
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Peyton Manning narrowly slips to second on this list despite an impressive road win in Week 9. Manning's performance against the Cincinnati Bengals was undermined by two costly interceptions.
Manning still threw for three scores and 291 yards, providing ample compensation for his mistakes. That trademark Manning style is returning more and more each week.
The release is still as quick as ever. And if anything, Manning actually seems more accurate than we remember. That's reflected by that league-best 108.6 QB rating, keeping Manning a firm favorite for MVP.
1. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
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Aaron Rodgers rightfully returns to the summit of this list after dismantling another NFL defense. Rodgers hurled four touchdowns against the Arizona Cardinals, increasing his season total to 25.
That easily leads the NFL and shows that Rodgers is firmly back to the form that won him last season's MVP. Detractors will point to a soft schedule that has included consecutive home games against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cardinals.
However, no one can argue with how well Rodgers is spreading the ball around. Three receivers have caught 40 or more passes.
Those numbers are despite Rodgers getting limited contributions from veteran receivers Donald Driver and Greg Jennings. That and a 23rd-ranked running game prove Rodgers is the driving force for the Green Bay Packers.