Peyton Manning has played like an NFL MVP after completely missing the 2011-12 season. The signal-caller is on top of his game, has the surging Denver Broncos out to a 7-3 record and is almost surely going to lead them to the AFC West crown.
However, he’s not the only candidate for the award, as a number of players across the league have also stepped up and are performing quite admirably.
Let’s take a look at Peyton’s odds and a few other possible selections that the AP will look at when making a decision.
Peyton Manning – 2/1
With Manning throwing for 2,975 yards on 255-of-372 passing attempts with 24 TDs and seven interceptions, he’s a stat-stuffing machine that also leads his team to victory when it counts.
The Broncos are currently on a five-game winning streak, with their only losses coming to the New England Patriots, Houston Texans and Atlanta Falcons—arguably the three best teams in the league.
As long as Manning continues to excel statistically and keeps the W’s coming, it’s his race to lose.
Drew Brees – 3/1
When the Saints were off to a rough start to the 2012 season, Brees improbably willed them back into contention.
The 33-year-old QB has a ridiculous 3,066 yards passing, 28 touchdowns and nine interceptions on 250-of-401 passing through 10 games. He’s brought New Orleans back to .500 and it is very much alive in the wide-open NFC playoff race.
If he can bring NOLA back into the postseason after an 0-4 start, the AP voters may be inclined to award Brees the MVP.
Tom Brady – 4/1
It seems that Brady is always in this discussion, but he absolutely deserves to be. The New England signal-caller beat Manning’s Broncos and is going to be fighting to earn a bye over these next six contests.
He’s put up the usual gaudy figures—256-of-393 passing for 2,976 yards, 21 touchdowns and just three interceptions—but may come down to earth now that safety net and red zone machine Rob Gronkowski is out with a broken forearm.
Should Brady adapt without the star TE, earn the postseason bye and keep his INT number under five, while throwing a handful more touchdowns and yards, he could come from behind and steal the MVP.