The 2012 NFL MVP race is starting to seriously take shape, and there are three clear favorites for the award at this juncture.
With these three elite QBs separating themselves from the pack, it’s likely going to depend on how they perform down the stretch to garner a nod from the AP voters.
Let’s take a look at the three candidate and their predicted odds of winning.
Tom Brady: 2/1
The New England Patriots have, by and large, been steamrolling their opponents during the 2012 season.
No player has been more instrumental to their success than the captain and former MVP Tom Brady.
He’s been absolutely shredding opponents for big gains through the air and running a form of the hurry-up offense—with a majority of play calls made at the line—with perfection.
Brady is practically a coach on the field, and if the Pats finish with one of the best records in the AFC, he’s likely to earn his third AP NFL MVP award.
Peyton Manning: 2.5/1
Despite missing the entire 2011 season, Manning has proven that he’s still one of the best QBs in the league and is neck-and-neck (excuse the pun) with Brady for MVP honors right now.
The Broncos are a completely different team with the future Hall of Famer under center, as he’s turned their receivers into household names, turned the club into a legit Super Bowl contender and transformed the identity of the franchise over 12 short games.
If Denver has a leg up on New England at the conclusion of the campaign, we expect the AP voters to give the MVP honors to Manning for the fifth time.
Matt Ryan: 3/1
The Atlanta Falcons have the NFC’s top record and are tied with the Houston Texans for best in the entire league.
Because of that record and his solid passing statistics, the MVP conversation has to include Matt Ryan.
Matty Ice, as he’s affectionately known around Atlanta, has been able to lead his team to wins at home and on the road (something he has struggled with during his career). If he’s able to keep that up and help Atlanta finish 15-1, there’s a chance he sneaks in and steals his first MVP award as a dark horse.