Super Bowl Predictions 2014: Projecting Sleeper Options for MVP

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 26, 2014

SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 19:  Cornerback Richard Sherman #25 of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates after he tips the ball leading to an intereption by outside linebacker Malcolm Smith #53 to clinch the victory for the Seahawks against the San Francisco 49ers during the 2014 NFC Championship at CenturyLink Field on January 19, 2014 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

The Super Bowl MVP is one of the biggest individual honors in sports, but it does not always go to who you would expect.

From Larry Brown to Desmond Howard to Dexter Jackson, there have been a number of surprising players who had spectacular games to help their teams win a title.

Obviously, Peyton Manning, Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch are the odds-on favorites to be named MVP. Any of them will likely come away with the prestigious award with a good game on Feb. 2.

However, there are a few sleepers who could come away with an MVP award if things go well. Here is a look at some outside options with odds courtesy of Bovada.


Richard Sherman, CB, Seattle Seahawks (22-1)

HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 29:  Richard Sherman #25 of the Seattle Seahawks  returns an interception 58 yaerds for a touchdown in the second half against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on September 29, 2013 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

If you did not know who Richard Sherman was heading into last week, you certainly know him now after his heavily criticized postgame interview after the Seattle Seahawks defeated the San Francisco 49ers.

Of course, it is also important to note that he can walk as well as he talks. The All-Pro cornerback has the physicality and athleticism to shut down even the best receivers, as he has shown over the past two years:

He is also well aware of the challenge ahead of him and is not overlooking his opponent:

Still, Sherman can showcase his ability by slowing down the best passing attack in NFL history. If Peyton Manning has a poor game while the cornerback manages to get a turnover or two in a win, he could easily be named the Most Valuable Player.


Golden Tate, WR, Seattle Seahawks (25-1)

SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 19:  Wide receiver Golden Tate #81 of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates in the fourth quarter while taking on the San Francisco 49ers during the 2014 NFC Championship at CenturyLink Field on January 19, 2014 in Seattle, Washington.  (P
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

The Seahawks do not have a consistent passing attack, but they have a few dynamic players capable of a big play when defenses are not paying attention.

Golden Tate has had more than a few huge games this year and led the squad in both catches and receiving yards during the regular season. Meanwhile, Russell Wilson is not one to throw for a lot of yards, so Tate can truly separate himself with a strong game.

Additionally, the receiver was one of the best punt returners in the NFL this season, finishing second in the league with 585 yards. While he has not broken any for a touchdown, he has shown plenty of explosiveness and can certainly get a game-changing score in the Super Bowl.

If he scores a pair of touchdowns, it would be hard to deny him the MVP award.


Matt Prater, K, Denver Broncos (75-1)

Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

Although he has missed a few practices to start the week, his coach John Fox believes Matt Prater will be alright for the big game:

This will be vital for the Broncos because the All-Pro has been one of the best kickers in the league over the past few years. He led the NFL with a 96.2 field-goal percentage this season, and he also set the record for the longest field goal in league history at 64 yards.

If Denver is anywhere on the offensive side of the field, the coaching staff can trust Prater to come through with a successful kick.

No kicker has ever been named Super Bowl MVP, but the Seahawks defense is going to be tough to score touchdowns against. If Prater scores four or five field goals and maybe a game-winner, he has the opportunity to make history.


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