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There are a number of players who fell just outside my list of 2014 MVP candidates. They are:
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick
While Kaepernick ascended his game in the postseason, it's unclear whether or not he'll be able to put up the eye-popping passing numbers needed to win an MVP award. So while he's likely to lead a loaded 49ers team back to the postseason in 2014, he can't be put above any of the other names on the list in terms of the MVP discussion.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson
Wilson might be starting in the Super Bowl this Sunday, but like Kaepernick, he hasn't yet shown an ability to put up huge passing numbers, which leaves him behind the eight-ball for league MVP. But with a win this Sunday in Super Bowl XLVIII, it's doubtful the great Seahawks fans will care if Wilson even takes home the regular-season MVP award.
San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers
Rivers had a career renaissance in 2013, tossing 32 touchdown passes and leading the Chargers on a surprise run to the divisional round of the postseason. But I cannot in good conscience list him above the other eight names on the list.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles
Yes, I know Foles had a remarkable season in 2013, and his touchdown-to-interception ratio of 27-2 was nothing short of ludicrous. But some level of regression to the mean is inevitable, as there's no way he'll author a repeat performance. Eagles running back LeSean McCoy is a better bet for league MVP.
Houston Texans DE J.J. Watt
Watt is the defensive player with the best chances of winning MVP, but his only chance is if the Texans draft South Carolina edge-rusher Jadeveon Clowney with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, and Clowney's presence opens up Watt to do even more damage than necessary. The Texans would also have to make the postseason for Watt to have any chance at all.