We're past the halfway mark and most MVP candidates have played the same number of games, nine. With seven to go.
I'd like to make a point on League MVPs, it is a Quarterback award more than for any other position, however, no Quarterback with a non-playoff team has ever, I stress, EVER won the League MVP.
Runningbacks don't have to be on a playoff team neccessarily, although it does help, and even still a RB has to put up a high-water mark to win the award, rush for 2,000 yards or nab 20+ total TDs, and Eric Dickerson still didn't win against Marino in 84.
That said here are my Top 10 candidates for league MVP for the 2008 NFL season:
1. Kurt Warner:
I was on the side of Brees up until this weekend. At 4-4 his team still had a legit shot at the post-season, at 4-5, in the NFC South, things look slim, so we look to the obvious No.2 QB in the league, Kurt " The Main Man " Warner. His team is 6-3 and, if you didn't know every other team in their division is 2-7, so barring a seven-game win streak by anyone of those teams, the Arizona Cardinals are two wins away from clinching the division title.
Well considering the Cardinals have never won it since they came to Phoenix over 2 decades ago and has only made the playoffs, like, four times the last 35 years. It also helps Warner's case seeing as how he's ranked second in passing yards, second in touchdowns, No.1 in quaterback rating and No.1 in completion percentage in the league.
2. Adrian Peterson:
Surprised? Well, Clinton Portis is No.2 in rushing yards but he may be out for the next game. The team is 6-3 and the 'Skins look poised to make the playoffs behind a pretty darn good quarterback in Jason Campbell. O.J. didn't have a good quarterback, Sanders didn't have one, Payton, Campbell, and Larry Brown didn't either. Portis isn't going to pick up 20+ TDs. Peterson's team? Try 5-4 tied with the division lead, if the Gus Frerotte led Vikes make the playoffs, AP may carry the hardware home.
3. Clinton Portis:
Many were putting this guy as the leading candidate last week, and he still has spunk, he's still in the game and he's still a major reason why his team is 6-3, but he has to do more and outgain the two guys infront of him to win the prize.
4. Tony Romo:
No, I'm not a Cowboys fan. They annoy me. But have you seen them since Romo got injured? It helps that in the six games he started he threw for 14 touchdowns and five interceptions. That touchdown mark is still good for seventh in the league with only three games less than everyone else. He's third as far as quarterback rating is concerned. But it all depends on how well the Boys do when he gets back, if they go 6-1 down the rest of the way, I could certainly see him winning the award.
5. Philip Rivers:
Rivers leads the league with 21 touchdowns and only eight interceptions while he boasts the second best quaterback rating. His team is 4-5, however, and trail the 5-4 Broncos in the AFC West. But the Chargers can still win the pitiful AFC West. And with a playoff spot Rivers can win the League MVP—and he may certainly deserve it. But due to media coverage and the probability of his team finishing 8-8 or 9-7 and coming off of the Conference Championship last season, it doesn't look great.
6. Donovan McNabb:
If the Eagles find a way to slide into the postseason, McNabb will be the reason why. McNabb has carried the Eagles, not Brian Westbrook. His stats are solid and he does everything he can to win for his team game in and game out, he's the best mobile QB in the league at the moment.
7. Chad Pennington
To think a team could go from 1-15 to 10-6 and division champs is amazing. The Dolphins schedule dictates their chances are pretty damn good. But it's the NFL and even if they did manage a complete turnaround, guys like Reggie Brown may get more credit—not to mention the coach. Still, Pennington has come out as an elite QB this season no doubt.
8. Matt Ryan
A rookie quarterback winning League MVP? Believe it or not the Falcons have a shot at the NFC South, a tough division. Six wins for the season was a questionable goal, but they falcons have seven more games to go. Who gets the credit? Michael Turner? Not really no, have you seen him play? Most running backs can put up 100 yards with ease if they get 30+ carries a game. Ryan has made few mistakes, even fewer costly ones, and if the Falcons were to win the division he would get consideration.
9. Joey Porter
The NFL sack leader plays on the haple....I mean happy Miami Dolphins. In all seriousness it's very difficult for a defensive player to win League MVP. The last guy to do it was Lawrence Taylor. And he did it over a 44-touchdown Marino season. Porter has a legit shot if the 'Phins make the playoffs. Even more so if they're division champs. Maybe more than Pennington—but he'd have to rack up a lot of sacks.
10. Eli Manning
Worst League MVP ever you say? Maybe, his chances depend on how few mistakes he makes and how well the Giants record stands up, if they finish as the No.1 seed in the NFC at say 14-2 and the next best team is 11-5, he will get a mention. Or a dozen.
Notes: Kerry Collins will never win league MVP even if the Titans were to go 16-0, sorry, his stats are pitiful and the Titans as a team, more as a defensive team take the glory. Brett Favre is not the whole reason why the Jets are 6-3 right now. No WR has ever won the league MVP, at least in the Super Bowl Era, if Rice in 87 couldn't beat Elway, no WR will win it unless he picks up 2k yards, and no QB hits 4,500. That's life. Brees' Saints have too much to overcome, 9-7 will probably not be enough for a wildcard spot, and they're not running the tables. Did I forget to mention the division games they have left against Carolina and Tampa Bay?