Who will be the NFL MVP of 2008? Unlike prior years, there is no clear-cut selection for this season. Things have been so up-and-down for some star players that the next two weeks might become vital to any one player winning the MVP award.
In order to try to determine who might win the award, I will list my candidates and discuss their chances of winning the NFL's most prestigious award.
1) Peyton Manning: 3,543 yards, 23 TDs, 12 INTs
It was Peyton Manning who brought the Colts to life this season. They stood dead at 3-4 but have since gone on a seven-game winning streak. With upcoming games against Jacksonville on Thursday and Tennessee the following week, victories in those two games might be enough to solidify Manning's case for this award.
His numbers are high but appear deflated when you consider he's been playing with the league's worst rushing offense and has suffered from instability in the offensive line.
2) Adrian Peterson: 320 carries, 1,581 yards, 9 TDs
Peterson has been the driving force behind the Minnesota Vikings' success. The Vikings now stand at 9-5 and might win the NFC North Division for the first time since 2000 (when it was the NFC Central).
He always manages to come up with big plays when his team needs them, but his lack of production in the receiving game and scoring might prevent him from taking this award.
3) Kurt Warner: 4,290 yards, 26 TDs, 13 INTs
Warner might have been the front runner for this award earlier in the season—but not anymore. He still remains at or near the top in the statistics department, but the failures of his Arizona Cardinals in recent weeks will not win him favor in the MVP voting.
Although the Cardinals have done much better than they have in past years, they have failed to defeat more quality opponents, and do not have the momentum to push their quarterback to the MVP award.
4) Drew Brees: 4,332 yards, 28 TDs, 16 INTs
Brees has had a fantastic season statistically, but the issue of his team not winning enough games will hold him back from winning the MVP Award. People have been talking about him being on pace to break Dan Marino's single-season passing record, but that simply isn't going to happen.
Brees will not be averaging 350 yards a game over the next two weeks, and at this point in time, I feel that the failures of his teammates will cost him the NFL's richest prize.
5) Joey Porter, James Harrison, DeMarcus Ware
I place these three individuals in the same spot because they all have one thing in common: They play defense.
Only two defensive players in NFL history have ever managed to win the MVP Award: Allan Page and Lawerence Taylor. As much as defensive players complain about a lack of respect when being compared to players on the other side of the ball, the simple fact is that they do not do as much as individuals as quarterbacks do, for instance.
Even if DeMarcus Ware gets over 20 sacks this season, that does not have as much of an impact on his team as a quarterback who throws for over 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns.
It might not be fair, but that is the way of things, so despite all three players having fantastic seasons, I do not expect one of them to take home MVP honors.
6) Philip Rivers: 3,515 yards, 28 TDs, 11 INTs
His numbers are looking to be MVP worthy, but he faces the same problem as Drew Brees—his team. I personally believe that if an individual produces well, even on a team that does poor, it shouldn't hold him back that much.
Even so, that is the way NFL people will look at things, and the Chargers' disappointing season will cost their quarterback this prestigious award.
Those are my thoughts on the MVP situation. As of now, I'd say that it might come down to Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson. Warner and Brees have a chance if they win the final two games and put up big numbers, but as of now, I believe the list above will give you some good indication as to who might bring home the award.