After 12 games this NFL season, there have been some surprising performances by teams and players. Who would have predicted the Vikings and Cowboys imploding, or the Bears and Chiefs leading their respective divisions? Check out this list of the Top 5 MVP Candidates for the 2010 NFL season and find out why they are worthy of the award.
The Deserving Candidates
Tom Brady: Tom Brady always seems to put up extraordinary numbers. When the Patriots parted ways with Randy Moss, every one thought the Patriots offense would really sputter. Since getting rid of Moss, the offense has instead exploded. Consider Brady’s stats: 109.5 Quarterback Rating; 3,029 yards passing; 27 touchdowns; only four interceptions. Oh, by the way – did anyone see the way he carved up the New York Jets defense? The Patriots are an NFL best 10-2.
Maurice Jones-Drew: Maurice Jones-Drew has who at quarterback? My point exactly; David Garrard has 11 interceptions, and has been sacked 26 times. The real key to the Jaguars offense is MJD. He is known throughout football as a bowling ball on wheels, and this year is no exception. Jones-Drew is only 53 yards behind the NFL’s leading rusher while averaging 4.5 yards per carry. The Jaguars are atop the AFC South Division after being considered an after thought in most preseason picks; Maurice Jones-Drew is one of the most important reasons why.
Matt Cassel: Matt Cassel has been stellar this season. While it may be the fact that Kansas City has Charlie Weis calling the plays, an outstanding running game and Dwayne Bowe hauling in passes, Cassel has thrown only four interceptions all year. Limiting turnovers, especially from the quarterback position, is huge, and he has complemented that by throwing 23 touchdowns. The Kansas City Chiefs are 8-4 this season, and appear poised to easily win the AFC West Division because of his solid quarterback play.
Jamaal Charles: Jamaal Charles is currently averaging over 6 yards per carry. He provides spark to the Kansas City Chiefs on offense and special teams, demonstrating his ability to score from anywhere on the football field. Charles has 1,137 rushing yards, only 93 yards behind the NFL’s leading rusher Arian Foster, plus his team is 8-4, and leading the AFC West. Couple that with 379 rushing receiving yards and 925 kick return yards and you have an invaluable contributor to the Chiefs.
Aaron Rodgers: Aaron Rogers was stuck filling the shoes of Brett Farve, and it seemed that Green Bay was destined to turn into the likes of Denver and Miami looking to replace its superstar quarterbacks. Fortunately for Green Bay, Rogers has more than delivered. He has a quarterback rating of 100.3; thrown for 3,243 yards; 23 touchdowns; and only nine interceptions. While he benefits from the defense creating havoc, he has been without a running game ever since Ryan Grant went down early in the year. Instead of the Packers falling off, they have rallied to an 8-4 record and sit just behind the Bears in the NFC North.
Players Still Need to Shine
With Peyton Manning having thrown 11 interceptions in his last three games, and Michael Vick putting up decent quarterback numbers (2,243 yards; 15 touchdowns; and missed three full games) – but not great numbers, it appears that Tom Brady is a virtual lock for the MVP Award. Still, with four games left this NFL season, anything can happen, and the players still have to go out and deliver down the home stretch. With playoff spots still on the line for the players mentioned above, it’s crunch time.