MVP watch: Week 8

Now that we’re almost finished with the first half of the 2010 season, it’s time to make our MVP picks.

Each Wednesday, Rob and I will make our MVP picks, and tell you why each player is deserving of professional football’s highest individual award.

Mike’s top five MVPs

1) Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis Colts (4-2)

  • 171/254 (67.3%), 1,916 yards, 13 TD, 2 INT
  • Manning is the best player at the toughest position in football. He gets little support from the Colts’ run game, and now will be without his favorite target (TE Dallas Clark) for the rest of the season.

2) Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans (4-2)

  • 115 carries, 635 yards, 6 TD; 19 receptions, 180 yards, 1 TD
  • On a team with Andre Johnson and Matt Schaub, Foster has been the unquestioned standout player on offense. He ripped the Colts for 231 yards and 3 TD in week 1. Houston’s week 8 opponent? Indianapolis.

3) Hakeem Nicks, WR, New York Giants (5-2)

  • 45 receptions, 525 yards, 8 TD
  • Nicks is tied for the league lead with eight touchdowns (Antonio Gates). When he scores, he scores in bunches. He’s so dominant right now that Eli Manning doesn’t have to throw a great ball for Nicks to make a play and take it to the house. And on an offense that has been struggling to find a playmaker, he’s been it.

4) Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons (5-2)

  • 54 receptions, 747 yards, 5 TD
  • White is leading the NFL in receptions, receiving yards and is tied for sixth with five touchdown receptions. He is the pace-setter on a very good offense, and has led Atlanta to being a legitimate contender for the NFC title.

5) Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans (5-2)

  • 163 carries, 662 yards, 7 TD; 17 receptions, 66 yards
  • Johnson has high, self-inflicted expectations. Although he probably won’t reach his goal of 2,500 rushing yards in 2010, he’s on his way to having just as much impact on the NFL as he did in 2009. On a team like that Titans that’s not expected to score much, Johnson leads the league in rushing touchdowns and is third in the NFL in rushing yardage.

Rob’s MVP picks

Offense

1. Peyton Manning: 103.4 QB Rating, 1,916 yards, 13 TD, 2 INT

Classic Peyton Manning. He’s doing work regardless of his receiving core. Does the loss of Dallas Clark affect Manning and the Colts offense? We’ll have to see what “Miracle Manning” is made of during the rest of the 2010 season.

2. Roddy White: 54 receptions, 747 yards, 5 TD (three games with 100+ yds receiving, one game with 200 yards receiving)

White is a hardworking WR. He chased down Nate Clements (after Clements picked off Matt Ryan) and forced a fumble, which was recovered by the Falcons. He is on pace for a 1,700 yd season which would make him an elite receiver.

3. Chris Johnson: 163 carries, 662 yards (4.1 ypc), 7 TD, four 100+ yd rushing games this season

CJ2K – simple as that. My man has the speed and the vision to get it done. He’s definitely short of the pace needed to get 2,000 yards, but at any minute he can go off, and has proved that thus far in his young career.

Defense:

1. Clay Matthews: 22 tackles (21 solo, 1 assist), league leading 8.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 pass defended.

Matthews is an animal. He is a QB’s worst nightmare. Green Bay has plenty of defensive packages and schemes to get Matthews in the opposing team’s QB’s face. He is exciting to watch, period.

2. DeAngelo Hall: 57 tackles (37 solo, 20 assists), league leading 5 INT (92 return yards), 1 TD, 7 passes defended

A lot of people thought he was the best CB in the league when he was on the Falcons, then he sort of fell of the radar some, as he was deemed overrated. After joining the Redskins, he has revamped his career. Hall looks more in shape than he ever has and is making a case to be called a “shutdown corner” once again.

3. Michael Griffin: 47 tackles (37 solo, 10 assists), 1 forced fumble, 4 INT (50 return yards), 7 passes defended

Griffin has always been a consistently solid safety for the Titans, but this year he is stepping up and is a force to be reckoned with. Griffin has the size to lay hard hits and the awareness to make great plays on the ball. His hard work is getting him noticed in the MVP watch.

That’s just the beginning. These rankings are based on who we think is the most valuable player in the NFL right now.

It will be very interesting to see where these rankings go from here.

Thanks for reading.

-Mike

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