Week 8 wasn’t a huge week of change in the MVP race. Some very good players had bye weeks, which didn’t help (or hurt) their stock. One player did make their debut on the list, despite his team having a losing record.
Speaking of team records, the criteria for an MVP isn’t talked about. So, here is mine (in order):
- 1) “Irreplacability”: In other words, what would the team look like if this player wasn’t playing for them?
- 2) Stats: This is the most tangible way to quantify a players ranking.
- 3) Team record: Does the team win games? In theory, if the team isn’t winning, the player isn’t that valuable. However, there are some exceptions.
- 4) Lack of a supporting cast: How much help does this player have? If a player is the most valuable player in the NFL, it shouldn’t matter who is helping him. However, if that player is doing a lot with a little, that helps their chances.
With that said, here are my week 9 MVP candidates:
1) Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis Colts (stock: UP, last week: #1)
- 197/299 (65.8%), 2,184 yards, 15 TD, 2 INT
- I honestly thought Manning’s numbers would take a hit with his most reliable target (TE Dallas Clark) being placed on the reserve/injured list. Yet again, Manning proved myself and a lot of others wrong, by picking apart the Texans secondary on MNF. Memo to Jacob Tamme: you’re welcome.
2) Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans (stock: SAME, last week: #2)
- 130 rushes, 737 yards, 7 TD; 28 receptions, 245 yards, 1 TD
- In a game where the Texans threw passes on 68% (38/58) of their offensive plays, it was tough for Foster to get going. But when he did carry the ball, he ran well, and played like he was willing to carry the team. He pass protection wasn’t great, but whose is against the Colts?
- In a 30-17 loss, Foster rushed 15 times for 102 yards and one touchdown (6.8 ypc). And by the way, he also caught nine passes for 65 yards. He’s for real.
3) Hakeem Nicks, WR, New York Giants (stock: SAME, last week: #3)
- 45 receptions, 525 yards, 8 TD
- Nicks was on a bye in week 8, but figures to get right back on track in week 9. The Giants travel to Seattle, and although the Seahawks traditionally play good defense at home, their secondary needs some help. Nicks and Co. will not oblige.
4) Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons (stock: SAME, last week: #4)
- 54 receptions, 747 yards, 5 TD
- Like Nicks, Roddy White was on a bye in week 9. This week, the surprising Tampa Bay Buccaneers come into Atlanta tied for first place in the NFC South with the Falcons.
- Although Tampa’s secondary is playing well and has a good mix of youth and experience, White is playing so well that it almost doesn’t matter who he faces–he will get the job done.
5) Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers (stock: UP, last week: NR)
- 198/306 (64.7%), 2,649 yards, 15 TD, 7 INT
- Yes, the Chargers are 3-5. Still, Rivers’ incredible play has garnered him legitimate consideration for this years MVP award. He leads the league is passing yardage, and is on pace to throw for 5,298 yards (214 yards more than Dan Marino threw for when he set the record in 1984).
- Even though Rivers can always rely on all-pro TE Antonio Gates, he hasn’t had his big-play wideout Vincent Jackson (or a dependable running game) for most of the season.
Do you agree with this list? Either way, I’d appreciate feedback. Of course, I think I’m right, but that doesn’t mean I am.
And don’t forget, Rob and I will pick our games of the week tomorrow.
Every time I think I know what I’m doing when picking games, I do poorly to say the least. So, my official prediction on how my official predictions will turn out: no comment.
Thanks for reading.