MVP watch: week 14

I could write for a long time trying to convince you that the 2010 NFL MVP award is actually up for grabs.

But if you’ve watched the NFL each of the last two weeks, you know who the best player in the league is, without much hesitation.

Still, in the interest of being thorough, here are my top five NFL MVP candidates for the 2010 season.

1) Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots (stock: UP, lw: #1)

  • 257/385 (66.8%), 3,029 yards, 27 TD, 4 INT
  • 1st place in AFC East (10-2, 3-1)
  • #1 QB rating (109.5)
  • Most passing touchdowns
  • 13th ranked running game

2) Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints (stock: UP, lw: #4)

  • 337/485 (69.5%–#1 in NFL), 3,634 yards, 25 TD, 16 INT
  • 2nd place in NFC South (9-3, 3-1)
  • #8 QB rating (94.6)
  • 2nd most passing touchdowns
  • 25th ranked running game

3) Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers (stock: UP, lw: NR)

  • 261/399 (65.4%), 3,243 yards, 23 TD, 9 INT; 53 carries, 284 yards (5.4 avg.), 4 TD
  • 2nd place in NFC North (8-4, 3-1)
  • #4 QB rating (100.3)
  • 5th most passing touchdowns
  • 23rd ranked running game

4) Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers (stock: DOWN, lw: #2)

  • 272/415 (65.5%), 3,642 yards, 24 TD, 10 INT
  • 3rd place in AFC West (6-6, 1-3)
  • #3 QB rating (102.5)
  • 3rd most passing touchdowns
  • 19th ranked running game

5) Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles (stock: SAME, lw: #5)

  • 171/268 (63.8%), 2,243 yards, 15 TD, 2 INT; 74 carries, 467 yards (6.3 avg.), 6 TD
  • 1st place in NFC East (8-4, 2-1)
  • #2 QB rating (105.7)
  • 19th most passing touchdowns
  • 5th ranked running game

Here are Rob’s Defensive Player of the Year candidates.

Defensive Player of the Year

1) James Harrison, OLB, Pittsburgh Steelers (stock: SAME, lw: #1)

  • 79 tackles (59 solo), 10 sacks, 4 pd, 2 INT, 6 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery
  • Last game (@ Baltimore): 4 tackles (3 solo)
  • Next game: vs. Cincinnati

James Harrison had a decent game on Sunday at Baltimore. This rivalry game lived up to everything it was supposed to be. Harrison’s numbers vs. Baltimore don’t speak for his effort and hard work that he put in.

There have been rumors that Harrison’s $125,000 in fines may prevent him from getting the 2010 DPOY award, which is ridiculous. Taking away a man’s hard work, effort and dedication because of some rules that are subjective anyway? Here at Fast Football, he is our number one choice, regardless of fines.

2) Cameron Wake, OLB, Miami Dolphins (stock: UP, lw: #5)

  • 44 tackles (36 solo), 12 sacks*, 4 pd, 2 forced fumbles
  • Last game (vs. Cleveland): 4 tackles (3 solo), 1.5 sacks
  • Next game: @ N.Y. Jets

Cameron Wake makes a huge jump this week all the way from fifth to second. Why? He had one heck of a game last week vs. Cleveland. Wake has been an emerging pass-rusher and a disruptive force for the Dolphins all year. He is now the NFL leader in sacks, with only four weeks remaining in the 2010 season.

3) Osi Umenyiora, DE, New York Giants (stock: UP, lw: #4)

  • 38 tackles (28 solo), 9 sacks, 2 pd, 8 forced fumbles*
  • Last game (vs. Washington): 3 tackles (1 solo) 1 sack, 1 forced fumble
  • Next game: @ Minnesota

Last week we were talking about Osi Umenyiora not playing up to his usual level. Well, this past week he returned to “beast mode” as the Giants crushed the Redskins. Umenyiora recorded a sack fumble, pushing his total forced fumbles to eight, which is leading the NFL.

Look for Umenyiora to have a good game against the Vikings, who don’t even know who will be their starting quarterback.

4) Clay Matthews, OLB, Green Bay Packers (stock: DOWN, lw: #2)

  • 46 tackles (42 solo), 11.5 sacks, 4 pd, 1 INT (62 return yards), 1 ff, 1 TD
  • Last game (vs. San Francisco): 6 solo tackles, 1 pd
  • Next game: @ Detroit

Clay Matthews has been slipping as of late, as he no longer leads the NFL in sacks, which he had for majority of the year. Matthews is still a phenomenal OLB and a leader on that Green Bay defense, but he isn’t putting up the numbers he has been all year. The DPOY race is far from over and I’m sure Matthews isn’t done yet.

5) Ndamukong Suh, DT, Detroit Lions (stock: DOWN, lw: #3)

  • 49 tackles (37 solo), 8 sacks, 3 pd, 1 INT (20 return yards), 1 fumble recovery, 1TD
  • Last game (vs. Chicago): 4 tackles (3 solo), 1 pd
  • Next game: vs. Green Bay

Ndamukong Suh is a very talented defensive tackle and a pure athlete. Suh is having a great rookie year and is becoming one of the premier DT’s in the league. He has slipped a few spots not because he is playing bad, but others in the league are playing extremely well. Suh is definitely not out of the DPOY race, but if he wants a shot to win it, he’s got to have standout performances over the next four weeks.

Other players considered:

  • Asante Samuel, CB, Philadelphia Eagles (7 INT*)
  • DeAngelo Hall, CB, Washington Redskins
  • Jerod Mayo, MLB, New England Patriots (144 tackles*)
  • Aqib Talib, CB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Shaun Phillips, OLB, San Diego Chargers

*league leading statistic

Thanks for reading.

-Mike

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