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NFL Rumors: 12 Possible NFL MVP Award Winners

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Top 12 NFL MVP Candidates for 2012

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Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

A little after the halfway point of the NFL season everyone starts discussing who would be the possible MVP candidates so far. Everyone has their own opinions and they have the right to those opinions. This article discusses 12 potential NFL MVP candidates and why they have a shot at the award this season.

This year there are several choices that deserve a look at the possibly of winning the award. Usually a quarterback wins, but there are actually some running backs, receivers, tight ends and even a defensive player that has a shot at the award.

There are always several that are the obvious choices such as Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning, but I tried to add a few players that have an outside shot at winning the award as well.

Criteria that seem to be required for winning the MVP award are: You must be the most valuable player for your own team, must have a team that has the potential for a Super Bowl run, and of course put up stats among the best players at your position.

There are several players on the list that will have a better chance if their team finishes stronger than they started and if the player’s stats improve slightly in the last 6 games. A couple of rookies may have a shot this year as well depending on their team’s performance the rest of the way and if they can have a great last 6 games to end the season.

The MVP that I chose is listed on the last slide of this article.

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Matt Ryan

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Derick Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

The Atlanta Falcons are 9-1 after they just recently lost their first game after an 8-0 start. QB Matt Ryan has put up very similar numbers as Manning. Ryan has thrown for 3,072 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. The touchdown to interception ratio was much better until last week when he tossed a pick party for the Arizona Cardinals. He threw 5 interceptions and 0 touchdowns. This game will be remembered when MVP voting comes around. Ryan’s passer rating dropped to 94.8.

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Aaron Rodgers

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Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

This guy is always a MVP candidate and always will be. He has thrown for 2,619 yards, 27 touchdowns which is a leagues’ 2nd most, and only 6 interceptions. He has the NFL’s best passer rating of 107.3 and his team is 7-3 and has won 5 straight. Rodgers has also rushed for 165 yards on the ground. The Green Bay Packers have tried to develop a run game and it hasn’t fared well, but even with a below average run offense Rodgers keeps this team an elite offense.

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Tom Brady

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Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Brady has thrown for 3,299 yards, 24 touchdowns, and amazingly only 3 interceptions while maintaining a 105.0 passer rating. The New England Patriots are 8-3 and look primed to make a run at the Super Bowl. The Patriots have tons of weapons and are using the run game early and often this season. The defense is starting to improve and the Patriots should be tough to beat down the stretch. TE Rob Gronkowski just broke his forearm and will be sidelined for a while. We will see if Brady is as good without him. Other than Manning, Brady deserves this award as much as anyone. Brady has played one more game than these other QBs since the Patriots played on Thanksgiving.

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Drew Brees

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Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

QB Drew Brees has thrown for 3,066 yards, 28 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions with a 99.8 passer rating. The New Orleans Saints started slow, but now are 5-5 after winning five of their last six games in large part because of Brees and the offense. If the Saints make a run and keep things going like that are now, then Brees will definitely make a push for this award.

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JJ Watt

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Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE

It is very unusual for a defensive player to win this award, but at the rate Houston Texans DE J.J. Watt is going he may steal this award away from the offensive players this year. The Texans are 10-1 so far and that is in large part because of the Texans’ defense, which has been led by Watt. He has 54 tackles, 14.5 sacks, defensed 13 passes, and has 11 tackles for loss. At this pace Watt will have around 80 tackles, 21 sacks, 19 defended passes, and 16 tackles for loss. With those projected stats and being the best player on one of the best defensive teams he will get a serious shot at the award.

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Reggie Wayne

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Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

So the Indianapolis Colts clean house on offense, but who do they keep? WR Reggie Wayne. Who is having their best season ever with a rookie QB? WR Reggie Wayne. Wayne has 76 receptions, 1,003 yards, and 3 touchdowns. His best season was in 2007 when he caught 104 balls, 1,510 yards, and 10 touchdowns. He is on pace for around 106 receptions, 1,600 yards, and 5 touchdowns. The Colts were 1-15 last season and this season they are 6-4 so far even after cleaning house after last season. This achievement is in large part because of Wayne.

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Percy Harvin

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Bruce Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

WR Percy Harvin was headed for a monster season before he missed a couple games with an injury….he has played in 9 games and had recorded 62 receptions, 677 yards, and 3 touchdowns. He also added 22 carries, 96 yards, and a touchdown and the ground as well. If he plays in the team’s last 6 games and stays on the pace he was on he could put up numbers around 104 receptions, 1,150 yards, and 7 touchdowns in only 14 games. Not likely he gets the award because of injury, position, and his team is not an elite team.

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Doug Martin

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Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

No doubt he has been the most productive rookie RB, but he has arguably been the most productive back in the NFL. He has 1,000 yards, 7 touchdowns, and a 5.1 yard per carry average. I know that his stats are a little inflated because of his 250 yard and 4 touchdown performance versus the Oakland Raiders, but he’s been pretty good the rest of the way as well. If we were to take that one game out he would still boast a 4.41 yard per carry average and a 19 carry per game average….and he would be on pace for over 1,500 yards on the ground and 10 plus touchdowns. He also has 319 yards receiving and a touchdown. He could easily have 2,000 total yards and around 12 touchdowns. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were awful last season and now are 6-4 on a four game winning streak.

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Rob Gronkowski

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Joe Toth-US PRESSWIRE

TE Rob Gronkowski broke is forearm last week right after I decided to put him in this article so I am still going to write about him although it is impossible he wins the award now that he will miss around 6 weeks. Gronkowski has 53 receptions, 748 yards, and 10 touchdowns. Had Gronkowski not been injured he would have been on pace for a 85 catch, 1,200 yard, and 16 touchdown season which would definitely qualify him for consideration for a MVP award.

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Arian Foster

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Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

RB Arian Foster has 1,064 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground. He has added 112 yards and 2 more touchdowns receiving. He is who the Houston Texans lean on for their offense and the Texans are ranked as the number 1 team on many NFL power ranking lists.

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Andrew Luck

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David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE

Not a chance he will actually win this award, but I would like to include him in the discussion. This is a rookie QB who has his team sitting at 6-4 and a chance to make the playoffs. This is a team who went 1-15 last year and then cleaned house and started over for the most part as far as a surrounding cast goes. His numbers are amazing for a rookie. He has thrown for 2,965 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. I agree it is not MVP type numbers, but they are great rookie numbers and his surrounding cast isn’t the best in the league. This guy won’t win it this year, but I can see many chances for him to win this award in the future. He’s a star.

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Peyton Manning

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Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

Denver Broncos are 7-3 and QB Peyton Manning has put up 2,975 yards, 24 touchdowns, and only 7 interceptions while maintaining a 106.2 passer rating. The last 8 games the Broncos are 6-2 and Manning has thrown for over 270 yards in each of those contests. He also has thrown 21 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions during that span. Manning and the Broncos made history in a game versus the San Diego Chargers when the Broncos won 35-24 after being behind 24-0 at the half. It was the largest comeback victory in the history of a Monday Night Football game. Manning became only the 2 nd QB in the history of the NFL to throw for over 300 and at least 3 touchdowns in four consecutive games and he fell 9 yards short of becoming the first QB to do it 5 games straight. Manning is 36 years old and having arguably his best season as a pro. He is my unanimous choice for NFL MVP at the Week 10 point.