Power Ranking Top 10 NFL MVP Candidates Heading into Week 11
Week 11: Power Ranking NFL MVP Candidates
We are going into Week 11 and there are plenty of great teams and players out there. Some are surprises, and some are players that we expected to see great play out of. There are players who we were expecting more out of like Eli Manning and Joe Flacco. Others have come on late and played out of their minds but not for long enough to make this list, like Nick Foles and Case Keenum. If you think I am crazy for even mentioning them, they have a combine 23 touchdowns and zero interceptions.
At this point in the season, you know which teams are good and which teams are bad. Positioning on the team has a lot to do with where their best players will end up on lists like this. Are they just great statistically, or are they actually valuable? I try to decipher that point in this article.
The NFL is missing Aaron Rodgers, who would no doubt be on this list if he hadn't broken his collarbone. Who knows, Brian Hoyer could be on this list with how he played for the Cleveland Browns for a few weeks earlier in the season. Jay Cutler played well in a new offense before trying to come back too early and getting hurt again. Jake Locker was heading the biggest surprise team in the league until he got hurt twice and will now miss the rest of the season. Adrian Peterson is not having the season he did last year. Aqib Talib was honestly going to be considered the man to turn around the New England Patriots' secondary that was worst in the league a few years ago.
Enough talk of who isn't on the list -- let's get to those who are. These are the top 10 NFL candidates for the MVP award heading into Week 11.
Nick Villano is the New Jersey Devils writer for Rant Sports. He also contributes to their NFL and MLB content. You can follow him on Twitter for more updates.
10. Philip Rivers
If the San Diego Chargers had a winning record, he would be higher up on this list. But for now, Philip Rivers holds on at no. 10. Rivers can the goat for two of his team's losses. That really hurts his chances for MVP. That being said, he is the reason his team has any wins at all. With all the injuries to their wide receivers, he made something out of nothing.
9. Chandler Jones
Since Richard Seymour was traded to the Oakland Raiders, the Patriots have been missing that one guy who defenses need to game plan for. Chandler Jones is now that guy. He is towards the tops in the league with 8.5 sacks on the year. He has a forced fumble and a blocked kicked on top of the sacks and hurries. He gets through double-teams and continuously gets holding calls. He is a monster and one of the reasons why the Patriots are in first place in the AFC East.
8. Jamaal Charles
It is really hard to pinpoint one player on this undefeated Kansas City Chiefs team to give the moniker of most valuable player. Jamaal Charles has stayed healthy all year and is once again one of the best running backs in the league. While we've seen players like Ray Rice and Maurice Jones-Drew fall off, Charles has continued to play well in a one-running back system.
7. Jimmy Graham
Jimmy Graham is the best at his position. There are no tight ends in the game that come close to his production besides maybe Rob Gronkowski, but he tends to get injured. Graham leads the league in touchdown receptions and is fifth in the league in yards. He has been Drew Brees' favorite weapon and has been a game-changer for the first-place New Orleans Saints.
6. Luke Kuechly
Luke Kuechly is quickly becoming one of the best defensive players in the NFL. He is a main reason for the Carolina Panthers' surprising rise to the top of the NFC Wild Card race. He will only get better, which is scary.
5. A.J. Green
The Hail Mary pass to take the game into overtime showed how important A.J. Green is to this team. He is the reason that Andy Dalton has progressed this season. He makes the entire team better even when he doesn't have the ball. He is the only player in the league who already has over 1,000 yards. He has been targeted 119 times and has brought in more than 50 percent of them. You could argue he is the most important to his team.
4. Marshawn Lynch
Marshawn Lynch has been the best player on the 9-1 Seattle Seahawks. Russell Wilson has not played as well as last season, but Lynch has been even better. He is second in the league in rushing yards and has rushed for seven touchdowns. His 48 first downs are the most that any player has rushed for. He is the reason the Hawks have not felt the Percy Harvin injury.
3. Drew Brees
With the Rodgers injury and a down season from Tom Brady, Brees has secured his spot behind the other quarterback on this list. He is once again at the top of the stat sheets in almost all main categories. He is second in yards and touchdowns. He is doing it with a down year from Marques Colston and without the Saints having any kind of a running game.
2. Calvin Johnson
Calvin Johnson may be the best player in the league today. He is triple-teamed but is still is the best statistical receiver in the league. He beat the Madden curse and has brought the Detroit Lions into playoff contention. He leads the league at just over 113 yards per game. He learned how to stop getting tackled on the one-yard line. His nine touchdowns is good for second in the entire league. Just throw it up and he will come down with it.
1. Peyton Manning
Did you expect anyone else to be at the top of the list? Peyton Manning has broken many fantasy hearts this year, and he has put together the best quarterback season since 2007 Brady. Hopefully he can play up to that with the injured ankle he is dealing with. He can win the award this week with a win against the Chiefs.